Researching your loved ones historical past is a present that retains on giving — particularly for Stephanie Gustys. Final yr, we posted the unbelievable story of how a DNA match helped Stephanie uncover the details of a past her grandmother had been too traumatized to tell her.
Nicely, her discoveries didn’t finish there! Stephanie just lately commented on one in every of our Instagram posts that she had made a brand new discovery, and we reached out to her to get the total scoop.
To recap, Stephanie’s paternal grandmother, Stefanija, was born in Lithuania. At age 17, throughout World Conflict II, she was taken from her household by the Germans and positioned in pressured labor camps. After the warfare, Stefanija was moved to a British-run Displaced Individuals camp, and she or he turned pregnant with Stephanie’s father there. Shortly after, she married Stephanie’s grandfather they usually had one other child. The household ultimately immigrated to Canada.
“They entered Canada by means of Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia,” says Stephanie. “Right here, Dad was saved in isolation for concern of typhoid. A child image of my dad reveals an toddler in woolen garments, with a big distended stomach from hunger.”
Stephanie just lately discovered, by means of the Arolsen Archives in Germany, that the displaced individuals got clothes by the German individuals for the journeys to their new international locations. “I at all times questioned at a photograph I’ve of my Grandpa and different Lithuanians, trying good-looking in stunning ill-fitting fits, on the ship from Germany. Now I understand how they got here to have these garments.”
“My father had at all times assumed that his mom’s Lithuanian husband was his organic father,” says Stephanie. “So when my father, as an grownup, requested his beginning certificates from the German authorities, he was shocked to see no father listed.”
Stephanie tried to assist her father uncover the identification of his father, but it surely was an unattainable activity… till DNA testing turned accessible.
“I took a DNA check and uploaded it to MyHeritage,” says Stephanie. “I had at all times assumed that my thriller grandfather was Lithuanian. However MyHeritage confirmed me that I’m solely about 25% Lithuanian, with about 25% British ethnicity, which will need to have come from my paternal grandfather.”
Stephanie had many DNA matches that she wasn’t capable of place in her tree, and she or he questioned if they may be capable of lead her to her thriller grandfather. She appealed for assistance on a Fb group and a lady named Alexandra Dixon got here to her assist. Alexandra sorted by means of Stephanie’s DNA matches, pinpointing the matches who seemed to be associated to the lacking grandfather. Inside just a few days, she homed in on some DNA matches with ancestors in Lancashire, a few of whom had the surname Wolstenholme — a typical title in Lancashire, with many individuals descended from the unique household within the space. This appeared a promising lead, however the matches have been too distant to hint the connection.
Just a few months later, a a lot nearer DNA match in England popped up who appeared to be associated to Stephanie by means of her grandfather. Stephanie messaged the match, however she was not sure of the connection.
Then, this summer time, Stephanie posted once more within the Fb group and a person named Richard Rohan got here to her assist. “After doing extra analysis into my DNA matches, Richard was capable of finding a number of extra of my matches who had Wolstenholme ancestors,” says Stephanie. “So I wrote again to my DNA match in Britain, and requested her if she knew that title. She answered that it was her great-grandmother’s maiden title, after which gave me the names of her great-grandmother’s siblings. One title stood out: Wilfred Wolstenholme. Wilfred was additionally my father’s title!”
At this level, Alexandra jumped again in and she or he and Richard labored collectively to resolve the Wolstenholme connection — even discovering a department that settled not removed from the place Stephanie at the moment lives. “This new match shared the correct quantity of DNA with me that her great-great-uncle Wilfred might certainly have been my grandfather,” says Stephanie. “We at the moment are 99% positive that Wilfred was my paternal grandfather, however discovering a direct descendant of his to check can be the ultimate affirmation.”
“Sadly, my father handed away with out ever figuring out who his father was,” says Stephanie. “He thought of it continuously, and at all times simply needed to know who he was. It’s a bittersweet blissful ending. I do hope to have the ability to join with some kin by means of the Wolstenholme line, however within the meantime, I’ve made great new mates with my search angels, Richard and Alexandra.”
Take a MyHeritage DNA test right this moment — you by no means know what extra you’ll study your loved ones!