It seems everyone is getting DNA tested these days. Sometimes it’s because they are looking for their birth relative. Sometimes it’s to find out what area of the world they come from. Various testing facilities such as Ancestry.com, FamilyTreeDNA, and 23andMe will analyze the results and let the tester know who in their DNA database matches. Often this produces matches to people the tester doesn’t recognize or distant matches, not a birth parent or sibling. That’s when clients turn to DIG. We can extrapolate your results, and, combining genealogical and investigation techniques, we can often find that connection clients are looking for.
One success story involves a client whose DNA test showed an aunt/half aunt level match, yet the client knew of all her aunts and uncles. After some genealogical research, DIG determined this DNA match was likely on the client’s paternal side and encouraged the client to have her father tested. The results came back with a very close (half-sibling) match. When discussing these results with the client’s father, he revealed he had been told on his 18th birthday that the father he had grown up with wasn’t his birth father and his mother refused to talk about his “real” dad. DIG did further research to confirm the connection, then reached out to the DNA match as an intermediary to ease the introduction of the match to her half-brother. The client, her new aunt, and her father have been exchanging family history ever since.
DIG also had a successful DNA match with another client, though the story doesn’t end in a happy reunion. Our client had been searching for years for their 1st cousin given up at birth, using standard genealogical techniques, adoption record and other searches. When DNA testing became available to the general public, the client promptly had her mtDNA test done. mtDNA shows the maternal line of DNA and this 1st cousin was from her maternal line. It took over a year before a hit came in at a level that could be the 1st cousin or a child of the 1st cousin. After interviewing the DNA match and using open and closed searches, it was confirmed that this DNA match was indeed the child of the 1st cousin (that is, 1st cousin once removed or 1C1R.) DIG reached out to the birth parent in the hope of connecting the two. Unfortunately, the adoption had been a very painful time in the birth parent’s life, and they didn’t want to reopen old wounds. Ethically and out of respect for the birth parent’s wishes, DIG had to inform our client they would not be able to connect with their newly found cousin. The client was, of course, disappointed, but happy to have finally found the cousin she had been looking for, even if they would not be able to get to know each other.