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The more DNA facts I learn, the dumber I feel

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  • The more DNA facts I learn, the dumber I feel

    Well, maybe not dumb, but somewhat confused. I am NOT interested in a relationship with a birth-grandfather's family at all, but would like to know their ethnicity.
    My mother was adopted at birth in 1917. Her birth mother, (my birth-grandmother), was 16, known by us when alive, but yielded no information re: the birth father.
    A few months ago, I went through our state Court system to open up the 100 yr old records & obtained Mom's original birth certificate. Her 26-year-old birth father's first name was there, but his last name was typed out with only the first 5 or 6 letters, then dashes. The state advised me that the 1917 birth certificates were originally on handwritten post cards sent in by that Maternity Home for Unwed Mothers, and this certificate was obviously later transcribed & typed by someone who could not read handwriting of the full name.
    At 16, birth mom lived on a farm near rural community of about 30 or fewer people. (Today, it's grown clear up to 43 individuals !)
    Censuses show that the married son of a prominent farm family there had the same 1st name as on the certificate, and had the 1st 6 letters of the name on the certificate. His age was right, too. He occasionally worked as a farm hand on other farms during that time period. I've found a lot of information on that individual's life now, but have no proof.
    That said, I recently located a grand-nephew of that man, as well as a great-grandson of his, and mustered up the courage to explain the scandalous part of the 100 yr old story as it may or may not relate to their ancestor as a younger man. Enough time has passed, apparently, and neither were insulted. In fact, they shared some of their ancestry, and asked that I share what I've found on his history. Whew!
    None of this probable birth-father's children are alive now, to my knowledge.
    To the point here: IF my assumptions are correct, and I am a grandDAUGHTER of Mr. X, it appears I really won't find any proof through DNA. Guess it's the "No "Y" Chromosome thing?? Will my DNA actually show any match to a MALE descendant of that presumed birth father, such as one of these two? Or, would finding a female descendant of his be any better?
    Now, are you confused also?

  • #2
    FTDNA has a test just perfect for you. It is Family Finder, and for best results please ask those two men to test, and of course test yourself (and possibly your sibling, if you have one).

    Good luck - Mr. W

    Just go ahead and test. You will have plenty of time to learn about Family Finder while waiting for the results.


    • #3
      The test that you want to order for yourself and the descendant of the man you believe was your grandfather is Family Finder. Its tests the 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes that are inherited from both the mother and father. So, there is no restriction as to who can take the test. It works with men and women, as opposed to a yDNA test which only men can take.

      You and the great-grandson of your suspected grandfather should both order the Family Finder test. If you are correct, you and the great-grandson are 1st cousins, once removed. That's well within the range of the Family Finder test to find enough shared segments to indicate the relationship. Of course, if you don't share any segments with the great-grandson, then that disproves that you share common ancestry.

      You would get a simple yes or no answer from comparing results.


      • #4
        Thanks for setting me straight!

        I really appreciate the fast replies to my query. That answers my question about whether autosomal DNA would be enough to show a male to female cousin connection. (I have no siblings to test.)

        Many months ago, before I knew about other options, I DNA- tested through another service. There were a number of matches, up to 5th-6th cousins. However, I am required to get a pricey year's subscription to follow through, and haven't been able to see their trees or contact them. It was when I uploaded that raw data to Family Tree, however, that I immediately received several positive matches whom I know to be first cousins through my own dad's line. Not being critical of the other service at all when I say that I really appreciate the "friendliness" of the Family Tree's computer interface & site navigation.

        Now that I know my autosomal DNA will work to establish relationship, I'll contact the two men, offer to pay, and ask if they'd do the Family Finder DNA with Family Tree.

        Again, thanks so much for your help!!