Home > A huge family research breakthrough

A huge family research breakthrough

November 23rd, 2016 at 02:06 am

This is so incredibly exciting.

Last summer, I had my DNA, and dad's DNA analyzed via Ancestry spit out results showing about 30 "matches" of people who could be related. Of those 30 people, roughly 4 or 5 were "extremely likely" matches.

I reached out to each of the 4 or 5, but there was only 1 that even responded. We traded a bunch of emails and I shared a great amount of detailed info about my grandmother's family.

Because as it turned out, the woman I reached out to has a 70-yr-old mother who was adopted, and her mother had been trying for the past 5 years to find her birth parents. She knew the birth mother's last name, which was my Irish grandmother's last name, and they both lived in the Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia.

We wondered if one of my grandmother's sisters was the birth mother. But this woman searching for her birth mother knew she was born in NYC and my grandmother's family all lived in Philly. After talking to my dad, I learned the story of about my grandmother's sister K. became pregnant out of wedlock (in the 1920s) and lived for the duration of the pregnancy in a room above a deli that some friends of the family owned in NYC. My dad's understanding is that K. did this of her own volition, so as not to embarrass the family, particularly as dad remembers there was a Catholic priest who lived right next door.

All I knew from my dad is that K. married her husband, Joey, at some point AFTER the birth. But things still didn't quite add up, because my dad had told me Kathleen had given birth to a son, and he was named Joey after his father.

ANYWAY, I got a phone call tonight from the woman searching for her birth parents. They found my phone number online and called me after talking to Joey Jr. and yes we are related and Joey is her half brother!
So apparently, Kathleen was pregnant with this woman and only got pregnant with Joey afterwards. I haven't gotten all the details quite right as I was so excited while this woman was talking to me on the phone and I was trying to jot down notes.

The birth father of the woman I spoke to on the phone had died, and Joey remembers seeing the obituary in the paper, and also remembered K., his mother, telling him he had a sibling.

This is all big news to us. The woman and her daughter are indeed first cousins to me and my dad. And you can imagine how meaningful this news is to the woman who called me, because she never knew who her birth parents were, or anything about their family, and after spending a lot of money on a detective unsuccessfully, had almost given up on ever learning the truth.

She must have known that her parents would be dead, given that she is 70, but now she has found two cousins, me and my dad, as well s a half brother, Joey! They are interested in getting together at some point. Dad wants to get Joey's phone number so he can call him and see if another sibling of my grandmother's, Peter, might still be alive. (The woman who was searching for her birth mother and her husband had called and spoken to Peter about 4 years ago, at a time when he was living in a nursing home; they weren't sure if he was related at the time.) So we don't know if he's still alive; it would be a very long shot, but possible.

7 Responses to “A huge family research breakthrough”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    That has got to be so amazing for your cousin. She probably thought she would die without ever knowing the truth and then to suddenly have it all start falling into place like this. I'd be laughing and crying and stunned all at once if it were me. And that doesn't even consider how you must be feeling to have your family expanding at a time when it felt like it was getting smaller after the death of your mother. I'm so happy for you.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Wow, this has to be absolutely fascinating.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    How exciting!

  4. MonkeyMama Says:


  5. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Oh wow! I cant imagine how that must have felt for both of you...amazing!

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That is truly amazing!

  7. Dido Says:

    What a wonderful discovery, for all of you, especially your "new" cousin!

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