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  • #16
    Originally posted by Tmason View Post
    I know Ancestry.com, the parent company, has been around for years - in fact I was/am already a customer of theirs for the conventional research. But I thought they were new to genetic genealogy, and bypassed them for that reason.

    I stupidly said I'd rather stick with the company I knew - but partly because of my belief in their larger database.
    Do you also know that Ancestry.com sold both Y-DNA and mtDNA kits several years ago. They also had surname projects. Then one day they decided they weren't making enough money with this so they scratched the whole thing. Anyone who bought Y-DNA or mtDNA from them can still see their results, but they no longer see matching and all of the surname projects are gone.

    I wonder when the same thing will happen to their autosomal testing. Y-DNA and mtDNA isn't the only things they have started or taken over and then stopped supporting. They have a long history of doing so.

    FTDNA has a long history of providing a great set of products and improving their offerings.

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    • #17
      I'm very close to throwing in the towel. Nobody responds to emails. Out of all my attempted contacts I've only had two respond and only one really provided any real insight. How do you move forward when nobody will respond?

      I'm still stuck at the same brick wall with my 5x great grandfather and all the records for that time period lead me in 3 different directions in 6 different states.

      Even after I received the ancestryDNA results for my parents I've made absolutely no progress. Uploaded them here and basically only got confirmation they were my parents (which I already knew) and all the same matches stayed in place. The same matches that won't respond to emails. Basically all I learned is which matches were Paternal and Maternal.

      I truly think most of the people that do the DNA test just do the test and then walk away from it.

      I've had a few tell me to get the ydna37 test but I really don't understand what that will really tell me if I can't get people to respond to me. Not sure I want to throw more money at this just to be disappointed again. I can't really participate in the clan groups without that.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by rdstewart92 View Post
        I'm very close to throwing in the towel. Nobody responds to emails. Out of all my attempted contacts I've only had two respond and only one really provided any real insight. How do you move forward when nobody will respond?

        I'm still stuck at the same brick wall with my 5x great grandfather and all the records for that time period lead me in 3 different directions in 6 different states.

        Even after I received the ancestryDNA results for my parents I've made absolutely no progress. Uploaded them here and basically only got confirmation they were my parents (which I already knew) and all the same matches stayed in place. The same matches that won't respond to emails. Basically all I learned is which matches were Paternal and Maternal.

        I truly think most of the people that do the DNA test just do the test and then walk away from it.

        I've had a few tell me to get the ydna37 test but I really don't understand what that will really tell me if I can't get people to respond to me. Not sure I want to throw more money at this just to be disappointed again. I can't really participate in the clan groups without that.
        You got your FTDNA results about 6 weeks ago; don't throw in the towel so soon. One thing you need to know is that genetic genealogy is something that takes patience, because it is a long game. How many people do you think have done DNA testing for genealogy? Statistically, not many of the whole population. How many of those might be related to the 1300 people in your researched family tree? Sure, it's 2500 here at FTDNA, but you say they are all speculative, and those are the matches for which it's very difficult to find the common ancestors. Unfortunately, it's a matter of waiting for more people to test, for all of us.

        You are actually doing the right thing, by having your parents tested, too (at Ancestry). It is called "fishing in all ponds" (or as many as you can), although you are at one company and they are at another. As ech124 wrote back in May, you could transfer your parents' results to FTDNA for free; there are benefits for doing that.

        My late father has a match at 23andMe (she is not at FTDNA) who proved to be a 3rd cousin to him. It took me a while to pay for research in Switzerland to find the common ancestor, but there was a surname in common that was a big clue, and indeed the ancestor was on that line. Did I learn more from the researcher than from the 3rd cousin? Probably, but now I have a contact, and we have shared photos and information. Maybe together we'll figure out more about our common family. I have also had a match with Maltese ancestry, who had done research which showed our common ancestor on my maternal side; that gave me some direction and leads. I'm working now with other matches to find our connections.

        I don't know what your ancestors' ethnicities were, but it's possible that they are of groups that are not well represented in either FTDNA's or Ancestry's DNA-tested customers, which are mostly U.S.-oriented, and of British or northern European origins. Also, you are right that some people do the test and then walk away; these usually have fallen for the ads about how the ethnicity results will show their ancestry. This type of match is not truly interested in genealogy, or doing any work toward finding relatives. When you get enough matches, you will see that some are much more interested; they post a list of surnames and locations, and/or upload a tree. Keep in mind that everyone has other demands in their lives, and may take time to answer your emails (yes, even a year or more!).

        Try to sit back and wait; it could be a few years before you get a good match (immediate or close, not so much the distant or speculative). You'll have better luck with matches that are 3rd cousins or closer, or possibly 4th cousins. Keep checking the match lists for you and your parents, and keep doing traditional research. Build out all the descendants and siblings (and their descendants) of the 1300 people on your tree, which may help to recognize a match. Genetic genealogy testing is only one tool, best used in conjunction with traditional research. It is rare to have results that are obvious and just fall into your lap, without additional work.

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        • #19
          The responses I get sure have a way of making me feel as if I'm not doing enough. I'm losing sleep over this process because I can't break down any walls. Its not for lack of trying. Trying too hard maybe. If I had known people just flat out wouldn't respond to my emails I probably wouldn't have even bothered with DNA. It really hasn't told me anything I didn't already know about my heritage nor has any of the results from my parents stated anything new.

          I did mention in my previous post that I transferred my parents DNA to ftdna and the only thing that got me was a breakdown of sides for the matches I already had. No new matches at all. I'm just not seeing any benefit for the money I have spent thus far. If the response is generally only going to be "you may have to wait years" then this was a waste of money.

          All I'm looking to do is breakdown one wall and thought DNA tracking would do that. Clearly I was wrong.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by rdstewart92 View Post
            I'm just not seeing any benefit for the money I have spent thus far. If the response is generally only going to be "you may have to wait years" then this was a waste of money.

            All I'm looking to do is breakdown one wall and thought DNA tracking would do that. Clearly I was wrong.
            Have you been involved in traditional paper trail genealogy at all? If so, I'm sure you've noticed that it's hard to get a response from some or even many people whose trees indicate you share common ancestors. So, that's no different than genetic genealogy.

            As others have explained to you, you need to have patience, whether you're talking about paper trail or genetic genealogy. We're not trying to come across as lecturing to you, just stating the way things are.

            Think of it this way. You've made an investment through your tests. The investment may take a few or several or even 10 years to pay off. It's very rare that you take a DNA test and your brick wall is knocked down in a month or two.

            Keep that in mind and you'll experience less frustration.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
              Have you been involved in traditional paper trail genealogy at all? If so, I'm sure you've noticed that it's hard to get a response from some or even many people whose trees indicate you share common ancestors. So, that's no different than genetic genealogy.

              As others have explained to you, you need to have patience, whether you're talking about paper trail or genetic genealogy. We're not trying to come across as lecturing to you, just stating the way things are.

              Think of it this way. You've made an investment through your tests. The investment may take a few or several or even 10 years to pay off. It's very rare that you take a DNA test and your brick wall is knocked down in a month or two.

              Keep that in mind and you'll experience less frustration.
              Yes, I've been doing traditional papertrail for a few years. I finally broke down and did DNA this year. The problem is that when I start back up on this stuff it takes over my thoughts and dreams so when I can't make any progress is causes irritation and makes it hard to sleep because its always stuck there in my thoughts. Each time I walk away and come back I end up at the same place every time. I keep asking myself why I keep putting myself though it and I can never really answer that.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by rdstewart92 View Post
                ... it takes over my thoughts and dreams so when I can't make any progress is causes irritation and makes it hard to sleep because its always stuck there in my thoughts. Each time I walk away and come back I end up at the same place every time. I keep asking myself why I keep putting myself though it and I can never really answer that.
                I'm stuck too - on my families, with my son-in-law's enslaved ancestors, the bio families of my adopted kids. And all the DNA testing hasn't provided any help whatsoever with reconstructing any of the trees. But it has been interesting in its own right, and it did spur me to really go through the documents again, and to fish out old family papers and photos. Years ago I photocopied a mass of pension affidavits at the National Archives. It is only now that I've been reading them all in detail, and thinking about the social, not just biological, relationships among the people.

                So have you tried taking a break? to search instead for what you can find of the culture and history of the places and times where the already identified people lived? Maybe you can't paste on another name, but it can give insight, interest and meaning to what you have uncovered. And give you wild and exotic dreams.

                (Don't forget to mine historical novels)

                And those who don't reply? Yes, it's sometime hard not to take it personally, but look, they're just rude and selfish. There's nothing we can do about that.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by rdstewart92 View Post
                  The responses I get sure have a way of making me feel as if I'm not doing enough. I'm losing sleep over this process because I can't break down any walls. Its not for lack of trying. Trying too hard maybe. If I had known people just flat out wouldn't respond to my emails I probably wouldn't have even bothered with DNA. It really hasn't told me anything I didn't already know about my heritage nor has any of the results from my parents stated anything new.

                  I did mention in my previous post that I transferred my parents DNA to ftdna and the only thing that got me was a breakdown of sides for the matches I already had. No new matches at all. I'm just not seeing any benefit for the money I have spent thus far. If the response is generally only going to be "you may have to wait years" then this was a waste of money.

                  All I'm looking to do is breakdown one wall and thought DNA tracking would do that. Clearly I was wrong.
                  I apologize for my previous post, where I missed that you had already transferred your parents' data to FTDNA.

                  The testing you've done with DNA for you and your parents may one day help to break down that brick wall you've had, but it seems you are investing a lot of your time and emotion into wanting instant results for something that may well take more time than you are willing to give it.

                  As MMaddi said, think of it as an investment. In that regard, take a break! Walk away from it for a substantial length of time, knowing that, as in a bank, your DNA will be working for you without you having to do anything. Set a schedule to check your match lists, perhaps every few months, or maybe twice a year. Download the match lists for your account and your parents' accounts at those times when you do check. If you essentially forget about this (for your own piece of mind), one day you may be truly surprised when a match contacts you, or you check in to find a 2nd cousin. This is not worth the angst it is causing you.

                  You mentioned people advising taking a Y37 marker test, and that "I can't really participate in the clan groups without that." This implies that your 5X great grandfather is a direct patrilineal ancestor, and I'm guessing a Stewart from Scotland. If that is the brick wall, and you are reluctant to spend more money, you could wait until November when the holiday sale starts, and get a good discount. Or, you could contact the project and order a 12 marker test (which costs about $59, I believe), then upgrade later. That should allow you into the project, which may provide some insight.

                  It is true that with DNA testing, if you really want to find out more, you have to spend more money, either for Y-DNA testing or for other relatives' tests. Not much different than with traditional genealogy research by ordering microfilms or copies of vital records, traveling to places to check records in courthouses, paying for research, etc.

                  Did you end up uploading your and your parents' data to GEDmatch? Did you find any closer matches there?

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by KATM View Post
                    I apologize for my previous post, where I missed that you had already transferred your parents' data to FTDNA.

                    The testing you've done with DNA for you and your parents may one day help to break down that brick wall you've had, but it seems you are investing a lot of your time and emotion into wanting instant results for something that may well take more time than you are willing to give it.

                    As MMaddi said, think of it as an investment. In that regard, take a break! Walk away from it for a substantial length of time, knowing that, as in a bank, your DNA will be working for you without you having to do anything. Set a schedule to check your match lists, perhaps every few months, or maybe twice a year. Download the match lists for your account and your parents' accounts at those times when you do check. If you essentially forget about this (for your own piece of mind), one day you may be truly surprised when a match contacts you, or you check in to find a 2nd cousin. This is not worth the angst it is causing you.

                    You mentioned people advising taking a Y37 marker test, and that "I can't really participate in the clan groups without that." This implies that your 5X great grandfather is a direct patrilineal ancestor, and I'm guessing a Stewart from Scotland. If that is the brick wall, and you are reluctant to spend more money, you could wait until November when the holiday sale starts, and get a good discount. Or, you could contact the project and order a 12 marker test (which costs about $59, I believe), then upgrade later. That should allow you into the project, which may provide some insight.

                    It is true that with DNA testing, if you really want to find out more, you have to spend more money, either for Y-DNA testing or for other relatives' tests. Not much different than with traditional genealogy research by ordering microfilms or copies of vital records, traveling to places to check records in courthouses, paying for research, etc.

                    Did you end up uploading your and your parents' data to GEDmatch? Did you find any closer matches there?
                    I did upload to GEDmatch but I have to admit, that site confuses the hell out of me. I can't make two cents out of what to do now that all three of us are in their system.

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                    • #25
                      Try these two guides:
                      Also, when you log in to GEDmatch, use the "Learn More" section in the left column.

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