How to find a DNA match with a Phone Book and a DNA test.

Please note that those names marked with * have been changed, as they are still living. My name, well I wrote the post.

May/June 1922, cold days and colder nights, when a 22 year old woman leaves her baby son at a train station, in Sydney. Given the name Peter*, it will take until nearly his 96th birthday for that man to finally have a name for his birth mother.

Over the past couple of years I've tested my DNA with FamilyTreeDNA and late last year made contact with Wendy*, as a DNA match, being my 3rd - 5th cousin. Her Dad, Peter came in as a 2nd - 4th cousin. We compared shared centimorgans, looked at it from every angle and tried to work out how we matched. We had also looked at all the other matches we shared, with no luck.

Wendy and I have had coffee and discussed this, looking at the family tree I had, of my paternal side. Now my great-grandparents had 15 children, 13 grew up, 11 married and had children, so somewhere in that mix was a match. Well we hoped so.

Applying the process of elimination, we culled all the females, that were to young to have had a child in 1922. This left us with just one possible lady, Irene.  More searching and comparing of my tree, to the New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages, gave us a married name. An unusual married name.

Wendy and I mulled this over and one Tuesday night in early April, I did a white pages search, for the unusual surname, in the area they had married and died in. I found two entries. Picking one at random, I rang. A woman answered the phone and I explained my reason for ringing and got, 'Oh, Irene is my late mother-in-law. I think my daughter had better call you, tomorrow.' I was surprised that she was willing to ask her daughter to call.

Wednesday night came and around 7.30pm, the phone rings and it is Gail*, Irene's granddaughter. Her mum had explained my call and after asking me heaps of questions, I asked her if she would be willing to do a DNA test and that Wendy and I would pay for it.  What she said next really floored me, 'No, I'll do it and pay for it, Peter has waited long enough to find this out. He needs to know.' 

Wendy, Gail and I have kept in touch, through email and phone calls. A delay in the test reaching FamilyTreeDNA, has us worried but something must have gone right as just 10 days after getting the test, the results were in.

Gail has come back as a 2nd - 4th cousin, as my paperwork shows. Yes, we are related.

The best news is that Gail and Peter are a closer match, showing that Peter is her half uncle and that Irene is his mum.

It is the best result we could have asked for. Peter is thrilled. Wendy is now able to do her Dad's family tree, something she has wanted to do for him.  A wonderful 96th birthday present, just a bit early.

Now, if you are stuck,  have some details but not enough to confirm your theory, why not pick up the phone and call, they can only say no.  Or they could say yes and you find the match.

Bye for now,


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