I look after 7 DNA kits from Ancestry and all are uploaded to Family Tree DNA, My Heritage DNA and GEDmatch DNA. How do I keep a record of my matches, chromosomes and common information?
I have a spreadsheet on my google drive which synchronizes across all my devices. This means whether I am at home on my desktop PC, or in a library with my iPad or my laptop then I can always get to that spreadsheet to make any changes.
I mainly work on my father’s DNA connections or my mother’s as they will be one generation closer to the Most Common Recent Ancestor (MCRA) than if I work with mine or my brother’s.
The main DNA spreadsheet has lots of sheets relating to Dad
The first sheet has a copy of the first 2000 links from GEDmatch using the one-to-many test. This is just a straight copy/paste. I have then gone through the first 100 people using the one-to-one test to find out the chromosomes shared with my dad. I am starting to colour code people who match each other when using the share 2 kits test. At least once a moth I update this sheet by checking the people marked in green on the main GEDmatch page for Dad. These will be the recent people who share his DNA.
The second sheet is a copy of the share 2 kits test for Dad and Kevin (his half brother) This is a straight copy/paste. This means everyone on that list is from dad’s paternal side as dad and Kevin share a father. This list includes names and emails of the matches as well as the amount of cM shared and the generations between the matches. I am in contact with 3 people on this list so far.
The third sheet is one I have to create from information on available trees from the people in the Dad/Kevin list. I find their trees on any of the DNA websites. On this sheet I list the name of the person, the surnames at 4 or more generations away and where and when those people were born and died.
The fourth sheet is the share 2 kits test for Dad and Ruby. Anyone on this list relates to my dad’s maternal grandmother.
Dad/Patrick is because Patrick is the closest unknown link on the GEDmatch list at 3.9 generations.
I just found a great video from Ancestry explaining shared cM, mirror trees and a lot more. The sound is not too great and sounds a bit tunnelly.
My future plans
I will be starting a new spreadsheet for Mum’s DNA at some stage to keep all her information there.
On Ancestry, I have lots of trees, one labelled DNA Dad’s tree. It is here that I use the information from dad and Kevin matches to create mirror trees to find out where they link. So far I have about 6 trees started but none link yet. This will certainly be an ongoing project.
I also keep a separate spreadsheet with all those people I have already found a match to with DNA from either Mum or Dad. But I also include matches with the other people whose kits I look after eg Ruby, Dorothy and Kevin. The information in this is then sent to Blaine Bettinger’s shared cM Project via this Google form. The MCRA is usually a grandparent couple rather than an individual except in the case of my father’s grandmother. Most of my dad’s matches are half relationships and in the note column I will mention if the match is double cousins as I have on one side of mum’s tree. As Ancestry doesn’t give the largest number of cMs, I just put Ancestry in this column. When I have uploaded data to the shared cM project I put the year in the Done column. Anything highlighted in yellow is dad’s side but more information needs to be included, green is same but mum’s side.
Readers: How do you record your matches for DNA from all the websites or do you just use one website?