That person your relative referred to as Grandma when you were discussing past family members might not have been Grandma in the biological sense.

“Grandma” could have been grandfather’s second wife, the mother of someone’s step-mother, an aunt who raised one of the person’s parents, a neighbor who everyone was very fond of, an older cousin who moved into the house for one reason or another, etc. She may have been a very dear, loved and respected family member–who just didn’t share the biological connection in the way that Grandmas often do. It does not make her any less important in your relative’s life.

What it can do is create some confusion when you go to analyzing DNA matches and trying to ascertain the connections she had to other individuals. Remember that Grandma might not have been Grandma.

Check out Genealogy Tip of the Day book version for other tips and questions you should ask yourself about your research.



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