How To Approach a Potential Match?

DNA testing for adoptees. Success Stories. Discussions.

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Location: Ancestral location: Spain
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:27 am
I am assisting my dear friend Michelle in her quest for answers. Her mother was given away when she was 9 weeks old, circa 1956. Now that Michelle is a mom, she wants to leave a legacy for her son. Her mom is also interested in finding out a bit about her biological parents [lucky for her, the people that took her in as a baby adopted her in the end, and gave her a loving home].

In the event a match is located via the Family Finder, are there tips or advice on how to approach this match? As you can imagine, there might be issues given the situation under which Michelle's mom was given away, and we are not interested in judging nor accusing. Any advice, tips, guidance will be greatly appreciated.
________________________________________________________________________________________
Maternal surnames: Gelpí, Lebrón, Ruiz, Vientos, Mendez, Jardines, Marty, Cintra, Crisostomos, Orta, Perez, Torres
Paternal surnames: Ramírez, Jiménez/Gimenes, Rodríguez, López, Pagán, Jacome, Rivera, del Toro, Figueroa, Carlo

Paternal mtDNA: A2k1
gedMatch ID: FN105290
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Location: Hong Kong
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R1b, L21, DF21, L720
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:57 am
Well, if she's lucky, a lot of people who are her close matches will have posted their gedcoms so she will only need to approach them as a secondary step. Most matches will be of such a distance that I think most people won't mind giving her info, particularly if she can ask a directed question.

I have a number of people at 3rd or 4th cousin level matches (more on 23andme than FF) who have adoption or another type of NPE as their quest, and I have been glad to give them the info I could, but I think most find it can be a pretty tricky puzzle to grapple with. The more specific a question you have for matches, I find, the better chance of a response--and that goes for all sorts of questions.

If she actually finds a close match, I think she'll be lucky, and I think that could be another situation altogether about which someone else would be better advising you/her.
Y DNA lineage ancestor: Isaac Farris (b. 1787 in Virginia, USA)
mtDNA lineage ancestress: Ruth Stovall (b. 1731 in Virginia, USA)
Oldest known of any line: Ralfe Hurte (b. ca. 1410, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England)

Known Surnames of 3rd gr.-grands:
Farris, Ramey, Montgomery, Summers, Tupman, Reynolds, Griffin, Atkinson, Powell, Witt, Dunaway, Woolery, White, Nickerson, Griest, Humbert, Mullin, Peacock, Heeter, Peters, Kern, Law, Meade, Conley, Estep, Lemaster, May, Caudill, Cooper, Salyer
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Location: Western Colorado
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J-L147.1 J1c3d L1253
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H
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:04 pm
Hello....I was also placed for adoption at 6 weeks and have been searching for my history for most of my adult life. I am 72. I have done the 111 Marker and Family Finder. I have +- 50 matches with Grahams , one is a 104 Marker match. I have been confidant I was a Graham. Then in last the last week or so FF came up with a person who is a very strong 2nd cousin and whose father was a Graham. So her father was most likely a 1st cousin to my UNK father. I have found two 2nd cousins on my mother's side and I did a Chromosomal Browser test and the new Graham is not kin to my two Mt cousins. Yea. I am closing in on a 50 year quest. I contact the new cousin and I feel very good. She is going to ask her brother to do a 64 marker test . I am a J1c3d and just did the WTY and a new SNP was found ...L1253. So when the brother test we will know something. HE REFUSES TO TEST. Ha. Nothing is easy in this world and more so for adopted folks looking for their history. Plan B is about to go into effect...when I come up with Plan B
Y J1c3d P58+ L147.1+ L222- 174- Z644- Z640- Z644- +L1252 +L1253 L1279- Z1884+ CTS5857-
FTDNA N42042
Oldest Y ancestor:
Archebald Graham, father of David b. Dec. 23, 1647 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Oldest Mt: My mother's grandmother on her Mother's side: Sonicooie b +- 1743 CNE [Cherokee Nation East]was father to Soniovie [Susannah] Sonicooie
My mother's grandmother on her father's side was 1/2 Creek Indian from Alabama
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:09 pm
sorry to hear you hit another brick wall Gato!
...I think plan B is to just keep plugging along and hope for a good match thats willing to help!

While I was not adopted, in trying to get around my 'brick wall', I too ran into a very frustrating situation of finding not 1, but 2 seperate 'long lost' y dna kin (from 2 other sons of my furthest known y line patriarch) and neither was willing to test, even after I offered to pay
...it would have cleared up 2 geniological mysteries for sure!

-so believe me, I do know the frustration...all I figure I can do is keep the 'breadcrumbs' out on the net, so anyone that runs across my multiple placements of info can easily contact me

in any case, best wishes to all the adoptees, remember, this geniological hobby is a marathon, not a sprint :)

Mike



Gato wrote:Hello....I was also placed for adoption at 6 weeks and have been searching for my history for most of my adult life. I am 72. I have done the 111 Marker and Family Finder. I have +- 50 matches with Grahams , one is a 104 Marker match. I have been confidant I was a Graham. Then in last the last week or so FF came up with a person who is a very strong 2nd cousin and whose father was a Graham. So her father was most likely a 1st cousin to my UNK father. I have found two 2nd cousins on my mother's side and I did a Chromosomal Browser test and the new Graham is not kin to my two Mt cousins. Yea. I am closing in on a 50 year quest. I contact the new cousin and I feel very good. She is going to ask her brother to do a 64 marker test . I am a J1c3d and just did the WTY and a new SNP was found ...L1253. So when the brother test we will know something. HE REFUSES TO TEST. Ha. Nothing is easy in this world and more so for adopted folks looking for their history. Plan B is about to go into effect...when I come up with Plan B
Furthest Y line=Patrick Whealen 1816-1874, Tipperary Co. Ire. to Kincardine On

Y-DNA-RL21, R-513* (still looking for the 'lost Irish 'C' boys')

FTDNA=P312+ P25+ M343+ M269+ M207+ M173+ L513+ U198- U152- U106- SRY2627- P66- P107- M73- M65- M37- M222- M18- M160- M153- M126- L705- L577- L193- L159.2- L1333-
23&me=L21+
E.A.= S21-, S26-, S28-, S29-, S68-

Co Administrator of the Whalen/Phelan DNA Surname Project
http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/whalen
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Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:12 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:57 pm
To both Gato and MikeWhalen, thank you for sharing your stories/frustrations. It truly helps. Gato, I feel your pain, your frustration, your need to know, if anything, to just know. We all need a sense of history, and while I appreciate and thank all the parents who chose adoption [and G-d bless them all], we still need a sense of placement and history.

Michelle has been a friend and has run into similar frustrations for about five years. It was her hope that DNA testing would help, but as I explained, it only helps if others related to her have also tested. Michelle is lucky in that she knew who the biological grandmother was. However, on an initial pass, she refused to help much, and then she died last year.

On my end, I have hit a brick wall. Like MikeWhalen, I am not an adoptee. However, I am also trying to fill in historical/family gaps for my own knowledge. It seems that my people did a very good job of hiding [which means very little in the forms of records are available]. A few family members have agreed to be tested, like my dad, if I pay. If I were a millionaire, it wouldn't be a problem. However, I can only test after a few months of frugal living and excessive saving. I hope that as DNA testing becomes popular, prices will go down.

I can also share that my husband never met his father. He says he is not interested, but I can tell there is a glimpse of interest. He also agreed to DNA testing to find out a bit. My darling is certainly more pragmatic than Michelle or I. If he finds out or not, it is irrelevant. Michelle and I are bending over backwards to piece our history.

In any case, Michelle and I met, we worked on an initial letter, and now the rest is up to fate/time/powers that be. All we can do on our end is try. The rest is up to the universe [or G-d]. Then, there's also the cliche about unanswered prayers, so who knows.

What did we include?
1. A brief introduction.
2. A clear goal with some clear yet brief questions: The goal was to research potential Native American heritage, and so we made it clear. We stated that the biological aunt's name came in conversation with other family relatives [so as not to generate intimidation or look like we are after money or public humiliation], and if she knew the surnames of relatives on her side that could help. Michelle decided not to identify herself as the biological niece, but as a potential close relative interested in researching any potential relatives all over the US. In Michelle's case, the relatives of the maternal line aren't as cooperative as one would like. Whereas the mother gave one daughter away, she kept the daughter that was born 13 months later [both from the same father]. It seems the family hasn't come to grips with this reality, and denial seems to be a better coping mechanism. She felt that stating who she was off the bat would simply stop any help she might get from that side of the family.
3. Ending salutation that is respectful yet friendly.

I hope this info helps others in a similar situation.
________________________________________________________________________________________
Maternal surnames: Gelpí, Lebrón, Ruiz, Vientos, Mendez, Jardines, Marty, Cintra, Crisostomos, Orta, Perez, Torres
Paternal surnames: Ramírez, Jiménez/Gimenes, Rodríguez, López, Pagán, Jacome, Rivera, del Toro, Figueroa, Carlo

Paternal mtDNA: A2k1
gedMatch ID: FN105290

Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:00 pm

YDNA:
DF5+/S191+
MtDNA:
U5a1a1
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:52 pm
Dear adoptees, I am one of you ...

But I found my birth family without the advantage of DNA, largely through Lady Luck, as my birth family's name is GRIFFETH (not the more conventional spelling of Griffith). My adoptive mother was a nurse, and at age 42, I told her that it was time for me to know what disease(s) I needed to worry about, cancer or heart. She gave me the one name, Griffeth. I was talking with my birth father five days later!

How did I do that? As hinted above, GRIFFETH is an unusual spelling and at the time, only 200 or so families in the United States used that particular spelling. Armed with the name, I concluded that my birth family was still living in California. In those days before the internet, there were resources called white pages. I started in the south, at the Mexican border, and worked my way north until I came to a small town near San Luis Obispo that rang bells in my head. With great anticipation, I picked up the phone, and dialed ...

My birth father answered the phone! I said, "My name is Douglas, and I was born on December 30, 1942 in Los Angeles, and I was wondering if you might know who my birth parents are?"

He answered, honestly, "Well, that's us!"

I enjoyed more than 20 years of association with my entire birth family (one brother, three sisters, and a grandmother of age 99, as well as nephews and nieces) before my birth father passed away at age 92. I also just spent a week in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, visiting the grave sites of my ancestors, paying them my regards post mortem, which was very satisfying for me.

My advice to all who "cold call" potential birth parents is as follows: never assume anything good! Prepare yourself for someone to tell you that, sorry, they all died in a terrible crash. If you do that, you will most likely find the news to be something a lot less than tragic. But prepare yourself for the worst!

And good luck to you.

Griff
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:57 pm
Gato wrote:Hello....I was also placed for adoption at 6 weeks and have been searching for my history for most of my adult life. I am 72. I have done the 111 Marker and Family Finder. I have +- 50 matches with Grahams , one is a 104 Marker match. I have been confidant I was a Graham. Then in last the last week or so FF came up with a person who is a very strong 2nd cousin and whose father was a Graham. So her father was most likely a 1st cousin to my UNK father. I have found two 2nd cousins on my mother's side and I did a Chromosomal Browser test and the new Graham is not kin to my two Mt cousins. Yea. I am closing in on a 50 year quest. I contact the new cousin and I feel very good. She is going to ask her brother to do a 64 marker test . I am a J1c3d and just did the WTY and a new SNP was found ...L1253. So when the brother test we will know something. HE REFUSES TO TEST. Ha. Nothing is easy in this world and more so for adopted folks looking for their history. Plan B is about to go into effect...when I come up with Plan B


Plan B:
Well after all these years I have the name of my father and a photo. My FF 2nd cousin Graham was more than helpful and as we shared great grand parents it was good detective work that gave me the answer. We came up with all the possibles in her family and began to look at where they each lived during the time I was conceived. One man had moved to San Antonio several years earlier and was living in the same small part of the city. The rest of the family was still living in Iowa and Wyoming. Bingo!
Y J1c3d P58+ L147.1+ L222- 174- Z644- Z640- Z644- +L1252 +L1253 L1279- Z1884+ CTS5857-
FTDNA N42042
Oldest Y ancestor:
Archebald Graham, father of David b. Dec. 23, 1647 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Oldest Mt: My mother's grandmother on her Mother's side: Sonicooie b +- 1743 CNE [Cherokee Nation East]was father to Soniovie [Susannah] Sonicooie
My mother's grandmother on her father's side was 1/2 Creek Indian from Alabama

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