The advent of DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite techniques has revolutionized the way in which we investigate genetic pedigrees in the wild (Pemberton 2008). With large and often incomplete data sets consisting of hundreds to thousands of individuals over multiple generations becoming commonplace, new methods in parentage analysis are being developed to rise to the next generation of questions and challenges. In this issue, Christie et al. (2011) provide a simple yet elegant solution to the problem of identifying missing parents and assessing hybrid fitness in a mixed population of wild and hatchery steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) where not all individuals can be sampled effectively. They develop a new method of grandparent analysis where parental genotypes can be reconstructed using data from candidate grandparent crosses and F2 offspring genotypes, allowing for new explorations of hybridization, migration and gene flow in wild populations.