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Wait, What?!

The craziest thing happened to me. We sent in my dad’s AncestryDNA test and found that his siblings were only his HALF-siblings. This was so unbelievable… and scandalous! There was no way this could be true of my family. They were devoutly religious and I knew them better than that!

No way!

Did I mention how impossible this was?

I honestly believed that it was a mistake. I even contacted Ancestry to find out how accurate the tests are, and ask for a refund! I was so mad! They were very polite and even offered to reimburse the cost of a second test if the results came back different.

Of course, the results were the same and I was completely stunned. Dad was 81 years old at the time, and had absolutely no idea that the man he thought was his father was not his father.

So, I set out to find my biological grandfather using Ancestry’s research tools. I thought it would be impossible, but I’m happy to announce that I did it!

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Finding My Missing Grandfather

Building a family tree on Ancestry is ridiculously simple… unless you don’t know who is supposed to fill in the blanks. Then, it becomes a tad bit more complicated.

I started with what I knew, then used the DNA Matches provided by Ancestry to start building the tree around my dad. Doing it that way was backward and very confusing. To make matters worse, Dad’s DNA matches were far away from him genetically. This was because older people like Dad who was 81 at the time weren’t the ones having AncestryDNA tests done. The DNA matches were younger people, typically under age 40. So, they were great-great-grand-somethings or 4th cousins. Having to build the family tree meant finding that person’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. and then finding all of those people’s siblings and all the siblings ‘ spouses and children. It took me several days of binge research to come up with four contenders.

The Final Four

My grandmother was a school teacher who taught in a teeny tiny country school in a small unincorporated area in the Midwest. Because of this, many of the people showing up in this new family tree were people I knew. I knew the family names and I was able to speak to a few people who were still alive and knew the situation. That helped to make sense of the possibilities.

In the end, I narrowed it down to four possible people. Of them, two brothers seemed most likely. One of the brothers had a son who lived near me so I asked him to take an AncestryDNA test. He said, “that sounds fun!” The test proved that he is my dad’s half brother and we had our answer after all those years.

They’re planning a family reunion in August so we can meet everyone!

Why Ancestry?

Even if you don’t have a scandal to unfold, you can learn so much interesting stuff at Ancestry. I’ve gotten the membership more than once and recommend it. There are newspaper articles and stories about how things were back in those days. It’s a wonderful way to get a glimpse of how things were and who your ancestors were. You can even share photos so others can learn more about people that you know about.

Oh, and the best part, when you get a membership you can share it with your family members too!

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