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Mother was adopted. Trying to locate relatives.

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  • Mother was adopted. Trying to locate relatives.

    Hi ftDNA! My 70yo mom was adopted and I took the MtDNA test in the hopes of finding someone that might be related. How do I even begin? Is someone listed as a 0 an actually relative or just maybe someone who shares similar DNA? Shortly after she was adopted the orphanage burned down and records were lost. It's been difficult trying to do anything and I thought a DNA test might open a door finally.

  • #2
    If your mother is still alive, have her do the FamilyFinder Test.
    (New person, new kit. - so you will have two kits to manage.)

    If she is not alive, then order the FamilyFinder Test for you.
    Or - order it for both of you (for you, order it as an upgrade from Kit you already have, from the MtDNA test)
    Last edited by loobster; 23rd September 2017, 06:52 PM.

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    • #3
      If your mother is willing, she should take the Family Finder test here at FTDNA, and probably also test at 23andMe and Ancestry.com (to "fish in all ponds"). That will give her the best bang for the buck for finding a relative. Keep an eye out for sale prices on the tests.

      You might be lucky with your 0 distance match on the mtDNA test, but the common ancestor may be too far back to know. It will be hard to figure out a connection if your mother has no clues. Perhaps the orphanage had to submit a copy of records to the state? Check to see if the state where she was born (if she knows it) has records available to adoptees; here is one source: https://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/state.php

      A good site to visit is DNAadoption.com. They have a lot of guidance for adoptees.

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      • #4
        Similar situation

        My mother was also adopted and, so far, no records have turned-up.

        If you test with Ancestry or 23andMe, your results will be phased with your mom. That means your matches will be tagged as Paternal or Maternal line matches - A GREAT BENEFIT!

        In my case, the ancestries of my mother are wholly different from the single ancestry of my father (both paternal GP's born in the Old Country, emigrating to the New World in early 20th C) so, my results are virtually phased.

        You may get lucky, immediately, otherwise it will take more time.

        Figuring it all out will take more time but DNAadoption has a procedure that is useful.

        Good luck!

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        • #5
          Thanks for everyones advice. My Mother is 70, we hope someone is still alive from her family, maybe a sibling. I am going to order the DNA test for her here and see if we can try for a birth certificate again since we live in Ohio and they offer original birth records.

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          • #6
            Autosomal DNA tests, like FamilyFinder, can also be uploaded to a site Called Gedmatch for free. (Current 23andme test can not be upload to main site due to compatibility issues)
            It is a database which accepts various different companies Raw Data files and provides matching to others in it Database who also have uploaded there.

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            • #7
              @travis925

              You are right suspecting that someone with mtDNA identical to yours (and your mother, etc.) might just have the same mtDNA, but not be your close relative. (I am assuming that you are not concerned at all about HVR1 and HVR1&HVR2 matches.)

              There are two possible scenarios:
              • that your particular mtDNA haplotype (=DNA pattern) tends to not mutate often or if there is a mutation, it frequently reverts to the original, so the matches could be from MRCA earlier than one thousand years ago;
              • evolutionary convergence or just convergence https://isogg.org/wiki/Convergence . In that case, yours and your match MRCA could have lived more than ten thousands years ago.

                The above article describes Y DNA scenarios, but the term (definition) itself applies to mtDNA convergence too.


              My great-grandmother mtDNA line has over 400 matches, and 30 of them exact. Over the years, I have tried to investigate with the interested matches a possible area where our MRCA could have possibly lived. However, the matches have their maternal origins in every corner of Europe. Fortunately, some time ago I have learned about the evolutionary convergence, so I still have some hair left...

              Good luck - Mr. W

              P.S.
              Evolutionary convergence for the purpose of genetic genealogy is not the same as convergent evolution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergent_evolution

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              • #8
                **UPDATE**

                Family Finder results are in and there is someone listed as a possible second cousin. We share 63 centimorgans and the longest block is 36. It is also an X-Match. Could this be a relative on my Mother's side? I want to reach out and email them but i don't want to if there isn't really a chance of relation. My Mother is waiting on her kit so she can take the test as well, i realize this will be more telling than mine but i thought that this particular match might be a good start.

                -Travis

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by travis925 View Post
                  Family Finder results are in and there is someone listed as a possible second cousin. We share 63 centimorgans and the longest block is 36. It is also an X-Match. Could this be a relative on my Mother's side? I want to reach out and email them but i don't want to if there isn't really a chance of relation. My Mother is waiting on her kit so she can take the test as well, i realize this will be more telling than mine but i thought that this particular match might be a good start.

                  -Travis
                  The match does not have any family tree info on the kit profile?

                  Unfortunately with lots of matches, you only have one shot. I think I would wait until you got your mother's results back and see what sort of match she has.

                  Jack Wyatt

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by georgian1950 View Post
                    The match does not have any family tree info on the kit profile?

                    Unfortunately with lots of matches, you only have one shot. I think I would wait until you got your mother's results back and see what sort of match she has.

                    Jack Wyatt

                    Thanks. I am anxious and hopeful but you are right. I will just wait and see what my Moms results are once they arrive. They didn't have family tree info on their profile. I emailed them anyway. Worse case scenario its not a match and i am still at square 1. I will just wait on emailing anyone else and leave it up to my Moms results to determine the rest.

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