The DNA Solution!

I never intended to have a DNA test done. My father was going to get tested for me but I had no interest in it but our ancestors have ways of making us find them. I won a DNA test. The result was exciting!  My top match was a man whose last name was “Harrison”. He was on my Mom’s biological father’s side. Read below to hear his story.

me and my 1st cousin 1 removed
I’m still not comfortable taking selfies. This is me and my 1st cousin 1x removed. We found each other through DNA!

Once in a while I get the “feeling” that an ancestor wants me to find him/her. This was the case with my biological grandfather, John Edward “Buster” Harrison. All I knew about him was his name; I had his obituary, and a picture of him in his WW2 uniform.  When my Grandmother Dunn divorced him and remarried, he gave up his rights to their 3 children so her 2nd husband could adopt them. That was the extent of my knowledge.

To find more information, I called my mom’s cousin to ask if she had any names or phone numbers for the Harrison family. Her response was, “Dean might to talk to you”. Dean is Buster’s younger brother. When I called he was delighted to hear from me. He eventually sent pictures and information about his parents and siblings.

Researching the family was my next step. I found Canadian records for Buster’s father, John Henry Harrison, and mother, Kate Atkins. The marriage record said John Henry Harrison was from Abthorpe, Northampton, England. His father’s name was James Harrison and mother was Mary Ann Winmill. Then I hit a roadblock. Yes, already! I couldn’t find anyone with his birth date in that location. His parents were just as elusive. That was it for researching for awhile. I set everything aside and started doing something else.

 Needless to say I contacted my DNA match immediately. He  has a large, sourced family tree. I love it when this happens. One of the documents he has is an affidavit stating John Henry Harrison had changed his name. His birth name was Henry Green. At the age of 17 he wanted to join the army but his father refused to grant him permission.  In order to enlist, he changed his name and lied about his age. All his war and Canadian documents list him as John Henry Harrison. No wonder I couldn’t find him.  

This is my DNA solution . Not only did I find John Harrison’s birth name, my cousin already had a large tree for the Harrison and Atkins families. (Please note this doesn’t always happen.) I  met 5 female cousins on the Harrison side and of course the Harrison I matched DNA with. Who would have thought a DNA test would add so many living and dead relatives to my family?

1 thought on “The DNA Solution!”

  1. Did you have DNA matches with surname Green, and you could not figure how they fit on your tree? How fortunate to find the DNA match with the well-sourced tree. It makes me wonder if any of my brick walls are due to a name change. I imagine there was a time when using an alias on a permanent basis would have been a simple thing. Thanks for sharing.


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