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looking for ANY info on birth parents

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  • looking for ANY info on birth parents

    Hi all! I'm 27. I was born 5 weeks early on Jan 9th (due Feb 14th) in Oklahoma City, OK to an unwed mother who I believe was about 16 or 17 when I was born. I have no information on who my father might be but he was also around 16 or 17. Supposedly there were a few guys who could have been my father.

    I've been trying since I was 18 to find information. My state's adoption registry came up with nothing. At the time it was required to wait 6 months on the registry before seeking other options. We went through DHS to try to find her but my case has been passed on to so many different social workers since then and I just don't believe they all had contact with her. I was told multiple times that they had found her but were just waiting for her notarized info to come back so I could have her info. Four months later I heard the same thing from another social worker. I think I heard from a total of 6 different social workers who said the exact same thing. My last voicemail with them must have gotten lost or deleted somehow because I haven't heard anything in at least 5 years. I feel very strongly that it was DHS' communication issue and not that she wasn't interested in meeting me. I was originally told she was happy that I had been trying to find her and that she would send the required information immediately so we could begin contacting each other.

    Through my own digging I believe her name (maiden) could possibly be Kim (possibly Kimberly?) Altman, not that that narrows anything down. At the very least I just want some information on my medical history, but it would be nice to have a photo or know if I have any siblings.

    Any info on how to proceed would be very much appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Faithiebee123 View Post
    Any info on how to proceed would be very much appreciated.
    Of course, the first question most people will ask here is whether you have taken any autosomal DNA tests. If you could find a close cousin, you might be able to approach your problem from a different direction.

    Good luck!

    Jack

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    • #3
      You need to do the Family Finder test here. Do autosomal tests at as many companies as you can afford in order to cast the widest net. You may find that a close relative, even your mother perhaps, has tested at one company or the other.

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      • #4
        I did the 23andme ancestory and health test. I uploaded my raw data onto FTDNA.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Faithiebee123 View Post
          I did the 23andme ancestory and health test. I uploaded my raw data onto FTDNA.
          As MoberlyDrake posted, test with as many companies as you can afford to get into their databases. There are three main testing companies and you've tested at two of them. The third one is AncestryDNA and it has the largest database, at 3 million people.

          It would be worth your while to also test there. Also, if you haven't uploaded your results from 23andMe into the free database at www.gedmatch.com do that as well. They accept uploads from all the main testing companies, so you probably won't get many new matches, but they have some useful analysis tools there.

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          • #6
            Do you have any close matches?

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            • #7
              You'll want to contact your closest matches. Ask them to look over the matches you have in common to see if they have a clue as to what branch of their tree you might be related to. Ask if they have any relatives in Oklahoma.

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              • #8
                And if you have very close matches be very courteous and careful, as it may be a shock to them to discover an unknown close relation in the case of a well-kept family secret.

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                • #9
                  I haven't been able to find many close relatives so far. Mostly 3rd 4th and 5th cousins. Are they considered close relatives? I'll check out that site you suggested!

                  I'm planning on doing the Family Finder test eventually. Is there really that much of a benefit to testing with different companies rather than uploading the raw data I already have? Obviously I'm new to this whole genealogy thing so forgive me for seeming like an idiot.
                  Last edited by Faithiebee123; 15th March 2017, 08:59 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Hi, 3rd 4th and 5th cousins aren't close. A third cousin would share a great great grandparent with you. Add a generation for each number going up.

                    If you get a parent, half-sibling, 1st cousin, and perhaps a 2nd cousin depending on how developed their tree is, you have a much better chance than starting with a 3rd cousin. Good luck on testing, and I agree that you should try Ancestry.com for an addition drawing base for matches.

                    Oh, Ancestry won't accept a download for DNA from another company, so you'd have to pay for another test there. But they do have a much bigger data base than any other company. Here I have about 4,000 matches, but at Ancestry, I have more like 28,000 matches.
                    Last edited by keigh; 18th March 2017, 09:55 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The only problem with Ancestry is it's a database full of blanks! Not 1 in 10 have a tree that goes back more that 2 or 3 generations, if they have any tree at all. And no one replies to emails, either because they don't know they have messages (the icon isn't very noticeable), or because they don't know anything about their family and couldn't care less, or because once they saw their ethnicity results they never logged in again. Ancestry's advertising campaign focuses on ethnicity results and most people test just to get that. It's not very reliable, but they'll never know.

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                      • #12
                        MoberlyDrake has a point about the trees at Ancestry, but I've found that there is a dearth of trees here at FTDNA as well. Here at FTDNA frequently I'll see that a match has a tree shown in blue, but when I look at it, there is only one person on it, the match.

                        There are a lot of people who take the test as soon as they decide that they are going to do a family tree. And they get their results sort of expecting that to build their tree for them. It doesn't. It takes work and some information for matches to link to each other.

                        I recently had a 4th cousin pop up on Ancestry. She had 4 people on her tree. I took a look at one name and location and was able to build a mirror tree up from that name to several common lines we share. We link from both sides of her paternal grandfather as both of his parent's were related and I had them on my tree. But if I hadn't shared the information with my match she still might have just 4 people to work with on her tree. And Ancestry had the records I needed to consult doing a search for her grandfather to quickly discover his death certificate, marriage license, and birth records. Those had names that clicked with me. FTDNA doesn't have that ease of record searching attached to it. So belonging to Ancestry, with or without trees, has some advantages to it. I use both companies.

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                        • #13
                          For some reason or another, I seldom get replies from my Ancestry matches.

                          One of my high matches just had a 2 generation tree, but I was interested in her mother's surname, as I suspect it may be a solution to one of my brick walls. So I traced that line back to the 1700s. It took a couple of days. I contacted the match and asked her to contact me as I had traced the line back that far and had documents to prove it. I never heard from her.

                          My mother has only one grandparent who had UK and colonial American ancestry. One side NJ, and one side brick walls in KY around 1810 probably from NC and VA. At Ancestry, my mother has at least a half dozen close matches descended from her 2nd great-grandparents from NJ. None here. I wrote to each of them last night telling them about the new free transfers and directing them to Roberta Estes' blog about it.

                          I was thinking that if I could mark some DNA segments as coming from that NJ line, I would at least know that those segments do not belong to my KY brick walls. One match shares 110 centimorgans across 5 DNA segments. That seems a little high.

                          I'm waiting to see if any transfer. I suspect that none will. If I have any success, I could invite matches for a few more generations back on the NJ side.

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                          • #14
                            I've had some none replies from both Ancestry and FTDNA, but I keep digging.

                            Recently on Ancestry, my closest match yet showed up as a 2nd cousin, administered by I think is a relative of his. His DNA is linked to her tree which doesn't mean anything to me. However, there were some clues with the username that is given as the administrator, and with Ancestry's profile letting people list their message board posts. My cousin at one point awhile back was discussing the family that I had pegged him to using the Ancestry shared match feature. He gave his history back as he'd traced it on the message board. Right through my brick wall!!!!!!! So now I'm several generations back with clues on where to hunt.

                            If I could get this cousin to come over here, we could get a look at where we match and perhaps confirm what great grandfather we share.

                            Both sites have their advantages and problems. I think trees are a problem everywhere. And a lack of response is at times very annoying.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by keigh View Post
                              Both sites have their advantages and problems. I think trees are a problem everywhere. And a lack of response is at times very annoying.
                              You are 100% right about this. All of the three main testing companies have a frustrating lack of replies from and trees posted by matches.

                              I can understand this for 23andMe, since the company until very recently has advertised itself as a place to test to learn about health traits and doesn't encourage its customers much to opt into DNA Relatives. Since both AncestryDNA and FTDNA are marketing to genealogists, it's a head scratcher why more people don't reply and don't seem to be interested in collaboration to find common ancestors.

                              In the case of AncestryDNA, I think that many of their customers order the test after seeing a commercial about how they'll find out their ethnic ancestry and may even have to give up their lederhosen for a kilt. I also think that many people at both AncestryDNA and FTDNA have the idea that testing their DNA will magically churn out a family tree for them. They don't realize that genealogy sometimes takes years of research and collaboration with others to make progress.

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