One of my toughest cases had a small breakthrough last night. Her closest DNA match is a 2nd to 4th cousin. No one close has been helpful over the last several months. Including this individual. However, I found his email address, searched for it online and found a post he made back in 2007 responding to someone about an inquiry. He said, that the individual’s the poster was referring to were in fact his great-grandparents.
I built a tree from four names to over one hundred and forty-nine people. I stopped and realized one of the names I was working on was familiar. So I referred back to my notes and it was in fact the great-grandmother of the 2nd to 4th cousin!
So it may not seem like a big deal for most, but to actually have a family tree to work from, even if a thousand people or more may be required to see any familiar surnames for this adoptee, there is at least a ray of sunshine peaking out from behind the clouds now. It doesn’t take much for me to get excited. Especially since the traditional search for this individual has been very disenfranchising with one brick wall after another; even the DNA tests felt like a terrible set of results...from all three major DNA testing companies.
For me finding people I could actually build off of on an ancestry tree made all the difference; in my past experiences. Her 2nd to 4th cousin has not logged into Ancestry.com for over a year. I wasn’t holding my breath that he would respond to my email. According to some references he might be over eighty years old. He may already be gone. However, he took a DNA test and now we have him on a tree.
Now comes the hard part. Building out the tree accurately enough and far enough to touch what little notes we have on her birth mother.