Finding Ed Toews, My Birth Father

A short story about finding my
birth father, Ed Toews.

My mother, Adele, was a light-haired, free-spirited young woman when my father met her in the Summer of 1957. Aged 26, and sometimes referred to as the black sheep of the family, Adele caught his eye while she was serving at a local restaurant.  His name is Ed Toews. He's my birth father, and I've never met him.

I'm confident that he doesn't know I exist.

I want to talk to him. I know he's alive. Or at least he was a few months ago.

Many years ago, I mailed my saliva to 23andme and learned what my DNA could tell me about my ancestry, my traits, and the likelihood of affliction from the significant lousy health news events, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's', etc. 

Well, 23andme also connected me with other people who had registered their DNA and were related to me. It was fascinating to learn about relatives from all over the planet! For the longest time, my closest DNA relative was a 2nd or 3rd cousin. 

Then, one day I received a notice from 23andme saying that I had a new match, most likely my father! My heart leaped - he's alive! I wonder if he saw me? My profile is wide open, you see. I wanted to give every opportunity for exactly what was happening, to happen. Did he get a notice too?

I quickly clicked into his profile to find out more. Anonymous! 


I tried to contact him via 23andme. "Cannot contact Anonymous Members."  I wrote to 23andme telling them part of my story:

I've been searching for this man on and off for most of my adult life. DNA says there is a 99% chance that he's my father, can you PLEASE get a message to him? Sorry, no, anonymous members will remain that way.

Now I don't know if he's still alive, or if he saw that I existed. I know that if it were me and I learned that I had an unknown adult son, I'd be a bit freaked out. At first. Then I'd want to meet him. Are you kidding? Of course, I would.

Here's what I think I know about finding
my birth father, Ed Toews.

My mother is Adele Kanto and I need your help to find my birth father, Ed Toews.

Adele was born in Port Arthur on September 26, 1931, to the late Salomon and Vienno Kanto. Adele spent her childhood years growing up in Beardmore and moved to Port Arthur with her family. She did many different things in her life, as a waitress at the Hoito as a young woman, cooking on the boats on the Great Lakes and later in life, the owner-operator of a taxi company in Vancouver. She loved to play cards and was a talented painter. Her favourite was sketching portraits.

Adele said his name was Ed Toews but wasn't 100% on the spelling. She thought he was married and from Winnipeg. And he was working in construction. Other family members recall that he may have been from Southern Ontario.

That's all I know. Not much to go on, I know! Finding Ed Toews may not be easy, but who knows? If I put it out to the loving universe and the all-seeing internet, a miracle may occur!

According to 23andme, here is the ancestry that I share with my birth father.

According to 23andme, here is the ancestry that I share with my birth father.

For all of my life, I've known my mother Adele's history and her ancestry is 100% Finnish so it was no surprise that I am 48.6% Finnish. 

What surprised me was that I am 26.7 Ashkenazi Jewish, cool!!

So most likely, Ed Toews' ancestry is mostly Ashkenazi Jewish, British, Irish and Northwestern European.

Maybe that information helps to find Ed Toews!

My mystery birth father. I'd love to chat with him, at least once. I don't want anything from him, just a connection, and maybe a conversation to gain more insights into who I am. 

I am grateful for your help, thank you!


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