Sunday, July 14, 2019

New Clues in Genetic Genealogy Challenge

My maternal haplogroup is V7A
Genetic genealogy is by far my biggest challenge (challenge is this week's #52Ancestors prompt).

Despite 21 years of tracing the paper trail of family history, I haven't fully exploited the clues provided by DNA testing. But breakthroughs may be on the horizon.

Multiple DNA Tests and Sites

I am SO lucky. Having a twin sister really comes in handy!*

Between us, we've taken 4 different tests and uploaded results to the spectrum of popular genealogy DNA sites. (Neither she nor I use our full names on DNA test sites, for privacy reasons.)

Her results confirm that our maternal haplogroup is V7A and, as we already know from traditional genealogy evidence, our origins are Eastern European. Our ancestors came from Hungary (including parts that are currently in Ukraine), Lithuania, and Latvia.

More Cousins, More Colors

To make full use of DNA Painter and other tools, I need to be able to identify matches from specific parts of my family tree.

Recently I recognized names on Sis's list of close DNA matches that are not on any other site where our results are posted. These matches fill key gaps in my genetic genealogy knowledge. Now I can color-code more ancestors more accurately as I use DNA to determine who fits where in the family tree.

Just as important, Sis's matches are giving me an incredible opportunity to reach out personally to paternal 2d cousins I knew we had but wasn't able to locate using conventional means. They only tested on one site--a site Sis used, happily for us.

DNA is good cousin bait--and I'm taking their bait. Can't have too many cousins!

*Fish in Different DNA Ponds

You can always "fish for DNA matches in different ponds" if you wish (whether you have a twin or not). Take DNA tests from different sites and/or upload your results to multiple sites. So many excellent DNA guides are available that I won't even attempt to say more, since I'm far from an expert on genetic genealogy.

It's a good idea to list surnames and origins on each site (and/or upload at least a basic family tree) so potential matches can get a sense of where the match might be. To protect privacy, I don't ever show living people on my trees.

Remember that as of now, 23AndMe and Ancestry don't allow uploads from other testing sites. That's why Sis and I tested with multiple sites, to fish in as many ponds as possible even when uploads aren't an option.

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