In June 2016, I was in the final planning stages for our bi-annual family reunion under my leadership and in my town. While working in Family Tree Maker software, I noticed an email icon indicating I have a message. I didn’t use the software for email. At first sight the email was in a strange place. This was not just any email but an email that would change who I think I am. I won’t use real names so those who prefer to remain anonymous can do so. You see I was putting the finishing touches on the Brown Family Tree for the reunion that was in a matter of weeks. Suddenly, I see an envelope email icon out of the corner of my eye so I clicked and now I am no longer in Family Tree Maker software but in AncestryDNA. I read the email:
June 10, 2016
Apparently, we are somehow matched/related genetically. You popped up 1st on List of Related 1st-2nd Cousins – Confidence Extremely High.
Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
Thank you in advance,
I looked at my DNA matches and she is listed under first cousin. I’m flabbergasted! All my first cousins are like siblings except my Uncle James’ daughter Annie. Family story goes we had a first cousin in Florida, Uncle James’ daughter. His wife killed him and went to prison and all contact was severed but there his 3 year old little girl somewhere in Florida. Fortunately, the release of more public documents over the years made it possible for me to find her. My aunt talks to Annie and keeps up with her now. I became a member of AncestryDNA in 2014 and only had 4th cousins.
Now, I have a first cousin and I don’t know how I am related to her but after the reunion it will be my one mission to discover what this means to me. How is Chloe my 1st cousin? That would mean our parents are siblings but I know it’s not possible on my mother’s side. Now, my dad was another matter. I didn’t have a relationship with him but my mother told me about him when I would ask. I reached out to him at 25 years old with a negative response so that ended that. My father had 8 sisters and 1 brother. I’m close with my dad’s sister, Lucille who still lives in the family home. Unfortunately my dad is dead as well as my mother. Who is this new first cousin?
So begins my journey searching for answers and ancestors with matching DNA!