My teenage daughter wants a DNA test for Christmas. I have one grandmother who can trace her family back to the Mayflower and my other grandmothers mom was adopted. We know where my grandfathers were from and my husband knows where all his grandparents were from. Its my grandmas who provide the mystery.
While going through my maternal grandmas things we found a book of days started by her maternal grandmother. We knew that my great-great grandpa (who with his wife adopted my great grandmother) was a local attorney who was elected to the state legislature. What we discovered in that book of records and news clippings was how successful his siblings and cousins were. There have been no major university presidents, well known physicians, etc. in recent generations. Mom and I figured that the key to success must have been wired into the DNA...which we dont share ;-).
What you can do is run the tests and then see what distant cousins with whom you match. Of course there are degrees of “match”. You can network with other people via email some who have performed detailed research and if you match to them you may get lucky and save yourself a lot of research.
Once I had a lady contact me who was trying to find out who her parents were. I wasn’t able to identify her parents obviously but I was able to help her somewhat.
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