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Messages - AndyH81

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Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Tuesday 14 December 21 20:18 GMT (UK)  »

It's good that you are not upset finding out what you've found so far. I'm sure that not everyone in your circumstances is so well-balanced.

I am no expert on DNA analysis but as an amateur genealogist since 2004 I've felt that it is the detective work that comprises much of the fun for me and I've found so many things about my own ancestors that I never imagined when I first started.

DNA tests are only half the picture. To be any use you also need to do the family tree legwork and in this case it means assembling trees for people who are matched to you or to examine any trees they have already prepared (and of course to check them). You need to try to find out who your common ancestors are and work downwards to see who was likely to be in the right place and of the right age to be your likely genetic father. Basic things like remembering that if your match is clearly a 1st cousin, you share grandparents with them, so who are the grandparents? If you are likely to be second cousins you share great grandparents etc.

But you probably know all that. Even so, my basic message is that you have to do the "legwork" to couple it to your DNA matches.

Good luck with it all.

Well, my mother's side seems all good. Oddly enough, I have DNA matches to people who would be on my father's side but I cannot find links to via my mother. But when both sides of your family come from a relatively small area, then there's a multitude of reasons that could be. Especially if my biological father has family in the same areas too.

If I toss out everything that I thought I knew about my father's side, then I can build a reasonable amount of my closest match's family tree based on the conversations we have had and information I can find online. I can also build very partial parts of the family tree of the people in Ireland, I just cannot find the person who connects the two.

And, obviously, I'm also not 100% certain of the nature of my relationship to this person.

I have the details of the closes matches in a spreadsheet now, including notes on who they are related to - or how I suspect people might be related. I tried the Leeds method as suggested but there is either not enough data to make it work, or I am not fully understanding how it is meant to work.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Monday 13 December 21 22:03 GMT (UK)  »
Hello Tony, thank you for the reply.

I'm actually probably not as bothered as I should be. Over the years, for more than one reason, I'd had a few thoughts that I might not be. I don't really look like my dad at all - and yet I do look a LOT like one of my uncles and my grandfather, so go figure.

We're doing a legal paternity test to confirm it either way. I figured another more formal opinion couldn't hurt. I'm honestly not sure what to believe when it comes to that because when I spoke to someone in the lab (because I had a techy question the 'sales' person couldn't answer), they seemed to be of the opinion that mistakes or cross-contamination happens relatively frequently when done via genealogy sites but didn't offer any statistics or insight. I got the sense his opinion was that they just didn't take much care of what they were doing and didn't interpret the results correctly! *shrugs* I found that quite worrying. But I guess that's just one person's opinion, I'm sure he must have had his rationale for thinking that.

The mother of the closest match is doing a DNA test for Christmas, so I am hoping that will offer more insight into the nature of all our relationships as, depending on what her test reveals, that should narrow down other potential fathers significantly.

My sister was going to do a DNA test too; however, I think she is feeling so bad for my father that she doesn't want to upset him more. I'm honestly not sure what his reaction would be if he found out we both (god-forbid!) weren't his. Although I think she is probably quite safe there as she does look like him. So I'm not sure that will happen.

I'd be curious to find out whether or not I have an older half-sibling too (as per the other thread)... although no idea how the hell to find that out!!

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Thursday 09 December 21 18:50 GMT (UK)  »
Hi Andy,

There is a DNA tool called "What Are The Odds?" I don't know if you've tried it...

You can use it to create a tree with various branches & input shared DNA cM values.
It then generates hypotheses as to where your most likely position in the tree is.

Thank you - I'll go and have a look.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Thursday 09 December 21 18:49 GMT (UK)  »
So, it looks as though you can rule out your match's maternal grandfather, and (as the most likely contenders) you are left with either her uncle, or one of her great uncles? Or at a pinch, since I don't know the ages of these people, a son of one of the great uncles.

Against which, you would want to consider who was most likely to have visited your town, since it was the grandfather who had connections there, and not his wife's family.

(Of course, I don't know where you live, and whether is somewhere that anyone from Ireland might pop over to on a visit, or a place which makes it much less likely that that would be the case.)

I'm from Cheltenham originally, which has always had a relatively high Irish population and gets a huge amount of Irish tourism each year for the races. Not quite sure why that's the case - but it's true.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Thursday 09 December 21 13:06 GMT (UK)  »
Your post suggests that you and your match's two close relatives are from her grandmother's family, is that right? Or is that uncertain.

In so far as I know, yes. But logically, if the grandmother is Irish, then presumably her brother's would be Irish too - either by birth or ethnicity. If one of those grandfathers also had children in Ireland, that could explain why I have such close matches in both the UK and Ireland, right?

And it might also explain why the estimates of 1st cousin once removed keeps popping up?

It's not impossible the younger uncle was my father - but I do know that my mother's taste was generally in older men. Not necessarily massively older, but that's what I know of my father, step-father, and the partners she had between the two. Although I suppose that some younger teens do look older than they are. And she herself was only 19 at the time.

Her mother is doing a DNA test so I guess we can narrow this down pretty quickly:

If younger uncle was my father, the mother will be my aunt.
If uncle's father was my father, she'll be a half-sibling.

If it's another relationship, I guess I might have to go back to the drawing board.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Thursday 09 December 21 12:54 GMT (UK)  »
Deleted response. Not worth it.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Wednesday 08 December 21 23:53 GMT (UK)  »
I do know that the grandmother of my highest match lived on the same street as my own grandparents at about the same time.

It seems more than a coincidence i.e. do you know what children the g/parents had & with such high cMs, is it possible your match may be a half sibling?


The only child I know for certain the grandparents had was the mother of my closest match. I suppose it's possible she might transpire to be a half-sibling. She's going to do a DNA test, but I have no idea when... after Christmas, I guess.

I know the following facts about the match's family:

Her grandmother was born in Ireland and is the connection to the Irish family.
Her grandmother has 2 sisters and at least 3 brothers, but the brothers are all dead. If we assumed the suggestion of 1st cousin once removed, then it would be one of those brothers (most likely) who would be my dad.
Her grandfather was adopted and isn't sure of his heritage - although they do know his family are from the same town I am from. I don't know whether this is his adopted family or biological; I assumed the former.
The grandparents had two children (that I know of): her mother and her uncle. Her uncle died when he was 15 in a crash in my home town the year I was born. I did the maths in my head and I don't think there's any chance at all he could be my father, so I completely ruled him out as a possibility.

We're both pulling our hair out as we feel like the answer must be staring both of us in the face but we're missing it.

Now, as for my 2nd and 3rd closest match -

2nd -

We have a 5.4% DNA match (379.1 cMs). MyHeritage estimates we have a 1st cousin once removed/2nd cousin relationship. To the best of my understanding, he is in Ireland and is part of the larger Irish family. According to my closest match, she has the same estimated relationship to him that I do.

3rd -

We have a 5% DNA match (375 cMs). Ancestry estimates we would have a 1st/2nd cousin relationship. She is in Ireland and has the same surname as my 2nd closest match, but I have no idea what their relationship is to each other. I've done my own research but cannot find that information and the information available to me on these other peoples' public trees doesn't provide that info. either... although that could be because they're all still living so the information is hidden by default.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Wednesday 08 December 21 17:49 GMT (UK)  »
I too feel for you in this dilemma & having to deal with it as it can't be easy, given the circumstances of finding out but I wish you luck in finding your roots.

You don't need to give access to your DNA details.

You can send the info. from the trees you've viewed to Heb66 or if they're public trees then a link to them & take it from there?

543 cMs is definitely one of the highest I've seen for an unknown relation & well worth investigating even if it involves help which can be worked out.

It would be worthwhile checking out reasons for an Irishman being in your town/county at the time of your conception.
I'm sure you said you were 40 yrs i.e. 1979-80 depending on when you were born.

What industries were on the go, were there any Army/Navy/RAF sites, any fishing ports & try to link up what the possibilities were from the area in Ireland your matches lived.
It could've been something simple e.g. a friend's smoker/wedding/funeral or holiday?
It would be worth asking those questions of your matches as it may get them searching deeper out of curiosity alone?


Add...I forgot to mention, is there any of your mother's friends of that era still living who may be able to give you some info?
It's amazing how little snippets can form a wider picture!

So, my father divulged that my mother used to be 'addicted' to the old CB radio and would spend hours chatting to strangers on there (male and female). Every now and then he would come home and find one of them having coffee or watching TV with my mother. He never actually caught her cheating, but I believe the distrust lead to the breakdown in their marriage. So both he and I suspect that if it was anyone, it would be one of those people. But that, obviously, could be anyone from anywhere in whatever radius the CB picked up. That, of course, is also speculation because there's nothing backing it up.

I do know that the grandmother of my highest match lived on the same street as my own grandparents at about the same time. They may have even interacted, although we have no evidence of that. My dad doesn't remember her gran, and her gran doesn't remember my grandparents.

Sadly, I only ever knew one of my mother's friends and I have not seen her in at least 20 years. I suppose there's a possibility she could even be dead - I have absolutely no idea how to get in contact with her, and I know my dad wouldn't know either.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA ethnicity logic check / Unexpected result
« on: Wednesday 08 December 21 17:43 GMT (UK)  »
Okay... is there anyone here I could just send a spreadsheet too or something? Let me know what details you need, and I am happy to do it that way. I'd just assumed people would need to have the DNA file itself. Any volunteers???

Sorry, I really never intended to sound ungrateful for the offer, I'm just a little bit cagey about that kind of stuff because I want to know exactly how 'me' is being used, by whom, and where.

Having spoken more with the closest match, it seems it is possible that one of her grandfathers is a candidate for my biological father. I believe he would be English, but his wife was born in Ireland and would be the connection to the Irish family (I think!). Unfortunately these men have all since passed away quite young, is my understanding.

Her mother is going to do a DNA test too, so that (by rights) should highlight what relationship her mother and I have - which I assume will narrow down the search in a relatively major way.

I am also working on the assumption that there might be more half-siblings out there too, depending on circumstances.

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