Shortly after my Mother’s side of the family found me, I went in search and actually located my biological father, Nil. My research journal provided rich detail on the Guillet side. There were 10 children, but my journal only provided me with 8 names. Of those, one would be my Father. Of those 8 people, 5 were men and I had their names addresses, birth dates and I could see that three of them had already passed away. My Mother’s sister remembered that she had dated Nil so I began my search there. Based on the latest data, it looked like Nil and Eric were the only sons of my Grandparents, who were still living.
One clue I already had, Eric’s son, Eric Guillet, Jr. was already a 1st cousin match to me in my ancestry DNA group. I was pretty sure Nil was the person I was looking for.
Nil was not easy to locate. I was given a phone number and email, neither worked. I Googled his name and found his business but no website. I went to Facebook and there, located his Facebook company page. I sent a message through Facebook messenger simply asking how to reach Nil for a “Private Family Matter”. Imagine my surprise when I got an immediate response!
I had my research journal so I was fairly confident that I could share that with whomever was on the other end of this conversation and they would understand but I was trying to be cautious. The conversation went something like this:
me: hello. I am looking for Nil. Do you know how I might reach him? It is a private family matter
Ryan:I’m family.. what is the issue
me: I might be his daughter. no joke. I’m the daughter of Linda Louise Marchand. Given up for adoption in 1966. I realize this is not a good way to present this but there is really no easy way. I want nothing but to let him know I exist and that Linda’s family has been looking for me and finally found me.
I did not know the person on the other end of this message WAS Ryan, my half brother. He took it well. He has a great sense of humor too! I immediately sent him the research journal and we talked on the phone back and forth for several days to figure out what do to next. Ryan called his Aunt Gloria (Nil’s sister) to see what she thought would be the right way to approach Nil.
In the meantime, my Ancestry match 1st cousin, Eric Guillet and I had been discussing this. I told him I’d made contact with Ryan and what the DNA research journal information was and Eric decided he would go over to Nil’s house one day and have a chat. And he did! I got a message from Eric one afternoon that Nil would be happy to talk with me. He did not remember my Mother but with more information, he might and he was “open” to having a discussion.
I called Nil right away and he was jovial and very open to this discussion. He said he did not really remember much about Linda but knew that they grew up around the corner from the Marchand family and that Gloria and Linda had been friends in school. Nil was 4 years older than Linda. We had a very nice chat and at the end I told him that Ryan and I had planned to do a sibling DNA test. Nil said he would prefer that he and I do that so we could be absolutely sure. I appreciated that and the test was ordered, sent and received in a few days. The hardest part was waiting for the results because we sent our kits in right around 4th of July so there was a holiday holding up the mail. On 7/11/2017, I received the DNA test results. I was really afraid to open it but I already knew the answer….Nil and I were a 99.9995% match for parent/child. No denying it- he was my Father.
I emailed it to Ryan and we talked on the phone for a bit. Then I think I called Nil. I can’t remember the day was a blur but I’m sure I sent it to Ryan before calling Nil so he could get a printed copy. Ryan then sent a copy to his brother, Cory. Cory had no idea about any of this so I can imagine his shock! Everyone took it well and then I called Gloria to let her know she was “off the hook” for telling Nil. I thanked Eric for his help and let him know we had the extra DNA test so that was that. Nil came to visit us for several days in August. That story is written please enjoy!
Pictured below: Me with my half brothers, Ryan on the left, Cory on the right.
Next up- the Guillet Family Reunion!