I thought I recognized a name that popped up on my Ancestry’s DNA match list recently. The first name was the same as my grandmother’s and the last name was a Swedish name that is atypical to find in my family.

I have not heard back from the new match, but the shared matches we have and her projected relationship to me are consistent with the person I think that she is.

And then it dawned on me: do I have other DNA matches whose identities may be hiding in my paper files, my digital images, and my old email messages? Searching some of these items manually may be difficult as not every name will “pop into my head,” but I can search my email fairly easily for a name or a username to see if that’s a person I communicated with or about years ago.

Of course not everyone researched for decades before they took a DNA test for their genealogy, but for those who have there may be an answer to that match buried in your own files.



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