I embarked on a journey to fill in as much as possible on the families associated with these matches. I found obituaries for the Syracuse family, reached out to descendants on Facebook. After a full day, I figured out mom's relative, he is a great grandson of her grandmother's brother. Bingo, another breakthrough.
Dad's was a little more difficult. I knew that because I suspected this person descended from a double first cousin, the amount of DNA would be greater, so that the relationship was probably a little more distant than the predicted second cousin. And the person was anonymous, the individual who managed the gedmatch account couldn't give me information. So I decided to do some digging.
I knew that they had a first cousin they were matching with. So I looked into that person's genealogy, because I had a name. And nothing. There was no way that was my connection. In desperation I emailed the cousin. A phone call later, she had me on a three way call with the person. I had my confirmation, and I was thrilled.
I am not sure if the amount of DNA Dad shares with this individual is a DNA bonanza or a headache. The match represents four of his eight great grandparents in common. So when someone matches us both, it is a little bit harder to figure out how, but the total DNA Dad shares with her, roughly 10 percent of his paternal DNA, is awesome, and it doesn't hurt that 220 cM's of that DNA I got too.
So sometimes several hours of research and perseverance pay off.