MyHeritage DNA Helped Me Find My Real Grandfather

MyHeritage person Anders Bergenek from Sweden suspected that his father might not have been biologically associated to the person he knew as his grandfather. With cautious analysis and a focused DNA testing marketing campaign, he was in a position not solely to substantiate this suspicion but additionally to establish his organic grandfather and join together with his family members — due to matches he obtained by way of MyHeritage.

Right here is his story:

Round 25 years in the past, when my daughter was a youngster, she started to comment how unusual it was that my father, Inge, was so totally different from his brothers.

“It’s like they aren’t siblings,” she would say.

Inge and Britta Bergenek with their 3 children in the early 1950s

Inge and Britta Bergenek with their 3 kids within the early Nineteen Fifties

I revealed to her that my grandmother Elin didn’t marry her husband Carl till somewhat over a yr after my father Inge was born — which means that he might have had a distinct father. My daughter discovered this concept very thrilling, and we determined to see if we may affirm our suspicion. Collectively we began to look by way of church books and the midwife’s diaries. In each sources, the daddy was listed as unknown at start. My father had handed away at this level, however his brother and sister had been nonetheless round, and each of them had been skeptical that Inge may have had a distinct father.

Inge Bergenek, left as a young man, and right later on in life. 

Inge Bergenek, left as a younger man, and proper afterward in life. 

When my spouse began doing family tree in 2014, I joined her at a Family tree Day convention in Nyköping, Sweden. There, I made a decision to take a DNA take a look at to see if this may assist me discover my grandfather. The outcomes confirmed a detailed match with my sister, after which plenty of distant matches that didn’t give me any leads.

In 2015, once I retired, I encountered a colleague who was associated to my grandfather Carl, however to not my grandmother Elin. We talked about how we had been associated, and I recommended that she take a DNA take a look at to see if we had been really associated. She readily agreed. When the take a look at outcome got here, our DNA didn’t match.

This confirmed that Carl was not, actually, my organic grandfather.

So if it wasn’t Carl… who was it?

My sisters and I started to dig round and give you concepts for who our actual grandfather may need been. After we got here up with a doable lead, we seemed up that particular person’s family members and requested them to take a DNA take a look at. On this approach, we examined a childhood pal of my grandmother’s, an employer for whom she had labored as a maid, and a priest who resembled my grandfather in {a photograph}. None of those individuals matched us.

For Christmas of 2019, I made a decision to buy a MyHeritage DNA take a look at as a Christmas current for myself. The outcome was fascinating: there was a 3.3% (235 cM) match with a youthful lady within the U.S. (“A”), and one more barely weaker match — 1.7% (120 cM) situated in England (“B”). I wrote to those two girls and some others. “A,” who lived in Florida, had no data of a doable Swedish background. This was irritating, there have been no recognized emigrants on my mom’s or father’s facet.

In early February 2021, I obtained an e-mail through MyHeritage from “B” in England.  She apologized for taking a yr to see my message, however she was sure that we’re associated. She is a descendant of August Olsson from Halmstad, who emigrated to England on the finish of the nineteenth century. My spouse, who’s a genealogist, seemed him up within the church information and in addition received the names of his dad and mom and of his siblings. The outcomes corresponded with what my sister had already discovered about an American DNA match (“C”).

At this level I made a decision to enroll in a paid MyHeritage plan so I may look additional into different household bushes. I realized that “A”’s father was additionally named Olson. The match with (“C”) from the DNA-test I did in 2014 grew to become related once more with the ancestors of Olson after we took a more in-depth have a look at their bushes as we discovered a connection to Halmstad. Now there was little doubt we had been heading in the right direction: my sister had researched “C” a yr earlier however didn’t really feel that she may join them to our organic grandfather.

I wrote to “C” and informed him that we had been in all probability associated. He replied shortly and informed me that he was additionally descended from Gustaf Samuel Olsson. I replied and informed him about my shut match with “A,” and requested if he knew her. He mentioned no, however the subsequent day, he wrote that he had discovered that “A”s father was a descendant of Simon Olson — Gustaf Samuel’s nephew. Each Simon and my grandmother Elin lived in Halmstad in 1910 when Elin received pregnant together with her first baby. He emigrated to america in January 1911, 6 months earlier than my father was born. All of Simon’s elder brothers had already emigrated to america beforehand. All indicators appeared to be pointing to Simon.

Photo of Simon Olson enhanced and colorized with MyHeritage’s photo tools. See the incredible difference!

Picture of Simon Olson enhanced and colorized with MyHeritage’s picture instruments. See the unbelievable distinction!

Earlier, I had posted a query on Fb in an area Halmstad group asking if anybody knew concerning the Olson household, and offered some extra particulars about them I had discovered. I received a response from a lady in Halmstad who mentioned she had executed family tree analysis on the Olson household. I informed her that we had a important suspect in Simon Olson. She grew to become utterly silent, after which mentioned, “Effectively, that was Simon. He was my husband’s uncle. I met him a couple of occasions.”

Her husband agreed to take a MyHeritage DNA take a look at, and his outcomes revealed a match of 6.3% (448,5‎ cM) — confirming that he was a cousin of my organic grandfather.

It has been a journey of 6–7 years that required numerous onerous work, endurance, and humility. We hit partitions all through our analysis, however we by no means stopped believing that we may discover who we had been on the lookout for: our organic grandfather, Simon Olson (1891–1964).

All through this course of, we pulled collectively info from quite a few sources, and all of them performed an vital half in reaching our purpose. Nonetheless, it was the DNA Matches we obtained by way of MyHeritage that in the end gave us our large breakthrough.

As we speak, due to our findings, we’re having fun with relationships with new family members and acquaintances in Sweden and the USA that we gained all through this lovely but difficult journey.

Thanks, MyHeritage.

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