paths crossed a million different ways and yet, we never knew
I had known from an early age I was adopted and when I turned 18 I obtained my non-identifying information from the adoption agency in NY. At that time, 1995 or so, the internet was just beginning, and DNA tests were not the norm. Once the internet took off, I did the only thing that made sense at the time and registered on every adoption registry available and hoped that someone would recognize my entry, among the thousand others.
Then for my birthday in 2015 I decided to treat myself to an ancestry DNA test to once and for all figure out my ethnicity. I did not have many matches and those I matched with were mostly ‘distant’ cousins. I would obsessively check for a period of time and then quickly forgot about it. Last year, in June 2017, I randomly decided to log in again, and saw there was a message from a 3rd cousin, and she was curious how we were related and offered up her parents last names. That was the first big break I had. I googled the last names and the town I was born, and a slew of information came up. Through obituaries I gained so much information and within a week I had discovered that the family I was related to was HUGE and complicated.
Two months later, I had a closer match come through on ancestry and I emailed him hoping that he would answer. He did and confirmed my research thus far and offered his help in narrowing down ‘suspects’ as we called them. As the holidays approached I was able to decipher who my birthmother was as her family was not complicated, however I learned that she had passed away in 1999.
The birthfather’s family was the complication. In January, after going in a circle, I reached out to Joel because I felt I needed a new set of eyes to look at the DNA and interpret it. There was a lot of overlapping of DNA due to intermarriage between cousins long ago, and the family also recycled names and it was difficult for me to discern the actual relationships I had with my matches.
Joel was able to build out a tree for me in the matter of hours on ancestry (I couldn’t understand the instructions on how to build a mirror tree) and now all the information I had provided him was laid out before me in a more manageable view. I also had connected with a few more matches and would report back to Joel their thoughts and he would adjust the tree accordingly.
In May, I had a major break and one of my connections called me and said he thought he found my birth father. I met him two days later. The story is unbelievable. For the past 30 years or so, we have lived 2.3 miles away from each other (literally lives at the end of my road). Our paths have crossed a million different way and yet, we never knew. He never knew my birthmother was pregnant, so this was a surprise 41 years later.
Yesterday, the ancestry results came back, and he is my birth father. I cannot express the gratitude I feel to all who have helped me figure this out. Joel and his organization were responsive to each and every email, even if it was just about how frustrated I was about the circle I felt I was stuck in. I would recommend enlisting searchangels.org as they are the real deal, and not a scam. I am excited about building new relationships and will always be grateful I came across this wonderful website.
An impossible case, with only DNA to guide our Search
I want to thank the Search Angels Joel and Dwight. Joel worked for over a year with no luck even with close matches. They wouldn’t talk are even answer my email, we had about given up when Dwight offered to look at my case. I think having the new set of eyes made all the difference. The way they worked together was amazing. Dwight was able to pick up where Joel left off and find my birth father in just two days. I was shocked, to say the least when I received his email. Of course, my birth father died in 2001. At least I know who he is.
My search began when I was 18 for the name on my birth certificate, I’m 73 now. I found him in prison in Nebraska where he had been off and on most of his life. Mother let me believe he was my father until she was dying of cancer. She seemed sincere in trying to remember but I could tell she was struggling. Given that when she told me she wanted to give me a better father and named her first husband, I doubted it. However, I met the family and they excepted me.
Over the years I had asked questions and mother gave me answers. Questions like why he doesn’t come to see me, etc. Other times when she’d be mad at me she’d make statements that I never forgot. I still needed answers, since I’d done genealogy for years and belonged to ancestry I bought a DNA test. The results proved neither of those men were my father. Not only that but I was 56% Scandinavian. The whole family was shocked, so I had nowhere to turn for answers. If you’ve ever tried to trace ancestors in that ethnic group, you know how difficult that is. As it turned out my birth father lived all the way across the country from my mother. It was wartime and he was in the military so I’m checking that link out.
I still want to know where they and how they met. I have talked to a ½ sister that is trying to help me figure that part out. She has sent me a lot of pictures and she’s building a tree on Ancestry. She also ordered her dad’s military records. I’m certain I’ve found my family this time. A first cousin contacted her, a cousin that wouldn’t answer my messages for so long and was upset when I called her. I’m told the cousin is over that now. After Dwight found her phone number and I called, she contacted the sister. I have other close matches that fit this family so although they’re not crazy about doing a DNA test to help me I think matching the child of one of the siblings is enough.
Joel and Dwight, I can’t thank you enough. Dwight, you really amazed me. I’m still not sure how you found that link, but I certainly appreciate the work that you did. It’s such a relief to finally feel like your home and not searching anymore.
gratitude for your organization
Reaching out to show my appreciation and gratitude for your organization. I stumbled upon Search Angels less than two weeks ago. Ann Ru became my search angel to look for my birth parents. I swear I got the best in the business. She is amazing! She is wonderful to talk to, sensitive to my needs, and diligent. She found both my parents in a matter of ten days. I am amazed beyond words.
Ann is praised for her hard work! She should get commended! I can’t thank her enough for piecing together my past.
Thankful to have stumbled upon search angels
I just wanted to say that you for all of your assistance in piecing together my family tree. I am delighted to say four days after submitting my Search Angel request, and a mere two days after you had the data, my birth family was located and we are in communication. They knew of my existence, but had no personal data details, so “breaking the news” was easy, in my case.
I’m thankful to have stumbled upon Joel at Search Angels, and also thankful to have had your expertise behind my search.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Words cannot express
Words cannot express enough thanks to Search Angels and the help of Lisa Freeman in finding my birth parents. Lisa was an absolute jewel to work with and made my dream come true at age fifty-one. This proves to never give up hope in locating the identity of your loved ones. Thanks again for all your help and in such a short amount of time. God Bless each and every one of you who volunteer at this great organization.
Some searches conclude in days
Joel Chambers with Search Angels was an immense help, who quickly and efficiently found numerous biological family members for me. I am adopted, and after recently learning that I had a younger biological half-sister (through commercial DNA testing), I reached out to Search Angels, providing the minimal amount of birth history I had to go off of, and was astounded at how much Joel was able to find for me, in a matter of days. It was truly remarkable, and I am so grateful he was able to find all that he did. I went from knowing virtually nothing about my biological family to seeing an entire family tree that he had created on my behalf through his tireless searching. After taking the information he was able to find, and supplementing his search through social media, I found, got in touch with, and met, several biological family members, and the experience has been nothing short of amazing. I am so grateful to Joel and the Search Angels organization for all that they do to assist adoptees like myself with finding their biological roots. Thank you SO very much!
Mystery Grandmother and Adopted Cousin
We are thrilled to report a happy ending to our search due to the help of Search Angels. And ours was a complex problem. We began with a new DNA cousin to my aunt, and the cousin's non-identifiable clues from her closed adoption at her birth. However, the connection to my aunt was through her mother who had hidden her true identity. After searching for over 45 years for my aunt's mother (my grandmother), we had no idea of how to help the new DNA cousin who wanted to know her birth identity. However, once we used Search Angels and then combined that with our knowledge of genealogy, we all found the answers we've wanted.
We have been searching for the identity of my grandmother since 1968. Knowing the outcome, I can honestly say that without DNA help of the Search Angels, even with my expertise in genealogy, we never would have found her without their help. I would highly recommend Search Angels to anyone searching. More and more people are taking DNA tests, the likelihood of finding matches gets better all the time! Search Angels can be trusted with your family information. Their only goal is to help you find your birth family and they're good at what they do.
My new cousin also found her birth father and is now in touch with members of that family who send us copies of letters, photos and diary entries daily.
We are so grateful to Joel and his tireless work on our behalf. What an amazing group of people.
traditional search with a happy outcome
Normally we work with adoptees who have a lack of information related to their birth family. In the case with a gentleman named Doug, there was a substantial amount of clues to work from. Plus some identifying information from his State of birth. However, even with that in hand he and his wife were unable to really trace their birth mother, who was identified in their information, from being found in the modern day. This is actually not that unusual, as birth mother's often get married and change their names; sometimes more than once. With a bit of effort we were able to locate her present day name and location. Recently we heard back from Doug and his wife.
My husband just came back from Florida where his biological mother and sisters are, he met two out of three sisters. He also met his nieces and nephews and his mother is planning on coming to out to see us sometime soon to meet me and her granddaughter. His birth mother is so grateful that you helped us find her. This is a great service you provide. God bless.
birth father search and happy conclusion
To any of those out there who are searching, longing for answers or just needing clarity and closure Joel Chambers with Search Angels is the one you need by your side! When I contacted Joel he was clear about what I could expect, and what he could help me with. I knew in my heart that he would find the missing piece of my puzzle, And he did. Today I’m happy, Over the moon in fact to say that Joel helped me find my biological father! And the process did not take very long at all! The best part is my bio dad is thrilled to know of me as he had no clue I was even born. We have plans to meet face to face this month. So if your someone like me whose adopted and needing answers allow Joel with Search Angels to give you a helping hand. Be patient and allow the puzzle to fall into place. He knows what he is doing! Joel was timely in getting back to me answering any and all of my questions and most of all he did not waste my time. As he has empathy and realizes time is of the essence. I’m forever grateful and would recommend this method along with Ancestry DNA to help you find your long lost family!
Search for paternal grandfather
With nothing more than a few close DNA contacts on my father's side to go on for clues, Joel was able to locate my paternal grandfather in just one weeks time. My father never knew the name of his birth father or had any information provided to him about who it may be. Joel responded to the online form request in less than 24 hours and began working diligently on solving a mystery that has lingered for nearly 60 years. Often times, Joel would contact me at late hours, as he would continue to work on the case around the clock. From the results Joel was able to so quickly obtain, I was able to understand more about the Jewish ethnicity that showed up in my DNA test and I am now able to teach my children more about their history and heritage. Joel puts the angel in search angel!
spring 2017 reunion
Joel, I really can't thank you enough. As soon as my mother received my letter she responded immediately. We have been enjoying sharing pictures and getting to know each other and are planning to meet in person in the near future. I slept so soundly the night I received her reply and learned how happy she was to be found. All is right with the world.
I wanted to take a moment to thank Joel for all of his efforts with helping me locate my birth mother. Through AncestryDNA and 23andMe I was able to locate a first cousin on my father’s side and I was able to reunite with him. The search for my mother, however, was not nearly as easy. Without knowing her maiden name I did not even know where to begin to piece together the distant relatives that were identified through DNA testing. The state that I was born in does not allow access to original birth certificates, and my non-identifying information from the state is just that, non-identifying (and I’ve since come to learn it was also inaccurate). Joel took a completely different approach than any that I’d used in all my years of searching. He was able to build out my family tree and narrow down her possible maiden names. Ultimately we did learn her maiden name and I was able to locate her. She is thrilled that I found her. We are in touch daily and making plans to meet in person. I learned that I have a half sister and brother, and my sister had also been looking for me! I am so glad that I didn’t give up the search after hitting so many brick walls. Joel, I can’t thank you enough for all of your time and effort spent helping me.
A common name with uncommon results
I had begun my search for my birth parents nearly 25 yrs ago but beyond sending in a release form was not able to make any progress. In 2010 I began a more diligent search by actually hiring an individual to help. That search yielded a successful reunion with my birth father in 2011. However, because of the commonness of my birth mom’s name that investigator didn’t even attempt it. I tried on my own to find her since then but other than finding her picture in a high school year book I couldn’t find anything, or went down wrong trails. When my daughter had an Ancestry DNA test my desire was peaked. I tried checking with an organization that did searches but they wanted $900 to find her and I wasn’t ready to pay that.
I contacted Search Angels and within 3 days of receiving my information Joel had found my birth mother. It took several more days to ensure all the links were there. We had non-identifying information I could compare against the other relatives and everything matched. In another week we were confident we had found her and her brother. Unfortunately, my birth mom died over 40 yrs ago but I did have a successful reunion with her brother.
An unanticipated benefit Joel provided was a family tree for both my birth parents that goes back 250 yrs. I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how fast Joel was finding connections. My prior searcher in 2011 left me high and dry and just abandoned contact, but Joel was there every step of the way, answered my questions and did all the heavy lifting in the background. He and his colleagues are phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier with the results from Joel and his team.
Traditional Genealogy takes a turn
Robert had performed a DNA test, but was unable to substantiate his paternal side of his search for his father's family. His father had circulated a story about where he came from before he married. However, none of his children knew exactly where he started. When we reached out to Robert we fully expected to find his father's family with parents that would align with his own. Instead we found a father who had changed his name from those of his first family. It is still a mystery as to why the father hid this family from everyone his whole life, but at long last the truth appears to been substantiated by many other genetically related cousins; fifty plus at last count.
Thank you so much Joel, now I have something I can pass on to my children, grand children and great-grand children.
Robert C. H.
Search for family concludes
Robert had performed several DNA tests, but was not sure how to capitalize on the results. We provided him with a better understanding of expectations and tips on how to go about his search on a step-by-step basis, specific to the type of DNA tests taken.
I wanted to take a moment to thank Joel for his assistance. With your guidance and reinforcement of the direction of my investigation, which eventually led me to deduce the name of my birth father along with numerous half siblings. Approximately one month after this discovery I received the results of two of my three DNA tests I submitted. This second test verified who my birth father was as well as one of my half sisters.
Thank you again for taking the time to help!
adoptee finds father
Teresa had found her birth mother. However, the birth father's name was not coming up with any hits at the traditional search level. We turned to DNA testing to try and isolate which birth family she might come from. Her results came in with a very close hint. That individual only had two people on their family tree, but it was enough to unravel the mystery.
Search Angels are amazing. I was interviewing a lady for a job that had thought that her mother was dead and she somehow found Search Angels and they located her mother that was very much alive. It took me a few weeks after I interviewed her to make a move. It stayed on my mind the entire time so I finally decided "What could it hurt"? After all I had been looking for my biological father for years. Twenty nine years to be exact, so why not? I had even contacted The Locator but they never contacted me back. I was desperate. So I got in touch with Search Angels and they told me that they usually want you to get your DNA tested to make sure that you are serious about this.
The first time I contacted Search Angels on May 25, 2016. and I didn't make another move until Sept. 15, 2016. As you can see I waited again. I didn't want to be let down again with no results besides "what could they do that I couldn't do"? So I received my results on Oct. 23, 2016 and the first thing I did was email Joel with Search Angels. I gave full access to Joel and he called me and said that this was the 2nd time that this has happened to get DNA results and to have relatives this close. He stated that this process shouldn't take long. So I didn't just sit there and wait I took the names that I had and started looking too. So the next time I looked at my DNA results (which was every few seconds) I had names in place. So I decided to go to bed and try not to be so anxious (with no luck). The next morning I got up and had even more names I was so gitty inside that I couldn't stop. By Monday evening I had an entire family tree and started talking to my biological fathers family. By Tuesday evening I had a whole new family, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers. It was the craziest thing that has ever happened and even though I am still very nervous and anxious but so amazed that it only took Joel three days to find what I have been looking for 29 years. So because of me finding my family one of my 'new' family members is looking for his brother So I will always be grateful for the help and will recommend Search Angels to everyone that has a lost or missing family member. Thank you Search Angels and a special thank you to Joel you are the greatest. I never could have found my other family without you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
Sincerely, Teresa Stricklen
Birth family found
Joe had non-identifying information regarding his birth family through a request for medical background information. He was fortunate enough to have close relatives in his DNA test results, but all these individuals were first generation Italian immigrants. The genealogy required a lot of communication to earn the trust of his close cousins regarding private family tree information.
I just want to say thank you to search angels and Joel Chambers in particular for helping me discover my biological family. I can honestly say that without your help and expertise I don't think I would have gained all the knowledge and made all the connections of my families past.
Not only do I now have peace of mind knowing where I came from but I have also discovered a brother and sister I never knew I had that I look forward to contacting. Thank you again for helping track down my roots.
Search for birth mother concluded
April had a lot of non-identifying information regarding her birth parents. Fortunately for her many records helped to establish a unique pattern that gave rise to a clear genealogical path.
Joel found my birth mother within a couple days. I have been in contact and could not have hoped for a better outcome they have welcomed me into the family.
Adoptee finds birth parents
Kay had her non-identifying papers from her adoption agency in California. She was born in the early 60s. We were able to find her birth mother's maiden name from the CABI microfiche. Her DNA results proved to be very helpful; but also her non-ID information provided the ages of all her parents, grandparents and siblings at the time of her birth. Her combination of information made the search go unusually quick.
I reached out to search angels to help me find my birth family. After hearing stories about the pain birth parents have felt after relinquishment of their children, I felt it only responsible to reach out to them to say I turned out okay.
My DNA results came in and I was overwhelmed by the knowledge of a first cousin in my results. Joel was able to locate my birth family on my maternal side the same evening the DNA results came in. Two weeks later I had sent a letter to my birth mother and made phone contact.
Unfortunately my birth father had died in his early forties with brain cancer. It was thought it was a direct consequence of his use of agent orange during his time serving in the Air Force during Vietnam.
It must have just been meant to be, finding them both. However, I do owe search angels for their direct assistance that helped me find my birth family and suggestions on just how to try and make successful contact.
DNA testing, Traditional search and legal wins
James patiently waiting as we worked with his DNA results to try and narrow in on his birth family. It became difficult to resolve as he had cousins who married other cousins in the distant past; which has an adverse affect of making DNA cousin matches appear much closer than they really are. Just when things were starting to look bleak James won in the courts where he was requesting the names of his birth parents through the legal options available in his state of birth.
Search angels worked diligently on my case for many months. My tree was particularly challenging because cousins had married cousins in the distant past and made it quite difficult to isolate where I could fall under.
Meanwhile I worked through the legal channels and was finally able to attain the names of both my birth parents. The problem was, finding them was not going to be easy.
Search angels worked with the names I attained and followed a paper trail to locate my birth family and relatives. With this knowledge I was able to find living relatives and expand the genealogy of my family tree.
Their dedication is much appreciated.
A search to find my roots
David’s search was based on a need to know answers about his actual birth family roots. He had taken a DNA test but was challenged with taking his search further than that. Especially since he did not seem interested in making contact. So discretion took precedence over revealing himself to those who were directly related to him.
Search angels helped me find both my birth parents. While I have always wanted to know, the limit of my search was just to have the peace of mind to know where my roots began. I never reached out to my birth family, but now know a whole lot more about where I came from and what my relatives are like. This goes well beyond words and praise of the assistance I received. I can only imagine the hundreds of hours it took to build out my genealogy based on DNA test results.