Thursday, October 15, 2015

First Relative Found Through DNA

Just over 2 years ago I ordered the Full Genome Kit from Family Tree DNA. This included a Y-DNA 67 Test, a Full Mt-DNA test, and an Autosmal DNA test (known as Family Finder). My main goal with these DNA tests was to learn about my paternal ancestry, something that I knew little about, as well as locating relatives. When I finally received my results I was stunned at the amount of matches I had in Family Finder and every surname in my Y-DNA matches had completely different surnames, both being quite common results for those with Jewish ancestry.

I found a handful of relatives who I had already found through the paper-trail but it was nice to have DNA confirm what old documents told us. I couldn't find anyone linking into my tree otherwise and throughout the years have contacted different matches in hopes of finding the link. The big hope was to find someone who not only linked into my tree but had more information than I did on the family. I expected the first person I would find to be a 3rd-5th cousin because I've known a lot of about my 1st and 2nd cousins (assuming no one has hidden an illegitimate child).

Finally after 2 years I found a match who had a not so common Jewish surname which was also in my tree. As well they had listed that family being from the UK and Holland, which basically confirmed it for me there because I have yet to find any families in Holland with the same surname. After contacting the relative and explaining what I knew she responded and told me that her sister had focused on researching that side of their family but she knew there was little information of where their side came from. After looking up the names she sent me for their most distant ancestors on that line I was able to find her great-grandfather in my tree. 

After adding her in and doing some quick calculations I realized that she was my 8th cousin exactly. I would have never imagined that the first relative I found through DNA would be so distant in relation. Our most recent shared ancestors were born in 17th century Amsterdam. Although I should also mention her sister had taken a DNA test but we did not match. Either way, it's great to finally have found a relative through the use of DNA and hope that I find more success in the near future.

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