Surprise, surprise!

It is from my dad’s DNA testing that I have had a lot of surprises. I have been researching my family for over 45 years and thought I had all the paper work correct.

Imagine my surprise when I find all these DNA matches to dad that don’t fit into the paperwork I have.

Dad Ancestry matches

The starred matches are those I have as connections in my home database. They include myself, my brother, dad’s half brother (another surprise), five 1st or 2nd cousins already known to us, and finally three cousins who I have now connected to dad’s tree.

But there is someone who is a 1st or 2nd cousin match who I have no idea about. When I look at the shared matches for that person, none come back to known relatives. So somewhere my paper trail must be wrong.

Dad unknown cousin

Then I looked at ethnicity. Dad’s great grandfather was half Samoan, so dad and I should have some Polynesian in our DNA – not a skerrick. Those 5 known cousins do from 3-10%. So where is dad’s and mine?

Dad DNA story

Where has all the Irish ethnicity come from? I hadn’t found any Irish in dad’s paperwork. Looks like there have been some lies passed down in the family oral history. Or maybe the truth wasn’t known and it is only now with DNA that the truth is appearing.

With dad’s half brother (same father) having done a DNA test, I can now sort dad’s matches into paternal and maternal. But when looking at the maternal matches, I find the unknown 1st or 2nd cousin comes in there. But doesn’t match those with the Polynesian ethnicity. So maybe dad’s maternal grandfather is not the son of the Samoan whaling captain I have researched for years.

I have started using the tool What are the odds (part of DNA painter) which allows me to make hypotheses of where dad’s grandfather might be in the unknown cousin’s tree.

Dad DNA painter WATO

Looking at the unknown cousin’s tree, there is a lot of Irish in there, but I still need to find which person is dad’s direct relative.

Readers: What surprises have you found in your paper trail and or DNA trail?

3 thoughts on “Surprise, surprise!

  1. How interesting Sue. I’m sure there will be further instalments on this. My husband was able to find his half-sister’s biological father by using DNA and online records. He was fairly chuffed about that his success and so was his half-sister. My advice to anybody contemplating doing a DNA test is do not do one unless you are prepared for surprises.

  2. Looks like the Grandfather was his step father do you think? I have a mystery 2nd cousin in my matches as well we know who his mother was & she is not related to me

  3. My story is similar. Excellent paper trail with many years of research that I was very happy with until I had my mothers DNA done. It appears that her grandfather may be different person than the one on her mums birth certificate. So many of our family lines missing & many matches I don’t know.
    Stunned is an understatement.
    Lesson to be learned, no matter how good your documentation is or how well you know your family everyone should consider having DNA tests.

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