Category Archives: tools

Triangulation with GEDmatch

On 25 Mar 2017, the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group is giving an in-depth presentation on the valuable (and mostly free!) DNA tools at GEDmatch.

At this program, we’ll be talking about the benefits of GEDmatch and walking through how to use the site. Of course, the most Basic perk of GEDmatch is that you can compare DNA from people who tested across different platforms (companies). On an Intermediate level, GEDmatch has tools to help you sort your matches into different lines of your family tree. For participants open to dipping their toes into Advanced territory, we’ll talk a bit about * triangulation *.

I know when I attend webinars or presentations, sometimes my brain gets full and doesn’t process everything I just heard. Then it’s helpful to have a resource to revisit later to help the more complex material sink in. So I thought I’d post something about * triangulation * on my blog this month!

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Chromosome Mapping with siblings – part 1

This month – another post on testing siblings and on using GEDmatch.

Sometimes, having siblings’ DNA tested is a real treat—such as when one of them connects to a distant cousin still residing in Ireland, just a few kilometers from where my ancestors came from. But sometimes—playing with sibling DNA can be a real challenge! Case in point: Chromosome mapping with three siblings. This is advanced stuff, yo.

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A week or two ago, genealogist Paul Hawthorne had a little idea that quickly went viral. He wanted to create a chart of his ancestors for five generations, color-coded to show only their places of birth. In no time, it seems, everyone was posting their own versions on FACEBOOK or their blogs or other social media.

See Paul’s blog from 26 Mar 2016 on Geneaspy here:

Of course, I had to play too. Here’s mine.

5 gen birthplace

That 5th generation, for me, consists of ancestors born between 1825-1850 or so. Take it one generation further back, and half of those New York lines were in Germany. Half of those Ohio lines were in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Vermont.

As a genetic genealogist, I appreciate that Paul’s example is encouraging us to look at places, not just names. A lot of times, our DNA matches come from a common ancestor in a generation where we don’t have a name yet. I think I’ll tweak my spreadsheet to hold 6 generations, add column headers that indicate a date range, and add counties. When I have a DNA match, the spreadsheet will be easy to share. Whether or not we have a common surname, if we can see that we both have ancestors in, say, Tuscarawas County Ohio ca. 1800-1825, and no common locations on any other lines, then we have a lead to pursue!

New leads are always welcome!

(c) Ann Raymont 2016