Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Count for a Fresh Year

Early on last year, I realized I felt like I made progress if I kept count of my research gains. If nothing else, it was encouraging to see the numbers go up in all the appropriate places. I kept with it at that bi-monthly reporting pace since February. I'm convinced it would be a useful tactic for this year, as well.

There are a few new inputs for 2016. I've added DNA test results from—well, at least on my husband's family; my results, from a sample mailed on the very same day as his, have yet to find their way back to me. And I've uploaded our Family Tree DNA results to GEDmatch which, once it gets rolling, should yield additional connections, as well. As these new data become available, I'll add them into the mix.

For now, here's how progress looked in the face of a jolly holiday break and the demands of preparing for a week's study out-of-town.

With that ongoing goal of determining my matrilineal nexus with my mystery cousin, it is no surprise that the thrust of the holiday's lackluster progress was centered on my maternal line. My mother's tree on Ancestry nudged up 184 names—plus duly noted documentation—to reach a total of 7,052 people. I've made far better progress in the past, but 184 isn't bad.

As far as maternal DNA results, only five more matches materialized on my FTDNA account, with the most recent ones arriving on January 8. That leaves me with an overarching 980 matches at FTDNA. Perhaps the holiday sale will bring more matches our way, give or take another month's processing time.

It was thanks to an inquiring distant cousin on my paternal side which led to the increase of 30 new names on my father's tree. With that addition, though, I still only have 180 in that tree—stymied, mostly, by the name-changing mysteries of the generation preceding my immigrant grandparents. There is likely not going to be much progress in this line for a long time—not until I uncover some cache of clues or batch of Polish-American records with just the right names.

As for my husband's lines, his paternal side has been quiet, as well. There was a slight uptick in names on his father's tree—seven more bringing the total to 930—but his DNA results seemed almost flatlined with only two additional matches. His total matches at FTDNA now stand at 570. However, with the early return on his results at AncestryDNA, he now has an additional 82 matches at the level of at least fourth cousin or closer. A cursory glance at the results easily reveals all matches are on his maternal side.

That his maternal side was where I had the most incentive to pursue more research is an understatement. While progress wasn't stellar—hey, we were enjoying the holiday!—that maternal side gained an additional 38 entries to bring the tree total to 2,670 individuals. Those Perry County Ohioans will evidently become my genetic genealogy playground for AncestryDNA results.

Now having opportunities to familiarize myself with readouts from three different entities—Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, and GEDmatch—is the head start I was hoping for, going into this weeklong genetic genealogy training program at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. I'm hoping some tips will help me ferret out hidden details and lead me to some substantiated conclusions in the very spots at which I've been stuck on the traditional genealogical paper trail.


  1. Progress is progress! I hope you have a fruitful week! :)

  2. Your family tree is like a towering Redwood!


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