Monthly Archives: December 2015


I’d like to start off my blog with a big Thank You! I’m very grateful:

  • to my siblings, who agreed to take DNA tests. (And one day I’ll blog about why testing siblings can be a good idea.)
  • to close relatives of my mom and my dad who also agreed to test. It’s so helpful to look at a stranger’s matching DNA and compare it to yours. If it matches you too, then I know which of my parents’ or grandparents’ ancestors will hold the key to our common roots.
  • to more distant relatives that I’ve encouraged to test. Because of you, I’ve developed new leads on what village in Ireland one great-great grandfather came from. Because of you, I’ve found distant cousins of a different race, and we’re exploring which slave-owning ancestor *might* belong in both our family trees. It takes time, but in coming months I’ll probably blog about some of our progress in these or other mysteries and brick walls.
  • to my relatives whom I never knew until the DNA company told us we match. Howdy, cousins! And I want to thank you for replying to my messages or emails, for sharing some of your family history, for helping me in my quest and letting me help you.
  • And finally, to everyone who has agreed to copy their raw DNA data to the free tool at and to the wonderful volunteers who provide that service for all of us ‘citizen scientists’ who are exploring how DNA can help us discover and understand more of our heritage.

Thank you all!

Speaking of GEDmatch… If you haven’t copied your DNA data there yet, here is some information that may help you do so. Many folks have created web pages or blog posts about GEDmatch. I’ll point you to some of my favorites, below.

In a nutshell, here’s what someone new to genetic genealogy needs to know.

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