Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mystery Cousin

A close genetic match has appeared in my Relative Finder at 23andme.  He matches 5% over 15 segments, which indicates that he is somewhere between a 1st and a 2nd cousin.  (For reference, I share 50% with each parent over 24 segments.)

This is very exciting- BUT this person has not responded to requests for communication!

All I can see about him is that he reported that he lives in the United States.  His haplogroups tell me that he is not a direct descendant on my father's strict paternal and maternal lines and not a direct descendant on my mother's direct maternal line.  I cannot tell which parent he matches because he is too close a relation (1st cousin or closer) to be revealed in the corresponding account.  His account should have an icon for him to press to reveal his close relation.

This is frustrating and disappointing.  This person may be from an entirely unknown branch.  Genetic databases such as the one at 23andme hold the promise of uniting lost family members.  The downside is that most people in the database, for whatever reason, do not participate in the communication necessary to uncover the connections.  My father has 540 genetic relatives in the database.  Contact has been requested of all of them, but 415 have not responded.

I can submit DNA specimens for more relatives under separate accounts and see who else he matches.  There is a cost factor involved with this method, and he still may remain a mystery.

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