Rachel is an Angel Team Lead and a Genetic Genealogist. She is a New England girl at heart, born and raised in a suburb of Boston. Rachel’s father was the youngest of 17 children born to two Irish immigrants, who were both young children during the final potato famine in 1879. There is a 49 year age gap between Rachel and her oldest paternal first cousin, so many of the family had spread out, drifted apart, and passed by the time she was even born. Rachel’s mother was taken into foster care, in Philadelphia, at three months of age and remained in it, living in various homes until she turned 18; never knowing either of her birth parents. Growing up with no living grandparents made it hard for Rachel to feel a tangible connection to the past, which she yearned for. This created a void that she tried to fill by befriending and frequently visiting with many of her elderly neighbors as a child.
After graduating from the same alma mater as Joe Rogan, Eli Roth, and John Krasinski, to name a few, she transplanted herself to the midwest where she completed her BS in Biology, Cum Laude, and met her husband. Rachel chose to be a stay-home-mother to her five children which gave her the opportunity to wear many hats throughout the years. Nurse, tutor, seamstress, cook, electrician, plumber, mechanic, gardener, hair colorist, barber, appliance repair technician, carpenter, and many more. Basically, the household motto was “If mom can’t fix it, she’ll learn how, and if she still can’t fix it, she’ll build you a new one.”
Genetic Genealogy came into Rachel’s life in February 2018 when her oldest daughter received the results of a DNA test that she had received at Christmas. That single test unlocked so many mysteries, some of which were not even on anyone’s radar. Although Rachel’s mother’s maternal family had been found in the 1990s, there were more unknown close relatives just sitting in the database to both Rachel and her mother; adoptees and NPE. Rachel quickly absorbed everything that she could get her hands on and learned the tools and art of Genetic Genealogy to finally reveal to her mother, at 77 years of age, the identity of her father. Rachel also became the go to authority for others on her own paternal family history. After tackling her own family mysteries, Rachel began reaching out to others in need. As an independent volunteer Search Angel, she offered her assistance in analyzing match lists to help people discover their birth families. Over the course of the next four years she developed quite an extensive case portfolio and was invited into the DNAngels’ family after she was an outside referral on a problematic case in February of 2022.
Being a CSA survivor as well as a SNAP Network member, Rachel has undertaken an extensive amount of emotional healing herself and is very astute to the emotional needs of others. This plays a large role in how she offers support to her clients. When not working on cases, Rachel is practically an empty nester who enjoys documentaries, crocheting, sewing, crafting, and creativity of all sorts. She loves spoiling her first grandchild and her rescue pup, Gucci. Her two favorite TV hosts are Henry Louis Gates Jr and RuPaul Charles.