After many years of uncertainty, Jan Post, a MyHeritage user from Denmark, wanted to know the truth about his father’s biological parentage. Through a combination of a significant DNA match found with a MyHeritage DNA test and additional clues from historical records, he managed to find answers. Here is his story:
My father was born on September 19, 1920 in Svanninge in the Funen Alps. He grew up knowing that he had been adopted by his father, as he was born out of wedlock before his mother had met his father. This was never something that bothered him. His adoptive father was the only father he knew. Not only was he raised by this loving man, but he was also joined by his half-siblings — one sister and five brothers.
There were rumors in the family that my father’s biological father might have been a Spanish sailor, which would be supported by my father’s black hair in his younger days. However, these speculations were never confirmed or denied by my grandmother, who was known to be quite secretive about her past.
My grandmother’s silence did not only extend to my father’s origins. She even had a daughter by my father who was placed for adoption — another part of our family’s history that was shrouded in mystery.
The search for answers
A few years ago I decided with my brother and sister to take a MyHeritage DNA test. I hoped to uncover the truth about my father’s biological family. And maybe, if I was lucky, we’d find out if the old rumor about the Spanish sailor was true.
The results were surprising. Not only did it become clear that the rumor about the Spanish sailor was not true, but the DNA test also indicated a 6.6% DNA match: someone who was apparently my half-cousin.
The puzzle comes together
Although this newfound cousin was initially confused by our match, further research in the National Archives and birth records helped us understand our connection. It turned out that my grandmother had had an affair with a worker from Odense. Further investigation revealed that there had been an alimony case between my grandmother and this man, who was actually my father’s biological father.
This man, my biological grandfather, Jens, was born in 1898 in Svendborg. He moved to Odense as a young man, where he was, among other things, a machine molder at the Allerup machine factory — which I learned from the 1925 Danish census on MyHeritage. In later censuses he was listed as an agent and merchant.
He had been with my grandmother for about a year before he got married. Surprisingly, he got married only a month after my father’s birth. In this marriage he had 8 children and no one in his family had any idea that he had a son with my grandmother.
After this discovery, I was able to access to pictures of this man and his family. When I compared a photo of him as a young man with one of my father, the resemblance was striking. My father was a chip off the old block!
I have corresponded with several of my newfound half-cousins, including the half-cousin I got the DNA match with, but since we live relatively far apart we have not yet met.
Other discoveries on MyHeritage
Over the years I have built a large family tree on MyHeritage with over 9000 people. In addition to my own discovery of my father’s biological parentage, as a result of my large family tree, I have helped discover several interesting family connections for my relatives.
My research has led me to find several biological mothers for my cousins. In addition, I got a close DNA match, which after further research turned out to be the grandson of my maternal uncle’s child. Not only that, it turned out that the child was just one of three children born on the same day – that is, triplets! It turns out that in 1948, the parents of these triplets were sought in the newspapers. The parents were never found, but thanks to all the media coverage, the triplets were adopted.
An extended family
Thanks to MyHeritage, I have fulfilled a long-cherished desire to find out who my father’s biological father was. And as an added bonus, this discovery also led me to 8 new uncles and aunts and countless cousins. The discovery, as well as everything I have learned about my biological grandfather and the other discoveries in the family I have made, has given me great joy.
I continue my genealogy research on MyHeritage, and hope to make many more discoveries in the future, both thanks to my ever-growing family tree on MyHeritage and the weekly DNA matches I receive.
Many thanks to Jan for sharing his story with us. If you’ve also made an incredible discovery with MyHeritage, we’d love to hear about it! Please send it to us via this form, or email us at email@example.com.
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Source: My Heritage