Sunday, September 20, 2015

Not My Forte

I just met a woman—online, that is; these things rarely happen face-to-face—who manages DNA test kits for ninety relatives. Talk about committed. Finding her email address tucked away in my husband's DNA matches—embarrassingly, dated over a year ago—I discovered it showed up for not one, not two, but six individuals, all but one matching my husband at the estimated range of third to fifth cousin.

And here I am, barely able to tap dance while juggling results for three family members plus myself. Going on vacation throws the whole system into disarray. Getting back to work makes it even worse. I can't even chew gum and walk at the same time. Multi-tasking is not my forte.

So it will come as no surprise to you to learn—now that it's time for my bi-monthly progress report—that while I sped ahead in some areas, others narrowly escaped going backwards.

Speaking of my husband's family tree, that was where some tallies looked impressive, like the fact that I made ten contacts with DNA matches—until you realize that six of those ten contacts were to that same genealogical wonder woman conjuring those ninety DNA kits out of her black hat.

Still, the past two weeks brought us eleven new DNA matches, bringing my husband's total at Family Tree DNA to 517. And just this week, we got to celebrate the arrival of one instantly-confirmed DNA match with his Tully cousin.

Making headway on the family tree database, however, was another story. Progress on the Stevens line remains flatlined since mid-August. See what I mean about not being the show-off at multi-tasking? Still, I managed to punch out a measly seventy three additions to his maternal tree. Every little bit counts, no matter how clumsily it arrives on the tally sheet.

The same two-steps-forward-one-step-back jig carried over to my own family lines. My paternal line remained static, too. But I gained sixteen new DNA matches, pushing my total autosomal test connections up to 920, effective with the latest new add yesterday. And on my maternal line—the one where I'm finding all the family stories right now—I slipped in an extra 134 names on my database.

Some people can zoom ahead, leaving the rest of us in their wake, gaping in amazement. I'm glad there are some out there who are so dedicated. It certainly reminds me to not pick up an attitude, even when I think I'm cranking out real signs of progress.

And who knows? Maybe it will be those über dedicated ones who will figure out the answers to those hundreds of "matches" in my family's test results which don't seem to lead to anyone we know, let alone a known relative!


  1. How does she do it? I am in awe. Of course I cannot walk and chew gum at the same time either:)

    1. See? I knew we had some things in common ;)

      Yes, I am totally in awe as well. That's dedication.

  2. And here I am - with zero DNA kits.


    1. I've heard it said there is safety in numbers. I guess even in the number zero.


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