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  • Building Your Family Tree on FTDNA Website

    Hi - Not sure if this is the correct forum or not for my question, so if it should be in another one, please move as appropriate.

    While pending my DNA results, I've started to build my family tree on the FTDNA Website. Here's, my question; I want to add a paternal aunt - so should I add her as my father's sibling, or should I add her as my paternal grandfather's daughter, or should I add her as my paternal grandmother's daughter. If one of the above choices is better than the others - why? Thanks in advance for insights on this question.

    Chico -

  • #2
    Why wouldn't you add her as the daughter of your paternal grandfather and paternal grandmother and the sibling of you father who would be a son of your paternal grandfather and paternal grandmother. I am assuming your paternal grandfather and paternal grandmother were the parents of both your father and your paternal aunt.

    I don't know how you do this with FTDNA but it is easy with a genealogy program and then you can create a GEDCOM to upload to FTDNA.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Jim - Thanks for your note. You are correct; my paternal aunt is at the same time, my father's sibling, and my paternal grandfather's & paternal grandmother's daughter. In fact that's where the question originates from. On the FTDNA Web Site it appears I can add her to the family tree through any three of those individuals, and I would like to know which of the three would be the 'better' way to add her. This is really a 'how to' or 'system user' question.

      BTW - I know I can add a GEDCOM - but I would first have to go through a process of selection, creating, etc. And at some future point, I may still face a similar situation regarding adding a person on the FTDNA Web Site.

      Still hoping to receive input on the 'best' way to add someone on the FTDNA Web Site Family Tree, and why. Thanks.

      Chico -

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      • #4
        Hi Chico
        It doesn't really matter which method you use to add a child to your tree - the result will be the same. But I've found the easiest (most foolproof) way is through the father.
        1) When you "add a relationship" via the father's icon, you're prompted to select "son" or "daughter" - so, when the child's profile panel opens up, you won't have to remember to check that you have the right sex for the child (default is male). It can get tedious when there are lots of children, so sometimes I add a new child via the closest sibling, because it's easier than going all the way back (horizontally across the screen) to the father ... but then I have to remember, if it's a daughter, to change the sex. That's usually as well as remembering to mark the person as deceased (when applicable)!
        2) You've most likely entered the mother on your tree under her birth name. So if you add the child via the mother, the program will automatically give the child the mother's surname ... and then you'll need to change it to the father's surname (if that's the surname the child was known by).
        PS: My families are all English and Irish, and in those cultures the child usually takes the father's surname. In other cultures, this won't be the case ...
        Hope this helps

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        • #5
          I'd like to add, just in case someone from FTDNA reads this ... I think it's great to have the ability to hand-build our own trees at FTDNA. I find the "Notes" under each profile particularly useful for explaining oddities, work-in-progress, and other info that can't be captured in the individual's profile.
          I've been documenting my genealogy for 20 years, and I still don't have a gedcom - because I've never found a program that worked for me. All were far too straitjacketing.

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          • #6
            Hi Fern - Thank you for your insights on building Family Trees on the FTDNA Website. I especially appreciate you explaining what the system results are when selecting one option over the other when adding a new family member - that is very helpful.

            I've seen the notes field as well, and want to use it as you have - A comment for any FTDNA Staff - You can use the Carriage Return (Enter Key) when keying notes, but the Carriage Return (Enter Key) is not retained when saving the information. More of a formatting opportunity than anything critical -

            Chico -

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            • #7
              While it is possible to build your family tree on the FTDNA web site, I strongly recommend that you maintain your personal research on a genealogy software program on your home computer, where you have complete control over your data and how it is presented. There are many excellent programs to choose from. I use Brother's Keeper (shareware) because it is easy to use and has been extremely reliable over many years and many versions. It has just the right options to allow me to keep track of my sources and to maintain a sort of on-going analysis of the evidence relating to each person. RootsMagic is also very popular and usable. I've had issues with some other programs that made too many arbitrary choices for me, but it is possible to get used to, and then to be productive with, almost any of these programs. The main advantage is that you can maintain a record of your own research without worrying someone will copy it, interfere with it, or be upset by it, before you are ready to reveal your conclusions. The downside is that you MUST back up your work somehow, in case your computer becomes disabled in some way. There is a learning curve in any genealogy program, and sometimes even in every new version. But it sure beats the way I started in genealogy, continually copying charts and group sheets by hand, and digging through mountains of paper to find some obscure reference that I knew I had seen before. Now most of it is in my personal database, easily found. Progress!

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              • #8
                Thanks, John - good advice and useful information

                It's my personal choice not to use genealogy software. But I wouldn't recommend that route to others. (All my documentation IS on a computer that's regularly backed up to an external source. As well, a considerable amount is also stored in the cloud.)

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                • #9
                  Hi John - Thank you for the thoughtful advise and suggestions, as well as sharing your experiences, I appreciate it. I actually do have my research on my own system, and wasn't planning on making FTDNA my 'system of record' for the family tree.

                  Based on your comments I may take a look at 'Brother's Keeper' and see how that works. Thanks again.

                  Chico -

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