Mum has been getting an unusual amount of highish matches on the biological paternal side lately. Three matches in the third cousin range, two on on Potential Bio Granddad’s mother’s side of the family, one on his father’s side in the last week! Plus, a handful of matches in the fourth cousin range as well. This is unusual for us, we have months at a time where no significant matches come through.
Those in the third cousin range however can be easier to make sense of, especially when there are shared matches that one is aware of. In this case, the two on the Potential Bio Granddad’s mother’s side of the family has my donor conceived match W and her donor sibling who also recently tested in common with us, as well C and K, who match on Potential Bio Granddad’s father’s side…that’s the double relationship between Mum, C & K at play here.
Due to Potential Bio Granddad’s mother being illegitimate, and the top two matches connecting with us along her father’s line (so Bio Granddad’s grandfather’s line, Mum’s great grandfather!), the third cousin prediction is possibly a bit off. We could actually be looking at a half 2nd cousin, possibly even half 1st cousins once removed. I spend a lot of time consulting Blaine Bettinger’s Shared cM Project chart:
This is what I use to assist me in determining relationships with DNA. In looking at the top match, who shares 165cM (centimorgans) with Mum, that could place her between Cluster #6 and Cluster #8 or at a stretch, Cluster #5. Lots of varying relationship options there! Full relationships I believe are ruled out, the focus remains on the half relationships in this range, at this stage I believe the first two are definitely either of the aforementioned relationships. I have emailed both (the middle match has a detailed tree attached to their DNA kit, love it). The middle match is the direct descendant of one of the two men I believe to be Mum’s biological great grandfather…but due to the half relationship situation at play (this man went and had Mum’s biological grandmother, then went on to marry someone else years later and had other children. All descendants from this marriage would constitute half relationships to us), it’s very hard to determine whether this man, Mum’s match’s grandfather is the common shared ancestor between them. Essentially, the middle match’s grandfather could be Mum’s great grandfather, thus solving the additional mystery. But the shared DNA could point to a couple of other relationship options, the only way to properly determine what is going on is to have more testing done on other members of the family and to hear back from the top match, to see where they fit into the family. This stuff is so complicated! Fascinating, but complicated!
In other news, I have been calling around various charities and agencies, sussing out whether they’d help me locate Potential Bio Granddad. The possibility of dealing with such an elusive man is frustrating me to no end, it’s time I asked for help. Unbelievably, many of the adoption agencies active in the state don’t recognise DNA as being a valid way of identifying birth parents and were unable to help me. This really irritated me to say the least, but I won’t be going into it now. I was eventually pointed towards one agency who have agreed to assist me. Funnily enough, the same agency assisted Mum in the 1990s with her search for Vicki, her biological mother. The forms were sent off earlier in the week, now we wait for a social worker to be allocated to the case. Until I hear back from them, there will be no naming of our guy just yet. Bear with me, it’s all happening.