Building Multiple Ancestor Trees

Even with the best of information, it becomes necessary to build a new family trees based on another genetically related cousin. Sometimes we just cannot find individuals who line up to leading us to a birth relative.

At the chromosome level, one can use tools to try and triangulate two or more DNA related relatives to one another and the adoptee. The reasoning behind this is to triangulate their shared most recent common ancestor and assume that the adoptee must also share the same common ancestor. Taking that ancestor and moving forward in time makes it possible to find people who might align closely with the non-identifying information the adoptee has.

At the genealogical level one can do the same thing. However, it takes a bit longer to build out a tree between five hundred and a thousand people and compare it to another tree of similar size. One can discover a common ancestor linking two DNA based cousins to one another and make the very same prediction that triangulating through chromosome mapping can do.

The human brain can also home in on familiar names one comes across that jump out as you are spending a lot of time on a particular family tree. I always trust my inklings to follow through and look back at notes or at another tree when I somehow feel a specific individual triggers a memory of another person with the similar name, date of birth, or other information on the adoptee I am working with.

Patterns can emerge from the chaos, so looking over a tree we have built together and comparing your own notes on search you have performed over the years can also trigger similar revelations. It is important to spend time familiarizing yourself with the names of the people in your family trees. I know the ultimate goal is to find your birth parents, but understand that the miracle of DNA testing has made it possible for you to actually gaze upon distant cousins immediately.

Everyone is unique, yet as you survey your family tree and learn about how they lived here or there, or the professions or other unique qualities you too may see something I cannot; your own nature emerging from the fog. It was uncanny how I started to feel this as I built out my own family trees in the past.

My own birth mother’s family tree was four generations out and I guessed the specific people who led to her father’s family purely on instinct. When another cousin confirmed them I did not even settle into what I had just done, I just focused even more on the goal. Yet, think on this for a while. How did I guess four generations of fathers and sons leading to that family? I should not have been able to do it. I can only say I was so familiar with the names, the dates, the people and the places that something primal took over and led me into the right direction.

This is the kind of weird science I will need help with from your perspective when it comes to your participation in this search. Take time to look at the names, read where they were born, how they lived. The kinds of things that emerge from your own nature and one day you may be doing the very same thing I did. Call it what you want; Devine intervention, luck, or a pervasive instinct to know you own nature. Either way, it is not something I can simulate based on familiarity with your case. It will take a bit of your own specific knowledge and natural instincts to make the leap and push on toward your truth.