DNA test kits for on AncestryDNA have been mailed off for two of my in-laws. The tests are for two siblings. Three of their grandparents are well-documented. While there are gaps in their ancestry, the test was not really taken to answer any immediate questions on those three grandparents.
It is their mother’s father who is the genealogical problem. While there is some debate as to who the mother’s father is, all extant records suggest he was a man born in Chicago in the late 1880s who was adopted as a young child. The first adoptive couple died within a few years of his birth and he was adopted by another couple by 1900. He remained with this second set of adoptive parents until he married in 1909. The second set of adoptive parents adopted another child as well. Nothing is known about the origins of the second adopted child. The adopted boys could have been biological brothers, adoptive siblings from the first couple, or adoptive siblings from the second couple.
The grandfather was married to the grandmother until around 1919 when he left the family and was never heard from again. It is not known if he had any other children.
Consequently there are many new relatives that could show up as a result of the DNA test. To facilitate my work with those results, I’m organizing what I currently have on the two siblings who tested so that I can make the best use of the results when they arrive. I’m reviewing their known paper pedigree to make it easier to analyze the results. Nothing is known about the grandfather’s past other than his birth in Chicago.
But the other grandparents have origins that are hopefully distinct enough from his to make the analysis either. Of the other grandparents:
- the paternal grandparents were Missouri natives with ancestral origins in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and South Carolina.
- the maternal grandmother was a native of upstate New York and was entirely of French-Canadian heritage.
I’m working on creating a streamlined version of their tree (removing any questionable information) that I can then tie to their results. Having the tree online will make it easier for me to sift out the results and hopefully determine which DNA matches are connected to the maternal grandfather. The maternal grandfather could easily have siblings and children of whom I know nothing. In addition to more distant relatives, the two testers could have:
- half first cousins (from siblings their mother had of which they were unaware)
- half second cousins (from siblings their grandfather had of which they were unaware)
I’ll be taking a look at the update to the “Shared CM Project” to help in analyzing the matches. AncestryDNA does some predicting of relationships, but this will give me some additional insight. Preparing as much as possible to analyze the matches is advised because I may be overwhelmed with the amount of new information in front of me and it’s times like that when one can become more confused than usual.
There’s still probably two months before the results are back…so I’ve got time.
But the more I analyze my own results,the more I realize that it is important to review what you know before delving into DNA test results.