Another evening of tree building on Ancestry.com, I came across a possible birth father that matches up with the year he might have been born in the state he should be from. I was able to locate his wife’s lengthy obituary describing several family members that helped me verify he lived long enough to be a potential BF (birth-father) of the adoptee I am working with.
I also worked on another tree for a different adoptee. He had initially connected his DNA results to his adopted family. The alarms went off when he lined up with over a hundred people. However, they were way, way out on his tree. So for now, I am chalking it up as a coincidence. He has four-second cousins. Now this can turn out two ways. One there was a birth in the family and they wanted to keep the son so they let another member of their own family tree adopt him or there is some dumb luck going on here. See when I find that many second cousins and some way, way out on the tree it suggests two cousins mixed DNA and now four 2nd cousins appear a lot closer than they really are.
I cannot be definitive at this stage. The only way to prove it, is to build a tree for each one of the four cousins and compare them with one another. If they link up, then I can jump to conclusions. For now, I must resist the temptation of assuming this was a birth within the same family. It might seem weird to some, but distant enough or not cousins and adoptions within a family are not uncommon. It’s just rare for me to come across one myself.
What does it add up to? A lot of tree building; especially if I cannot rely on the DNA to be the litmus test to validate the search. I need to step away for the evening. You really cannot afford to make rash decisions building out a tree. Plus stepping away for a few hours clears the mind and you can come back refreshed with a new perspective that might have been missing when exhaustion kicks in.