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Working William

Scouring the Internet, I could find little in the way of useful information about Springfield Parish, Kings County, New Brunswick beyond the population (1576 in 2006).  Because William McBriarty was a brother to the in-common ancestor of my best DNA matches in Allagash, Maine and also memorialized in the Cromwell […]

The Hail Mary Play

Her name was Sarah and she was (yet another) fourth cousin DNA match on Ancestry.  Her surname was a very common French-Canadian one, heard often all over New England.   She had no family tree attached to her DNA test but she used what appeared to be her real name and […]

Falling Together

Checking my DNA matches was my obsession for years.  It was the first thing I did in the morning, on my break at work, while eating lunch, and again as I walked to my car.   I checked my DNA matches at Starbucks, at red lights while driving, while sitting in […]

A Letter to a Stranger

I must have started, stopped, and deleted umpteen paragraphs of my introductory letter forty times.  How do you say, “Hello, excuse me.  I hate to interrupt your life, sir…but I think you or your elderly brother is my father,” to a complete stranger?  As much as I tried, there’s just […]


“How long do you think it takes to get a letter cross-country?” I asked virtually everyone in my life.  I had googled the information, but I wanted a couple of dozen man-on-the-street opinions.  I had mailed the letter to McB2 on Saturday afternoon.  Google (and most people I know) estimated […]

I am a McBriarty

    I was just as stunned at the departure of McB2’s test result as I was at its arrival. Didn’t just we have a nice conversation?  Didn’t he agree to meet with me?  Why would he tell me things about my grandparents and siblings and say that of course […]