Betty Jeans Story – Forensic Genealogy, DNA and Adoption

Mags Gaulden
Apr 1, 2020
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2m 43s
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Speaker's Introduction
2m 14s
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5m 11s
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The Process
4m 58s
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Genetic Genealogy
22m 43s
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The Process
2m 59s
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Where To Test
5m 52s
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Announcements / prizes
6m 42s
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Questions / answers
13m 21s

About this webinar

Betty Jean was abandoned in Asheville, NC in 1927. All her life Betty Jean wanted to know who her parents were, but her search ended abruptly in the 1950s when she was shown her very empty files by a clerk at the courthouse. Until her cousin contacts her asking about some family papers. "You know I am adopted?" and the cousin answered, "you know, helping adoptees find their families is one thing my business does?" Follow along as we work the history, we find connections and ultimately find Betty Jean’s Family.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Mags is a Professional Genealogist specializing in Genetic Genealogy as founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. Growing up in a family full of family historians, Mags was primed to become a Genealogist. After earning her Bachelors Degree from
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    I am a novice and I was able to follow and understand. This is not always the case with some genealogy lectures/ presentations. Some go over the head of the audience. Thank you , your delivery is excellent. I am working on finding a missing relative who seemingly disappeared in 1964 in Manhattan New York. Your webinar motivates me that maybe some mysteries can be found. Thank You!!!

    A lot of new DNA information for me. Never heard of WkiTree till today. The presentation was great.

    Adoption Story was Awesome By Mags Gaulden!

    As always, new ideas appear during the Q and A.

    Awesome webinar. Loved the new information on using Wikitree.

    Awesome webinar. I learned alot but am hoping to personally contact Mags. Great way to show all the resources available to us!

    Beautifully organized with a great story. Also emphasized sensitivity and respect – really important.

    Can’t wait to visit some of the websites mentioned, to use some of the tools mentioned and to watch again. Learned things today. Thank you.

    Engaging story, great tips for collaboration

    Enjoyed the story and How-tos.


    Excellent as always … thank you!!

    excellent must do a DNA test now

    Excellent presenter and information.

    excellent presentor. detailed but yet quite understandable. easy to follow

    excellent research methodologies! I will have to review this at least once more

    Excellent step by step discovery process from a speaker who keeps you listening.

    Excellent webinar, jam packed with information about the process.


    Excellent! As an adoptee, I found my mother 35 years ago through hard work and no dna test. How much easier it would be now. Again, an excellent webinar!

    Excellent! I find DNA confusing but Mags spoke so clearly, and her handout is so nice, that I think I have a better understanding now. What an interesting story! Thanks very much.

    Excellent! So much great information!

    Excellent, she explained this better than most.

    Excellent. Sound also excellent.

    Fascinating story!

    Good heavens, Mags is marvellous and so knowledgeable!! Excellent presenter – and I’ll be watching this again to tease out a few of the reasoning she used for choosing specific surnames/persons. Glad I had signed up for this webinar.

    good tips with wiki tree Thanks

    great info

    great information shared

    Great introduction, and really helpful to see how a case is worked.

    Great job Mags! (T&S)

    Great speaker! Good methodology, I will watch this one again. Thanks Mags and thank you Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

    great speaker, easy to understand and follow

    Great story and she shared wonderful resources that I hadn’t heard of before.

    great topic. especially appreciated the DNA adoption angle thank you!

    Great webinar. I love adoption/dna case studies. Mags gave lots of very good advice that I will apply to my own search.

    High marks for Mags. This is the first time I have seen anyone trace a family history story when there was “nothing.” Excellent presentation. I understood more with this story than any other. Thank you Mags! Love your talk!

    I am currently helping two adoptees. I learned some helpful things today, thank you.

    I enjoyed learning more techniques that can be used to help adoptees find their birth families. Looking forward to listening to it again,

    I have been through four Search Angels and I still don’t know who my biological father might be. I was hoping to get some pointers and I did get new information from Mags today, so that was great. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for any future webinars she might present!

    I have done several Adoption/NPE searches; it was interesting to compare her checklist with my approaches. I don’t try to “compete” with people who have been doing genealogy for several years, but learn from them. My philosophy is that I can always learn something new. I did.

    I loved every minute of this session. I will try to implement the elimination process as we have a mysterious adoptee in our family too :). Thank you!

    I missed the first half of session. Sorry that happened, but glad to know I can go back and review posted session later.

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    I rated this a 5. I have already been using social media, finding common surnames between matches, uploading to other sites to fish in all the ponds. It was a great refresher and boosted my confidence that I was working on the genealogy and DNA in the right ways.
    I thought this was an awesome webinar. To see someone begin with nothing and end up finding her parents through DNA was so encouraging. I am not (yet anyway) working with any adoptees, but it gives me more hope to break through some brick walls. Mags did a great job and was so pleasant to listen to. Looking forward to more from her.

    I will never get to her level of expertise, but I learned a lot today.

    I’m not an adoptee but I got great information on how to do further research on my family as WWII divided up.

    interesting & informative

    interesting presentation. Thanks.

    Interesting story and great resources.

    Interesting Webinar but, for a DNA beginner like me, there was not enough detailed information on interpreting the DNA results & matches. Still, I learn something in every webinar! Thanks!

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Interesting. I had an unknown maternal grandfather and used DNA elimination to discover a half-aunt. Now we have relatives all over the United States.

    It always helps to hear others stories about the process used to learn more about “missing” or unknown relatives.

    It is complicated so having the webinar in the library will be very helpful.

    It was exciting to hear that there is hope for adoptees

    It was great!

    It was great! Fully intend to take a good look at Wikitree. Thank you!

    It was informative

    It would be great to have a follow-up webinar that goes into each step/tool used in an adoption case — explain why this or that is relevant, the logic for using a tool, etc. Great info.

    Let’s have her back as a presenter. It was really good.

    Looked great, but I had to leave to do some work! I’ll get it in the library!

    Loved it

    Mags did a great job at explaining the steps used. Entertaining and meaningful

    Mags Gaulden hit the nail on the head with the question “What do you with nothing? and then went on to help us bring nothing to something. Very interesting. Thank you.

    Mags is an excellent presenter who has a good knowledge of the subject!

    Mags just makes you want to get going with your research.

    My mother was adopted in 1919 and I did basically the same thing to figured out her grandparents etc. using living DNA matches.

    Nice story and very well explained.

    Not searching for adopted person at this time. Great information.

    One of the best webinars ever. Mags is clear in her presentation and keeps it interesting.

    Please have her back. She’s great!

    She’s a very good presenter and it was a very interesting topic. I don’t have any adoptees that I know of, but I have accidently found my cousins unknown daughter. That felt like a minefield!

    So interesting and helpful. Her presentation was clearly stated. Would enjoy more webinars by this person.

    So much info – I plan to go back several times this next week to listen to the presentation again.

    Soooo over my head. But I liked her as a presenter, anyway!!

    Steps taken was logical and easy to understand.



    Thank you for some new tools and insights to help with my over 50 years of looking for my birth family.

    Thank you so much! Extremely informative!

    thanks. I learned more about what Wiki Tree could do to help with my research.

    That was really great. Very emotional for me as I am a product of a NPE.

    The process was vert clearly shown!

    they just get better and better – very detailed with lots of info. 🙂

    This was fascinating. I would like to learn more about identifying an unknown mother or father.

    This was so well presented. It helped me find a way to find my mothers parentage who is adopted. Thanks so much

    This was very interesting. I’m not planning to test my dna nor do am I searching for anyone but I find these webinars about people finding family through dna very fascinating.

    This webinar gave me more options to find a father for my aunt.

    This webinar gave me some ideas on how to find my birth father’s family and living sibling relatives. Thank you

    This webinar speaks very well to my “detective” side. Great information and helpful ideas to put together a research plan.

    Touching and wonderfully inspiring. Reminiscent of my days doing heir searches at the law firm!

    True bird-dogging genealogy from unlikely sources including grasping at low-odds needles-in-haystacks. Congratulation!

  4. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Truly informative Mags. Thank you.

    Very good info. – not redundant at all.

    very helpful

    Very helpful for people engaged in adoption genealogy.

    Very helpful. I am assisting my daughter (adopted) in finding her birth parents.

    Very informative

    Very informative and well presented. Thank you, Mags and Geoff…

    Very informative!

    Very informative!

    Very informative.

    Very informative. I did not know about the WikiTree aspect for adoption.

    very informative. thank you

    Very informative. Thank you

    very interesting

    Very interesting

    very interesting

    Very interesting & useful even though I’m not aware of any adoptions in my family. I think the information on the different DNA companies & the three places to analyze data will be very helpful

    Very interesting and easy to follow. After our father passed away my mother told us that we had a half-brother, the eldest child of my father. She told us his mother’s name and said he was born 4 months after she and my father married. By the time I found my half-brother, he had passed away. One of his sons is a DNA match, but I have had no response. I will continue to look further as this webinar has opened a lot of doors. Well done, interesting slides, great speaker!

    Very interesting and helpful.

    very interesting and REAL

    Very interesting case study. Always learn a different perspective in researching. Liked her emphasis on being respectful.

    Very interesting search.

    Very interesting speaker! Very easy to understand.

    Very interesting to watch & listen to Mags’ methodology for solving this particular mystery!

    Very interesting topic. Thank you.

    Very interesting!

    Very interesting! Thank you!

    Very interesting, and imformative

    Very interesting, even tho I have no adoptions in my family. The DNA info was good.

    Very interesting, very good presentation,

    Very moving as well as interesting and helpful. Thanks a lot.

    Very succinct and easily understood

    very useful information

    Very well done. Slides were helpful. Speaker went slowly and was easy to understand

    Webinar had a great amount of information and it was very easy to follow Mags process. Thank you so much!

    Well done!

    What a wealth of info. She is a go-to person for many of my questions.

    Wonderful story and wonderful ending. Thank you! : )

    Wonderful story teller. Will have to watch again for tech stuff!

    Wonderful story. DNA works . Thanks

    WOW — gives me ideas to look into a couple “Orphan Stories”. May not be orphans at all! Thank you.

    yes more very good


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