Adoptions and tracing birth families

+4 votes
74 views
My father's grandfather was apparently adopted. Is there a way (an easy way) to trace the birth family? This is complicated as my father's mother claimed he was Dutch when he was probably German. {She married an Englishman during WWI and may not have wanted to be known as German}
in Genealogy Help by Keith Turton G2G Crew (850 points)
retagged by Darlene Athey-Hill

2 Answers

+3 votes
 
Best answer

Personally, finding my mother's parents was done via DNA and I would suggest that route to you too.

Does your great grandfather have any living male-line descendants? As in, your great grandfather's sons had sons who had sons who had sons, etc. If yes, if any of them are alive and willing, a yDNA test can help you trace that male line. Note: you taking a yDNA test would not help trace that line because you are not a male-line descendant of your great grandfather in question (great grandfather -> grandmother -> father -> you... if your grandmother was male instead, you would be!).

If you have an autosomal DNA test done, you can do some tracing yourself. You know your other lines, and you could upload your DNA to GEDMatch and figure out who is and isn't related to you through which lines with a bit of manageable work.

by G. Borrero G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
selected by Saro Genova
+4 votes
Keith, do you know the biological parents of your great-grandfather?  If so, I find the easiest place to gather clues (note I call them clues, as they require research to prove) as to the lineage is to search on ancestry.com (if you have an account).  You mention Dutch, German, English.  Was he born in the U.K.?  You also can do a free search on familysearch.org.

If you don't know the biological parents, then you need DNA to figure out the lineage.

Give us a bit more to work with and we can help you figure out the best method(s) to use.  On that note, I have added adoption tags to your post to get it in front of the right people.
by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (421k points)
Thank you, Darlene, but unfortunately we know nothing of his past -- where he was born, who adopted him and where. So I guess I'm out of luck that way.
O.K.  Well, then, you will have to use DNA to figure it out.  See the response below as far as getting started.  And feel free to drop a note if you need more guidance!  All the best!

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