Except when you are…
Yesterday, via a 23andMe DNA match, I was able to confirm the identity of my stepfather’s paternal grandfather! When I started doing genealogy in 2005, we thought his grandfather’s name was Rowland McGill. I constructed Rowland’s family tree and then put the research aside for awhile. Several years later, Ron’s father told us that Rowland was not his father after all – that he found some documentation that another man was his father. We do not know what this documentation was, but given the statement, I accordingly changed the name in the family tree with the thought of following-up.
Fast-forward to yesterday when one of Ron’s matches, to whom I sent a sharing invitation via 23andMe, accepted. The new match (whom I’ll refer to as MS) was predicted to be a 2nd cousin to Ron. After a few email exchanges, I learn that MS is a grandchild of one of Rowland McGill’s siblings! Not only that, Ron also matches another descendant of that same sibling.
Ron shares 3% of his DNA with his new cousin – a total of 223cm across 11 segments. This amount is just slightly below the average amount of DNA 2nd cousins share according to the data Blaine Bettinger’s collected for the Shared cM Project.
There are other pieces of evidence that I won’t go into here for sake of privacy, but it turns out Rowland that you ARE the father!
Gotta love how DNA can help untangle these mysteries. 🙂