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… try, try again

So a whole bunch of new Family Finder autosomal DNA results came in this week over at Family Tree DNA, and The Legal Genealogist has her fingers crossed one more time.

DNAThere are some promising leads in this batch.

There’s at least one more possible link to the Alabama Battles family that I think we’re descended from.

And the one that tickles me no end? I’m going to be speaking about autosomal DNA on Tuesday, November 12th, to the Central Jersey Genealogical Club at the Hamilton Township, New Jersey, Public Library (more detail here — come out and join us!) — and my contact for the program turns out to be a likely candidate to be a distant cousin in the Baird line I’ll be talking about!

I keep the results for all of my family members in a spreadsheet so I can sort by different factors (who we match, common surnames and the like) and I try to remind myself of what I say in every lecture I ever give about DNA testing: you have to be patient — the match(es) you need may not show up for years.

Here’s what I mean.

Two and a half years ago, only two members of my family had taken the autosomal DNA test (I’d tested and a maternal uncle had as well), and a single individual using one email address turned up as a match to us both. I wrote to that email address and didn’t receive a response.

That’s not really a surprise. With only two members of my family who’d tested, and only one person on the match’s side, I didn’t know a whole lot about where the match might be and my email was necessarily a bit vague.

But with these new results this week, I noticed that another match using the same email address as the first turned up as a match, and a fairly strong one.

I now have a bunch of folks from my family who’ve tested (another uncle, an aunt, some additional cousins) — and this new match matches an entire group from one line of my family. I went back and looked at that first match from two years ago, and she matches most of the same folks on my side.

And that got me thinking. (“A dangerous pastime.” “I know.”1)

So I did something I hadn’t done in a while: I sorted the matches based on the email address used.

And lo and behold… there were eight people who match my family whose kits are all managed from a single email address. Here’s what the chromosome browser shows for just some of those folks matched against just one of my uncles:


Yeah. Oh yeah.

Now I can send another email. I can send along a report showing the line I think these matches may be in. I can explain why I think the match may be in that line.

And, at a minimum, I can ask the person managing those kits what all of the people on that side have in common — and offer, in return, a full explanation of what all the people on my side have in common.

Because, particularly with DNA, if at first you don’t succeed, …

Try and try and try and try and try, try again.


  1. Beauty and the Beast (1991), “Gaston Reprise.”
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