Archive | April 2017

The Foundling, a Compelling Story

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!
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Using GEDmatch tag groups

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.

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