The Challenges of Adoption in Genealogy

Genealogy research is made all the more challenging when there are adoptions. Very often adoptions were kept secret. Sometimes a different family member raised a child as their own or children were placed in homes to await a new family. This was the case for my father. 

Thanks to the arrival of DNA testing, it is now easier (but not easy) than ever to find biological families. DNA results paired with traditional family tree research can offer us whole new insights.

Perhaps, like me, one of your parents was adopted and and you are looking for more information on their biological lineage. Check out my Genealogy Research Services. I'd love to help you make some discoveries.

 
Image by Wolfgang Hasselmann

Biological Family of William David King (1933-2008)
Parents Frank MacDonald (O'Donnell) (1897-?) and Minnie Pearl Fawcett (1910-?)

The Journey

I started the search for my dad's biological family in 2012, four years after my dad's death, with an application to the Children's Aid Society of Ontario. I received back heavily redacted documents concerning his adoption in 1934. The next step was to take an Ancestry DNA test. I asked my mother and younger brother to participate in order that I might have DNA to compare against.

Once the results were back, I set about creating mirror family trees on Ancestry using what little information I could glean from the government documents and the DNA results.

Since then, I have spent many hours researching, digging, and querying wherever the trail led me. I spent a considerable amount of money on DNA experts because, honestly, I never could understand how it all worked.

I am so pleased to have discovered a family history that was otherwise lost to me.

 

Paternal Lineage

Starting with 1st Canadian Generations

I discovered that my O'Donnell lineage changed their surname to MacDonald around 1870

My G-G-G-Grandparents

John MacDonald (O'Donnell)

B: 1824   Scotland

D: 1889  Toronto, Ontario

Winnifred Welsh

B: 1830 Ireland

D: ? Toronto, Ontario

My G-G-Grandparents

John MacDonald (O'Donnell)

B: 1862 Toronto, Ontario

D: 1947 Toronto, Ontario

Married

Virginia Bolduc

B: 1869 USA

D: 1951 Toronto, Ontario

My Grandparents

Frank MacDonald (O'Donnell)

B: 1897 Toronto, Ontario

D: ?

Had my dad with

Minnie Pearl Fawcett

B: 1910 Owen Sound Ontario

D: ?

 

Maternal Lineage

Starting with 1st Canadian Generations

My G-G-G-Grandparents

Henry Fawsitt

B: 1840 Ireland

D: 1898  Owen Sound, Ontario

Mary Hines

B: 1846 Ireland

D: 1917  Harriston, Ontario

My G-G-Grandparents

John Henry Fawcett

B: 1876   England

D: 1965 Harriston, Ontario

Florence Emily Ward

B: 1871 Collingwood, Ontario

D: 1962 Harriston, Ontario

My Grandparents

Minnie Pearl Fawcett

B: 1910 Owen Sound Ontario

D: ?

Had my dad with

Frank MacDonald

B: 1897 Toronto, Ontario
D: ?

 

Interested in starting your own family tree research and need some help?

Check out my Genealogy Research Services