I am trying to figure out where an adoptee fits in my family tree. I know he are is related on his paternal side, since his maternal side has been identified and is not related to my family. I have many cM matches from GEDmatch and AncestryDNA. I combined them with our family tree and put them into What Are The Odds? (WATO):

WATO tree

("Names" followed by "A" indicate that measure came from AncestryDNA.) Every hypothesis I could place on the tree had zero probability. You can play with the tree yourself.

The problem seems to step from the adoptee having matches in the 1C1R range with people in our family tree who are too far apart for anyone to be a 1C1R (or the equivalent) with all of them. My hypothesis is that there must have been some intermarriage between different branches of the family tree. I haven't found any in my genealogy, but if any of you are savvy enough to tell me where to look or give me any other advice, that would help me. I know a Y-DNA result would be useful, but none is available.

Another complication involves the node NE. There is also a relationship through the spouse of NE, but I don't think I can represent that on WATO. Specifically, NE's husband's brother's grandchild (bc. 1940) is a 220 cM match.

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    Hi Seeker, just to be sure, the cM numbers you have entered are the match between the adoptee and those matches, not you and those matches?
    – Harry V.
    Aug 11 '19 at 18:02
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    There are a lot of strong DNA matches here but they are all in an annoying range that could be lots of different relationships. I can see why you're struggling, this is quite the puzzle.
    – Harry V.
    Aug 11 '19 at 18:06
  • @HarryVervet Yes, I just now checked again. I did make a minor cM mistranscription and replaced the image, but it's not a significant difference.
    – Seeker
    Aug 11 '19 at 18:37
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    What is the relationship through the spouse of NE? I've identified one possible relationship but that could change things significantly.
    – Harry V.
    Aug 11 '19 at 19:24
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    And one final question - what is the year of birth and death of JHP, as well as the birth year of the adoptee?
    – Harry V.
    Aug 11 '19 at 19:25

I started by eliminating the GWP branch of the tree and finding the best fit to the JHP branch. This is shown here. One hypothesis is 4 generations removed from PJPEH and has a score of 4,923,736,333. You can then keep the GWP branch and eliminate the JHP branch to get this. The best hypothesis there has a score of 11 and is 3 generations removed from PJPEH. The GWP branch and the JHP branch are not consistent with each other for some reason. Maybe adoptee is related to the two branches in a different way or maybe there is half relationship that is not reflected in the tree or something like that.

I would start with Hypothesis 4 on the JHP branch as the best guess. Does adoptee match other branches of NE's spouses line?


Based on the updated information about the match to NE's spouse's line, I put in as an hypothesis a half brother to NG shown here. It shows good odds. Is that possible?

  • That is very telling. So very likely adoptee is a descendant of NE and spouse. How about spouses of GA and WL? And could GA and WL have a sibling?
    – Bill
    Aug 12 '19 at 19:31

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