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Old English adoptee looking for help please

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  • Old English adoptee looking for help please

    Hello everyone, my name is Joan and I was adopted almost 60 years ago in Liverpool, England. I can always remember knowing I was adopted so I must have been told at an early age but it came as a shock to find out so much later in life that I was actually adopted into my maternal family and that my birth mother was my adopted mother's niece, the people I thought of as my grandparents were actually my great grandparents and so on.
    It didn't take me long to work out that most of what I had been told was untrue, which is perplexing but I can live with it and in any case, there's no-one around to ask now. There are definite advantages to knowing, I have found my half siblings and met two of them and I now know more about my maternal family than anyone else ever seemed to, having uncovered some huge skeletons along the way.
    My birth mum is sadly dead and it appears that while my half siblings always knew of my existence, our mother never spoke of the circumstances of my birth or of my father. At my age, I don't have illusions of finding him and having a big happy family reunion but I do want to know who I am and where I come from. Last year having built quite a substantial maternal family tree, I had my DNA tested on Ancestry.
    I don't have any close matches, the nearest being estimated 4th cousins. I can recognise a few people as belonging to my mother's side of the tree but have no idea how the others fit in. I uploaded to GEDmatch too and again the closest relationship was 4.3 generations and now FtDNA are accepting new Ancestry DNA kits, I have uploaded here too and my closest match is an estimated 2nd - 4th cousin with a total of 70cM with the longest block of 44cM.
    My Ancestry ethnicity shows me as being 70% Irish, 16% GB and 9% Scandinavian but my maternal family is exclusively English and Welsh, almost all of my DNA matches show Irish family links.
    I've had a go at looking at lots of matches and trying to find common names but I feel like I've got 20 large jigsaws mixed up in one box without a clue or a picture to start. Please can someone give me some guidance on an effective plan of action?
    Thanks very much for anyone help or advice you can offer

  • #2
    Do you think your half-siblings would consider doing a DNA test?

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    • #3
      Trying to help

      Hi Joan,

      Keep in mind that your ethnicity mixture might be a result of migration that happened several centuries ago - centuries before you'll find the first papertrail of your early ancestors . Ethnicity reports can be misleading some times. Plus, there are more Irish immigrants living in the US than English or even Welsh, so your DNA matches will predominantly show Irish roots even if you have a larger English ancestry. It looks like especially these folks are looking for their roots and people with Jewish ancestry. I have many of them among my matches, too, but have no known Jewish ancestors.

      It would indeed be helpful to test other relatives of yours, to be able to eliminate some of the matches that are definitely on your mother's side of the family. If you happened to be related to your half-siblings on both sides of the family, you would notice it by the amount of DNA that you share with each other.

      This might comfort you: My closest match on Gedmatch is at 4.6 generations. My family comes from Germany and Poland, but I also have a grandfather who was born out of wedlock and I have a quite a few matches with Scottish and English ancestry only. Maybe this is just a statistics-thing, too... Still trying to find out who his father was...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ltd-jean-pull View Post
        Do you think your half-siblings would consider doing a DNA test?
        This is a tough one and it's already caused some conflict between me and my half sister. She thinks I should be happy with having found my family and I am but she doesn't understand my need to try and find out about the other half of me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SwabianGirl View Post
          Hi Joan,

          Keep in mind that your ethnicity mixture might be a result of migration that happened several centuries ago - centuries before you'll find the first papertrail of your early ancestors . Ethnicity reports can be misleading some times. Plus, there are more Irish immigrants living in the US than English or even Welsh, so your DNA matches will predominantly show Irish roots even if you have a larger English ancestry. It looks like especially these folks are looking for their roots and people with Jewish ancestry. I have many of them among my matches, too, but have no known Jewish ancestors.

          It would indeed be helpful to test other relatives of yours, to be able to eliminate some of the matches that are definitely on your mother's side of the family. If you happened to be related to your half-siblings on both sides of the family, you would notice it by the amount of DNA that you share with each other.

          This might comfort you: My closest match on Gedmatch is at 4.6 generations. My family comes from Germany and Poland, but I also have a grandfather who was born out of wedlock and I have a quite a few matches with Scottish and English ancestry only. Maybe this is just a statistics-thing, too... Still trying to find out who his father was...
          Yes I do understand this but every single match I have been able to look at so far has Irish roots. Two of my closest matches actually live in Ireland and have done for generations but I can't get one of them to answer me and the other one is managing a distant cousins DNA but did say he will contact me again when they meet up.

          The closest I have come was with one of my first Ancestry matches which links me with a very extended Irish/American family. The administrator for that tree has told me she has had enquiries from other adoptees. I can link names in that tree to surnames in some of my other matches but I can't then link them together ...... yet!

          Thanks so much for your help and good luck in your search for your grandfather's family

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