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  • Looking for birth father

    I was born 11/5/68 and although I have found my birth mother and she wants nothing to do with her "past mistakes " I would love to find my birth father. She will not give me any info on him and this is a desperate way of maybe tracking someone that knows him. I am very new to this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated

  • #2
    Not sure if Bren is male or female. If male, you will want to take a YDNA test. It will give you a good chance of getting a surname to look for.

    Check out DNAAdoption.org for more help. They help guide new folks in the journey.

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    • #3
      on Facebook you can join the group "DNA Detectives" by cece moore

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      • #4
        Test with as many different companies as your budget allows. You might be surprised and find a half sibling. Upload to Gedmatch depending on your position on that. Watch for sales at the companies. A few months ago, I purchased kits for $49 each for autosomal testing.
        Last edited by Biblioteque; 23 January 2020, 07:34 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Biblioteque View Post
          Watch for sales at the companies. A few months ago, I purchased kits for $49 each for autosomal testing
          You can buy new kits (sealed) on Ebay for less than $40, at any given time and you don't have to waste your time waiting for promotions
          Last edited by gattaca; 28 January 2020, 07:48 AM.

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          • #6
            Ty for all advice, Bren stands for Brenda so no YDNA for me. Any suggestions for other kits ? I haven't even received results from this one, but I'm excited

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            • #7
              Brenda,
              I'm on a somewhat harder quest to find my father's parents, since he was born in 1907 and adopted in early 1908. I started by registering my DNA w ancestry.com, since they have by far the largest DNA database and have a great family tree building capability. By starting on the ancestry.com family trees of relatively close DNA relatives, I've fleshed out one of his two biological families and have identified 38 living DNA relatives from that side and spoken with the closest (whose grandfather was a bigamist, with two families who didn't know about each other). I'm continuing to look at individual candidates who had the means, motive, and opportunity to be my grandparent. I don't know if I'll ever find my grandparent from that family, but I've gotten to know them better than I know my mother's family, whom I've known my whole life. I've actually built a family tree of 2,500 people from that biological family and continue to flesh it out further and research individual candidates. The family tree building features of ancestry are incredible. For example, I wondered if any of the people who signed his adoption papers (in March 1908) might actually have been one of his parents. So I built family trees for each of the witnesses and the lead official using ancestry.com databases. It took an hour to build three trees, get to know each of those people, and rule them out. I was astonished that that was possible. An incredible capability they have is ThruLines, which goes through your family trees and other trees in their database that overlap with yours and identifies which among the thousands of your DNA relatives are on your tree (or related trees) and where. That's astonishing.

              I've also registered with 23andMe and found relatives who are not on ancestry.com. One feature I think might be unique to 23andMe is the ability to compare the DNA of any two people to see if they are related. That's been a great help in distinguishing biological sides of the family.

              Family Tree DNA is an odd bird, but a precious one. I had my yDNA tested and, from their database of 1 million people they identified 4 yDNA relatives, with at least 3 of them related to each other. They're extremely distant relatives, though. I'd have to track back 8 generation to have a 58% chance of identifying a common ancestor. One of my FTDNA relatives gave me the name of his father and grandfather and, using ancestry.com's database, I was able to go back along his paternal tree (fathers only) 5 generations (to the mid 1700s) in just a few minutes, but no further back. For my father's biological family, I've gone back on ancestry.com to the 1400s. But this yDNA stuff is not relevant to you, unless you have a biological brother from the same birth father.

              Hope some of that is helpful and good luck.

              Bill

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              • #8
                Hi, I just got my dna results from family tree dna and it makes no sense to me to be honest. On all these sites I see people mentioning numbers and letters to match but all I see is over 5000 2nd/third cousins and 4th and 5th cousins. Is 5000 normal? Maybe I'm not going to the right place on website??and no results on ethnicity at all, how is this possible? Sigh......Brenda

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                • #9
                  Sometimes it takes a couple of days for the ethnicity results (myOrigins) to show up with Family Finder. 5,000 matches is not unusual. Some people get more matches than that, some get less. How many of your matches are estimated as 2nd to 3rd cousins? The amount of matches you get may be due to your ancestry (those with ancestors from less common population groups may get fewer matches). When your myOrigins results get posted, see which population clusters you have. If you know your birth mother's ancestry at all (such as European, Asian, African, Native American, etc. or countries within those groups), see if it is represented in the myOrigins results. If you know of any relatives on your birth mother's side, keep an eye out for them in your matches, here and at any other companies where you may test.

                  With using DNA testing to find relatives, it is a game of patience. Eventually someone will match you that you can identify as related. Try to add whatever you know about your birth mother's family to your profile, such as surnames and locations, even if you only know the most recent. This will help with your matches.

                  I'm not sure which numbers and letters you see on other sites, but they may be names for haplogroups (for Y-DNA and mtDNA). Haplogroups are given letter and number names, such as R-Z253 or K1a3, as they are identified. Since you don't seem to have taken a mitochondrial test (mtDNAPlus or mtDNAFullSequence), you will not get those kinds of results. It's a different test than Family Finder (which tests autosomal DNA).
                  ​​​
                  The advice above to try DNAAdoption.org, and CeCe Moore's "DNA Detectives" group on Facebook, is good. You should try them. Bill Neugent's experience is informative as well.

                  To make more sense of your results:
                  • You may find the pages in the Learning Center, under the menu headings "Beginner's Guide" and "MyFTDNA User Guide" helpful for you to understand your results and your FTDNA account pages. If you don't mind watching videos, FTDNA produced quite a few Webinars. Several for Family Finder specifically are at YouTube. Those, and more, are listed under "Family Tree Webinars" in the Learning Center.
                  • A very good blog with many topics about DNA testing, and also specifically for FTDNA and other companies, is Roberta Estes' DNAeXplained. Check its right side column for topics you are interested in. She has a series for beginners called "Concepts," which you can search for using the box at the top right.
                  Do you know if your birth mother had other children? If so, they would be your half-siblings. It's possible that they may do a DNA test, either here at FTDNA or at other companies (Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage). Those children would appear with a close relative estimate, half-sibling. If you know enough of your birth mother's family (such as her parents' names, or any brothers or sisters, cousins or other of her relatives), make a tree at FTDNA including whatever you know of them. If any half-siblings show up at FTDNA, you can link them as a maternal match to a tree you have at FTDNA, which would then allow FTDNA to filter your matches (also called "phasing") into a maternal tab in your match list. See the pages for "Family Matching Tool" and "Family Matching System" (now apparently called Family Matching Feature) in the FTDNA Learning Center for details. This process will also add a pink "female" icon to your maternal matches, to indicate a maternal relative. The more known maternal relatives who have tested, who you can link to your tree, will then filter more maternal matches. Those who do NOT match your maternal relatives MAY be paternal; some may still be related on the maternal side.
                  Last edited by KATM; 19 February 2020, 04:57 PM.

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