My Unexpected DNA Discovery – Part Five

DNA Discovery

Thankfully that email arrived very late and I was really tired.  I replied that I would be delighted to help.  Bob* immediately emailed me his usernames and passwords to his FTDNA and 23 and Me DNA accounts.  I drifted off to sleep wondering if it was even possible to track down Bob’s birth mother.

Let’s review what information I had to work with:

  • Bob’s birth date.
  • Bob’s possible birth state.
  • Bob’s possible adoption city.
  • Bob’s birth mom’s possible age at the time of Bob’s birth.
  • Bob’s birth mom’s possible first name – we’ll use Lucy*.

That is not a lot to go on.

But the other very important, absolutely essential, data we had to work with were Bob’s DNA matches with two different companies.

I logged in to each account and took a cursory look at his matches.  Right away I could set aside several that I knew belonged to my side of Bob’s family.

I looked at his close cousin matches – 1st through 3rd cousins.  There was a small handful of people to try to connect.  On the surface there was no obvious connection.  Several of those matches had absolutely no information to work with aside from their name.

Luckily, one of his close cousin matches had a rather extensive tree including descendants.  After comparing the scant clues between all of these people, I was fairly certain that I knew exactly who Bob’s 2nd great grandparents were.  They seemed to be the common ancestors for all of Bob’s close cousin matches that weren’t part of my family.

One important thing to note here is that the only clue connecting some of them to the common ancestors was their surname – not the surname of the common ancestors, but surnames that matched some of their other descendants.  This isn’t a perfect indicator, but a good possible clue.

So I had a family to comb through.  I was looking for descendants of this specific couple who lived in the right place at the right time and that had a family member named Lucy.

Luckily for me, this couple, the common ancestors, were immigrants.  They settled in one state and their children lived in that state and the neighboring state.  But still not the state Bob was possibly born in.

I moved down the tree to the grandchildren of the common ancestors.  This is where it gets sticky.  Some of these folks are still alive and not viewable in any online trees.  That doesn’t mean I couldn’t find them, I did, but it took some of my genealogy street smarts.

I wish I could show you the steps that I took.  But out of respect for Lucy, her privacy, and being sensitive to her experience in all of this – we will have to keep this all theoretical.

Her father is a grandson of the common ancestor couple.  The only grandson to live in the state of Bob’s birth.  He raised his children in the city Bob was possibly adopted from.  He died in that city.  His wife, children, and grandchildren still live in that city.

All, except for his one son who died a few years ago.  That young death generated an obituary.  In that obituary I found the name I was hoping to find – Lucy.  She was listed as his sister, along with her husband and children’s names.

I found Lucy in old High School Yearbooks.  I found her and the nexus of her family on Facebook.  She was the right age, in the right place, at the right time.  All told, I found Bob’s mom in about 40 minutes.

It happened so fast that I wasn’t sure what to think.  Did I really find her?

Did I just find the birth mother of my newly discovered first cousin?

He is in his early 40s and has been searching for years.  Did I just solve his life-long mystery?  In 40 minutes?!

I retraced my steps again and again.  I thought about something Tom Jones always says about puzzle pieces only fitting together one way even if there are a bunch of missing pieces.  My puzzle pieces were only fitting together one way.

I had found her.

What followed will, again, remain private out of respect for Lucy.  But needless to say, I was able to confirm my work.  Lucy is Bob’s birth mother.

And once again, in less than a week’s time, I was able to do something I never expected to be able to do in my entire life.  I was able to tell Bob who his birth mother is.  Let’s take a moment and let that sink in.

Wow, wow, wow!  Seriously, WOW!



I felt like some strange and fantastic genealogy combination of Santa Claus and Wonder Woman, and I loved it.  I love it.  There is really nothing like it.  I totally want to do it again.

I was able to give someone the gift of knowing where they come from.  In this crazy and delightful world of genealogy, I am constantly searching and learning more about who I am.  But the core of who I am – who my parents are, my grandparents – I’ve always known.  I have no earthly idea what it feels like to wonder who you are.  To have a completely blank slate.  No understanding of your family’s history.  At all.  No knowledge of your ethnic, religious, and cultural background.  No idea if your family is filled with recent or long ago immigrants.  I, who constantly seek more understanding of my past with a real hunger, have no idea what it feels like to be an adoptee with no knowledge of my past.  I was able to use a very tiny list of possible facts, DNA, and my super-hero like genealogy skills and find someone’s mother and father.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over how cool it has been.


So, so, so, so cool.





Coming Monday, one last post to wrap it all up with a few more lessons learned, as well as some tips.  I hope you will join me and share with anyone who is searching for their family.  Maybe this story will help them make their own amazing discoveries.  I hope so!



*Names, dates, and places in this series of posts will be changed or omitted for privacy purposes.  Previous posts in this series found here – Part OnePart Two, Part Three, and Part Four.




My Unexpected DNA Discovery – Part Four

DNA Discovery

I was up earlier than normal that Saturday morning.  I didn’t want to call my uncle since I knew he had gotten home so late the night before.  Mid-morning I got a text from my aunt saying to call when I was up, my uncle was anxious to talk to me about Bob*.

The second I read the text, I called.  My uncle was super cool about the whole thing.  He was positive that he wasn’t the father, but not opposed to learning the truth.  Can we just take a pause and consider what he must have been feeling?  Genetically, Bob can only be his or his brother’s son.  If we were just talking straight odds, not accounting for any other factors, he was facing a 50/50 chance that he had a son he never knew about.

But, with courage, he faced it head on.  I explained the fastest two options we had.  Option 1 – I could walk him through downloading his raw data file from Ancestry and uploading it to Family Tree DNA.  Option 2 – He could make me the administrator of his Ancestry DNA account and I could do everything.  He happily went with option 2.  It took us about 10 minutes to complete the steps needed to transfer administrator rights to me.

I very methodically downloaded his raw DNA file and uploaded it to FTDNA.  I was so nervous that I triple checked every step.  Because I had previously completed a Y-DNA test on my uncle with FTDNA, I uploaded his raw ancestry DNA to the same account.  I didn’t know if Bob would be on top of it all enough to be checking his matches or not, so I changed my uncle’s profile name to a different first initial.  I thought my uncle should know first if it turned out he was the father.

The default email that is generated when you make an autosomal transfer to FTDNA tells you that your first matches will begin to show up as early as an hour later and before 24 hours has passed.  The thought that I might be waiting for 24 hours was a bit much for my nerves.

I tried to keep myself busy with other tasks for about 45 minutes.  And then I began the obsessive refreshing of my uncle’s FTDNA page.

I would just like to point out that if my psychologist Grandpa were alive and reading this – he would likely be somewhat concerned about my mental state.  Deservedly so.  This was a lot to handle – a lot of emotions, a lot of pressure, a lot of holding multiple people’s futures in the palm of my hand.  Kind of like this:


At minute 60, I clicked refresh again with no updates.  My heart sank, was I going to have to wait a full 24 hours?

At minute 61, the waiting ended.

My brain had a really hard time processing what was finally in front of me.  Was I reading this all correctly?  Suddenly I felt like I didn’t know which column was which.  I called my husband over and made him listen as I tried to explain what I was reading.  I thought his eyes and mind would likely focus better and help me process correctly.  I was wrong – he didn’t get it and tried to tell me I was reading it wrong.  🙂  Suddenly, I was back.  I knew what I was looking at.

My DNA tested uncle was also Bob’s uncle.  Not his father.

My first call was to my uncle.  He wasn’t a bit surprised.  I let him and my mom take it from here for a while.  They knew that their brother had a child he didn’t know about.  Once again, I thought that was a conversation better had with a sibling than with a niece.

From here, I was able to do something I never expected to do in my entire life.  I had the distinct privilege of telling Bob who his father is.  Let that soak in.



My DNA tested uncle called his brother and told him the news.

Arrangements were made for contact between father and son.

I felt like Santa Claus.

There was just one problem.  Bob wanted to know who his birth mom was.  In a perfect world, the story would be one of teenage love, being too young, or something along those lines.  But that is not our story.  My uncle did not know who Bob’s mother might be.  He was, shall we say, a bit on the promiscuous side.

That got my nerves all in a tangle once again.  But this wasn’t my journey.  It was Bob’s.  I was just helping him find answers.

We had our first answer.  We knew Bob’s father.  I sent more pictures and shared some cool and unique facts about my uncle.  He is quite well known in a specific sporting history.  In fact, famous, is actually a better word for it.  I hoped connecting to that cool history might soften the blow of not being able to hand Bob details of a teenage romance, and the name of his birth mother.

A few days passed.  Father and son spoke.

And then late one night I got this email:


Subject line:  Any interest in looking at my 23 and me and info and seeing what

Message:  Info you can figure out?  Maybe mom side stuff?



You have come to the right place cousin!



This Santa Claus definitely needed to turn Wonder Woman and find Bob’s mom.


But how…?



to be continued…


*Names, dates, and places in this series of posts will be changed or omitted for privacy purposes.  Previous posts in this series found here – Part OnePart Two, and Part Three.


My Unexpected DNA Discovery – Part Three

DNA Discovery

I really should have showered before I sent that email.  Once I clicked send I obsessively checked for a response for hours. In between clicking refresh, I googled Bob’s* name.  His email address is his first name, middle initial, and last name.  Using just those clues I found Bob online.

At least, the person that I thought might be Bob.  Even though I know better, I analyzed every bit of his face.  I found him, and his wife, and his mother on Facebook.  More analyzing.  Was his mother his birth mother or his adoptive mother?  Could I tell from a photo?  (Of course not.)  All the while I obsessively clicked refresh over and over and over again waiting for a response.

Monday came and went.

No email from Bob.

Tuesday came and went.

No email from Bob.

Wednesday was slowly dragging on while I – yep, you guessed it – obsessively, if not quite so frequently, refreshed my email hoping for a message from Bob.

Mixed throughout these days were conversations with my mom talking through what we would do once we knew.  One thing she felt certain of – if Bob was the son of one of her brothers, they didn’t know anything about him.

Finally, at 1:18 pm on Wednesday afternoon, I had a response from Bob:


Thank you for reaching out to me.  I have been hoping someone would be able to help me someday.

How can we go about figuring it out?  I did both family tree and 23 and me, hoping someone would reach out!

Any help is appreciated.


Finally! Step one accomplished.  We have contact.

At this critical juncture we need to interrupt the story telling to talk about lesson one.


DNA Discovery, lesson one



Bob had tested with Family Tree DNA and 23 and Me in early 2015.  My grandma and uncle had both tested with Ancestry DNA at about the same time.  If Bob had also tested with Ancestry, he would have found his family two years sooner.

The reality is that most people can’t afford to test with every company.  So if that describes you, test with the companies who don’t allow you to transfer your data from another company, and then transfer your data to the companies who will allow that.  To understand this option more fully, read about autosomal transfers.


Now, let’s get back to the story.

I was so excited to get a response that I had a really hard time slowing my eyes down to really read and understand.  It took a few times through those scant lines of text to absorb it all.

Once it had sunk in, I responded with this:


Hi Bob,

I was so glad to hear back from you.  You are in luck, I happen to be the resident genealogy expert in our family and I have spent a bunch of time learning about DNA the last few years.

Based on how you match, I am fairly certain that one of 4 men has to be your father.  I actually think I might know which of the four it most likely is.  I also think, he doesn’t know about you.  Because of that, I want to get as much figured out as I can before I speak with him.

Here are a few questions that would help:

  1. Were you adopted?  Or do you just not know who your father is?
  2. Do you know anything about the circumstances of your conception and birth?  Like, where is your biological mother from, how old was she when you were born, etc?
  3. When and where were you born?  I would completely understand if you don’t want to share your birthdate, but your age and birthplace are essential to helping us figure out your parentage.

No matter how exactly we connect, you are without a doubt part of my family – a very closely related part of my family.  I’m so happy to know about you and can’t wait to find out more about our shared story.  I imagine you are having lots of emotions.  Take your time.  We can work on this as quickly or as slowly as you like…

I then shared with Bob a few links to blog posts I’ve written about this side of our shared family.  I also told him a few of the names in this part of our tree.


At this point our correspondence gets quite specific.  It’s not for public consumption.  Bob’s next response answered my questions.  He knew only a few small facts.  His birthdate, possible birth State, possible city he was adopted from, and a possible age for his birth mother.

Based on Bob’s age – only a few years older than me, which by the way means I was not the firstborn grandchild after all – he has to be the son of one of my mom’s brothers.


Because of the Y-DNA match, we have four possible fathers to work with.  John Costello, his son, or one of my two uncles.  John Costello died many years before Bob’s birth, so he is ruled out.  John’s son, my grandfather, had a vasectomy after the birth of his youngest son, many years before Bob’s birth.  He also lived several states away, eliminating the possibility of a reversed vasectomy and subsequent parenting of Bob.  So, one of my uncles had one more child than they previously knew about.

That is heavy information.

I called my mom.  I didn’t think the, “You might have another child, can we use your DNA to figure it out?” conversation should come from a niece.

Luckily for all of us, one of my two uncles had previously tested with Ancestry DNA.  This meant we could download his raw DNA data and upload it to Family Tree DNA where Bob had also tested.  This would give us the fastest answer.

I updated my mom and asked her to call the DNA tested uncle.  She called him right away.  The problem was, he was in Europe for work.  Understandably, he wanted to talk to his wife, my aunt, before he turned over his DNA account to me.  It was Wednesday, he would be home at midnight on Friday.  I had to wait until Saturday for answers.

I knew the wait would be excruciating.  That’s a ridiculous word to use, I know.  There are much worse things going on in the world.  But I felt like the weight of the entire situation was resting firmly on my shoulders.  I had a previously unknown first cousin – FIRST COUSIN! – who wanted to know who his biological parents are.  I was the key to helping him learn the truth.

To help fill that space, the waiting space, I sent Bob an email with a bunch of pictures.  I was able to write sentences like this, “These are our grandparents…”, “These are our great grandparents…”, “One of these two men is your father and one is your uncle…”.  I felt like I was giving someone a huge gift.  There really aren’t words to describe the feelings that accompanied the composition and careful photo selection of that email.

Bob and I exchanged info about our immediate families and he sent me lots of photos of his children.  Again, even though I know better, I poured over their faces trying to see who their grandpa should be.  I imagine he was doing the same thing, only trying to guess who his father should be.  {By the way, I totally found the right Bob when I first went looking online.  Sometimes I scare myself.}

The days crawled by.  I was antsy.  I was worried.  I was trying to imagine the ramifications.  But most of all, I realized that this journey I originally thought was all about John Costello was about so much more.

My sister said something so profound – “If you had found John Costello before now, you never would have spent all of this money on DNA tests and you never would have found Bob”.

So true!

She went on to suggest that maybe John Costello was making sure I couldn’t find him, until I found Bob first.  Fascinating.  Entirely likely.  Completely wonderful.  I have been actively, anxiously, and sometimes desperately searching for John’s story.  Instead, I found Bob.  A cousin I didn’t know to look for.  A cousin I didn’t know was lost to us.


Saturday could not come fast enough.


I wanted to be able to tell Bob who his father was.



to be continued…


*Names, dates, and places in this series of posts will be changed or omitted for privacy purposes.  Previous posts in this series found here – Part One, Part Two.



My Unexpected DNA Discovery – Part Two

DNA Discovery

Still believing that the journey I was traveling was all about John Costello, I tested myself and my mom.  The results came back and John’s ethnicity was there – loud and proud.  My mom showed 25% European Jewish and I showed 10%.

The surprise of it all hadn’t worn off one bit.  I spent time trying to think through how this had been kept such a secret.  Did it start with John or generations before?  I was hungry to understand John’s motivations and more about his past.

My next steps were all about John.  I poured over mine and my mom’s match lists.  My mom’s brother and mother had both previously tested with Ancestry so I used all four of our results to isolate matches that had to be on John’s line.  I was creating quite a list of Jewish cousins.  Many were willing to help, but their own trees stopped so recently, they didn’t know what to tell me.

My hunger for answers propelled me to learn more about DNA and my options.  Among other things, I learned about autosomal transfers.  I downloaded mine and my mom’s raw data from Ancestry and uploaded it to My Heritage.  We had just a few matches.  Nothing too exciting.  A few weeks later I uploaded our raw data again – this time to FamilyTree DNA.

It was a busy week.  I uploaded the data and forgot all about it for several days.  The following Sunday evening, something reminded me to login and see our results.  I started with my mom’s results.  Those results shocked me even more than learning my Roman Catholic, Spanish-Italian great grandpa was Jewish.  There really is no preparing for something like this.

These are my mom’s top three matches.


Mom's DNA results


I am her closest match and correctly identified as her Parent/Child.

And then there was Bob*.

A name I had stared at so many times.  That only perfect Y-DNA match to my uncle.  Here he was again matching my mom as a possible – Half Sibling, Grandparent/Grandchild, Uncle/Nephew.


{Insert loooooong pause here.}


After swallowing a few times and opening my mouth to say something but then unable to speak, my eyes drifted down to match number three.

My grandmother’s first cousin was the next closest match to my mom.  I knew exactly who that match was by her name.  She is my grandma’s first cousin – that’s really closely related.  I have pictures of her.  Lots of pictures.  I have spoken to her on the phone about family stories.  This woman, this very familiar woman, was my mom’s next closest match.

My eyes just kept going back and forth between the numbers 1,652 and 465.  Those numbers represent the number of centimorgans my mom shares with Bob and with grandma’s cousin.  That first cousin of my grandma – that very familiar woman – matched my mom on 465 centimorgans.  Bob, a complete stranger to me, matched my mom at more than three and a half times the number of centimorgans.  That little bit of math, plus the words Half Sibling, Grandparent/Grandchild, Uncle/Nephew put me at a loss for words.

Once I could think again, I emailed my friend Deborah.  You may know her as the Genealogy Lady.  I sent her a few screenshots to show mine and my mom’s matches and just asked if she had any advice before I took my first step.  Her wise advice was to remind me that being at least one generation removed, I might be in an ideal position to help my family navigate these uncharted waters.  She then gave me the only reasonable suggestion – email Bob, start the conversation.

That night was Father’s Day.  I called my dad with no plans to mention Bob.  But as I spoke with my parents on speaker, eventually I just couldn’t keep it inside.  I told my mom.  She wanted to know what it meant.  What were the possibilities – every conceivable way Bob could fit into our family.

Based on Bob’s perfect Y-DNA match to my uncle, and how he matched my mom and myself, Bob is definitely the son of one of four men.  Bob’s biological father is either:

  • My great grandfather John Costello
  • My grandfather, John’s son
  • One of my two uncles, my mom’s brothers and grandsons of John Costello

That’s it.  No one else is the possible father.

If only I knew Bob’s age.  That crucial number would help whittle down the already short list in a hurry.

I got off the phone, took a deep breath, and decided I would email Bob in the morning.  After I slept on it.  I was about to rock someone’s world.  I wanted to be ready.

I got up the next morning and sent Bob an email.

What do you say to a previously unknown, very close, surprise family member?  Well, I’m not sure what someone else might say, but this is what I said:

Hello Bob,

I recently did a Y-DNA test on my mom’s brother to help solve a genealogy brick wall.  You were his only match of a genetic distance of 0, but you didn’t have a tree so I didn’t contact you.

Last week I uploaded my mom’s and my raw Ancestry DNA data to Family Tree DNA.  Last night I checked her matches and was completely surprised that you are listed as her closest match after me.  It says you could possibly be related to her in one of these ways: Half Siblings, Grandparent/Grandchild, Uncle/Nephew.

On my match list you show up as being my possible: 1st cousin, Uncle/Nephew.

My first question is, are you looking for your father?  If so, I could definitely help you with that.  There are very few possible candidates.

All the Best,



And then I sat back and waited.



Not patiently.




to be continued…


*Names, dates, and places in this series of posts will be changed or omitted for privacy purposes.  You can read the first post in this series here.




My DNA Results – How do they compare to my tree? (Updated)

Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.52.56 PM

Yesterday I shared my ethnicity percentages based on my tree.  They look a little something like this:

  • 62.5% – British Isles (English, Mixed British Isles, Scottish, Welsh)
  • 15.6% – Europe West (French Canadian, French)
  • 9.4% – Scandinavian
  • 6.3% – Some mixture of European Jewish & Italy, Greece
  • 6.3% – Iberian Peninsula (Spanish)

As you can see from my screenshot up there, I have some interesting differences between my tree and the DNA I inherited.  Here is a comparison of my tree ethnicities and my DNA ethnicities.

Ethnicity comparison - Sheet1

The first important note is that those trace ethnicities, 2% or lower, are often considered noise.  In my case, those bottom three surprise ethnicities are not backed up by documentation.  The first six however, are documented, even the 1% Iberian Peninsula.

The biggest surprises for me are these:

  • How little of the French and French Canadian DNA I inherited.
  • How much European Jewish DNA I inherited.
  • How much Italy, Greece DNA I inherited.

John Costello and his ancestors make up 12.5% of my tree.  And yet, I inherited 19% of the three regions he could have contributed – Iberian Peninsula, European Jewish, and Italy, Greece.

And here is where I need to beef up my learning, you see something I read recently caused me to misunderstand a very important point – you inherit 50% of your DNA from each parent, beyond that, it is a random mixture of all that came before them.  I had a handful of paragraphs with some interesting questions and insights into some of the nuances of my tree.  But those questions and insights were based on my misunderstanding, so I chopped them out.  😉  Thank you Deborah for some helpful pointers!  (See her comment below).

I have so much to learn about genetic genealogy.  I need to test my siblings and cousins so I can isolate the various pieces of my DNA and do some fancy-science-y-ultra-nerdy-but-oh-so-cool-DNA-genealogy like this.

While I am still learning, and not completely sure of what my next steps are, the thing I keep coming back to is… How can I be 10% European Jewish when I had no idea I had ANY European Jewish ancestry?  10%.  That’s a lot of percent.  Especially when I didn’t see it coming.

This DNA stuff is oh-so-fascinating.  Have you tested?  Did you find any surprises?

Happy Wednesday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery today – DNA or otherwise!


My Ethnicity Fractions – Based on My Tree

Scanned Image 101240003

Years ago my younger brother Derek asked me, “What are we?

He was curious about our ethnic makeup as so many people are.  All those years ago I did a quick calculation based on the research I had done and drew up this little map for him.  Over time I have learned more about my heritage and can now update that set of data to reflect my most current understanding of our tree.

ethnicity percentages

Based on this new chart, our ethnicity percentages – from our tree – are:

  • 34.4% – English
  • 12.5% – Mixed British Isles
  • 12.5 % – French Canadian
  • 12.5% – Scottish
  • 9.4% – Danish
  • 6.3% – Italian Jewish (I don’t think this is really a thing, but I’m not sure yet what to call this portion of my tree…see here.)
  • 6.3% – Spanish
  • 3.1% – French
  • 3.1% – Welsh

I know that totals 100.1% – I rounded.

Based on how Ancestry DNA lumps things together, these percentages should look like this on my Ancestry DNA ethnicity estimates:

  • 62.5% – Great Britain (English, Mixed British Isles, Scottish, Welsh)
  • 15.6% – Europe West (French Canadian, French)
  • 9.4% – Scandinavian
  • 6.3% – Some mixture of European Jewish & Italy, Greece
  • 6.3% – Iberian Peninsula (Spanish)

But here’s the thing about DNA.  We don’t inherit exactly half of what our parents inherited.  We inherit a unique combination of half of what they inherited.  So while the percentages based on my tree look one way, the actual DNA I inherited is an entirely different matter.  I have four siblings.  Each of us inherited different combinations of our parent’s DNA – half from each parent, but a unique and random half.

My DNA results are in.  I will share them tomorrow.  They are fascinating.  The portion I am most curious about happens to be the potion that is brand new to me – the Jewish ancestry of John Costello.  What combination of DNA did he pass on to me?  12.5% of me comes from him.  Based on what I know, he could have given me DNA from these three regions – Iberian Peninsula, European Jewish, and Italy, Greece.  Because the Jewish portion is a brand new – weeks old – discovery, I wonder if I inherited any of it?  If so, how much?

Care to take a guess?

Tune in for my DNA reveal tomorrow.



Awaiting the DNA results

I have been learning about the various DNA test options for a few years now.  I finally felt confident enough to decide which tests to purchase for specific family members.  The RootsTech pricing was a great opportunity so I purchased 5 kits.

  • Ancestry kit 1 – For my Mom.  I chose this kit for two reasons – the price was $49 (regularly $99), and because her mother and brother have both previously tested with Ancestry.  This will allow me to compare their results and look for differences.
  • Ancestry kit 2 – For me.  I chose this kit for the same two reasons as I chose the kit for my Mom.
  • Ancestry kit 3 – For my friend who watched my 4 year old during the day while I was at RootsTech.  They have a juicy little mystery in their tree and they know just who to test.  🙂
  • FamilyTree DNA Y-DNA kit – For my Uncle.  His Grandpa, my great grandfather, is a brick wall.  I can’t wait for these results!  I have been trying to find a way through this wall for years.
  • FamilyTree DNA autosomal kit – For my Grandma.  She has already tested with Ancestry.  Her great grandfather was born in France and immigrated to America as a child.  He is also a brick wall.  Because more Europeans test with FT DNA, I am hoping to make some connections.  I also chose this company for her because they store the sample for 25 years.  Grandma is in her 80s, if I decide to retest her sample in the future I can (if the sample is still good).

I took my test and mailed it on Thursday of last week.  On Friday afternoon I got an email saying that my sample was received.  Wow, so fast!  Now to wait 6-8 weeks for the results.  Or longer.  They sold a lot of $49 tests at RootsTech, I’m guessing that their lab is a bit behind.

My Uncle’s test was received on March 8th.  We have another month or so to wait.  Won’t we all be surprised if he matches a different surname than we are expecting?  That is a distinct possibility.

I have mailed the other kits to my Mom and Grandma.  More waiting.  Hopefully they test and mail the samples very soon.

While I am waiting, I need to start studying the book I purchased at RootsTech that was recommended by Tom Jones.  He is basically a genius, so I followed his suggestion.


It is so exciting to begin a new genealogy journey!  I can’t wait to see what I can learn.


Happy Monday, I hope you make an awesome genealogy discovery today!