Does your genealogy brick wall need DNA to make a real breakthrough? Maybe. Consider this success story–and how you might find the DNA match who may hold the clues you need to your family history.
Sometimes the genealogy records that you need to break down brick walls aren’t easily accessible. But maybe someone else has already found those genealogy records and reconstructed your shared family tree. Doing the DNA can be one way to find those relatives and bust through your genealogy brick wall.
This Genealogy Brick Wall Just Needed DNA!
Ann had brick walls with three of her Polish 3x great-grandparents, mainly due to the fact that the records needed to verify her ancestors are Latin church records. In Poland. She doesn’t live in Poland. She can’t get to those records easily.
Initially, Ann didn’t fully investigate her DNA matches (except for the top matches) because she was too busy focusing on the genealogy research. But it was through the help of our DNA Skills Workshop that Ann learned how to really use her DNA matches to uncover a set of her 3x great-grandparents!
As was suggested in one of our videos in the DNA Skills Workshop, Ann searched her entire match list for descendants on her Gasior/Gasier line. And it paid off! By doing this, she located a 13 cM match, “I.Z.,” buried deep down in the bottom of her match list.
“Up came this Mystery Match in the usual 5-8th cousin range that I never would have found, as she was not in ThruLines and the cM was so low,” Ann says.
Their connection was through Franciscus, the brother of Ann’s ancestor Wojciech Gasior. Her match did not extend Wojciech’s line down in her tree, which is why the match never came up in ThruLines. But Ann’s match had an 11,000 person tree with lots of Polish records that aren’t available online! After checking her genealogy and records, Ann knew “I.Z.”’s research was spot on. And that she had hit the genealogy jackpot by connecting with a serious researcher who had already done the legwork getting to records she couldn’t reach.
“I.Z.” is a third cousin once removed and is in her 90s. Ann realized that a lot of luck was involved in uncovering this match, but if not for the DNA Skills Workshop, she wouldn’t have found “I.Z.”
Looking at the chart Ann drew out in her DNA Skills workbook, you can see “I.Z.” on the right side of the page. The couple at the center of the now-solved mystery are Ann’s 2x great-grandparents, Wojciech Gasior and Tekla Cyran. Each of them had a sibling who connected all of her matches and herself.
Ann is still completing the DNA Skills Workshop and working to discover the other two sets of her 3x great-grandparents. “I love this course,” she says.
You don’t know what gems are buried at the bottom of your DNA match list until you look! Ann’s DNA story shows us how powerful the shared matches tool is at any DNA company. Learn how to use the shared matches tool effectively and other essentials for DNA research in our popular DNA Skills Workshop.
Not ready for the Skills Workshop but want to learn more about using DNA to find an elusive ancestor? Get our free guide, 4 Next Steps for Identifying Unknown Ancestors.