Looking for my grandmother's father.

+2 votes
My grandmother, Bertha Gelineau (Driscoll) was born out of wedlock on 25 Feb 1906 to an Irishman and Eva Lessard (Chagnon, Driscoll, Sampson).  I'm trying to find out who my great grandfather is and fill in a missing hole in our genealogy.  

My Grandmother's Wikitree profile is www.wikitree.com/wiki/Driscoll-999

My Wikitree profile is www.wikitree.com/wiki/Langlois-3305

If you have any information please reply.

Thank you,

WikiTree profile: Bertha Gelineau
asked in Genealogy Help by Marc Peter Langlois G2G1 (1.6k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer
Given the paucity of data, I think your best (perhaps only) chance will be through DNA. I've been involved in a couple of DNA success stories, one of which was a bit earlier than your case, so it's not an impossible quest.
answered by Chris Hampson G2G6 Mach 8 (86.8k points)
selected by Marc Peter Langlois
I've been DNA tested with 23andMe but I'm thinking of getting a Y-67 DNA test from FTDNA.  I'm not really sure how I would go about confirming who my great grandfather is through DNA.  What did you do to confirm the match?
Hi, Marc. If you're looking to identify your grandmother's father, a yDNA test won't offer you any help. I'm a yDNA testing fan in general--so if you want to grab a test right now while Family Tree DNA is having a sale--I say go for it if you'd like to add that arrow to your quiver of research tools.

But that great-grandfather didn't pass along any Y-chromosomal information to your grandmother, who of course had none to pass along to Helen. Likewise, mtDNA won't help in this scenario, either: the unknown grandfather contributed no mitochondrial DNA to his daughter.

For DNA research on this line, autosomal DNA is the only choice. What you can do with your 23andMe raw data is dependent upon when you were tested. If under the newer GSA chipset--this would be 23andMe v5--you can download your raw data, and then upload it to a free account at GEDmatch Genesis. If it was a 23andMe v3 or v4 test, you have the option of using the results on the regular (non-beta) edition of GEDmatch, plus you can upload to Family Tree DNA (and My Heritage, if you choose) for a wider reach of possible matches. FTDNA charges a $19 fee to "activate" the upload so that the results can used in locating matches. I don't yet have any experience with My Heritage, but a friend convinced me that I needed to get familiar with it; on the to-do list next week.  :-)

Good luck!
In both cases the answer came through auDNA and the greater pool of potential matches provided by gedmatch.com. I'd strongly suggest you upload your data to the new version, genesis.gedmatch.com, which accepts 23andMe files; it's free. Then you have to hope that enough of your matches respond to your requests to be able to do some triangulation (I was one of the responders in both cases, my own DNA search has so far been less successful :(

YDNA may provide an instant answer if you are really lucky, in my case the closest match is about 3,000 years ago! Not especially useful.
I can't pay the 19$ fee to FTDNA as I have a v5 chip from 23andMe and they do not support it.  I'm probably going to get a full FTDNA Y-67/mtDNA profile done on me just to have it.  

I did take my 23andMe results and loaded them into Genesis and have been trying to find connections without much luck.
+3 votes
Have you seen this record? I found a birth record for Marie Bertha Smith with a mother named Eva (no last name given) born on the same day as your grandmother. There isn't much useful on it but it might be your grandmother. It seems to be a list of births to unwed mothers in Tewksbury, Mass. It gives her last name as Smith.

answered by Mike Houde G2G6 (6.7k points)
Thanks, Mike!  I'll take a look at this and show it to some of my cousins.

Mike, we're cousins!  


Mike and Marc Peter are 10th cousins once removed

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