Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cool nights–in August?

We’ve had a stretch of cool nights in August this year. It’s been delightful to sit outside. Still have mosquitos, but those haven’t been all that bad either.  ■  Mowed 4 lawns today. That’s a record. Most of the time it’s 3.  ■  Chili Fest XXIV is coming up on the 16th of September. We’re getting ready for it. I’ve got a list of things to get done before it arrives.  ■  On I now have 274 4th Cousins, or closer.  I think when I started I had something like 120. I’m guessing that more matches are found as more people get their DNA tested.  Our son sent his DNA test to today.  Now to wait for his results. ■ It’s late and way past my bedtime.  Night’ ■

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Family search . . . . ….

080917_001So, back in the fall of 2016, my wife and I decided to do the DNA test. It was not done to look for relatives. It was just to see what we had in our genetic background. ■  As you can see (if the picture is large enough), I came out 84% Scandinavian, 11% Great Britain, and 5% other regions – a little Irish and a little Finish.  ■ I’m adopted and never had a thought of searching for my biological parents. I loved my parents and they’ll always be my parents.  ■ My mother, however, wanted me to search for my birth mother. I didn’t want to.  ■ But now armed with some genetic background, I thought maybe I’d give it a shot.  To do so, I needed an account – which I signed up for.  Now the search was on.  ■  I had very little information from the adoption documents.  Just my birth mother’s age; that she was from another state; that she had been a nursing student; and that she and the father had been friends for several years and that she had never told him of her pregnancy.  Not much to go on, but I did find a note that I had made that my mother had called me on my 55th birthday and given my the name of my birth mother. ■ The name was the key. How she found that info I don’t know, but she did. ■ With the name I used’s search feature, along with Google, and phone directories. I won’t give you her name because she doesn’t want anyone to know. (yes, I did find her.)  Some of the major keys were the obit of one of her brothers. That listed all of his children (my 1st cousins), and his surviving family members – 3 sisters. Finding that let me know that she had been married and had a new last name. Actually she’d married twice and both husbands had passed away – but now I had her current name.  ■ I was able to find her current address and I sent her a letter. Never received an letter back, nor any type of communication. The first letter was sent in January 2017. I sent a second letter to her with a self-addressed stamped envelope with a card in it for her to check one of the boxes. Box 1 – I am your mother, please contact me. Box 2 – I am your mother. Please don’t contact me.  3 – I’m not the person you’re looking for.  ■ Received the card back – She is my mother, but doesn’t want any contact with me. ■ Bummer.  But before I sent the 2nd letter out I saw that I had a new 1st-2nd cousin – related by DNA. While I was considering contacting the cousin, she took the initiative and contacted me – because she couldn’t figure out how we were related. ■ We exchanged a couple of emails. Between the two of us – and my wife – we knew it had to be one of her uncles. ■ She had three uncles – 2 had passed away, but there way one still living. ■ My cousin took a look at the pictures in my wife’s facebook account, saw one of our informal wedding pictures and boom!  I looked like either the uncle, or one of his sons at that age.  So now we’re pretty close to 100% knowing who my father is – and that he’s the uncle that’s still alive!  ■ That’s where it sits right now. I need to do a letter to him and explain who I am, etc.  ■  Getting a DNA test and having an account has led me on this journey.  It’s been great and a lot of fun. It’s been a mystery and fun to solve. ■  I would encourage anyone to do it.  You may find out that you’re related to people that you never knew, or expected to know.  ■ This has been, I think, the longest post I’ve ever written. So to all my loyal reader, (yeah, there’s only 1, I think) thanks for reading.  ■ TFB. ‘night.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Finding my father ..…. . . .

At the beginning of this journey in finding my relatives I never thought that I’d be able to find my father. Mother, yes, but father – no. I started with my birth mother’s name. I found her, but had no name for the father. We had no clues to help us except that my mother had told the hospital that the two of them had been friends for several years. I had originally thought that she had met the father in Chicago where she was going to college. No so. This brought the search back to North Dakota.

Still no name to go on. Then on I new person popped up on my DNA results listing this person as a 1st-2nd cousin. No name for this person and I was thinking about contacting the person via Within probably a couple of days of having her pop up as a relative, she contacted me.  We exchanged emails and are continuing to do so. Now I had names. While I won’t give out names, my cousin had 3 uncles that were possibilities. Two of them had passed and one still living. While waiting for a response from my mother I began a search on the paternal side.

Facebook and telephone directories are great places to search. Looking through Facebook I came upon a person that looks like me. And I think his father is the uncle still living. I think I’ve found a half brother!

It’s almost 2 in the morning. I need to get some sleep. Goodnight.