Sunday, November 17, 2019

Winter Holidays and DNA Matches

It looks like a lot of companies are pushing for an early Christmas shopping season, given the late appearance on this year's calendar for Black Friday. Of course, you probably already can guess my opinion about Black Friday events. I avoid them at all costs.

Still, one thing I wish for, whether folks shop early or traditionally, is that somebody buys a DNA test kit for one of my distant relatives.

Have you noticed lately? The pace at which DNA matches have arrived in my accounts has slowed to a trickle. I used to get well over twenty each time I checked my biweekly count—from each DNA company. Make that well over one hundred each time, just at MyHeritage. Now, the new matches every two weeks total a mere handful at each company.

This, of course, had been predicted by a number of people who watch the industry. Whether it will hold true over this holiday shopping season is yet to be seen.

Still, I can't complain about the mere trickle of results I'm now getting in, considering that last summer, I got one of the most important matches I've been waiting for since beginning this genetic genealogy journey. And that's the problem: we can't pick who, among all those unknown third to fifth cousins out there, will step up to take a DNA test this winter. But I still can't wait to see the returns in the after-holiday results bulge.

Meanwhile, I'll keep chipping away at all those unknown twigs on my family tree. After all, in the last two weeks, I managed to add 182 to my mother's tree, to total 19,556 of her ancestors and their collateral lines. And that was about all I accomplished. I'm trying to focus on her line specifically on account of the week-long class I'll be taking next January at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. After all, it's because of my mother's colonial Virginia ancestry that I'll be sitting in Barbara Vines Little's course to delve into that topic.

Between now and the third week of January, I suspect the count for my other three trees will suffer the same fate as they have, this past week. I added a fat zero to each of my in-laws' trees, as I did to my own father's tree. Still, that leaves me with 654 in my dad's tree and 1,563 in my father-in-law's tree, and with 17,194 in my mother-in-law's tree. I'll be back to those other projects soon enough. Right now, though, I need to focus on getting ready—in the midst of all this holiday enjoyment—for some serious learning, come January.

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