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A Different Kind of Mystery

At we get a wide range of clients, mostly looking for their unknown parents. Whether they were adopted, the product of a non-paternity event, or just had a parent left off their birth certificate, they come to us to solve that mystery with our DNA expertise. Occasionally, we work with the known.

This is the story of a client of ours who knew who her biological father was but wasn’t raised by him. She hired us to tell her more about his life, who his parents were, siblings, what his story was. All she was armed with was a date of death, possible date of birth, his name, and his location.

We were faced with a different kind of mystery.

Taking the information provided to us, we were able to start researching this gentleman. We found a very scarce death announcement for him with no family listed but noted that his name was a “Jr”. So we got to work looking for who his father, the “Sr” was. Our genealogist found someone who had her father in his family tree, but very scarce information on him. So, we contacted the tree owner and he provided a key clue (he believes Jr’s mother’s name was Lucille), but that’s all he knew.

So we turned to her DNA results. The client had tested at 23andMe and had a few top matches. Working these matches, we were able to quickly lock onto a DNA line, and low and behold, one of them had an aunt named Lucille, who was at the right place and the right time period when the grandfather was born.

We then reached out to one of the matches – who it turns out was Lucille’s great granddaughter from a previous union. She was very open to speaking about Lucille and confirmed that she was my client’s grandmother. She knew her as a child and was aware she was married for a brief time to the client’s grandfather. She was able to provide the names of all the client’s aunts and uncles, as well as great aunts and uncles. She also was able to bring Lucille’s story to life – sharing not just the tragedy that befell her as a child but sharing how resilient and sweet she was as an older woman.

This cousin also provided photographs of not only Lucille, but her parents’ gravestones and obituaries (from Find a Something our client felt she would never know about. Shortly after this we were able to connect the client with her cousin, and they now plan to meet later this summer.

So whether you’re looking for your unknown or just want to know more about your family history, we can help. Our client was notified of the exchange of information when she returned from a trip this week and gladly exclaimed “Now I have family”.

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