I'm into this adventure since the middle of January when I received my kit from 23andMe. If you want to look back and see what's happened so far just put "DNA" in the search box to the right and you will be taken to a list of articles. Be sure to click on to the next page, because only four results are there at the top of each page. Seems strange to me, but there you have it.
Getting the results back from 23andMe took a bit of patience -- I want it now -- but really, they did fine. And the medical results were very informative showing me another reason or two to have a low fat diet. That was good to have reinforced. But here's where it all got complex: the relative match/finder, or family finder, or DNA match... whatever you want to call it. I'm depending on the knowledge of others about their family tree and their good nature and patience to care about it and look deeper.
In short, the matches I get with 23andMe have blocks as follows:
1. At 23andMe, the reports say the majority of users test for medical results.
2. My experience there might reflect this. I'm super happy I did the testing and the match contacts have been really lovely people, but as far as I can tell, very few are into genealogy. You can tell who is into genealogy because they provided a meaty surname list.
3. I've had real good experience finding matches at GEDmatch so far. Granted, my experience is super limited what with them being down so much recently. But every time I check back I see that I have more matches. The ball is rolling along as more people test and look to a common service to find their matches!
Randy Majors had a really enlightening post about triangulation over on his blog in which he outlines some of these issues and goes on to demonstrate a reasonable spreadsheet that will help us sort it all out. Thanks, Randy!!
OK, so that's the update. Now I'm going to start my list. "What's that?" you say? You really do need a list of surnames and locations that are associated with each surname to help people see how they might match with you.
Here's an example. What if, as actually happened, a match asks where my Price people came from? Without a list ready I have to drop everything and go check about those Price people and where they hail from and the time frame we're talking about. The name of the game is to see if their Price people and my Price people had an opportunity to mix DNA, so to speak. And not everyone has a tree online! (Yeah, that's shocking.)
Here's the plan. It's kind of like Surname Saturday in that every week for a little while I'll come back and report on any news in the DNA area with my matches or whatever and also list a couple of surnames following them back into the past with locations, as best I know it. I'll be working off that chart report that we all generate in our tree programs. Mom and I use Family Tree Maker.
Just discovered a blog post from Caroline M. Pointer's Blogging Genealogy, "I'm in a hurry. Are we related... maybe?" where the topic is a surname page. Cool! Never thought about having a surname page to attract possible cousins. This is a winner!! Then I'll copy these posts on the Surname List page with a tab at the top. Thanks Caroline for this timely and very useful posting! Here's an e-hug:) Meanwhile here's my list, or at least the start of it. Hey, as Caroline says, "Are we related?"
SURNAME, Location & dates.
Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland (1900 - present)
Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland (1860 - 1910)
Cumberland, Allegany, Maryland (before 1848 - 1860)
Shannonbridge, Clonmacnoise Parish, County Offley, Ireland (before 1848)
Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland (1872 - present)
Caron, Uwch, Cardiganshire, Wales (before 1872)
Upstate New York, specific location unknown. (probably after 1870)
Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland (Before 1860 - present)
Wurtemburg, Germany (before 1860)
Chicago, Cooks, Illinois (probably after 1884)
Frostburg, Allegany, Maryland (1870 - present)
Selbysport and Grantsville, Allegany then Garrett, Maryland (1840 - 1870)
Berks County and Schuykill County, Pennsylvania (before 1738 - 1840)
Badden-Wuerttemburg, Germany (before 1710 - before 1738)
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