Tips for Discovering Biological Family with AncestryDNA

Ancestry has put together an informative blog post with tips for discovering biological family with AncestryDNA. Genealogists use DNA results to find relatives that they were unaware of. Genealogical mysteries are being solved thanks to consumer DNA tests like AncestryDNA.

The five tips article was written by Jake Fletcher, an Associate Genealogist at Ancestry ProGenealogists. He specializes in a number of genealogical research areas, including the Northeastern U.S., Ireland, and unknown parentage.

Jake Fletcher says that, after receiving your AncestryDNA results, the first thing you should create a personal record of DNA matches for posterity and also to help with analysis. He suggests you create a spreadsheet or catalog for your DNA matches. In the blog post, he gives more specific details about what, exactly, to record on your spreadsheet or catalog.

After that, he advises you to find a way to visualize connections between the matches. One way to do that is to make a chart. Start with an ancestral couple, and chart out the people who are biologically related to that couple by generation. The purpose of doing this is to make it easier for you to envision theories for the identity of a biological relative.

One of the most interesting tips Jake Fletcher gives is to be prepared for contact. There is the possibility that someone who is related to you, and who learns this through his or her AncestryDNA test results, may attempt to contact you.

Connecting with a relative who you have never met can be stressful. In general, people connecting with “long-lost” relatives for the first time hope that things will go well. There’s a chance that the meeting may be awkward, uncomfortable, or disastrous. It is a good idea to mentally prepare yourself the possibility of an emotional meeting with a relative.

The comment section on the blog written by Jake Fletcher includes some interesting ideas. Several people have noted that the spreadsheet or catalog idea is great for those who understand how to create it and add data to it. But, some people simply do not have the skills to do that.

Others note that instead of doing that work manually, it would make sense to have and AncestryDNA include those tools online. Doing so would put everything in one place and make it easier for people who aren’t especially skilled with using a variety of different kinds of software.

Related Articles at

* Ancestry Discusses AncestryDNA and Jewish Genealogy

* AncestryDNA Introduces Genetic Communities

* Ancestry Lets Customers Opt-Out of DNA Matches

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