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Searching for Bio Family

My Family Tree

My Family Tree

I’m not any closer to figuring out my biological father, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up. Even though a lot of people have said that I should. I can’t, I’ve invested too much time and sanity. It gets more confusing all of the time, though. For instance, my best match on my father’s side and I have a distant cousin who shares sixth great grandparents with me on my mother’s side. Not as bad as some who have the same set of great, great grandparents twice for one parent, but I digress. That person and I are related so their great, great grandparents are likely mine, too.

Through this process I have learned that there’s a politically correct term for inbreeding. Why? If you’re inbred it’s not your fault, why are you offended? Seriously! Unless you met your spouse at the family reunion. Then you shouldn’t be upset if someone points out that your children share more DNA than they should. Am I right?

I have also learned that with a lot of endogamy (I learned the word, I may as well use it) you can match up to ninth cousins and up. Guess what I have! Yup. Ninth cousins. Lots of them. From all branches.

I have also learned that not all grandmother’s sat around the house cooking, cleaning, and knitting back in the day. Think about how many people find out they share zero DNA with a parent or a grandparent. That’s because someone was keeping someone else’s bed warm. I’m starting to think, when looking at my own tree, how many of those ten kids weren’t really the husband’s kids. Especially when there’s a long dry spell. I know my own ancestors may think it one day, there’s a seven year gap between my first and second. I have no idea why, it just happened that way. Our last showed up two years after our second so I tend to think that God has a sense of humor. “Look, you’re done! Not! Okay, now you’re done. Haha! Here’s another one.” Number three is our absolute last, but I’m getting off topic.

Anyway, so I am still trying to sort everything out and try to narrow it down, but its ridiculous. Between the not matching my closest relatives grandpa (I match her grandma), the extensive endogamy, and running around, it’s a mess. Hence the picture I chose for my mess that I call my family tree. I may not know these people, but I have love for them because we share a history, a bloodline. I just hope to one day figure out all of the pieces so I can walk where they walked, see what they saw. It amazes me that a lot of the places I have loved over the years has one of my ancestors roots planted there. I’m not even kidding. These aren’t big places either, they’re little hole in the wall towns today, imagine what they were two hundred years ago.

Thank you for visiting and reading my ramblings. I hope to write more here, but I have been focusing on my camping blog and my ancestry. I won’t give up on this blog for the same reason I won’t abandon my search, it’s too important to me.

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Finding My Family Tree

I started on this journey back in January 2005 and quickly found my bio mom and my half sister. I was elated that both of them wanted to get to know me. Since then there have been issues that I won’t discuss here. We’re all on speaking terms right now and that’s great!

I took a DNA test this year and got my test results back on May 8, 2018. This leg of my journey has been a nightmare, to say the least. I have a high match to my bio father, but some

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What Not to Say to Someone Searching for Their Birth Family

What Not to Say to Someone Searching for Their Birth Family

Some of these are things people have said directly to me or that I have seen in groups for people searching. So, before you ask, make sure that it’s not on this list. If I have forgotten something, tell me in comments and I will add it.

  1. “Why don’t you ask your birth mom?” Wow! You’re incredible! Why didn’t I think of that! Oh wait… I have heard this one so many times that now it really ticks me off. The first thing I did when I learned that she gave me the wrong name was ask her in hopes that she would give me the right one. It didn’t go well.
  2. “You can’t be related to me, I know everyone in my family.” If I’m showing up as as a DNA match to you then we’re related. Either you’re not as in the loop as you thought or someone is really good at keeping secrets. DNA doesn’t lie, people do.
  3. “What if you don’t find them?” Thanks, Eeyore, I hadn’t thought of that! Go enjoy your little rain cloud over there. Away from me.
  4. “What if they don’t accept you?” I don’t even have an answer for this one. I have put over 200 hours into getting answers without success. So after all of that hard work it would break my heart if they didn’t care.
  5. “When are you going to give up?” NEVER!
  6. “What about your adopted parents? Don’t you love them?” Yes! Why is this even a question people ask? I’m not searching because I don’t love my parents. I’m searching because they know their family history and I want to know mine. Even if it is messed up.
  7. Any time someone refers to my birth family as my real family. They didn’t raise me so they weren’t there for me when I was growing up, my real family was.
  8. “I’m tired of hearing about this.” Especially when it’s someone who should be supportive. Next time just say that you don’t care. Same thing.
  9. “You’re never going to find them.” Thank you for your support. Next time you tell me about your goals I’m going to tell you that you’re going to fail. That would hurt, right?
  10. “You’re spending too much time looking for them. They must not want to be found.” In the case of many men, they have no clue that they have a child. In my case, my father may not know his father either.

I hope that this helped you to know what not to say to someone looking for their birth family. What have you been told that hurt your feelings? Tell me in comments!

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Why I haven’t posted

I apologise for not posting for well over a month and my only excuse is because I have been working on my tree. I have been busy trying to get the pieces to fit, but it hasn’t been easy. I have almost 3,000 close cousins and over 50,000 total just on Ancestry. I have a half first aunt, but her brother’s ancestors don’t click with what she’s been told. So I don’t know if her brother has a different father or if she has another brother she hasn’t been told about.

I’m going to post here more because I am even more determined to help others discover their story. If you need another set of eyes on your tree please don’t hesitate to contact me, I will do my best to help!

Thank you so much for visiting!

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How to Organize Your Family Tree

If you are looking to find your birth family, then you are going to want to do a large family tree and locate as many DNA matches as possible within it. I have created two images so far to help me stay focused on what I’m doing. Please feel free to use my images, that’s why I’m sharing them with you.

This first image is for DNA matches that you have pinpointed within your tree. For instance, I am linked to my great uncle on my mother’s side by DNA, so I have this picture as his profile pic. His son tested, too, so it’s also his. I also use it for people in my tree who also show up in theirs. This helps me prove that we are related and how.

This image is for your parents, grandparents, on up the line. This helps you to quickly and easily locate the trunk of your tree once you have identified these people. Don’t use it for uncles, aunts, or cousins. Those people should not be in your direct line.

Let me know if these help you. I am also considering another image for people who show up in a tree twice, but I haven’t done it yet. I’m talking about the second cousin who married his cousin. I’m coming across that more in my own tree. If I make one then I’ll share it here.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day.

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How (and why) to Build a Backwards Family Tree

If you are an adoptee with a whole bunch of matches that don’t make sense to you, this will help. It’s probably going to be horrible until you start getting somewhere, but it will get you somewhere.

First you need to mark your mother’s relatives separately from your father’s in your matches, if you can. If you can’t, start with your closest relative and mark them along with everyone who matches them. As long as there aren’t a bunch of half siblings on both sides you should start seeing a pattern.

Now you create a private mirror tree, as in it looks kind of like your real tree, but different. Enter every person you know and put them where they belong on your tree. Now go to your closest match and add them where DNA painter says they belong. Don’t trust the DNA site with this part, it can throw you off. This works best with first cousin matches, but it can be done with fourth. If you’re starting with fourth cousins then it is truly a backwards tree since you’re starting in the branches and climbing down to the roots, which is where you are.

This will not happen overnight. I have been working on mine for hours every day and I still don’t have a definite answer to who my father is. I know I’m getting close, though.

Good luck with your search! If I can help in any way you can email me at TheAdoptedAncestor@gmail.com. Thank you for stopping by!

Searching for Bio Family

Steps to Finding Your Birth Family

Deciding to find your biological family is a big step and opens the door to a lot of questions. Before you get started think about why you want to find them. Someone close to you will ask, I promise! Even if they never do, your why will help you keep going if finding them takes longer than you anticipated.

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  1. Your first step needs to be doing a DNA test. At the moment 23 and Me will not allow you to upload your raw DNA to their website like Ancestry. Keep that in mind when you do your test.
  2. When you get your results, download your raw DNA data immediately. Once you have done that, click on Resources under the Menu tab on this blog. I have listed all of the places I know of where you can look for more relatives.
  3. Check your matches. Look for how many CMs you share and go to DNA Painter. DNA Painter will tell you how you are related and the likelihood of that relationship. This is important! Ancestry showed me a first cousin on my dad’s side and I wasted so much of that sweet woman’s time looking for her uncle when it was actually her brother. At this point you may want to create a family tree so that you can determine which side your relatives connect on.
  4. Now that you know how you are related to your close matches it’s time to gather all of the information you have about your birth family. Even if it’s just your name, birthday, and age (don’t make them do math in your first contact. No one wants that. lol).
  5. I prefer to contact through the place where the match is located (Ancestry, GEDMatch, etc), but others email or write a letter. I personally won’t do that because I don’t want to cause problems for anyone. You do what you are comfortable with, though.

I wish you the best of luck on your search and I sincerely hope that you find who you’re looking for and they welcome you with open arms.