Do you download/print/save information from your DNA matches? While it may be impractical to do this for every match, there are times where it is advisable.

Most people do not delete their DNA submissions, but it does happen and once it is gone, it is gone. Deletion is more likely when a person discovers a close misattributed parentage–in other words, their father is not their father, their mother is not their mother, a grandparent is not their grandparent, etc. Sometimes a person discovers that their parent had a child of which they were unaware. There are people who welcome these discoveries. There are people who do not.

If you discover a close match to you who is a surprise–for example, you have a first cousin match and you were unaware of any first cousins in your family–consider taking screen shots of their profile, shared matches, and the like before you contact them. Just in case they decide to remove their profile.

Also remember that predicted relationships can be slightly off in some cases when the genealogy DNA testing sites automatically predicts a relationship. That’s why they are called predicted relationships.

How you decide to contact that surprise match is a separate matter. But keep in mind that sometimes a genealogy DNA test changes a person’s world in ways they did not imagine. Consider downloading their data–for your personal use only–just in case it goes away.



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