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Trying to find great grandfather with no info

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  • Trying to find great grandfather with no info

    My paternal grandmother Magdalena Gomez was born May 14th, 1911 in Cananea, Sonora Mexico to Crescencia Gomez. We learned in the past several years that she had a different father than her younger siblings who took the surname of their father Dionisio Macedo. My grandmother was not given any information of her biological father. No one knows what the situation was or if there was ever any contact. I am waiting for dna results to be processed for my father on FTDNA.My immediate family have all tested through ancestry and we haven't had any luck determining who anyone is that we match. Any advice on what can be done to narrow the search down??

    Thanks... Shary

  • #2
    Did you already look up her civil birth record in and verify that her father is not named? Is a baptismal record available? If you were able to find those records and your paternal grandmother's civil birth record and church baptismal record don't have the father's name then you are in a tough situation since you have to rely on DNA testing and not many people in Mexico know about genealogical DNA testing or even care to get genealogical DNA testing once they learn about it and that is if they can even afford it.

    Apart from that,, and 23andme, don't even ship kits to Mexico so that reduces even more the amount of Mexicans in those databases and if none of the close relatives of your father, through his unknown maternal grandfather, migrated to the U.S. then they would have to test with FTDNA Family Finder.

    If a close relative of your father, through his unknown maternal grandfather, migrated to the U.S. then they would have the option of testing with FTDNA, or 23andme. So you would also want to test your father with 23andme if there is not a close match at FTDNA.


    • #3
      We're also looking for a mystery great-grandfather. The two surviving grandchildren both kindly agreed to the FamilyFinder test and they've been uploaded to Gedmatch as well. If your father has any other siblings it would help to broaden the net.

      I'm not expecting any answers overnight.


      • #4
        Shary, if your father did the Family Finder test, when you get the results you can download his file, make an account at, and upload the file there. Also download the files for your immediate family who have tested at Ancestry, and upload to Gedmatch.

        Gedmatch accepts files from all three (FTDNA, Ancestry, 23andMe), so you might also catch some matches there who didn't test at FTDNA, or in your immediate family members' cases, at Ancestry.


        • #5
          Be aware that not everyone that tests with the different companies uploads their results to Gedmatch so there might be a person, or multiple people, that are related to you through your father's unknown maternal grandfather that have tested at 23andme that you won't see at Gedmatch, FTDNA, or Ancestry and the only way to see them is by testing your father with 23andme.

          More distant matches than 2nd cousins are much harder to find a common ancestor for since many people don't have well documented trees.

          None of my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins that I know for sure how they are related to me, because of well documented trees, that have tested at 23andme and have uploaded their results to Gedmatch. They show as matches with those companies' sites though.


          • #6
            Research for Great Grandfather

            Thank you all for your replies. As of now, My father and two of his sisters have tested through Ancestry. My parents, Myself, my children, 3 of my siblings and most of our kids have all tested on Ancestry as well. I have an original copy of my grandmothers birth certificate along with the original written document I found on Ancestry. There is no mention of a father, only her mother being single. The date that they have as her birthdate is different than the date that we always thought it was. She was born out of wedlock and possibly fathered by a man that was already married. She looks different than her siblings and more fair. She has passed, but has one living sibling that refuses to take the DNA test. She would only show matches on their mothers side. My results and my fathers both show a lot of Great Britain. We are curious of who the father may be.
            I have uploaded my fathers DNA to Gedmatch # A835414. He is anxious to learn more about his grandfather, as I am.
            I would love to know who all of these people are that we match and have never met.

            Last edited by scmarquez73; 6 August 2016, 11:57 AM.


            • #7
              There is only one person in Gedmatch that shares at least 100 cM and isn't an immediate relative of your father. According the Blaine Bettinger's shared cM project that person could be a 3rd cousin of your father but you and he would have to have good trees and other relatives available to test in order to prove how he is related to your father. Everyone else is too distant to be of much help.

              The Great Britain that your father gets is probably within the range some people from Mexico without recent NW European ancestry get. It isn't unusual for some to get 6-20% British Isles with FTDNA myOrigins even though it is from long before the 1500s. His Eurogenes K13 is definitely not far off from a kit that I have of a person from Mexico without NW European ancestry in the past 500 years.


              • #8

                Thank you Armando. I will check out the link you sent and also the Gedmatch. I am trying to familiarize myself with all of the information. Most of it is very foreign to me. I am actually considering a class to learn more about it. Thanks for your assistance.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by scmarquez73 View Post
                  Thank you Armando. I will check out the link you sent and also the Gedmatch. I am trying to familiarize myself with all of the information. Most of it is very foreign to me. I am actually considering a class to learn more about it. Thanks for your assistance.
                  I don't think that there are any classes that would tell you -

                  1. What the normal ranges of the different ethnic components are for Mexicans with AncestryDNA, FTDNA myOrigins or 23andme. You have to test a lot of people and ask others with well documented ancestry for their results.

                  2. What the ranges are with the different genealogical companies or free online sites like Gedmatch for known genealogical relationships.

                  3. If you need to understand cM these are the basics.
                  "A centiMorgan (cM) is a measurement of how likely a segment of DNA is to recombine from one generation to the next. A single centiMorgan is considered equivalent to a 1% (1/100) chance that a segment of DNA will crossover or recombine within one generation.

                  For humans, one million base pairs (bp) average about one centiMorgan. However, the rate of recombination is highly variable.


                  So a person with 100 cM shares that much DNA with you that had a likelihood of recombining in a generation. You share about 3400 cM with a parent or child, about 2550 cM with a full sibling, and about 1700 cM with a grandparent/grandchild, aunt-or-uncle/niece-or-nephew, or half-sibling.


                  • #10
                    Thank you

                    Hi Armando,

                    We just received DNA results back. I am going to review everything to see what I can learn. So far, my one 1st cousin has tested on here and one other person. I am not sure who she is. I have emailed her.

                    I will let you know what I learn.

                    Thanks for your information.