Monday, February 12, 2018

DNA Progress

I feel that I should reflect on my progress (or lack thereof) periodically.

This post is an evaluative exercise for me. There are just not enough hours in the day to do justice to the amount of $$$ I have invested in DNA research.  So how am I going?

To date I have tested several family members:

Myself at Ancestry, FTDNA (autosomal and mtDNA) and MyHeritage and uploaded to Gedmatch
My mother at FTDNA and uploaded to MyHeritage and Gedmatch
My daughter at Ancestry and uploaded to MyHeritage (Must upload to MyHeritage)
My grandson at FTDNA and uploaded to Gedmatch. (Must upload to MyHeritage)
My granddaughter at FTDNA (Waiting on results)
My double first cousin at FTDNA and uploaded to Gedmatch
My paternal first cousin at FTDNA and uploaded to Gedmatch
My mother's second cousin at FTDNA.
My husband at FTDNA and uploaded to Gedmatch
My husband's first cousin at FTDNA
My son-in-law at FTDNA (waiting on results - tested because granddaughter wants to know about both sides of her tree).

As an only child with no living aunts and uncles my options for testing close family members are limited but I do have some more distant cousins on my radar. I take kits in my handbag when I visit potential victims.

So far I have confirmed just 65 matches to myself, 53 of these are via Ancestry the remainder from FTDNA, Gedmatch and MyHeritage. Of the matches from people unknown to me I have 1 second cousin, a few second cousin's once removed and the majority are in the 3rd and 4th cousin range. It is interesting to note that I have only had 4 new matches at FTDNA in 2018. I had 84 new matches in my top 2000 on Gedmatch in the past month. There were so many more on Ancestry.

Testing my mother, first cousins and Mum's second cousin has lead me to other distant cousins who do not match my tests but match theirs so I am committed to having others test.

I have been lax with my husband's side but aside from his first cousins and our descendants I have confirmed only a handful of matches for him.

I record my communications with and details of matches in spreadsheets (one for my side and one for my husband). I will start up one for my granddaughters' paternal side when those results come in. I am happy with this method. I also make notes in the notes section of Ancestry and FTDNA matches).

After attending umpteen lectures, reading loads of articles and joining online DNA groups I feel I have a good basic understanding of DNA and could even give an introductory talk on DNA.

I am still dabbling with tools to help me investigate chromosome matches. I just need to hide in a padded cell for a day or two to concentrate and learn. I have had a little play with DNA Painter and think I can handle that. Shelley Crawford's Visualing Ancestry DNA matches enabled me to identify more Ancestry matches but I did find the setup challenging even though Shelley's instructions were excellent. I must redo that as I have many new matches.

I try to keep up with new matches.  but find it easier to do with Ancestry's Android app than by firing up my PC. I am aware that I can check the MyHeritage results on their app so will start doing that as well. It's so easy to pull out the phone and check a few new DNA results when I am waiting for the doctor, dentist or plane or train. Revving up the computer takes longer.

I contact all promising matches, ie those that have  matches in common and I can identify a family line and those who have some sort of online tree that gives me a clue as to where our match may be. I would estimate that around 1/3 of these folk respond. I probably only receive about one enquiry email per week for all the kits I manage.

The good news is that I have confirmed matches to all of my Great-Grandparents lines, some of my 2x Great-Grandparents and a few of my 3x Great-Grandparents. It is comforting to know that my traditional research is confirmed.

Although I purchased my first kit from FTDNA in 2013 I didn't submit my sample until early 2015 so I have been on the DNA trail for three years. It's been slow progress.

2 comments:

Louis Kessler said...

How interestingly different from my DNA experience, Jill. You've got very few matches but can place almost all of them in your extensive family tree. Whereas due to endogamy I've got so many matches, which other than my uncle and one 3rd cousin, there's nobody I can place in my limited to 5 generations family tree.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Jill, I may have to emulate your example. I agree a parallel universe may be required for the concentration and time needed for full analysis. I’m in awe of what others are achieving. Shelley’s posts and technique were excellent so I’m looking forward to learning more at Congress.

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