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Great Grandmother's Father Found

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  • Great Grandmother's Father Found

    Family Finder has enabled me to prove who one of my great great grandfatehrs was.
    For over 20 years I have been suspicous that the man claimed to be great grandmother's father was not her father. Her birth record (in South Africa) has not yet been found and he supposed father married her mother 2 years after she was born. Furthermore her name had two very distinctive surnames as middle names which have only been used together in South Africa in one other family. I suspected that this was where her father came from and her supposed father's surname added on the end. With this man dying while she was relatively young and the family migrating to Australia from South Africa the truth was left behind.

    I decided to do the FF test and found another descendant (Persopn A) of my great great grandmother - who was also descended from my supposed ancestor. I also tested one of his descendants from his first marriage (Person B)- the marriage to my g-g-g/mother was his second. Then I tested a descendant of the man I believed was my real g-g-g/father - it was his grandson (Person C).

    The results:
    FF prediected

    Me against Person A - Predicted 3C(2C-4C) Actual is 2C1R
    Me against Person B - Predicted No relationship
    Me against Person C - Predicted 2C(1C-3C) Actual is 1C2R

    So on the basis of the abopve results, I was right when I was suspicious and
    I am just so glad to know the truth. By the time the results came out I didn't know which way I wanted them to be, the ancestry of what is now step g-g-g/father is pretty interesting.

  • #2
    Congratulations! I've always felt hypothesis-testing was the best application for Family Finder and Relative Finder. People seem to put a lot of emphasis on database size and response rate, just hoping for random matches. Of course, sometimes you have no choice (when you know nothing to start with), and random matches can be a lot of fun. But your approach gives you an answer one way or another.


    • #3
      I think a lot of people have yet to figure out the full potential of Family Finder. We are all tempted to browse gedcoms (usually with no luck) finding an ancestor in common; or to send e-mails to those we match.

      But the identified cousins can be thought of as genealogical markers for different sides of the family. I have had: 1) myself tested, 2) my father tested, 3) my uncle (mother's brother) tested. As expected, I half match my dad at 100% & I have match my maternal uncle at about 54.6%, per chromosome browser. Not surprisingly, about half of my dad's matches are also on my list (although not always at half centimorgans). About 30% of my matches are also on my uncle's list & 20% of my matches are new to the mix.

      I could broaden this pool by getting my maternal aunt tested & my two paternal uncles. As I see it, testing 3 children of a couple gives us an estimated 87.5% of their parents total genome.

      If one can then get first cousins of the earliest living generation tested, each will share about 21% of their matches with the 87.5% pool. That provides biological evidence for which side of the family the matches can be found on. One could then involve 2nd cousins & even 3rd cousins. If you test 3rd cousins & they match you, they not only confirm their kinship, but for each of the shared matches, eliminate 87.5% of your family as being the source of the match.

      If all participants would strive to do this, each would know which 1/8 of the family tree a match can be found on. Serious collaborative efforts could then begin to identify common ancestors.

      We need to really encourage our genealogical colleagues to upgrade to Family Finder. It wopuld be the best thing for all of us.

      Timothy Peterman