As most of my friends know I was adopted and I’ve been on a rather slow, but lifelong hunt for my biological parents; more precisely trying to find my heritage. After taking a DNA test with Ancestry.com last August, I got the heritage information I was so desperately seeking, and was a bit surprised too actually!
Once you do the DNA test, cousin matches start to show up, and increase in number generally daily. As more DNA tests are done and compared, that list grows. Now the actual key to ancestry dot com’s joy are the leafs that appear. The leafs mean you are in that person’s family tree! Out of over 1200 cousin matches, I’ve only gotten 3 leafs, but for someone who was adopted at 3 days old, those three leafs are a boon!
The starred matches are something I’ve done. As I go through the cousin match list, I star matches based on location of birth, age, or surnames that are familiar. This is all very fascinating to me, as my original goal was simply to get my heritage, but now it seems I’m very close to discovering who my father is. His last name is known to me, as are his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, but his name is still elusive.
I’ve gotten no information or ‘leafs’ on my biological mother’s side to date from the testing. I do know she is still alive though, through research by GARR (Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry). GARR contacted her by phone last January of 2016, and she said it wasn’t a good time to talk. Then in June, GARR sent her a letter, to which she never responded.
Since doing my DNA test, I’ve discovered a 1st cousin (whose father is my father’s brother), and since she was also adopted, she doesn’t know her dad’s name. If she finds that, I’ll find my father’s name! I also know that her granddaughter, my 1st cousin twice removed, and I share DNA.
As of last night (12/14/16) I’ve discovered a biological sister!! Her family tree is where I got my father’s last name from. My sister match has all the information filled out on her father’s side, except our father’s actual name. Her personal profile on ancestry is not filled out, so I don’t know what she looks like, where she lives, how old she is, nor anything else about her, other than we share a Father.
I look forward to more matches, leafs, and fascinating information as more DNA tests are taken and compared to the vast DNA date base that ancestry.com has. What started simply as a heritage search, after 35 years of searching, is now turning into a fantastic family hunt!
December 15th, 2016