1 min read
14 Jan

I received the most exciting imesssage this week from a complete stranger that may lead to the solving of a mystery I’ve been grappling with for years with no success..    

That mystery is - what happened to my paternal grandfather after he abandoned my father, Dad’s two brothers and mother when my dad was 4 years old?  Was my grandfather really the disinherited son of a very wealthy family in England because he married my grandmother, an actress?   He was rumored to have been killed in Chicago - he supported his family (poorly) by gambling.

A little background is needed here:

For Christmas two years ago, one of the gifts my daughter gave me was a package called “23 and Me”.   It was a DNA kit.  You send them a sample of your saliva and within a few weeks you get a genetic report about your ancestry and then begin to receive notices of people who share some of your DNA, indicating they could be relatives.  

When my report arrived, there were few surprises and nothing much more happened.  

With all the major changes affecting my life the past year, I forgot about 23 and Me until the incredible imessage arrived.   A woman said she had recently done a 23 and Me test and wanted to know if I might be the Marion Leyland on her family tree! 

A few more imessages exchanging information confirmed we are indeed related.  We are first cousins once removed…on my father’s side!  

The most exciting part is that her grandfather and my dad were brothers and she has a lot of information about my grandfather whom I iknow nothing about and have tried to hard to find over many years!  

The following day my new cousin told me she had found more of her family tree.  It appears we are not only related on my paternal side BUT we are likely related on my maternal side too.  This means she and I could be related in two ways, not just one!

She is so full of new information about my father’s family, and I have information about our familty that she is missing, that we decided a phone call is needed.  

Today, after I publish this blog, we will speak to each other for the first time! 

I feel the missing pieces of the jigsaw that is my life may just have been found and I am beyond excited to find out more.

(P.S.  The picture of my dad, brother and me in 1988 is the only one of the three of us together.)

Following is the picture of the jigsaw I had made from my award-winning painting North River.

* The email will not be published on the website.