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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mudgeeclarke View Post
    PS: When I contacted my closest mtDNA match, I got a reply (wow!) but the email started ... "Why do you want to know about our family ..."
    Given that opening line in their response, I am now I'm curious to know how you worded your contact email to them.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by gtc View Post
      Given that opening line in their response, I am now I'm curious to know how you worded your contact email to them.

      LOL. Nothing earth shattering in my email contact, which I always direct through the FTDNA site. My 'standard' mtDNA opening (which usually works for me) is more or less this:

      "Hello. FTDNA has advised me that we have a (insert here) match in our Haplogroup U3b mtDNA results. I am very interested in my maternal family history, and where my distant maternal relatives may have lived. From what I have found by paper research, my direct maternal family is from the south of Germany (Names/Places here). According to what I have read about Haplogroup U3b, my earlier maternal lineage was possibly from further to the East and South. Because we have a close mtDNA match, I am wondering what you may know about your maternal ancestry - the earliest known locations and names. Perhaps we may have a similar ancestral story. I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes."

      I might add that in the particular case I mentioned, it turned out that the mtDNA test was submitted in an effort to find the name/whereabouts of a 1920s female migrant, and it became apparent after a couple of responses that the 'owner' of the test was not clear on the pros and cons of DNA testing. In fact, after I did some paper research to find immigration data just to give the owner a lead or two to follow, I was told not to contact him again. (Because of the match, I have made notes of the locations in Italy, and I have also done some paper trail work on the names back into the 1790s.)

      The email doesn't always work. My absolute best mtDNA match is from Russia, and no email in English or Russian (or via Project Admins) has gained a response. But I have received some incredibly detailed information from folks in Turkey, Greece, Slovakia and Italy. Fascinating stuff!

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      • #18
        Back when I foolishly contacted mtDNA matches, I sent an e-mail message to a B-list actress match. No response but soon after, the person's name was changed to anon.anon with no e-mail address.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by econnore View Post
          Back when I foolishly contacted mtDNA matches ...
          Contacting them foolishly probably had a negative effect ...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Mudgeeclarke View Post

            <snips>

            In fact, after I did some paper research to find immigration data just to give the owner a lead or two to follow, I was told not to contact him again.
            Well, that's a very well-worded initial contact message, so you were evidently dealing with a dingbat of one variety or another.

            On the other side of the coin, it reminds me of a story on another forum where a guy sent an unsolicited email to a person in Europe asking for them to undergo DNA testing, and the person reported him to Interpol. LOL!

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            • #21
              I have lost most of my interest in this because of the how vague it is and the uncertainity of it all. You can pay this website a million dollars for test after test and walk to every courthouse and cemetery in the country and your still guessing and very likely have a bunch of pictures hung in your house of people you are no more related to than anyone else. This cold hard fact is what has robbed me of my interest in the whole thing. Why research all these people and find all these pictures and documents and such when there is no concrete evidence of any of it ???????????????

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Mudgeeclarke View Post
                Yes, it is very frustrating! But I do understand very well that Family History, and DNA, is definitely not everyones idea of time well spent.

                I think one of the issues at FTDNA is that if you are doing this for the first time, it is very easy when setting your preferences to check a box which then effectively hides your results from the world. Some of those folks (unwittingly perhaps) harmed themselves and the general database community. It is two edged sword. Frankly, when I started, I had no clue at all about DNA and whether it was 'safe' for everyone to see my results or if it was like giving out my bank account number, and I didn't know what I should allow and what I should hide. I threw caution to the wind, only because I was doing it more from a scientific curiousity point of view than thinking it would give me the names addresses and life stories of my relatives.

                I have previously suggested that FTDNA should periodically remind those who have 'locked up' their results that that may get further along if they joined the wider community database. It's a numbers game, and hiding some data from the wider community 'short changes' everyone.

                Meanwhile, we just have to get along with the shortcomings, and ensure that our own results are posted far and wide in the WWW.

                PS: When I contacted my closest mtDNA match, I got a reply (wow!) but the email started ... "Why do you want to know about our family ..."
                Some people (like me ) simply want to be private with their information. Just like you said earlier in your post. This is why all my info is hid. I don't trust people. I regret now taking the DNA test in the firstplace. No telling who has all my dna info now and no telling what kind of personal information is out there for everyone to see. After taking the YDNA test a couple years ago I still get emails sometimes from people with totally different last names than me that are supposedly in the YDNA project. Hackers, spammers, and fraudsters are everywhere.

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                • #23
                  I, and I think a lot of people fell the same way about DNA. It's a tool and I don't have time to become a Jr. Geneticist. I hope to use it to prove or disprove my research thats all.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by 507 View Post
                    I have lost most of my interest in this because of the how vague it is and the uncertainity of it all. You can pay this website a million dollars for test after test and walk to every courthouse and cemetery in the country and your still guessing and very likely have a bunch of pictures hung in your house of people you are no more related to than anyone else. This cold hard fact is what has robbed me of my interest in the whole thing. Why research all these people and find all these pictures and documents and such when there is no concrete evidence of any of it ???????????????
                    I understand what you are saying ... and I agree it can get very frustrating. But, even after 30+ years of searching, I'm enjoying the detective work (most of the time). Alternatively, I could just chuck all this DNA and paper trail stuff, and the pictures, into the rubbish pit, and then hang one picture on my living room wall - a chimpanzee. That would be 'cutting to the chase'.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 507 View Post
                      Some people (like me ) simply want to be private with their information. Just like you said earlier in your post. This is why all my info is hid. I don't trust people. I regret now taking the DNA test in the firstplace. No telling who has all my dna info now and no telling what kind of personal information is out there for everyone to see. After taking the YDNA test a couple years ago I still get emails sometimes from people with totally different last names than me that are supposedly in the YDNA project. Hackers, spammers, and fraudsters are everywhere.
                      ... I was being hacked and spammed and (attempted) defrauded well before I took any DNA tests. Certainly, you're right about personal information being out there for everyone to see ... and that starts when your birth is registered ... and moves right along with you when you get a license to drive, join a library, register to vote, submit a tax return, buy a car, etc etc.

                      As far as I know, if you see my DNA haplogroup, it won't help you get to my bank account (not that the effort would be worth it quite frankly).

                      I have to wonder why you actually took a DNA test in the first place. Did you expect a different outcome? Were you misinformed about what it could achieve? As for getting emails about your DNA results from people with different names, that is very common, and understandable. Just go back 5 generations from your parents (maybe 150 years), and you have 64 'grandparents' with ?? children who got married, and all those offspring again. If half the offspring are female, half those names have changed, but their relationship has not.

                      Don't be too hard on DNA - just remember it is only a tool to add to your bag of tricks in helping your search. As for costs, for me, a 7 day visit to any part of Europe to spend researching is far more expensive than every DNA test I can take. Of course, I'd like to do both !!!

                      I know this can all be very frustrating, and sometimes we need to take a break from it, and come back with fresh eyes. As for brickwalls, I gave up trying to knock them down head-on. I had much more luck sneaking down another road and coming back in behind them.

                      Best wishes to you. Take a deep breath. One day, "your ship will come in."

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 507 View Post
                        You can pay this website a million dollars for test after test and walk to every courthouse and cemetery in the country and your still guessing and very likely have a bunch of pictures hung in your house of people you are no more related to than anyone else.
                        While having DNA testing done is not a complete answer it can narrow things down and sometimes surprise you. Analyzing my yDNA, for example, told me that the paternal side of the family was Irish (and south Irish, at that), something that our family traditions would not have predicted.

                        I've spent a lot of time in courthouses and writing letters to dig into my grandfather's maternal lines. A distant cousin match on Family Finder managed to confirm all that work back to an ancestor in the 1700s.

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