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Is chasing all matches worthwhile?

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  • Is chasing all matches worthwhile?

    Or should one concentrate on a reasonable, more manageable number of the closest matches?

    So far with Illumina I have 8 "4th cousin" matches and 18 "5th to distant" matches. How many would you follow up?

    Some folk I know have dozens of matches.

  • #2
    Follow all of them. Why would you not? You never know, you could find a connection easier with a more distant cousin than one closer. You just don't know without making the attempt. They might have done much more traditional research than you.

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    • #3
      Match by Match

      With Affy, I had 55 matches. With Illumina, I have 35 and counting. So far, I've contacted just about everyone, with mixed success. No known connections yet but one of the matches told me that two of my other matches were her daughter and uncle. With that information, we narrowed it down to being related through an Irish line. Go for it! Some will not answer. Others will be delightful.

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      • #4
        One strategy you could use is to contact the closer relatives first. Especially if some of your matches also match each other. Then if you figure out your connection to the closer relation, it should help both of you identify the connection to the third match. GEDMatch has tools that can automate this process. But both you and your matches need to upload your data and/or GEDCOMs.

        I don't have many matches total, so I've tried contacting all of them so far. Most of them have responded, but none of us has established a connection yet. If I get a huge number of matches as FF conversions are completed, I might revert to the aforementioned strategy.

        And regarding your signature:
        Originally posted by royfarnol View Post
        Population Finder "Orcadian" 100% +/- 0.1%
        It really doesn't mean you're Orcadian, at all. They were just a convenient population to test for a general "Western European" population, that differed significantly enough from the others (Basque, French, and Spanish) to be detectable.
        Last edited by nathanm; 20 March 2011, 04:52 PM.

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        • #5
          I start with closer ones first plus ones that either have long list of surnames (whether close or distant) which is a crude, not infallible indication they've done some extensive paper trail research and might be into doing the necessary research.

          On 23andMe I also go for anyone, no matter how distant, who shares either a y- or mt-DNA hg with me. (That is a grand total of 3 so far, with no responses).

          But yes, go for all you have time for. You never know a) who will respond and who won't and b) who you'll be able to confirm your match with. So far I'm 0-for-2 on my two 3rd cousins (though one "4th cousin" and I confirmed ours as 3rd cousins once removed). But I have confirmed matches with some as distant as 11th cousins once removed, and 8th cousin 3x removed.

          As Forrest Gump philosophized, you never know what you'll get. So go for it all, that's what I say!
          Originally posted by nathanm View Post
          One strategy you could use is to contact the closer relatives first. Especially if some of your matches also match each other. Then if you figure out your connection to the closer relation, it should help both of you identify the connection to the third match. GEDMatch has tools that can automate this process. But both you and your matches need to upload your data and/or GEDCOMs.

          I don't have many matches total, so I've tried contacting all of them so far. Most of them have responded, but none of us has established a connection yet. If I get a huge number of matches as FF conversions are completed, I might revert to the aforementioned strategy.

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          • #6
            Follow them is worth it

            When looking at autosomal matches if both parties have good paper trails having a single segment 5th+ cousin match may help one separate out ownership of multiple shared segments with closer cousin(s). While the odds are against this but it remains a possibility.

            Not having sufficient documentation prior to 1820 with the matching individual ancestors is the biggest problem.

            As one collects information from the distant matches you will find yourself able to develop a picture of some of the "communities" or groups that existed and expanded westward together. Some of this comes from mining what your matching individual knows about their tree.

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            • #7
              I don't even think about contacting FF matches if they don't bother to list surnames, or post a gedcom.

              Timothy Peterman

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              • #8
                Originally posted by T E Peterman View Post
                I don't even think about contacting FF matches if they don't bother to list surnames, or post a gedcom.

                Timothy Peterman
                I have found it's a mixed bag. Those ones might have no idea of their paper trail and no tree anywhere .... or they might have a large tree on Ancestry.com. and just haven't got a gedcom on FTDNA.
                Several of those ones have made me a guest so I can see their tree on Ancestry

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                • #9
                  I think contacting all matches is good, because if they have a GEDCOM - even a 5th cousin - you might be able to make connections between them and other matches.

                  I have a couple 5th cousin matches that I've connected at the 7th cousin level. They do not show as matches to each other, but since they are 7th cousins I know which part of their trees to look though.

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                  • #10
                    Make contact please

                    Originally posted by T E Peterman View Post
                    I don't even think about contacting FF matches if they don't bother to list surnames, or post a gedcom.

                    Timothy Peterman
                    Not contacting because of those reasons actually make it more difficult for a person like myself, who is adopted and doing all this to find out her past from people like you, much more difficult. Therefore, we are unable to list surnames. If we were able to connect with more people we would be able to do more.

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                    • #11
                      But I didn't say that I wouln't answer inquiries.

                      Timothy Peterman

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