Friday, November 24, 2017

Initial Frustration

I realise that many folk who undertake DNA testing want an element of anonymity. While I find this difficult to understand this I respect their wishes.

It would be so helpful if these folk could exercise a little creativity in assigning names to their kits. This morning I was doing a little tidying on the spreadsheet I use to record details of matches when I realised I hadn't filled in the column for shared centimorgans for one of my matches. So I logged into AncestryDNA and did a search for my D.W. match.

Surprise, Surprise! I found that I matched with 13 kits named D.W. This was both good and bad - I found a few new D.W. folk with shared matches but, as I was trying to focus on one closer match, I had to spend time going through each one to find which the one I wanted (I am easily distracted).  Some of the matches were helpfully labelled as D.W. (managed by Mickey Mouse) or some other name thus giving them a user name that was closer to a unique one but some were just plain D.W. (Grrr). Dare I risk going down some rabbit holes by searching for my S.G., S.L. and S.M. matches?

By the way I am pleased to report that D. W. is a confirmed 4th cousin with a match of 19.8 centimorgans shared across 2 DNA segments.

Might I suggest that testers who wish to remain anonymous put a bit more thought into their kit names and try to come up with something that makes their kits more easily identifiable by hapless potential cousins like me. Perhaps use initials and a few digits from a phone number  eg D.W. 1888 or an old number plate BRO040, or an old student number DW667234. The possibilities are endless.

And while I am at it might I also suggest that you fill out a few fields in your Ancestry profile that may give potential cousins a few clues about yourself. A geographical location would be good for starters.

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