Sunday, February 25, 2018
Looking for New Ways to
Approach the Same Old Questions
This week, I played around with different ways to view the same old data on my DNA match lists. The sheer abundance of data can get overwhelming, leaving me feeling like I'm awash in meaningless information. The frustrating thing is that those test results are actually telling me something. I just can't find those needles in the ever-burgeoning haystack.
Thankfully, I've seen there are a few new techie toys making their debut to help look at all the data from fresh, new angles. RootsFinder is developing a new DNA tool kit resource. And—ever-popular with people who, like me, have never outgrown their childish love of coloring—DNA Painter is offering a colorful chromosome mapping resource.
I'm looking forward to trying out those new "toys" soon. Meanwhile, I'm still plodding through the process of filling in the "reverse genealogy" of all my ancestors' descendants. And today is time for another biweekly recap of progress.
Thankfully, on the DNA front, it looks like the bonanza of kit sales from the winter holidays—plus the surprise sales activity inspired by Valentine's Day—is still swelling my family's match numbers. My match counts increased by sixty at Family Tree DNA and twenty seven at AncestryDNA. But the real surprise came from my newest test: my count at MyHeritage zoomed up 238 over the past two weeks.
Likewise, my husband's DNA results were up forty five at FTDNA and twenty four at AncestryDNA. His new test at MyHeritage netted him an increase of two hundred matches this time. Even his 23andMe results budged up by one, unlike my loss of eighteen over this last cycle.
Meanwhile, I've been trying to get back to the habit of working on our family's trees during those odd snatches of down time during my day. Keeping that pace up in January, when I was preparing for, attending, or returning from the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy was tough to do, but now I have no excuse. In the past two weeks, I've added 121 to my mother's tree (now at 12,150), 177 on my mother-in-law's tree (totaling 14,354) and even some on our dads' lines (up five to 1,407 on my father-in-law's tree, and an unbelievable additional twenty for a 478 total on my dad's side).
Up ahead in this year's genealogy plans are adding my family's trees on other websites, like the new MyHeritage addition and the FindMyPast site. I'm seeing them as cousin bait just as much as I view this blog. Besides, one previous source of some researcher connections—my tree at Rootsweb—is becoming more and more a tenuous link, as Rootsweb content suffers increasingly from outdated technology woes (and perhaps a shrinking commitment to that altruistic cause from their current benefactors at Ancestry.com). The more places where I can pin my family's heritage details, the more likely it is that someone—maybe that missing cousin with all the answers to my questions—will stumble upon my records, reach out and make the connection.