Tuesday, June 27, 2017

23andme once again becoming useful for genetic genealogy

For quite awhile, I've been cautioning people that 23&me did not want genealogists, and was not serving us. Now although they still hide the tools, they are available.

First, many people have now "opened" their profiles, allowing matches to see what the match IS. Of course this is the default on all other sites. And I've figured out how to see all those opened matches on your matches page: https://you.23andme.com/tools/relatives/#people. Sort by Open Sharing.

Now for the fun stuff. Go to https://you.23andme.com/tools/relatives/dna/ and search for your first open match. The code controlling the search is a bit funky, but keep at it and search for the rare part of the name, rather than the common part -- "hiram" rather than "smith". One can compare two other users as well as with yourself. I do that before before writing to people, so I can give them a bit of information. Be sure to scroll down below the simplified chromosome map to the detailed information. I paste all that into a text file; those who love spreadsheets will use those instead.

The first time one writes to a match, it is always good to have some information to them. Many of these people will be new to genealogy, new to genetic testing for genealogy, or even just new to the site. They may not know they the conversation can move to email, or how to use Gedmatch, or anything about their other matches - yet. We can help them get started by giving them some information that gets them interested in doing the work.

So digging out the information from those open profiles can provide (along with the Gedmatch matches) the information about exactly how you match, and who else might be part of the search for the common ancestor.

By the way, I'm also encouraged today by FTdna. Last time I tried to upload my raw 23&me data, to go along with my mtDNA kit, it was disallowed. Today I re-downloaded my raw data from 23&me, and was able to upload to FamilyTreeDNA.com with no problem. So I'm looking forward to being able to see a few more matches there. My mother's brother has a kit there, and I will enjoy looking at that match using the FTdna site. Of course I will add this information to my text file too!

This should give another boost to my McBee, Baysinger, Disney, Walters, Triplett, McFarland, Jack research!

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