, 21 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Since I've been very vocal about being adopted, getting DNA tests & finding my birth family, I'm often asked how that all happened. So, I will try to explain my journey.
It started in 2017 when we buried my adopted mother, the last of my adopted family. It was about that time @Ancestry was having a Black Friday sale. The kit had dropped to $49 & I wanted to answer the question what ethnicity I was.
Within a month I had my results & they blew my mind! Most folks said I looked Italian & they were partially correct. To make a long story short, I'm good old American mongrel - I have an interesting mix of ethnic origins.
But with that ethnicity breakdown came 800+ DNA matches. I'm a hard left brain individual & this left me with a logic problem I had to resolve.
I was adopted at birth, back when such things were covered up. However, my adopted parents were not afraid to let me know that I was adopted. My adopted mother even offered to get a lawyer to help unseal my adoption records.
And that's where I started - I had my adoption records unsealed. The birth certificate had only my mothers name & that allowed me to start building a family tree with some of the DNA matches.
That left a 2nd bucket of matches. I started grouping them into the 3 most prominent family names (names changed for privacy): Petronius, Tütscher & Tyneslawe. And I was lucky those DNA matches had great family trees to work from, except for Tütscher.
I messaged a 1st cousin match on the Tütscher side but got no response. Deciding the widen the pool of matches I took a @23andMe test where I found another Tütscher 1st cousin who WAS happy to meet me & share some family history.
The big clue was my grandfather Tütscher. He liked to get married to young women, father a child & disappear shortly after. The 1st cousins on the Tütscher side were from his 1st wife.
I found a 2nd wife but couldn't find any records of a child being born to them. Then his 3rd wife was the key - she was the child of a Petronius & Tyneslawe marriage. I've found their wedding certificate & divorce decree, along with newspaper articles about both.
That 3rd wife, my grandmother went on to marry the love of her life a week later. Her new husband adopted my father, giving him a new surname while he was still a baby. As I've been told, he didn't even know he was adopted until 2018.
So now I know from my birth certificate who my mother is and a good idea from DNA matches, government records & newspaper clippings who my father possibly is. I just needed to find where the two were together.
That key piece of information came from a university yearbook. They were at the same university at the same time - a time when very few people went to university. I then discovered my father was in a fraternity. And his frat brother was a childhood friend of my mother.
So now I have my mother & possible father in the same place at the same time, with a mutual acquaintance. The DNA matches strongly point to a single individual as being my father as per this family tree with DNA matches highlighted.
So I approached my 1st cousin Tütscher with the information & that's when things got ugly. It started with accusations that my mother was adopted (too many verified family DNA matches for that), my mother was crazy, to me being a con artist. Then silence.
I approached my half brother - a child of my fathers marriage - with the same information. I was told I was on a witch hunt & telling stories. Never mind we look alike 🙄
On my mothers side I have a half sister. Last year I got to meet her & my birth mother for the first time. It was great! Our families have meet a couple of times & we stay in contact.
So, I'm batting .500 at this point. What's interesting is the 2nd, 3rd & higher cousins I've met on the Petronius/Tütscher/Tyneslawe side have been very nice people as well. Just the immediate family didn't like the family secret being uncovered.
My advice to adopted folks looking for their birth parents - go for it but be emotionally prepared for ugliness. I'm happy I've made the journey & have learned so much about our history. #FindMyFamily #Adopted #DNA #Truth @threadreaderapp unroll
@threadreaderapp For those who are curious, I've taken:
- @Ancestry - great for family trees & DNA matches
- @23andMe - health & DNA matches
- @MyHeritage - global DNA matches
- @FamilyTreeDNA - DNA matches, mT & Y-DNA
- GEDMatch.com - DNA matches for all DNA tests
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