Some books are hard to put down. The Foundling: The True Story of a Kidnapping, a Family Secret, and My Search for the Real Me was one of those books for me, maybe that is because I love working with DNA and genealogy and have helped a few adoptees myself. Perhaps it is because I know Cece Moore and the DNA detectives, so I heard about this from the sidelines. However I think it is really because it is such a deeply personal and compelling exploration of Paul’s journey.
Can you imagine filling out a form at the doctor’s office and having to leave the family medical history blank? Or feeling like the odd person out at family gatherings because you are so different from everyone else? These are common feelings for adoptees and Paul, with his co-author Alex Tresniowski, made them come alive for me.
The Paul Fronczak kidnapping was a famous case of a baby stolen from a hospital by a fake nurse. Two years later the FBI found an abandoned toddler in New Jersey that they thought was Paul and he was given to the Fronczaks to raise. This was long before DNA technology could be used. Fifty years later a DNA test proved that Paul was not the stolen baby.
The legendary journalist George Knapp from the Las Vegas I-team took on this story (next episode coming on April 28) and it soon went national. 20/20 made it famous. Ancestry.com and separately Cece Moore and her DNA detectives took on the DNA exploration.
The toughest adoption cases to solve in these days of DNA testing are the foundlings. With no names and just a location, only DNA can give an answer and even that is dependent on the luck of close relatives having tested.
Don’t click the Continue Reading unless you are ready for spoilers, just get the book!
The multiple kit analysis function works beautifully with tag groups. Another benefit of tag groups, is that when I don’t remember the kit number of a cousin whose results I wish to view, I can look it up quickly by displaying the people in that tag group (from the View/Change your profile (password, email, groups) on the top left)
My previous post about tag groups mentioned that tag groups are a quick way to see where a new match fits in by looking at their one to many page for your tag colors. However this is less useful for a distant cousin match (fewer colored tags) or an iffy paper trail match. In those cases I put the new person in my Unknown group (which only ever has the one person being analyzed) and then compare with all the relatives I expect a match to, by using their tag groups.
The main GEDmatch page has a box called Analyze Your Data and towards the bottom of that box you can see Multiple Kit Analysis with a big red NEW next to it. The “new” is because you can now use tag groups for this analysis. When you click Multiple Kit Analysis to get to that function, you will see a page like the one shown below. The old way of doing multiple kit analysis, by typing in each one, is still available from the Manual Kit Selection/Entry tab on this page or by checking boxes in various other functions like one-to-many.
My tag groups: note that I am using shades of aqua and blue for my Etne, Hordaland, Norway descended cousins
You can check the tag groups of interest and compare them to the new person (the Unknowns group for me) in all the wonderful ways the multiple kit analysis gives you (Click here for the slides on that from my most recent GEDmatch presentation).
Recently I have been searching for a “Lee Oleson” who is the grandfather of a third cousin match at Ancestry. He was only in town long enough to get my match’s grandmother with child. This third cousin’s one to many lights up with the colors of my Etne, Hordaland, Norway side relatives. So I set myself a project of tracing forward all the descendants of the eight children of my Etne great-great-grandparents to see if I could find Lee.
Ancestry.com‘s genetic communities are a good way to understand your family’s journey for the last few hundred years. Unlike the ancestry composition percentages, these communities are more recent and include a write up of the history of each group starting in 1700.
Many of my favorite bloggers posted about this yesterday. If you want to understand something about the science which combines the use of trees plus good sized matching segments, I recommend Leah Larkin’s analysis of Ancestry.com‘s white paper here – http://thednageek.com/the-science-behind-genetic-communities-at-ancestrydna/
Since I frequently work with adoptees, I am really hoping this helps with that analysis. I am finding that people with deep American roots have far more communities than those of us with recent immigrant ancestors. The adoptee I am currently working with has six communities! Shown above.
He knows his mother’s father and that is the Deep South community. I suspect that the New Jersey and. Pennsylvania groups are from his Dad, based on other matches at Family Tree DNA. I will report back if this new feature helps for his case.
The reason this may be helpful with adoptees is the ability to separate matches into the different communities. Clicking on a specific community name gets you to a page with a map for that group and its history stories. There is an icon called Connection at the top left of the page (my red arrow in the image example to the left). Clicking it takes you to a page with information about your connections.
The new Tier 1 one-to-many at GEDmatch includes a link to your match’s family tree when that is available. Clicking the word GED next to that kit’s email address takes you to the tree your match has uploaded to GEDmatch. The word WIKI links to the compact tree view at WikiTree.
GEDmatch GEDCOM link
Clicking on the GED for a match takes you to the profile of the individual in the linked tree at GEDmatch.
Here is what you would see if you clicked on the GED next to my Dad’s name. Note the words “GEDmatch Ref: “ followed by a long number. That number is the id of this GEDCOM which you can use to compare to your own GEDCOM in the “2 GEDCOMs “ function on your home page.
Of course, I immediately click on the pedigree button in the little menu at the top of this individual page and then look through the pedigree on the next page for familiar names and places. Here is what the top half of my Dad’s tree looks like at GEDmatch. Note the default number of generations shown is 5. You can change that to a larger number (I often go to 8) and then click submit to see more generations.
Clicking on WIKI next to a match in the Tier 1 One-to-Many listing takes you to that match’s compact pedigree at the collaborative world tree WikiTree. This is automated and the connection to Wikitree happens because a member of that site has added a GEDmatch kit number to a profile there. Here is the top piece of what you see when you click on my WIKI.
Being able to group my cousins from different lines into colored “tag groups” on the GEDmatch site is a wonderful new feature. It makes it easy to quickly see which line a new cousin fits into because the new Tier 1 one-to-many display uses those colors to highlight the kits belonging to a group. See the image below for a colorful example of my own one-to-many.
Tag groups are for everyone, not just tier one members,. They can also be used to select what to look at in the “Multiple kit Analysis” function. However they are not yet included in any of the other functions, like the people who match both kits, triangulation or matching segments and of course not the regular one-to-many.
Here is a quick example of how a new close cousin can be visually assigned to a line when you use the tier 1 one-to-many on their kit. My tag groups use yellow for close family, aqua for paternal first cousins, shades of blue for my Etne lines, green for my Munson line, and purple for my Wold line. Which line is this cousin on?
Right, she is a Munson.
Other New Features
I love that the newest pages at the GEDmatch site include a top menu. and use tabs to make for a more compact display
Also the new Tier 1 version of the one-to-many is outstanding. In addition to showing those colored tag groups. it has search boxes at the top of every column for just that column. The form to invoke the one-to-many is gone, instead the selection is neatly across the top so you can change it dynamically. The long details that used to be at the top of the page now only show up as a pop-up window if you click the tip button.
Yesterday I did a presentation on all of this, click here for the slides which show many of the details of these new features.