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    Default New to Genealogy.

    Hi, Iím very new to trying to trace my genealogy, and I have stumbled at the very beginning. My paternal records have been well researched by my aunt, I am trying to find out about my maternal history. My interest started bizarrely enough after I was diagnosed with bilateral Dupuytren's contracture. Itís occurs less in women than men and tends to be more common if you have a Scandinavian or Northern European ethnic background. No one else in my family has it. This intrigued me as my fathers family is Welsh and my motherís Someset and Wiltshire. I decided to do a genetic test and to my surprise found that where as my genetic background was predominantly Wales, Scotland and Ireland I had more Scandinavia (10%) than British (9%). I decided to see where the Scandinavian genes had entered the family pool. It was not in my fatherís side as far as my aunt could see, hence my decision to track down my motherís ancestors. I knew this would be difficult as it was a very small family and both my grandparents and my mother and her only sister had died. All that remained was my sister, an uncle and his children and my aunts children. My uncle had little or no information as he was only 10 when his mother died and his father, my grandfather was not very forthcoming with family backgrounds. So other than a few family myths I had only a few bits of information to go on. My grandfathers date of birth, his parents names and dates of birth and the same for my grandmother. I had managed to trace my motherís fathers family back quite well. When it came to my grandmother I discovered she had been adopted thanks to a 1911 census. Researching her adoptive parents antecedents would be irrelevant. I put it to one side and continued to research more on my grandfathers side. It was then that I recieved more information on my genetic background. It listed a very strong link to a possible second cousin, the blurb explained that she could be a 2nd-4th cousin but that it was highly probable that she was a second cousin. The strange thing was I had always considered her a 1st cousin! My grandmother had a reputation for being a bit flighty and it was more than possible that either my uncle or my mother, or both, where not my grandfathers. Iím asking my aunts daughter to take a test to see if that clears anything up. It could be that all my research on my grandfather could be irrelevant. Until that is resolved I am left with only one lead, my grandmothers birth mother. I have to try and track down her adoption.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator almach's Avatar
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    Hi Chocolatefdawn and welcome to the British - Genealogy Forums.

    Thank you for your introduction and sharing your family story, it sounds complicated and tangled, but interesting.

    Is it possible your Grandmother was adopted by a family member as happened often? Did your Grandmother's adoptive parent's have biological children; do you have a birth certificate for your Grandmother?

    There won't be an adoption certificate as adoptions were informal back then, legal adoptions weren't introduced until sometime in the late 1920's (I can't remember the exact year). It was quite common for children to be informally adopted by a relative, sometimes because the child's Mother or both parents had died, or the child was illegitimate and the Mother couldn't financially support baby and herself, or Mother met her future husband who refused to take the child into his life, or many other reasons. That said there's many cases too of children being adopted into a family who were not related.

    As far as you know, did your Grandmother always (until marriage) use the surname of her adoptive family?

    Your DNA results seem to have put a cat amongst the pigeons, if your Aunt's daughter can be persuaded to have her DNA tested the results could prove valuable.

    Your Grandmother's birth certificate - if it can be found - may help establish her ancestry, and prove or disprove any possible relationship to her adoptive family.

    When you are ready to ask for our help post your query on the forum. You never know, one or more of our members may find something useful by following on from the 1911 census.

    I wish you the very best of luck with your research.
    Alma

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