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

    Leave a comment:


  • rdstewart92
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • KATM
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • abuelita
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • rdstewart92
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • MMaddi
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • rdstewart92
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • KATM
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • rdstewart92
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim Barrett
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • MoberlyDrake
    replied
    As far as Y-DNA and mtDNA tests go, FTDNA does have the largest database because FTDNA and 23andMe don't do Y-DNA and mtDNA testing, but as far as atDNA (autosomal) testing goes, they may have the smallest database. Ancestry's database is enormous, but it's a database full of blanks as most people just want their ethnicity results. They have no trees. They don't have a clue as to who their ancestors were and most of them probably couldn't care less. No one answers email.

    Ancestry doesn't give you a chromosome browser and doesn't tell you the location of the segment(s) of DNA you share with a person.

    However, I have dozens of matches there that I can usually assign to specific branches of my tree, because some do have trees and shard matches sometimes are clear. I might be believing my whole tree was wrong based on the matches I get here at FTDNA were it not for all the close matches I get in known lines at Ancestry.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tmason
    replied
    A bit off-topic, but I'm somewhat surprised to learn Ancestry's database is larger than FTDNA's.

    I had thought a major selling-point of FTDNA was their very large database.

    I first tested with them back in 2010.

    I only recently decided to take things a step further, and have other family members tested, and the decision arose of whether to stick with FTDNA, or test with a different company (the main contender being Ancestry).

    As I will be the administrator for all of it, I decided it would be more practical to keep everyone with the same company, but I was also influenced by how large I believed the databases to be. I admit I stupidly didn't research this. I thought Ancestry DNA was a relative newcomer to the field, so assumed their database to be much smaller.

    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.

    Now I find it might have been better to get the additional family members tested at Ancestry, and just port their results over here.

    This was what one of my matches who did the same was urging me to do.

    I stupidly said I'd rather stick with the company I knew - but partly because of my belief in their larger database.

    Leave a comment:


  • ltd-jean-pull
    replied
    Originally posted by RoryBowers View Post
    There is not one adoption in my tree going back four generations, 1500 some odd individuals.
    Really?

    We had two new cousins pop up on the same day FtDNA a few months ago that had multiple ICWs with people related to my maternal grandfather. E-mails were sent between the known relatives to see how closely we all were related. One turned out to be very distantly related to one set of cousins, but the other was closely related to us all.

    The genealogy expert on one branch (I'm pretty sure she has just about EVERYONE covered from our mutual ancestors down) said that this wasn't a surname she'd come across before.

    We now know how he is related, and it's complex due to intermarriage. He and I share three couples in our Ancestry.
    No wonder he matched us all. He has the surname of the family that raised him.

    The other one is just your "common garden" third cousin. We have no idea how he matches (very distantly) someone from the gt-grandfather's wife's family.
    Last edited by ltd-jean-pull; 24 May 2017, 03:49 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • ech124
    replied
    So if you have both parents tested at Ancestry, here is a suggestion that will help you and not cost you a cent. Do the free transfer for both of them to here. Then go into the family tree section of your account. If you already have your tree here, just link in your parents kits in the tree. If you do not have a tree, build a simple one of yourself and your 2 parents and link them. After the linking, you will see that the system will classify many of your matches into either a paternal or maternal category (on the matches menu) and you will have some basis for beginning to mutually explore the possible connections.

    Leave a comment:


  • rdstewart92
    replied
    Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
    I highly recommend that you read The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy which you can get at Amazon or maybe your local bookstore.

    I tested my mother back in 2010 and her niece, nephew and 2 1st cousins since, and I've yet to break down a brick wall. It's almost impossible to find out what ancestors you share with a match even if they are predicted to be a 2nd-4th cousin. If two are more people share an overlapping segment on the chromosome browser, provide that segment is over 7 cM and preferably over 10 cM you probably all received that segment of DNA from a common ancestor. But beware. You have 2 of each chromosome, one from your mother and one from your father. It's possible that some people who match on a segment don't match each other, because one or more is matching your father's DNA and the other(s) are matching your mother's.

    I have been able to verify more of my paper trail using Ancestry's DNA test than Family Finder, due to the much larger database, but they give you no tools at all.

    I find DNA to be much more difficult than traditional research despite problems and expenses of obtaining courthouse records, films, etc.

    Also a Y-DNA test destroyed the line of one great-grandparent. I had the probate records, etc. but those records just didn't reveal that my great-grandfather was the son of a neighbor, rather than of my 2nd great-grandmother's husband. So there can be unpleasant surprises!
    I had both of my parents do that Ancestry test so I'm hoping to see better results going that way. I'm very disappointed in Family Tree DNA based on the results I received. With any luck I'll get some better info uploading to GEDmatch.

    Leave a comment:

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