You Have New DNA Relatives

I opened my email and this is what was there to greet me…”You Have New DNA Relatives”.   I get these messages periodically. I look at them and move on.

A while back I took a 23 and me DNA test.  My mom always half wondered if her parents gave away a baby back in 1930 or so and I just had it in my mind that I would put my DNA out there and see if maybe someday something would show up.  So far…nothing has.

Most of the relatives that show up are 4th cousins.  Seriously, I have trouble keeping up with 1st cousins let alone 4th cousins.  I have no idea who the people are or even who their parents are.  I can’t plot them on my family tree.  So, I casually looked, yep…more 4th cousins.  But then I saw that a “2nd cousin is looking for DNA relatives”.

Hm.  I went on to read.  The person was adopted and looking for a DNA family.  Well, I was apparently a 2nd cousin.  That’s close enough that I thought I should at least see if I could figure out more.  There was a message that said her birth mother’s and birth father’s names.  Neither of them sounded familiar…then she was off in a far-off state in a big city.  Hmm.  Who did I have for relatives that lived far away?  No idea.

I messaged my sister.  She’s so good with genealogy.  She helped her daughter-in-law find her birth parents.  She helped a cousin of ours connect with a baby she gave away back in the early 60s.  I always tease my sister and tell her if she was 50 years younger she should go into the field of forensic genealogy.  She’s a real sleuth when it comes to finding family connections.

My sister doesn’t have 23 and Me.  She does her stuff through Ancestry.  So I took pictures of my computer screen and sent them to my sister.  We talked and chatted and compared what 23 and Me was saying and what we thought.  I ended up sharing my “shared relatives” with the 2nd cousin.  We found out we are related on my maternal grandpa’s side.  Being we are second cousins, that means we share a great-grandpa.  So one of my grandpa’s brothers or sister is her grandparent by blood.

One of my 2nd cousin’s grandparents would be in this picture.  Although this looks like parents with kids, this is really all just siblings in this picture.  In the main picture are the older siblings.  In the smaller oval picture are two more kids that were born later.  There were 10 kids in the family.  My grandpa is the boy standing next to the seated girl on the left.  He has a white striped shirt and a necktie.

My sister made… this book about our family.   I appreciate her hard work.  I reference it regularly.

I was able to send these pictures to our 2nd cousin.

There was more information that my sister Judy collected.  This would be about our shared great-grandpa W.D. Huntington.

Here is more that was collected about our shared grandparents.

Sadly we didn’t do anything with these cousins as we grew up, so I’m no help that way…I met a couple of my mom’s first cousins but that was just briefly.  We ran into them occasionally in town but I definitely didn’t know their children.

I am always intrigued about how adoptive children go on and find their birth families.  I am so thankful for the advances in DNA that make this all possible.  I am also so thankful for the strides that have been made as people become more accepting and understanding of adoption and the choices that were made long ago.  Sometimes people forget that birth control wasn’t much of an option back then.  Sometimes people forget that there was great shame attached to a person that had a child out of wedlock.

I was pregnant when I got married and people weren’t nice.  I heard some of the nastiest things and people made the worst assumptions.  That was back in 1986.  I cannot imagine what it was like back in earlier times.  It is completely wrong for anyone to look at how things are now…and think they were the same back then.  Nowadays boyfriends and girlfriends have kids without being married and have no intention of getting married…and people don’t say much at all.  It definitely wasn’t like that years ago.

My 2nd cousin is a couple of years older than me.  I hope she can find her birth parents.  I passed on my sister’s email to her and I’m hoping they can work together and figure it out…or at least narrow it down.  My sister is so good at this.

I hope anyone who gave away a child or anyone who is looking for birth parents, can experience love and forgiveness in finding each other.  I’m such a believer that the past is in the past and we all have new chances in the future.

Good luck 2nd cousin.  I’m cheering you on!!
UPDATE:  My sister did figure out the mystery.  I’m so proud of her.  To respect everyone’s privacy I am not revealing any more of the story but as far as we know, it’s a happy ending.

11 thoughts on “You Have New DNA Relatives”

  1. Susan the Farm Quilter

    How wonderful to find new family members and your sister’s ability to figure out the relationship!! As an adoptee from the 1950s, I know nothing but the last name of my birth mother and no idea of how to even start to look. I’d love to know so I could at least let her know I had wonderful parents and a great life!

      1. My mother was abandoned at 3 years old. I found a first cousin first thing and 4 deceased siblings of my mother, deceased grandmother and a story of how it happened. Take the test.

  2. A friend just received a notice that she was related to the sender. Her great great grandparents were slave owners in Virginia and the sender was descendants of a slave. They are exploring all this information too. I’ve known somewhat that my oldest brother fathered a child, but it was kept secret, my grandmother made a reference once. I’ve never taken a test and I don’t think I will. I’m glad your second cousin has a happy ending.

  3. Such a nice find! I have discovered that my parents were distantly related through 23 and Me – and I mean distantly – no like yucky, early 1800’s distant. Probably 4th or 5th cousins distant.
    I also had an adopted child looking for information, I gave that individual a possible surname and then realized they were looking for health info. So nearsightedness and longevity info it was. Nearsightedness is a curse for my mom’s family lol. No one escapes. Adopted child didn’t escape either.
    Your sister has done amazing work for your family how nice for all you.

  4. we aremostly Ancestry but an occasional cousin adds 23 and me for comparison purposes. a couple of glitches showed up on one twig but otherwise just confirmations and how to get it all on a manageable paper tree

    thanks for sharing

  5. That’s so awesome! I found out I had family still living in France and Brittany in 1985 when I found out my grandma died. My parents never told us we still had living family after they left in 1949. I’ve done the DNA test and I searched a Long time before finally finding my clues. I’m still searching as “everyone” including a paternal relative that was emancipated in New Orleans was from my family tree in France. I wish we could find my sisters son who was adopted out in 1970. That still remains sealed and hidden from our lives. Genealogy is the Pandora box of unanswered wishes, dreams and sometimes secrets we have been afraid of.

  6. It was not easy for single mothers in the 40’s. My mother and I were homeless more than once. She was a strong woman, kind and generous. She herself had a terrible childhood.
    My son gave me an Ancestry test for Christmas one year and I have found my father. Well, I found information about him. Most of his family died young, I have one living half sister, who I am hesitating to contact. My daughter says “nobody cares today” but I don’t want to intrude. Although I always wanted a sister. I have 3 younger half brothers. A few 2nd cousins on my father’s side that I have been in contact with. It is amazing
    what modern technology can do.

  7. A few members of my family have done 23 and Me and we have enjoyed the results. Our parents started their married lives early because of a pregnancy but it didn’t stop them from being a wonderful married couple of 6 children. Society has evolved and become more accepting of unmarried couples, Yea! Families are not always made up of blood related persons, so embrace all of those who enter your family circle and feel like family. Love is love.

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