My activity on a few websites has really amped up in the last few months, and I have been lucky enough to make some matches on my distant relatives generations back. I am still searching for my maternal grandfather.
The hardest part of all of the DNA information out there is when you are a half anything. (Half sister, half cousin, half aunt, etcetera.)
A half sibling is what we all know...where a sibling group of 2 or more only shares one parent. Half cousins, half aunts, half grandparents are the same, we are just not used to seeing those terms. I only have full aunts and uncles on my paternal side. That is so strange to me, I never even understood all of the half relations out there until I was involved in getting DNA testing done in order to find my biological father.
As I have written about before, I am a 3rd generation bastard. My great grandmother was not married to my great grandfather, nor did he stay around to raise my grandmother.
My grandmother had a fling (?) with someone that was not the man I was raised to know as my grandfather. I did not know this until nearly 3 years ago, when I got the results from the DNA lab. I am still sort of shocked about this, but not nearly as much as I used to be.
Finally, I sort of knew, but not in detail, that the man who raised me was not my biological father.
Through DNA, I found my full paternal aunt, which led me to my biological father. I won't go into details, but suffice to say I have aunties and cousins that I did not have before. I don't know my father, but I know who he is. That is sufficient for now. If we never meet, I still have to thank him for half of who I am through DNA.
Now, the search is on for my maternal grandfather. I have no hopes of him being alive at this point, but I would love to know who he is, and possibly see a photo.
I have tested with Ancestry, 23andMe, FTDNA and GenesForGood. I have uploaded to as many places as I can find that do genetic genealogy.
A tip that I would like to share is to write down everything. Yes, you can bookmark, but what happens if the site that you are using goes down? What if the record gets corrupted or pulled? What if any sort of inconvenience or disaster happens? By having it in writing in a dedicated place for your search, you will heighten the chances of not losing valuable research. I write down everything. The complete web address if it is an online search, the complete source if I am at a library or research center. A tip I found once was in a church recipe book. Had I not written it down, I never would have been able to trace back to it and found it to follow up. The drawing/sketch above was made by me to denote a landmark to get to the library I was going to in England. Anything that will help you get your research done is a tool, and I love to doodle. Those doodles have been valuable for me later on, when I was entering information into the computer.
I also make a photocopy or a print of obituary listings. Be aware, though. Obits are valuable, but they are not perfect. Don't treat them as such.
What are some search tips that you have used to help break through the brick walls in your search?
What a world we live in! With a simple saliva sample and some patience, secrets from the past come out and are there for us to examine.
In an article that I wrote in the past, I speak of being a 3rd Generation Bastard. That phrase is offensive to some, but that is not the intent.
I did not know who my biological father was until I had taken a DNA test. Even then, it was not the first or second test that I took, but the 3rd one that would put me on the correct path.
Those tests did illustrate a lot of facts for me and pushed my genealogical research years and decades ahead of where I had been to that point.
If I had to do it all again, I would do it the exact same way that I did it before, because having those time gaps between each test allowed me to process the information, gather more information and make informed decisions that were worthwhile.
One of the best decisions that I made was to get tested. I cannot emphasize that enough.
The first test that I took was with Family Tree DNA. They had a sale going and I got the test. It was a great deal. In recognition of today being DNA Day, they have a sale going again! Click this link to go to their sale price. I don't get a commission, but it IS a great deal. For $49.00, you get the Family Finder test, which will knock down brick walls and get a great start on your DNA genealogy!
There is no monthly, annual or semi-annual subscription, either. A great deal!
The next test that I took was Ancestry. They are the biggest consumer DNA test provider.
Through today, they are offering $69.00 testing. Their service requires a subscription, which is billed at different intervals. If you are interested in getting a test from them while their sale is going on, this is an excellent time to do it. Click here to get to their page.
My third test was through 23 and Me. Now this one, I DO get a commission if you order AND you get a discount. There is no subscription involved, either. Once you click here to get the test, you can always access your information.
I have not yet tested with My Heritage, but they have affordable testing at only $59.00 for the DNA Day celebrations, they are a test I will be taking in the very near future. Click here to order your test kit, too. (No commission, I think that you should test in as many places as you can!)
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Share below in the comments if you have taken a DNA test or if you are planning to! I want to hear what you have to say! Happy DNA day!
In Honor of National DNA Day, 23 and Me is allowing a FREE transfer today only of test results from Ancestry.com. If you have tested with Ancestry and have wondered what 23 and Me has to offer, this is an excellent chance to have a free look!
This expires tonight at midnight. Share! Download from Ancestry and Upload to 23AndMe!
If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder, you may qualify for a study through 23 and Me. (Free Kit!)
Here are the criteria that they list through this link: enroll.23andme.com/research/depression-bipolar/identity/
Please check that you meet all criteria below:
I write a lot about genetic genealogy, family trees, DNA, and home life as well as the occasional product review. Comments? Email me at CocktailsAndSwagger@Hotmail.com