A few reminders about your DNA matches:

  • You will not get as many inquiries from DNA matches as you think.
  • Many of the messages you send to your matches will not get answered.
  • A good number of your matches will have no trees.
  • Much of your DNA analysis you will have to do yourself or with the help of other genealogists who are not your matches.
  • DNA can solve problems that records alone cannot.
  • DNA can solve problems that you thought would never be solved.
  • DNA match analysis is not always easy.
  • DNA work does not replace work in paper records.
  • Many people test and never look at their matches.
  • DNA match analysis is not quick and easy.



6 Responses

  1. I have found many of those statements true in my ‘journey’ with DNA testing. In the beginning I got overly excited whenever I got an email notifying me of a new DNA match. I would diligently email those matches and 99% of the time never heard back or only got a very desultory response. Sadly, don’t normally bother doing so at all now. In the beginning it brought some surprising results that were not even in the sphere of what I was looking for.

    • I did solve a few of my problems by analyzing my matches. But that was done by me and (with 1 exception) with the collaboration of a match. I do have a close relative who will ask me how a match is related and they are usually close enough that they can be figured out.

      But, like you, I have not had the amount of interaction with matches that I expected.

      I also don’t look at those “new match emails” any more either. I will occasionally look at my new matches to see if any are close enough that I might want to figure them out, but otherwise I look for new shared matches I have with matches who are known to descend from some of my problem lines.

  2. I have had both success and disappointing answers. I do sometimes write, and sometimes not, but this is an exciting and fruitful exercise for me that will probably lead to much more at some time in the future- I am banking on future clarifications, probably long after I am gone, but I will have done my part of kick the ball further down this trail. I have had enormous enjoyment and fulfillment for the past ten years working on information before DNA became a thing. Now- the sky is the limit!

  3. I have had success in breaking down two brick walls, identifying two of my mother-in-law’s great-great grandfathers. My MIL received a double DNA dose of one line, and I was able to obtain a DNA sample of one cousin who was one generation closer. I am also part of group of researchers of these lines. We are all managers of the DNA tests of the “ancients” of these lines and , with their permission, have shared and studied four different tests that confirm one line definitively. We are able to hone in on a particular family, although not a particular individual, on the other line. It will take a paper trail to make that happen, but we are on the hunt!

  4. I am having difficulty getting cooperation from people in my family to submit their DNA.
    Thought that if I purchased the kit, it might make it easier. Privacy seems to be a concern.
    Is there any assurances anyone can offer to reassure those whose DNA I would like to compare to mine and my mom?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get the Genealogy Tip of the Day Book