If you’ve been following my previous blogs, then you’ll know all about my search for my Great Grandfather, so as you may have gathered from the title, I found him!
But for others I’ll recap.
My Grandfather George was born at the end of World War 1 in 1919, being the result of a short lived romance between an English WAAC nurse, named Eva-Rose, and an Australian soldier.
His mother desperately wanted to keep him but her family soon after, forced her into signing the adoption papers.
George’s new family immigrated to Australia where they eventually settled in Perth. He went on to marry a local girl and have four children of his own.
Having always known he was adopted, it wasn’t until he was in his 60’s that he decided to try and look for his birth mother.
Fortunately his mother’s name and address at the time of his birth were on his birth certificate and so they wrote to a local newspaper in the town, asking if anyone knew her to contact them.
Eva-Rose saw the paper and wrote a letter to him and eventually they were reunited the following year when George and his wife flew to England. It was a very happy occasion and George always seemed to have a spring in his step from that moment on.
But what of his father? Eva-Rose could only give us a name, ‘Jack Scott’ and said that he was in the Australian Army and came from Melbourne.
*Actually, when the story was relayed to me I was only told that he was from somewhere on the East Coast, let this be a lesson not to trust the memories of older people! (Seriously, this small piece could have saved me 100’s of hours of research!)
Fast forward years and years of trawling army records and collating information in spreadsheets, when I decided to do a DNA test with 23andme.com as they provided a Relative Finder search. I figured this would be my only hope.
At first it only came up with, at best, 4th cousin matches and most of them seemed to be in the north-east of the US.
Then one day it matched with a third cousin who was from Melbourne. This looked promising. I contacted the guy and he gave me as much information as he could, but I still couldn’t find a link!
I transferred the DNA data over to the other DNA website familytreedna.com to see the matches from their database. Another distant cousin matched from Melbourne as well. But I still wasn’t able to see a link, although it was pushing me in the right direction so I concentrated my research on the state of Victoria.
I started a new spreadsheet with all the Scott’s who fought in WWI and enlisted in Victoria. This totalled 394 Aussies for me to go through. Straight off I could knock out 50 I already knew from previous research that had died before the date of conception.
At one stage I’d gone through about half of the remaining ,when my computer had a hissy fit and the spreadsheet somehow reverted back to a previously saved file…I was not impressed.
But then around two weeks ago I saw a new match pop up on 23andme.
The match was a likely 2nd cousin with a massive 5.37% on 13 segments. (For those who don’t know….that’s a HUGE match, most that match on there are only around 0.05% at best.
The person’s profile was not public and I cringed at the thought that they might not be interested in helping, but I sent them a message anyway telling them my story.
A few days later I got a ‘your contact request has been accepted’ email followed by a message about 20 minutes later from a woman in Melbourne.
My great-grandfathers name was Jack Scott and
he was in the Australian Army…”
I let out an audible gasp.
I don’t think it sunk in for a few moments, but with the other information she gave me in the message, I was able to quickly find a family tree on Ancestry.com with the owner of the tree turning out to be my Pop’s ‘new’ nephew!
Furthermore, there were photos!
Holy crap! This was exciting!
Staring at the photo of my great-grandfather was a bit surreal. My head couldn’t identify him as a close relative yet, but I could see my Pop’s nose, ears and eyes staring straight back at me!
Within two hours I was over at the nursing home where my Pop lived, and so I broke the news to the nearly 94 year old.
His response? “That’s bloody brilliant!”
It took awhile for it to sink in for him as well. In fact, a week later and I don’t think it’s still sunk in.
He wanted to know how the relation, his grand-niece felt, and he was pleased when I said she thought it was as amazing as we did.
I showed him the photos and with his degenerated eyes he could still make out that he was “a good looking fella”, in his words.
So now my Pop has four more half siblings, 3 brothers and a sister. Unfortunately they have all passed, the sister only 3 years ago.
His father passed way back in 1965.
But still, he has a father now, he knows where he comes from and the last piece of the puzzle has been solved!