Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Gina's Journey - Part 2: In Search of Paternal Lineage

Old photo
I felt Gina was heading in the wrong direction and falling down a DNA rabbit hole. Maybe I could find her correct ancestral path. Since I did not have access to Gina’s AncestryDNA results and could only examine our shared matches for information, I had only one option: to explain the information I was able to derive from our limited comparison, and then ask for access to her results. I explained that by granting access, it would allow a thorough DNA investigation with the possibility of locating her paternal birth family.

Gina responded by sharing part of her story with me. She was in her late 70’s and had always known her adoption status. Since Gina’s maternal tree was attached to her AncestryDNA results, she obviously had found half of her NPE mystery by identifying her birth mother (now deceased) and several surnames connected to that lineage. Having been born and adopted in Illinois, and knowing her birth mother was a native of Illinois, Gina assumed her birth father must also be from the same state. OK – this information was something to go on, but I really needed to examine her DNA results for close matches as well as to sort her paternal and maternal cousins.

I wrote back with a brief history of my paternal family, although I could only offer a general idea of which great-grandparent line we had in common. And since it appeared both of us were from the same endogamous community, there was a high probability we shared more than one ancestral line. I gave Gina my personal email and offered to be a search angel for her, but I could only proceed if allowed access to her DNA results. I also encouraged her to share more of her story so I could understand just how much genealogical research had already been completed.

I patiently waited for a response – a response that took months in coming!

In search of her paternal lineage


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