One Giant Leap Closer…

Following on from my last post, just a quick update to mention how close I am to finding my Grandfather’s biological father.

I recently checked the relative finder feature on 23andme.com to find I had a new match… not just any new match, the closest one in the entire list of related matches! I think I actually stopped breathing in the moment when I saw it!

A potential 3rd to 4th cousin, he shares 0.59% DNA with my Grandfather on 3 segments. My previous closest match was 0.37% on 2 segments. 0.59% doesn’t sound like much but to put it into perspective, you lose roughly 50% of DNA for each generation you go back, while starting off with the 50% you receive from each parent. So it quickly diminishes. When looking at other relatives you then have to halve it again. It’s confusing but this table from FamilyTreeDNA shows how it works.

But you can see that the 0.59% fits nicely between third and fourth cousin. I suspect this match is younger, possibly 2 generations younger than my 93yr old Grandfather and I’m not sure exactly how this affects the probable relationship. Using plain logic (which may not be correct), I’m thinking the match could be my Pop’s Grandparent or Great-Grandparent and this match’s 2nd or 3rd Grandparent as the mutual ancestor. Ie, this guy’s Grandfather would probably be a straight related cousin to my Pop. Make sense?

So I’ve messaged the match and he wrote back straight away, unfortunately he doesn’t know much about his family tree, I suspect he was using the service for their DNA Health Reports, but fortunately his father knows about the tree and he’s happy to ask him anything.

Now I wait…I’m starting to get impatient and have resorted to searching the matches surname on Ancestry.com to see if I can find anyone that lived in the particular part of Ireland he said his ancestry is from, then match it up to anyone that died in Australia.
Found a few and searched all their sons to see if they served in the War, but those that did, didn’t match up by dying before the date of conception etc.

Argh, the waiting is soooo hard! Once I find the information, I should be able to easily pinpoint who my Pop’s father is!

This is 10 years of searching from myself, 30 years of searching from my Pop, coming to a possible end!

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