Friday, April 23, 2021

DNA + Trees = Powerful Cousin Bait

Name your family tree so DNA matches can get a glimpse of names and places

Fishing in many ponds, my DNA results are on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilyTree DNA, GedMatch, and 23 and Me. My husband's DNA results are on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilyTree DNA, GedMatch, and LivingDNA.

To add to the power of DNA matching, I've uploaded at least a basic family tree where trees are allowed. This enhances DNA as cousin bait, allowing matches to investigate our possible connections. 

Also, as shown above, I include surnames in the name of the tree, along with specific surnames and locations in the tree description. I want to encourage DNA matches (and researchers) to explore further and envision possible connections in different branches. 

In my view, a name like "Frank's Tree" or "Family History" doesn't convey anything about the tree or the ancestors. 

Why not take the opportunity to boost the combined power of DNA and trees by providing an informative tree name where you have that opportunity? The tree name is another genealogical clue!


"DNA" is the #52Ancestors prompt for this week, and the theme of this month's Genealogy Blog Party.


  1. So I've been doing it wrong for 30 years, it seems!! If I used a tree title of "Seaver, Richmond/Richman, Hildreth, White, Carringer, Auble, Smith, Kemp and Families" would that be better? I'm not sure Ancestry will permit that title length.

    1. Ancestry (shown above) offers more space for a name and description, and I want to use every tool I can! Try a long tree name and see whether it gets truncated...add whatever you need to add you can put into the description. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    2. Thanks for the tip, I guess a friendly photo helps too!

  2. Another good idea, Marian!

  3. This is the case even in the title of a book - we often see a family history with a title but no names are listed.

  4. Great idea! I have mine named for my surname, but adding the others might attract more cousins from the other lines.

  5. Great idea. I uploaded my DNA data to MyHeritage last year but did not bother with adding any tree. I will go back and do that now... Thanks for sharing.

  6. Many thanks to all for reading and commenting. Wishing you good luck with DNA matches and cousin connections!