Tracing your family history can be challenging. For adoptees, it can feel like an impossible challenge. BUT, it’s not impossible. I’m an adoptee and I’ve successfully traced my maternal relatives back to the late 1700s in Scotland/Ireland, and brought my tree forward to the man that is more than likely my father.
Was I an overnight success? Lord, no! To be honest it took a few years but the satisfaction is immeasurable. And you don’t have to do it alone. There are many groups that have been created just to help you wade through the forest of trees that you will soon be building.
Step 1: test at all 3 big testing companies: 23andme, Family Tree DNA, and Ancestry.com. You don’t have to do it all at once if you’re on a tight budget.
Not only will you find a ton of information but you will be able to network with other adoptees. The DNAadoption site offers classes to help you work through all of the DNA results you will be finding.
Step 3: build trees! Collect all of that information from your new-found DNA cousins and build out their trees. This is the tiresome, frustrating, sometimes-it-makes-you-want-to-cry process, but it is absolutely necessary. Slowly you will start to see matching names in random cousin trees. This is the reward for the above mentioned WORK. More cousins means more matches, and soon you will be able to build your own tree.
Remember, you’re not alone in this. There are many of us adoptees that are in various stages of finding their biological parents and we are all happy to share tips or just listen when someone needs to vent their frustrations.
And, my shameless plug – The Genealogy Dames offer a tree building service if you would like help in the process.