Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level and type of the genetic relationship between individuals.
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 19 Apr 2021, 02:47 Yes, some similarity in facial features and expressions. If you had said they were sisters I would notice their coloring is a bit different, but I wouldn't have been surprised.

So, you never knew of her because of some intrigue?
She matched through DNA only. Until then I never knew she even existed...

And these two would be half-sisters.
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

Id she your 1st cousin or half-1st cousin?
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

FIRST cousin. They both are. My known cousin has not tested.

My best friend (my 'known' cousin's brother-in-law) has offered her and his brother discounts on DNA tests but they won't do them. My suspicion is they knew at least of her existence but are afraid/ashamed to find out. Of course, the cat is out of the bag, now... More reason for this cousin to despise me. We've never really gotten along. She's the only one that acts like that...
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

Another strange circumstance to throw in the mix is around the time I was born (1962) my uncle supposedly was 'forced' to sell his Italian Restaurant (my mother & Aunt had been his waitresses; my mother left to get married in '61 -- I don't know who replaced her) due to alleged "gambling debts" (playing the ponies at a local racetrack).

Mystery cousin claims we are close in age. My uncle never had any gambling history that I've known of -- my grandfather would occasionally bet on a race (very rarely) and my uncle would drive him there.

But someone who lost so much money as to be forced to sell a business..? Compulsive gamblers like that can't just quit "cold turkey". He was a smoker also & even with emphysema he couldn't even give THAT up. And I visited Vegas a few times with him and he wasn't a high-stakes bettor. I was usually the one making the bets.

My only rational explanation is it was a payoff of some sort to make the whole sordid mess "go away". My aunt being Sicilian was always very concerned about the family "honor". I could see her being the impetus for insisting on making a lump-sum payment so he could just "walk away". And the secret has stood until now...
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

Well, I just found EVEN further evidence. I decided to do some searching of my Ancestry DNA matches with regards to ancestral surnames and locations.

So I started with surnames -- one of them I got a hit on was "Marsili" from the town of Labico. My grandmother's GGm was Chiara Marsili (from Labico). So I see if we have any shared matches --

#1 on the list: "Mystery cousin".

Now I try searching the ancestral hometown of Valmontone. I get a couple of hits. Both of them had multiple surnames found in Valmontone, although none found in my tree (as yet, anyway).

So I do the shared matches comparison again --

And there's "Mystery cousin" on top of the list again.

I believe that has erased any and all doubt in my mind that she is definitely my uncle's child. On top of all the other evidence, it's overwhelming. I need no further convincing.
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

By the way, this is not fool-proof. I have 1st cousins once-removed who are my age, and I have several 2nd cousins once removed who are much closer to me in age then to my parents. A few are even younger than me. This age reversal tends to happen as family relationships get more distant.

She indicates we are very close in age (ruling out a possible 1st cousin 1x removed).
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

So, your conclusion is that she's your uncle's daughter but she doesn't know it?
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 01 May 2021, 17:44 So, your conclusion is that she's your uncle's daughter but she doesn't know it?
Your above question is correct. She has no idea. She is 3-1/2 years older than I am. She CANNOT be a 1st once removed, as no other cousin would have been old enough to have a child, and we have family photos of my uncle's kids over the years with no gaps (and my mother could have never keep that a secret). Also the cM/segment match combination indicates 97% 1st cousin, 2% 1st once removed.

My wife's known 1st cousins have a weaker match than this one...

There are too many bricks in the wall. One of the circumstances alone might be passed off as coincidence, but all put together, the pieces fit without question and the picture is clear.

I even remember another family "oddity" -- my aunt (this uncle's wife) had a lock on a bedroom door that she used as her "office". Only she held the key, NO ONE else was allowed into that room, not even my uncle. EVER. Maybe proof (documents) in there..?

After my aunt passed, the cousin I pictured in this thread took over her house. I wonder if they uncovered the secret then or knew all along..?

Then, without warning, a few months ago, I received a box (through my best friend, that cousin's B-I-L) of family photos my aunt had apparently kept. EVERY photo was linked to her dad's side -- why would she suddenly want to get rid of them..? They fit into a shoebox, so I doubt it was a storage issue. No note, no explanation. Nothing. Just "give these to my cousin, they're HIS family".

I've actually tried to find any exculpatory evidence, but there is none. She is who she is.
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

Are you saying after your aunt died this DNA cousin (who says she knows nothing) took over your aunt's house? If yes, how does this "cousin" explain that? Is incest a possibility?
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 01 May 2021, 18:31 Are you saying after your aunt died this DNA cousin (who says she knows nothing) took over your aunt's house? If yes, how does this "cousin" explain that? Is incest a possibility?
No, my "known" cousin (my aunt's daughter), NOT "mystery cousin". Mystery cousin knows nothing of the family, only that we are 1st cousins. She has access to my family tree, but as far as I know, she hasn't done the research I've done.

She is mystified by the Italian ethnicity. Her tree (which I've studied) contains no Italians.
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

Ok. It's difficult to keep track of it all.

Does the mystery cousin know you are cousins only because you've told her based on DNA? Do you suspect she knows who her birth parents are?
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 01 May 2021, 18:55 Ok. It's difficult to keep track of it all.

Does the mystery cousin know you are cousins only because you've told her based on DNA? Do you suspect she knows who her birth parents are?
I reached out to her when she came up in my matches but I couldn't place her (pre-research). At that time she wanted to know more about how we were connected.

It's been a few weeks since our last contact. I'm going to message her again in the next couple of weeks but I want to sit down and compose a diplomatic message that won't scare her away, since we ARE 1st cousins, I'd like to get to know her.

I found a caption on a pic of her mother (the one from her tree) that said "my birth mother". THAT sounds ominous. Also from her tree were multiple marriages/divorces attributed to her mother. She appeared to be unstable.

I also found mystery cousin's HS yearbook photo, using the last name of the dad on her tree. Her mother seemed to move around a lot, so I can only assume she stayed with the person she thinks is her dad, but that's unclear at this point.

It's moot anyway, as her biological dad is my uncle. Unless she's connected the dots from my tree, she still doesn't know. I guess I'll find out if she responds to my message...
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

Reference to one's "birth mother" is curious.

DNA isn't 100% accurate but it seems you have compelling evidence. Nonetheless, it is a delicate matter so a "diplomatic message" is the way to go, as you say.
User avatar
MarcuccioV
Master
Master
Posts: 840
Joined: 11 Jan 2021, 17:49
Location: West Hills, CA USA

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by MarcuccioV »

darkerhorse wrote: 01 May 2021, 19:17 Reference to one's "birth mother" is curious.

DNA isn't 100% accurate but it seems you have compelling evidence. Nonetheless, it is a delicate matter so a "diplomatic message" is the way to go, as you say.
Yes, VERY delicate. That's why I'm going to take it slow & easy. Wish me luck..!
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
darkerhorse
Master
Master
Posts: 1510
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 18:31

Re: Autosomal DNA 1st cousin mystery

Post by darkerhorse »

Bona furtuna.
Post Reply