Finding a most recent common ancestor

Tonight I informed one of the adoptees I am working with that I believe we have the genetic distance with her DNA related second cousin and two distant cousins pointing toward a specific family. The daughters in this family appear to young to be the birth mother and the brothers appear just old enough, but neither match the non-identifying information.

Contact was made with a living sibling within this family. Both she and her daughter appear to be willing to be helpful. Although I am asking our adoptee if she can contact the mother and daughter again to see if they can warm up to the idea of a potential DNA test. At the very least I would be hoping for a close cousin, if not a half-sibling DNA match with the test results. Having neither show in the results means this family is not even correctly documented on this tree.

This family tree is strongly rooted in the United States with plenty of documentation to backup the tree’s integrity. If this were my personal search, I would be trying to recruit the sibling, who is in her eighties, to get a DNA test performed. The slam-dunk would be, if six to eight weeks later she is confirmed as a half-sibling. She is certainly too young, according to the birth of this adoptee, to possibly be the birth mother, so I would think she would be willing to assist without much concern.

A lot of effort went into this tree. Although it is just one of several family trees I am working with, there are one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four people, that include three thousand six hundred and sixty-five records. Now the only thing is to solicit the cooperation of these potential family members and act upon it. There are no guarantees that they will neither take a DNA test, nor show up as a close relative in the results.

The best-case scenario would be a half-sibling result. While that would be a huge confirmation, the mystery would not end there. It would still place a big question mark as to who the birth parent was. Although I am pretty sure we would welcome that problem, instead of loathe it. If the sibling or daughter get very uncomfortable with the idea of a DNA test then we face a problem. For now I am not going to entertain alternative routes to try and confirm our theory.

I usually try and pitch the participation of an individual into taking a test by suggesting that the adoptee offer pay for the test. We can also include the family tree we have built as a gift in exchange for their patience. Both can be quite welcome if no one in their family has gone to the trouble to well document the family genealogy.

In this case, I know that with the first contact to this sibling, in the potential birth family, mentioned a sister that was known for her knowledge of the family. The painful reality is that she passed away several years ago, so at best, we can only encourage them to look at what we have and endorse it with any documentation left behind by the sister.

In either case, I am hopeful that we can shed further light on the location we suspect in this family. Keeping hope alive and getting to a place where we might have at least half of this search substantiated would boost morale and bring a bit of peace to our adoptee; even if the actual birth relative might prove difficult to narrow down.