Free BMD - and the tale of a close DNA match

This week I messaged a DNA match at My Heritage - they are the largest shared cM match I have on my father's paternal line. I had tried to work out their ancestors by first checking Free BMD - one of my favourite index sites to look for birth, death and marriage info for my English connections.

 Free B M D

Unusually I couldn't find enough pointers from this site to gather more clues, so messaging was my only option.

When messaging somone for the first time there are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • the person may not be actively researching their family - they may have tested out of curiousity
  • they may have just started researching their family and not have a lot of information
  • they may be a descendant of unknown parentage and hoping to find their biological family
  • they may not like to share information with total strangers
So my I aim to make first messages:
  • Friendly
  • Short and sweet
  • only ask one question, usually about grandparents rather than currently living people's personal information
  • offering some personal information
  • include my facebook address (so they can check me out)
  • Oh and don't overwhelm them with a Family History Epic
This DNA match's information is being managed by someone - so my message was along the lines of:

Hi $#&&%$

My name is Michelle Patient and I'd love to work out how ^%$*^% and I are related. My father was from England (I'm from Australia) and it looks like we probably share great grandparents - or maybe further back on Dad's side. Dad died back in 1992 but my 91 year old mother is still alive and has also tested which is a great help as Dad's family is a tad tricky to research!

Would you mind telling me who her grandparents are/where, so I can do some research backwards to see how we might be related?

Many thanks

The kit manager replied overnight and was kind enough to include the grandparents info - and the matches parents as well - so I was on my way. I had high hopes of working out who my grandfather's father was. As with many genealogy conundrums, one puzzle leads to another....

Using Free BMD and Ancestry's website for tree building and researching records, I could see one branch might have an unknown parentage too, as when I tried to work out Thomas Henry Young - there were a few possibles - I figured knowing my luck the one whose mother's maiden name was also Young would be the one.

From FreeBMD

So even though a tad disheartened I kept digging - and to my amazement found I already had A Thomas Henry Young in my tree in a branch already built from another DNA match. Could this be THE Thomas Henry Young? Dare I hope this would help?

Well it did.... and it didn't. The AncestryDNA match, whose tree I had already added, was another large cM match (226cM) with no clues available from the small group of shared matches under 30cM, with no trees and both were Smiths!

But the match at Ancestry and the match at My Heritage, according to their paper based information, are first cousins. So at least I could get a pointer to which set of Grandparents was the path of DNA inheritance. Thankfully not Thomas Henry Young with the unknown father, phew as they are maternal cousins.

On researching that side I found more challenges - Thomas Henry Young's father-in-law was born 4 years before his parents marriage. I eventually found his birth registered twice and learnt something more about what Down Under we call often call re-registration - and in this instance the UK are calling - Late Registration.

So where to next? Well this Late Entry in 1926 for a birth first registered in 1904 might be an adoption by the husband or might be an acknowlegement of parentage or documenting the common usage of the step father's surname.

Having come across this on my mother's side more than once and in one case finding that the eldest of a group of five acknowleged children in the re-registration was not a biological child of the "father" - I know I need more DNA as well as a copy of the late registration certificate to see what is going on.

Like I said the puzzle continues - now the genealogy question is - Who was the father of Thomas Henry Young's father-in-law - the husband of his mother or someone else?

Either way two close DNA matches suggest the father-in-law was my grandfather's half brother. So I have reached out to a descendant of Thomas Henry Young's mother-in-law who is actively researching their tree. Am hoping in due course they will be happy to DNA test. Wish me luck...


  1. This is wonderful Michelle. You are a God-send!! This is Dorothy writing on my uncle's email addy...

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative article with us. We are also providing Immigration DNA Test in India and Ancestry Test in India who wants to know about their ancestors.

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