I took the Autosomal DNA test in the summer of 2014 at both Ancestry.com (called AncestryDNA) and Family Tree DNA (called Family Finder). I feel I have learned enough to map my chromosomes in order to discover more about my ancestry and also help others who share some of my ancestors.
Mapping my chromosomes means identifying those segments of DNA that come from one line of ancestors. For example I have discovered a segment of Chromosome 7 that came from my mother, was from her father Clarence Statler and to him from his father Roddy Statler back to Casper Statler and Rebecca Walter. My cousins who share Casper and Rebecca as ancestors might share the same segment or not. I have found several which do and was able to quickly link another person to this couple even though Casper and Rebecca were not in her family tree yet. This is why it is so important for me to be able to see where on the various Chromosomes I match others. We might know a common ancestor to identify that segment OR we might find others who match on that segment who can help us identify an ancestor that is not yet on our trees. The potential for breaking through “brick walls” is definitely there.
If you took the DNA test at Ancestry just to see your Ethnicity estimate then perhaps looked at your matches and wondered, how am I related to all these people? If one of those people is me I will try to help, with some conditions.
1. Have a family tree that is the best you can do and let me see it. I will try to help if you have little information. My tree is at Ancestry.com under my user name sandrajhall and also at GedMatch linked to kit T595096.
2. Transfer a copy of your test results from Ancestry to either GedMatch.com, Family Tree DNA or MyHeritage.com.
I will only help with the lines which connect us.
This is a site where you can upload (copy) your file for free. (But contributions are a great idea) That way you can compare your results to others who have tested at any of the three companies which do Autosomal DNA testing: Ancestry.com; Family Tree DNA; and 23andMe.
How to download your results from Ancestry to your computer:
Upload (transfer your copy of) your results to GedMatch.com
Family Finder by Family Tree DNA
If you haven’t done the download for GedMatch here are FTDNA’s instructions:
To transfer your Ancestry file to Family Finder:
Set up an account at Family Tree DNA if you don’t have one, and uploading the raw data file from your computer to Family Tree DNA:
You can look at a sample of your matches for free but to join the project and see all your matches the cost is nominal.
Haven’t tested yet?
The most economical way to test is to wait for a sale at Ancestry and test there, then transfer a copy of your results to GedMatch, FTDNA and MyHeritage. Then if you wish to cover all possibilities, test with 23andMe which has grown a great deal over the last few years but does not except file transfers.
Testing may not be for You
You might find your ancestors are not who you think they are, or that they produced children in ways you might not approve. In fact, you should probably not to genealogical research if these things are troubling to you.
No one know better than I that learning about Autosomal DNA takes a lot of effort, here are some of the links I find very helpful:
Specific for Ancestry and GedMatch:
General Genetic Genealogy
Questions welcome email to Sandra Jones Hall