June 30, 2024

Just for fun, I made a promotional video for this website with some AI video software.  Click the image above to watch.  This was my first experience with AI.  It was pretty impressive that it could create a voiceover from the text I entered.  The voice you hear isn't really my voice.  It's AI generated. The software also provides images based on what I'm talking about.  It's certainly not perfect though.  There's some audio and video quality issues.  I also had to change a lot of images and do some editing to make it look and sound this good.  A lot of what I talk about here has already been mentioned in previous blog posts.  Maybe someone needing a mystery solved will see this.  If so, I'm happy to help.  The transcript is below...


Hello!  My name is Mark Nelson.  I provide free genealogy research for people looking for family members.  Yeah, it's really totally free.  I won't ask you for a credit card or anything like that.  I've found hundreds of birth parents, grandparents, half siblings, secret children, and even a couple missing persons.  I've appeared on TV and in newspapers for one of my discoveries.  You're probably wondering why I do it for free.  I just love doing research and uncovering crazy family stories.  I continue to be amazed at the power of DNA.


I began writing a blog last year where I share some of my findings as well as some genealogy tutorials I've written.  I'm also working on a book based on all this.  So, what am I doing here on YouTube?  Well, the main reason is because I'm looking for new mysteries to solve.  If you happen to see this video, it might be your lucky day.  I never even thought of making a video before, but since everyone's been talking about AI lately, I played around with some AI video software and discovered it worked quite well.  So, here we are.  Another reason I'm here is because I used to help people from who had done DNA tests.  Ancestry has message boards where people can ask for help.  I used to find multiple people there every day, so, there was no shortage of mysteries to solve.  Those newsgroups aren't nearly as active as they used to be.  I wonder if ancestry is trying to get people to pay for their expensive genealogists.


Anyway...  If you're looking for a family member, visit my website,, and send me an email.  If you've done DNA on that will be a big, big help.  Most of my findings involve DNA analysis.  If you're on another site like 23 and me, that's ok too.  Let's talk about those genealogy sites.  The most popular ones are Ancestry, 23-and-Me, My-Heritage, and Family Tree DNA.  If you haven't done a DNA kit yet and you want to know about your family history, DNA is the best way to go.  Even if you don't plan on submitting DNA, it's possible I can still help you.


I work with a lot of adopted people looking for birth parents, and the first thing they usually say is, "I have no information."  Well, your DNA is often the only information you'll need.  I've written blog posts about this and which DNA kit to buy.  Be sure to check that out.  If you're having any doubts about doing a DNA kit, let me know what your concerns are.  You could discover some crazy things, but, so far, no one has ever mentioned to me that they regretted doing DNA.  You should keep in mind though, secrets are often revealed with this stuff.  I'll give you an example, and I've seen this happen many times.  Someone will be looking for something like this...  They'll say, my grandmother was adopted.  I want to see if I can find out who her biological parents were.  Then I end up discovering the person I'm helping had a completely different father than they thought.  Or, people often discover one of their parents has a secret child they never knew about.  I recently wrote an article called "Who's your REAL daddy."  It's about how a surprising amount of people don't know who their real father is, and I'm not even talking about adopted people.  I mean, a lot of people are finding out, the person who they thought was their real father their whole life, is really a completely different guy.  Yeah, this stuff really happens.


Now, let's talk about the DNA, match list.  Those of you who have already submitted DNA know what I'm talking about.  The website will show you a list of people who you're related to and the amount of DNA you share with those people.  If you're adopted, you won't know any of them of course, but here's something that blows my mind.  The most interesting stories are often the ones where people think they know their families and I end up finding something out of place on their list.  The odds of finding something unexpected somewhere on your match list is REALLY high.  In my family, I've found two adopted people that no one has ever heard of.  One close relative and one distant.  I've also been trying to contact one of my DNA matches.  Nothing in his family tree makes any sense.  I have no doubt he has an incorrect family member in his tree.  There's also another story in my family that's so crazy I won't even go into it here.  So, I tell people, be open to the possibility that your family may contain some unexpected mysteries.  There might even be something unusual in your immediate family.  You never know.  The funny thing is, all the TV commercials for these genealogy sites talk about ethnicity.  It's true, they all give you an estimate of your ethnicity.  It's important to be aware that it's only an estimate.  Sometimes it's completely correct, sometimes it's not.  Those commercials really don't mention the most interesting part of the website, which is the match list.  Finding unexpected people you're related to is really the most exciting thing in my opinion.


Something you might be thinking is, do I really need to have a genealogist help me?  Can I do it myself?  The answer is, Yes...  and No.  Every genealogy case is unique.  Here's an example, an adopted woman I was helping was so shocked by her DNA results, she asked me to take a look to confirm what she was seeing.  Both of her biological parents also did a DNA test on the same website.  That never happens.  Even seeing one birth parent on your list is VERY rare. So, in that case, there was nothing to research.  You could also get lucky and find some other close relative who knew about your adoption, and get help from them.  It's almost never that easy though.  What usually happens is, you end up with some strange or difficult to decipher DNA results.  There are many situations that require some serious knowledge of DNA and research to figure things out.  I've written a couple stories about difficult cases I've worked on.  So, unless you've got some really easy to understand DNA matches, I highly recommend you find a free researcher like myself who's up for the challenge of figuring this stuff out.  You could save yourself a lot of time and aggravation.


Even if you take the time to learn all about DNA yourself, you're still only going to have access to one DNA match list.  The advantage someone like myself has is, I have viewed hundreds of people's DNA lists and probably thousands of family trees.  This gives me a really good understanding of how to determine relationships.  And, there's more to all this than just DNA.  You'll also need to learn how to navigate the genealogy site.  Sites like Ancestry have a lot of features.  If you're not good with computers, don't be afraid to ask for help.  So, why have I been so successful at this?  Like I said, experience is a big part of it.  Also, there's a lot of numbers and logic involved in understanding DNA data.  I often credit my knowledge of computer programming to my success.  This doesn't involve "programming", but you really have to think logically to understand a lot of this stuff.  There's another factor involved in all this.  That is, contacting people.  I have a lot of experience with that as well.  It can be extremely difficult.  A lot of people on these sites let their accounts expire and never check their messages.  You might have to "think outside the box" to find them or even figure out who they are.  You also need to know what to say.  If you were adopted, exposing your existence could cause problems.  What if there was, a secret affair?  Be careful how you handle these things.


Thank you for tuning in to my first video!  If you have a mystery and want some help, let me know.  Don't forget to check out my website,, I'll put a link in the description below.  I hope you'll subscribe to my channel.  I'll post more videos soon.  Thank you.

Next, find out why even low centimorgan values can be important.

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