Sunday, April 7, 2019

Not Bad, For all That Complaining

So I had a bad week. Thankfully, there was a lot of support, and I got through it all—especially thankful for your support in particular. But when it came to tallying my biweekly research progress, I just had to cringe. After all, there were a few days when I just couldn't bring myself to do much of anything, and a few more days when I spent the entire time putting out fires and attending to the upheaval that comes when things go wrong. I had no idea what that was going to do to my counts.

As it turned out, not much damage at all, though I did have to sit myself down and force myself to do what used to flow from a position of sheer joy. I found out: I'll get over it. Life goes on. I may as well put my running shoes back on and catch up to the race.

So here's how things turned out in the past two weeks of research. My mother's tree—that southern-focused collection of "kin"—saw 275 more names added, including supporting documentation, to bring her count to 17,556 individuals. I guess things weren't as bad as they felt like they were.

Of course, I've maintained a steady diet of doing absolutely nothing on my in-laws' trees, so my mother-in-law's count stays constant at 15,996 and my father-in-law's tree is unchanged at 1,515. But with that DNA discovery of a missing branch of my paternal grandmother's line, I was able to add six more individuals to the puniest of my family trees—my dad's tree, which now stands at 530 names.

Having recently returned from a DNA conference and now teaching a genetic genealogy class locally, I'm keeping my eye on the numbers for all the DNA tests I administer. I had been concerned that numbers weren't keeping up their usual brisk pace of increase lately, but the past two weeks allay a bit of that concern. My test matches were up twenty one at Family Tree DNA, though only nine at 23andMe. I now have 3,504 and 1,104 matches, respectively, at those two companies. MyHeritage has numbers which are far beyond that ballpark, with 7,479 matches total, up eighty three from two weeks ago, but that count includes distant cousins beyond the range I normally consider. On the other hand, Ancestry's match count for fourth cousin and closer cuts off at the thousand mark, so I haven't had an easy way to determine the count there for weeks, now.

For the next two weeks, my research goal—should I agree to accept getting back into action here—will focus on more work on my mother's tree, as well as completing that new branch of my father's Laskowski line, thanks to this new cousin match. On my mother's tree, I've moved from the McClellan line—the one associated with King Stockton's mother's saga—to the Tison line. If I can zero in on whether it was a McClellan or a Tison in the roots of Hester, that would be superb, though I'm not yet sure whether I have enough information to follow such a study. Thus, holding the course on the Tison line for now will be the best approach.


  1. Sounds like you are ready to go back in the trenches again! :)

  2. Regarding the number of 4C and closer matches, I just discovered where the exact number can be found -- if you have switched to the "new and improved" DNA match view. Look in the groups dropdown that defaults to "all matches". After any groups you have set up, you can select from "all matches," "close matches," "distant matches," etc. "Close matches" is 4C and closer, and the number of matches is given. (I have 1,263. You may be as astonished as I to see how many distant matches you have -- I have over 54,000!)

    1. You're right! Kathy, I totally forgot about that!'ve got me beat: I'm only at 45,824 distant matches. But what's a few thousand DNA matches among genea-friends?!

      Thanks for mentioning that. I had even put in feedback to that effect when it first launched, never thinking to see if they had already taken care of that little detail.


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