Rule Bending

When building genealogical trees for adoptees, as I have discussed before, one has to sometimes be willing to bend the rules in traditional genealogy to align individuals who just fall slightly outside where they should be. For instance an individual born to parents where the census record indicated they were from a specific year. However, you find someone who is actually a little younger or older that might be the individual in question. Then you have to prove that they are in fact that person.

Sometimes a death of another sibling can help. Yes, that sounds like morbid help, but their obituary can lay the groundwork for more family member names, and sometimes the daughters who are mentioned with different last names than they were born with. This allows us to place husbands with that surname next to them and see if ancestry can line us up with more records. Moving forward and back in time children can be named with individuals on a census living in their parent’s home with yet another surname (last name) change; perhaps a widowed grandmother that remarried.

You never quite know how a families records’ of birth, census, and obituaries will allow you to test theoretical people placed into a tree, then validate them with substantiated proof. Sometimes it may come down to a single individual whose appearance in a tree can make the difference in a connection that leads to a birth relative. It can be painstakingly slow to expand a tree so that everyone who might fall into alignment of a specific generation your birth parents were born to can be identified.

Sometimes if your non-ID says that they were born in a specific region it may be worth exploring those who seem to migrate to that area and stay there for generations, rather than to flesh out parts of your ancestry tree where other family members relocate to the four corners of the continent. Yet, sometimes migrations of family members take a leap where one adventurous soul moves far away from where they started. It’s actually not that common with my experience, but they do pop up now and then to challenge us.

The most frustrating part of working a tree with DNA relatives is that we do not know for sure if those relatives are from the maternal or paternal side. Nor can be always rely on the non-ID to be accurate. It is hopeful that some honesty is in the Non-ID to base your search on while expanding these genetic relatives. Although in some cases some truth is mixed with exaggerations to throw off the would-be detective from finding the birth parent. While in other cases there may be plenty of breadcrumbs left behind to try and locate those we are seeking out.