December, 2014. Searching names, closest names. We find most names unresponsive.
First cousin with whom we made contact, for Trish: Kimberly. 4th cousin? Small match, but about 20 centimorgans (cM). I was told to double each gen back. Really can't make any connections. Moved on to the closest cousins. No replies at 23andme. But a few started to come in. Surnames, such as English, Calder, some others. I reached out using Gedmatch as a list. But concentrating on Haplogroups (Which are passed down from mother to all children was an error. I joined groups at Facebook.
I tried to construct a tree to Trish's then closest, Kaylin. Gedmatch indicated a 3rd cousin; the groups gave me a different opinion, as 2nd cousin, 1 time removed. But I started gathering names. Lindquist. Clapper. Slater. Galloway. Fish. Considering Irish was supposedly high in percent, I concentrated on the obvious Irish names. That was dumb, but I didn't know it. No real pictures, except for a Crissel and a few others such as a Lindquist. But Names were a start. We were told it was best to do another test with a second company. Oh, there was just no way!
January 2015. Trisha's suspected daughter ordered a test. Didn't arrive; another would be ordered. It was taken, we figured it would show results in March. I started sending out more invites to people at 23andme...until I covered the whole list/ That was more than 1000 people. And to think we had believed Trish was alone in the world. At least, that was my fear; an unknown, an Island adrift with no connections to the mainland.
March. About the 9th or so. We got word from the person we wanted to test: Results, IN. I asked Haplogroup. It was "H". Trish was H3. This couldn't be right. We're devastated. Who we were so sure of being our first success...and it came to this. But our tested told me to HOLD ON until the results were in. All we had was the Haplogroup. Finally, the results are in. I'm hoping that she's at least a cousin, even if distant.
That first chromosome told me a different story. It was a match. COMPLETE! NO DOUBT. Fluke? I checked the next. Then 3rd. and 4th. All the way....
BINGO! We had our first success. Old fashioned research with DNA proof.
A search angel appeared on the horizon. She promised us help in getting a new test, for ancestry. Jessica is truly an angel in such a manner.
April: First birthday we knew who Trisha's daughter is. May, Trisha's first knowing it. Test comes in. Taken immediately, sent back. I figure it will be July.
Would Ancestry, with results uploaded to FTDNA, provide any clues at all?
It remained to be seen.
Each day, now, I was checking 23andme, Gedmatch, for new matches. The search would be going on for a long time, I reckoned.