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Adoptee & 2nd Cousins Question

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  • Adoptee & 2nd Cousins Question

    I have been working for the last year with one of my matches who is an adoptee, we are estimated by Family Finder to be 3rd cousins and we are each other's closest FF match. I have tested a number of my family members and found three who test as 2nd cousins with the adoptee on the FF test. Two (cousins #1 and #2) of the three are 1st cousins, sharing the same grandparents (their parents were siblings). Cousin #3 is 2nd cousins with cousins #1 and #2, sharing the same great grandparents.

    I'm writing to the forum to ask for suggestions about who to test next. The great grandparents had 12 children, 10 of whom had children. I have tested descendants of 2 of these 10. Should I continue testing descendants of the great grandparent's children? Or should I test descendants of the great grandparent's siblings? Following are the numbers shared between the three cousins and the adoptee:

    Cousin #1 248.59 cM/longest segment 42.47
    Cousin #2 317.39 cM/longest segment 56.38
    Cousin #3 291.13 cM/longest segment 43.89

    I have scoured my records for all the descendants of the great grandparents (72 known grandchildren) and of their siblings (39 known grandchildren) and cannot find a female who matches the non-identifying information about the adoptee's birth mother and her parents, so we think we are looking for her biological father - for whom non-identifying information was not provided.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I think there is merit to either strategy. Unfortunately, with the way DNA is inherited, it feels like a luck-of-the-draw type of situation. You have so many different people that you could test who may have random amounts of DNA in common - as you've seen with cousins #1 & #2. They are the same relationship to the person, but #2 shares more DNA.

    I don't know if this is the best answer, but I'd probably test a descendant of the G-Grandparents siblings - the older the better. They'll be likely to share the most DNA or none at all. This might help you narrow down between the Great Grandmother or Great Grandfather.


    • #3
      Adoptee search

      I am helping an adoptee in a similar situation. I have some suggestions that might be helpful.
      (1) Have you downloaded each kit to If not, make sure that you include the "X" raw data when you send the files. Family tree supplies the X info raw data, but as of now, the only way we have to analyze it is to go to gedmatch. She can trace her X line whether she is related to you by her mother or her father. There is a chart that explains who inherits the X data from whom. Gedmatch also has a tool to analyze the relationship between people based on the X data alone.
      (2) Does she know her Mt haplogroup ? You can see if anyone in the family has that same haplogroup and follow that line.
      (3)Does she know her blood type ? Blood types are inherited and that might be a clue to follow a certain line. There is a chart on how blood types are inherited.
      (4) If she has tested with 23andme also, they would have given her the Mt prediction.
      (5) Make a family chart and put as much of this info on it as you can. I made mine on and listed the dna info on the name page in the suffix spot so it would show up with their name. I put the MT haplogroup, the Y haplogroup, and the blood type in the suffix spot and also a marker if they followed the X line. That makes it easy to glance at a line and know whether to follow it or not.
      Include all the generations with their siblings and descendants and mark each person with as much info as possible - including whether on not they follow the X line.
      Good luck !