My children know, or at least they should know, that they won’t be getting some large inheritance because I’m spending all my money on DNA testing. Well that might be a slight exaggeration but I’ve spent a lot and I plan to spend more.
Out of all that spending has come a greater visual understanding of how from one generation to the next you lose matches, at least with autosomal testing . What do I mean when I say that? First of all let me tell you who I’ve tested. I’ve tested both my sons, my parents, two uncles on my mom’s side of the family and one of my cousins on my mom side as well as a second cousin on my mom’s side of the family. On my dad’s side of the family I’ve tested two of my dad’s second cousins and a third cousin and a second cousin once removed. So what does that all tell me?
What I’ve found most interesting is the matches that my mom and her brothers get and how some of those are connected to one of my son and not to the other. I do understand that you get half of your chromosomes from each of your parents and that you don’t get the same half as your siblings. But I guess it didn’t really hit home until I saw who matched to who and who didn’t.
My mom was 78 when she passed away this year and my uncles are of a similar ages. When you start looking at who are their matches outside of the known immediate family and to which members of the younger generation they connect to you realize that by not testing the older generation when you are able you may lose valuable information that will help you understand your family connection to your matches.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that with each generation you lose a bit of how you connect to someone elses tree, so you shouldn’t wait … you should test your oldest generation as their DNA has much to tell you.
By now you have come to realize I’m a DNA junky and I may have to start a group. Oh wait a minute, I did… well a friend of mine and I did, for our genealogy society. We are not experts and we tell everyone that, but we are very interested in the topic and so we want to help everyone else that has the same interest, so that way we can all learn it together.
So to continue with the hunt to figure out the Beaton/Batten mystery the next step is to go to DNAgedcom.com. I learned about it from a blog post on Sue Griffith’s blog called Genealogy Junkie. Take a look around her blog; there is a lot of info.
Once you’ve set up your account on DNAgedcom.com you’re ready to go. You can do this several way; you can upload an Ancestry file, 23andMe file, Family Tree DNA file or a gedmatch file. I have my DNA kits (I’m the keeper of both my parents DNA and a few other family members) on Family Tree DNA but I also have my personal DNA and my husband’s on Ancestry. I decided to opt for the gedmatch upload and I choose my mom’s kit as she is a part of the Beaton/Batten mystery.
If you choose the same path that I did, then I can tell you that on the gedmatch upload page (beta) there is a link to an instruction booklet that is written very well and was easy to follow along with.
Once you’ve completed all the steps you can download a report that looks like this.
Sorry my screen shot is a bit blurry.. But you get the idea.. or perhaps you will once I show you chromosome 22.
Here you can see that I have a couple of overlaps on this portion of the chromosome. If your hover your mouse over the coloured segment it tells you all the people who match on that segment. Now you have a list of people who you can contact. On the green line there is my cousin Rick, my mom’s second cousin; Margaret and another person (whom I’ve contacted before). On the Brown line its the same three people. But on the purple segment there are seven people who I can contact.
Maybe I won’t find the answer to my Beaton/Batten mystery…but I’ll keep looking and convincing other people to do their DNA and work with the tools we have available and maybe someday the mystery won’t be a mystery any longer.
As I told you yesterday; this hound is on the hunt for DNA. So a few years back, after getting my results from Family Tree DNA I decided to put my information on Gedmatch. Gedmatch is a third-party site where you can upload your raw data from Family Tree DNA, Ancestry or 23andMe. Each of the sites provides information as to how you can download from their site.
Once you have the raw data it’s relatively easy to upload to Gedmatch. There is a waiting period after uploading the raw data before you can run the “one to many” report but in the meantime there are still quite a few reports you can run. Like the “one to one” and even a few fun reports.. well at least I think they are fun.. “are your parents related” and “eye colour predictor”.
I also need to tell you that Gedmatch is a free site but there is a lot of work involved in making something like this work so donations are accepted. Also, if your going to do what I want to do with my information; namely transfer that info over to DNA Gedcom, then you have to donate to become Tier One. But I’d still do it just because it helps me and I couldn’t possibly do something like this without making my brain hurt a lot.
So the waiting period for your data to be tonkenized is a few days but once completed you can now run the “one to many” report which matches you to others who match your DNA. If your from Family Tree DNA your kit number now has an “f” at the beginning and if your from Ancestry you have an “a” and if your from 23andMe the you have a “m”. Of course it’s only those people who’ve taken the time to upload their raw data, but hopefully your cousins are as enthusiastic as you are about DNA.