Monday two things happened to me. I came down with pneumonia and I received a message from a DNA match who was an adoptee.
The match was pretty significant to a kit I manage at 110 centimorgans. She also matched in common five other family members from this family. At first I was using a screenshot of her top matches but eventually we shared results.
Being too sick to work, when I was not napping I worked on the matches. What I found was within her top 25 matches the majority of the matches were identified as either my family or another family the Hinote family.
With this information and the size of the matches, I knew not only exactly which place in my tree that this person could fit but where. The largest Hardy match was equivalent to the second degree first cousin match with my father. The largest matches for the Hinotes ranged from second cousin once removed to second cousin.
There's only one family in my tree where Hinote and Hardy's intermarry. So I took my next logical step I started looking for information.
Using Google I found a website that commemorated a small community in Baldwin County Alabama. Among the students listed at the high school and at the local Lutheran Church was a brother and sister with the same name she was given at birth.
I tried reaching out to Hinotes on Facebook, but heard nothing back. Eventually I made a few phone calls and talked to the sister-in-law of the birth mother. After several hours she called back and gave me the number for the birth mother who I called and has since reunited by phone with her daughter.
But this is not just the story of a success in finding her family. Because when I spoke to the birth mother she told me the name of the father. Neither the birth mother nor this father share any genealogical history with either of the Hardy or the Hinote families other than where they live.
This is not the first time that I have found the answer to a brick wall by searching in the right place for the wrong thing. A lot of people would tell you that I'm pretty good at this geological stuff. However, I do know that there's no explanation why I have found on multiple occasions the right answer by looking for the wrong thing.
In my head I attribute this to genealogical Angels. Some ancestor who is looking out for me and wants the stories to be told. In this case it would be to assist in my first successful attempt at helping an adoptee discover their identity.
Although in this case the DNA doesn't lie, I have no explanation for the difference in information. Given the plethora of matches she has to both the Hinote family and the Hardy family somehow either one of her parents is not the child of their parents or the mother's mistaken. It is in many ways a miracle that I was able to find the birth mother so easily and for that I'm truly grateful.
Here is a look at her top matches
1. Hainut001 … granddaughter of John William Hinote (brother of Archie)
2. Shynote13 no info
3. C D .. great grandson of Mattie Lee Hinote (dtr of Archie and Ella)
4. H.H. … granddaughter of Robert Henry Hardy (brother of Ella)
5. S.S. daughter of Lester Claude Highnote.. father was George Walter Highnote
6. C.A. great granddaughter of Augustus Hinote (brother of William H. Hinote.. Archie’s Uncle)
7. D.K. great granddaughter of Nicie Elmira Hinote (sister of William H. Hinote.. Archie’s Aunt)
8. J. G. no info
9. S.L no info has tree
10. 51pamelak51 most likely Black (Archie’s mom’s family)
11. Vkpwyo67 granddaughter of Leila Hardy (Ella’s niece)
12. R.G. ? grandson of Leila Hardy (Ella’s niece)
13. Connieposton1 no idea, in common with other Hinotes
14. Jenniferhsrn (me) great granddaughter of Shepard Hardy Jr (Ella’s brother)
15. Mckochanskyj no idea, matching in common other hinotes
16. L.W. no tree
17. Wegivens53 no tree
18. Cingrumjr1 no idea
19. Skipping some with no info
20. MLW great granddaughter of Robert Hardy (Ella’s uncle)