Sunday, February 26, 2017
Quickening the Pace
Despite overnight temperatures dipping back down to the thirties and the threat of floods still at our doorstep, I can't help but fall for a serious case of Spring Fever. Somehow, the sunshine and first sighting of blossoms quickens my step, both outdoors and inside.
When it comes to making genealogical progress, I want to step up the pace, as well. The winter was rough on family history progress, with a succession of holidays, illnesses—and even good stress, like the chance to attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. It's time to get back to work.
Nothing accentuates that sense of urgency like the exploding numbers on my DNA matches. Thanks to Family Tree DNA making the move to publicize its willingness to accept raw data transfers from other testing companies, my match count has zoomed upward. That may seem like good news—and it is—but it also comes with a down side: yet more matches for whom I cannot find any connection.
Thus, my resolve to pick back up on expanding my trees by entering all the siblings in each generation of my direct lines—and then researching their descendants, as well. While others may push backwards in time—doesn't it make you envious when you see someone's tree stretching back all the way to the 1600s and beyond?—I have had to settle it in my mind that it will be more useful for me, given my interest in DNA testing, to have the material that will help me confirm connections with my matches. Some may disagree with that approach, but that's what I've decided to try, for now.
So, where do those trees stand at this juncture between a sluggish winter of research and a spring-y anticipation of better research days ahead?
My two main trees are my maternal tree and my husband's maternal tree. In the past two weeks, I advanced the count in my mother's tree by seventy one, to total 9,529 in that database. I did much better in my mother-in-law's tree—perhaps spurred on by the fact that my husband's two sisters were willing to complete their autosomal DNA tests. That tree gained 513 documented names in the same two weeks, bringing the tree's count to 10,461. That surprised even me. Hopefully, it will help place some of those DNA matches more easily.
As far as total count of DNA matches, while my husband's count at AncestryDNA only increased by ten to 216, you'll see what I mean by exploding growth when we take a look at his matches at Family Tree DNA. In the past two weeks, 126 matches were added to his account, bringing his total number of matches to 1,148. As for mine, AncestryDNA added sixteen to total 462, but FTDNA increased by 206 to total 1,825.
Another detail I'll be tracking, starting with this week, is my husband's additional test done at 23andMe. Currently, he has 1,346 matches at that company, including some cousins we knew had already tested there. This will be another learning curve for me, as I learn the ropes at this new-to-me company.
I'll also be keeping an eye on two additional tests—though I won't include them in stats here—as I serve as administrator for both my sisters-in-law's tests. It's interesting to see the comparisons between siblings, not just on the FTDNA chromosome browser, but in the number of matches and the listing of those who match the various siblings. The things I'm observing through these DNA results continually reminds me how awesome this DNA actually is.
Of course, while racing ahead with these two maternal trees, I've unfortunately neglected the paternal sides for both my husband and myself. Someday, I keep promising myself. In the meantime, I'm primed for making progress where progress can be easily had.
Above: "Spring in the Erzgebirge" by German landscape painter Bruno Moras (1883-1939); courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.