Taking a DNA test seemed to be the next logical step in my research. There was one particular brick wall I was hoping to solve and that was identifying my great, great grandfather who never married my great, great grandfather and who denied paternity of my great grandfather. Through DNA and some traditional research I now know a lot about the man so for that alone the test was worth it.
I am currently sitting at 311 4th cousin or closer matches on Ancestry. The vast majority of these matches don’t have family trees attached so initially I thought they were of no interest to me. However, the more I read and the more I learn I can see how identifying how these matches match with other matches I can identify the relationships. By making contact with a couple of DNA matches I have found information that I never would have through documents alone.
The problem I had was that I had no idea of what to do with my results . DNA is definitely not my area of expertise. Fortunately I spotted a tweet from Rachel Toll Genealogy (@tollgenealogy) who was helping another DNA newbie on how to make their results work for them. I got in touch and we discussed what exactly I’m looking to achieve. The primary aim of Toll Genealogy is to educate everyone on how to ‘do’ genetic genealogy and we decided the best place for me to start was by organising my matches.
By having access to my Ancestry tree and DNA results she has put together a spreadsheet recording my matches in groups and in an easy to read and understand format. It’s brilliant and as a result I’ve already discovered a sister of my great great grandfather that I didn’t know existed
I’m still working through all this amazing info but Rachel has been on hand to offer advice. New matches are appearing every day (probably due to some pre-Christmas offers on the kits) and I can add these to the work that Rachel has started. If you’re interested in genealogy and have taken a DNA test it really does make sense to get the most from your results. It may be that, like me, you need some help with that. Check out the Toll Genealogy website here.