Breaking Brick Walls with the Use of DNA

posted in: DNA, Genealogy | 0

I have a great-great grandfather who was born illegitimately in 1855.

We know his birth surname was Mims from early census records, but by adulthood he had adopted the surname of his maternal grandparents that raised him.

DNA testing can break through some brick walls, but it does not always provide a definitive answer

Repeated searches in census records for a “Mims” that might be his father has not turned up any viable candidates.  Yet, family lore says that they lived within 20 miles of one another while he was a young man.

So, who was his father?

This was a question we all have, including his last surviving grandson, who agreed to submit to DNA testing.

For years after the testing was completed no matches came up to prove or disprove the connection.

Yet, within the last year several Mims matches has come up.  The match confirms that his father was definitely a Mims from a neighboring town.

Sadly, we’ve not been able to zero in on who exactly his father was.

DNA has provided a possibility, but this person was only eight when my ancestor was born.  Researching his brothers has continued to lead to a dead in, due to a variety of reasons.  The most common is most of his brothers did not live in the area at this time.

Yet, thanks to DNA I know definitely who the individual that is his great-grandfather Mims.

Now, the research is on to research the sons and grandsons of this man to identify my ancestor’s father.  So far, none of the research has been able to identify him. But, I’m not giving up and will keep researching in hopes of one day finding that definitive link.

Have you used DNA to solve a brick wall?

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