What all information do you get from a DNA test?

+8 votes
Hey all,

First let me say, I love finding family. I love discovering all the parts of history and present day that make up little parts of me and my children as well as our family. I have located 3 adopted out children, found lots of mysteries and quite a few secrets. I have become known as the one who will find the answers. That is why this question is so important. I want this to be all up and up but am feeling sort of weird about the whole thing. I hope I am wrong.

As some of you know from a previous post, a person contacted another person (the second one is in my family line) and said that they had just taken a test and that it linked them to her. Is that possible in the first place? Can you just on the results page find exact family matches like that?

This person also said his Ancestry test told him that he was adopted from a specific hospital and that the father was older than the mother and he was married so he told her to give the baby up. He also says the test told him there was likely an older sister for him that was the child of the same father.

When I started working on it, he took away some of the information and just told me part of it, then when I asked for the number for the test and stuff to enter it, he said that was great and then suddenly, he took back more of the "information" that he had. Now he says he threw away the box and the number is no where on the internet site where he has the results to look at.

Does this sound right or is this making anyone curious about this person?

Thanks all,

in The Tree House by Lisa Murphy G2G6 Pilot (166k points)
That's some DNA test!  I wish mine provided such amazing detail.

He could be messing with you or someone did some analysis for him and he's just really, really confused and a poor communicator. Either way, if he doesn't share kit numbers and more personal information first there's not much more you can do.
I've just had a look at Ancestry in the UK, and I can't find the test serial number for the test I took.

(GEDMatch assigns it's own random kit numbers to uploads from Ancestry.)



2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
To me, it sounds like an adoptee who has combined the Ancestry DNA test with Non-ID adoptee records to determine his biological family.

Ancestry DNA (or any other DNA company) alone can not give information about which hospital, age of parents etc. That information probably came from his adoption records.

However a DNA test CAN match you to biological family who have tested. An adoptee or a non-adoptee can match to parents, siblings, half siblings, cousins, and more distant cousins, and using that information (and a lot of research) biological parents and siblings can be determined and located (if still alive).

That is what we Adoption Angels do -combine DNA test matches with paper research to try to solve unknown family cases.

He may have been confused about the methods used to come to the conclusion (especially if he has had someone else do the process for him) or he may have not been very clear explaining it, but I think it unlikely that someone would go to the trouble of discussing DNA testing and details of adoption if he wasn't a true adoptee searching for biological connections.

He may also have thought that divulging so much information about his situation was "too much information" and many people contacted by adopted DNA matches are scared off by adoptees.



Edited to add: It is also very possible that he has not done a DNA test, but is going by non-id adoption information and other research to identify possible family and is reaching out via facebook to see if anyone will confirm that a family member gave up a child for adoption. Adoptees go through a lot of emotions and many do put their search on hold when it gets too much for them.
by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (137k points)
selected by Lisa Murphy
Thank you, that does help me feel a little better about the situation.I have found or helped find 3 family members who have been adopted out. I do not know why this one just hits me off compared to the ones we have worked with so far.

From the information he has given, other than the DNA testing, he does not fit as one of the children of my grandmother or her siblings as initially thought. I will keep digging and see if we can find any other connections.

Are there any extra hints or paths that I can take that I may not have already dealt with? I really do want to connect him where he belongs if he is part of our branch.
I think the best route is to try to clarify whether he has done a DNA test, and which company and whether he has uploaded his results to Gedmatch - he could be confused about the Gedmatch number assigned to his Kit (Ancestry do assign a number of their own but as far as I can tell it isn't easy to find unless you use a third party tool such as DNAGedCom Client tool).

Maybe by keeping communication with him, he may open up again.

Has your relative (the second person who he believes he is related to ) actually done a DNA test themselves? If they haven't, then this person couldn't be matching them by DNA. If they have, then did they upload their matches to Gedmatch?
I went in and saw that if I have his ancestry log in name or GEDmatch ID it will work. I told him that so hopefully he will be able to tell me one of those.

the other person did do one and supposedly there is a letter from the testing place that he is related to her. does that sound right or is everything on line?

I also asked her for the information so I can put her in the program to connect her. I am waiting for her to also send it. I will then get it entered as soon as I get it.

I really appreciate you and your time. You have given me more of a sense of comfort and security about this. I do not know if it is because he came to us, rather than us searching first , like the other ones, or what but you have definitely helped.
Glad I could help :) I haven't heard of DNA testing companies sending letters about DNA matches - or do you mean an alphabetical letter at the beginning of the Gedmatch ID no....i.e. A for Ancestry, T for FtDNA (I think H for MyHeritage and M may be 23&me and there is probably a new one for LivingDNA).

maybe if he shares his DNA match list (if on Ancestry) and also if you can match up on Gedmatch, you may be able to determine how much (cM) he shares with your relative to give you an idea of how close a relative they are...and also looking at shared matches (people that match both him, and your relative) you may be able to narrow down which line he is related to.


Depending on how transient the biological father was (if his work took him away from where he lived) the birth father may never have actually lived where the adoptee was born. Also many mothers travelled away from home to give birth to a child that was going to be adopted...so it isn't always easy to pin down the birth parents without using DNA shared matches.
+7 votes
Sounds like a phishing expedition to me.  I hope you didn't give him any personal/non-public information.  It definitely sounds fishy to me.
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (577k points)
I have not given him anything other than adding him on facebook. I do not think the first family member gave him anything other than trying to figure it out and he is on her facebook too. She went to my mother and had her talk to me as I am the one who figures these out usually. I had a weird feeling at first but thought maybe it was due to other  things going on around me now.

If that stuff is on the DNA then I will continue but if it is as fake as I feel, I want to end this now while it is still early.
Well, your genetics can not tell you most of that stuff.  He could have picked it up from Ancestry.com, but I don't think someone would pay for test and then throw all the data away, and then pursue it again.  I think your instincts are right.  Let it go away.
I'm wondering if we should start warning people about phishing expeditions.  I had one a few months ago, very slick, very sophisticated, long, sad sob story.  But the person claimed to match all kits on GedMatch that I manage (not possible), and to have found the father he was asking help to find.
I agree with Kitty, but really the way this question is posed is way too vague to really tell exactly what happened. Obviously, you don't want to name names, but it would help to be specific on how you're related to the various people.

There are some basic things though, that seem to be missing. Having done the AncestryDNA test, myself, it's obvious to me that if this mysterious person has a DNA match to a relative, then that relative would also have a match to him showing up on her test. So, assuming your known relative is a reasonably trustworthy person, she could tell you if this guy is a for-real DNA match without you having to believe anything he says.

Further, AncestryDNA will give you a sort of estimated relationship, but unless you're a full sibling, there are generally several possible relationships that would match the centimorgan count.

Our investigator doesn't sound like she's up on this stuff, and that surprises me, given the successes she claims.

I would also add that if mystery person is a fairly close relative (somewhere around a second cousin or closer), they would almost certainly show up on your test, too if you've also done AncesrtyDNA.

I don't know what this talk of test numbers is about. That's only relevant for GEDmatch, as far as I know (and it's more properly called a "Kit Number"). If everybody's out on GEDmatch, then this stuff gets even easier.

I would think all that stuff would be the foundation for any of this sort of discussion, so I really can't tell what she's talking about, and it's concerning what other "information" she could be taking about being shared.
Thank you for more information. I have not been able to get the test done so I do not know how they work. That is why I asked this. I am sorry if I did not say things clearly. I really did not know what to properly ask.


ok, so the one person (from what I heard from my cousin) is a connection to both my grandmother's side as well as my cousins father's side. So basically he is connected to my cousin on both sides of her family.

She was told some information that I am now guessing he must have gotten from someone else that gave him a little knowledge but not much about his biological parents.  By the time it got to me it had changed some. Then when I talked to him he said he only knew part of what he had already told my cousin so I set that info aside.

I got my cousin's information and connected her test (with her permission) to her profile. I was surprised at all the cool info that came up on hers. There are even links to the tree that are connected that are coming up. A couple are connected by a few members up the tree.

When I put the guy's test on with his permission, it has nothing. I do not know if that is because he is listed as an unknown and alternate names are his adopted name or what.

I really am wanting to know where I go with what I have. I have found adopted family by going through agencies and records, but never proved someone coming to us is a family member and where they belong.

Please help if you can or if possible lead me in the right direction. thank you so much.

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