An Ancestry DNA Match Uncovers a Daughter

There are times in doing genealogical research when a great discovery is not based on records or historical documentation. The following is such a case.

In 2018, our family suffered the loss of our cousin, Lisa. Lisa was the daughter of my Uncle Ronald Miller and Aunt Nancy (Boyton) Miller. Lisa has three surviving sisters, Brenda, Carol and Trisha, all living in Florida. I remember while growing up visiting with our cousins many times, since our families all lived in Pennsylvania around the Harrisburg area. We always had fun together.

Here is a photograph of Brenda and Lisa c. 1957 with our great-aunt Ann Harris, sister of our great-grandmother, Jane (Harris) Miller. Brenda and Lisa’s mother Nancy is hidden by Lisa.

Here is another photograph from later years of Lisa and her sisters, Brenda, Carol and Trisha, our grandfather, Ralph H. Miller and a friend. 

(L-R: Brenda, friend Peggy Mascari, Grandad, Lisa, Carol and Trisha) 

In more recent years, I have been in contact with Brenda, Carol and Trisha through social media and e-mail.  They’ve all expressed their interest and gratitude in the genealogical work that I have done for our families.

Over the years, as most Ancestry subscribers that have had an Ancestry DNA test done will tell you, from time to time you will receive notifications regarding DNA matches from Ancestry.  I was sent such a notification that occurred this past Friday.  I was notified about a woman named Shana Boroski-Boos.  The match was a 1st – 2nd cousin with a cM of 400.  That truly peaked my interest, so I reached out to Shana through the Ancestry messaging system, asking if she recognized any of the surnames that I had initially provided.  She replied by saying she had been adopted through a closed adoption and that she knew practically nothing else accept two important key items that gave me the direction I needed to take. 

  1. Shana was born in 1977 and 
  1. Where she was born…Clearwater, FL 

I immediately knew who I had to ask, as you see, my cousins Brenda, Lisa, Carol and Trisha had moved with their parents in 1973 to Largo, FL., just 5 miles away from Clearwater. 

I sent all three cousins messages regarding Shana and sure enough, they responded with surprise and excitement.  They confirmed that Lisa did give birth to a baby girl in Clearwater, FL in 1977.  Brenda, Carol and Trisha had often wondered about their niece, and even had hopes of finding her.  By last Saturday, all three cousins were in touch with Shana and now Shana will have those family bonds and connections she so desperately had been searching for.  Since I have been doing our family research for the past 10 years, I am providing Shana with our family histories, which included sending information of our immigrant ancestor, Jacob Muller who settled in Berks County, PA in 1732.  Now Shana will be able to pass down to her four daughters the knowledge of their roots and the family tree they are a part of. 

So if you are a part of Ancestry DNA testing, or any of the other sites that provide DNA testing and matching, never take any of those notifications for granted.  One of them just might reveal a long, lost relative that is looking for you. 

Acknowledgements and special thanks: 

Shana Boroski-Boos 

Brenda, Carol and Trisha 

My wife Cheryl, whose love, devotion and support is the air I breathe. 

And… 

For Lisa, your baby girl is now back with her family…a guiding hand greater than ours has seen to that. 

Brian