In getting started with genealogy research... here are the TOP FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD DO!
- Get your Elders Tested
- Sit down with your Elders with old Photo Albums
- Build out your GEDCOM-based Family Tree
- Get your raw Ancestry data on GEDMatch.com
- Get your raw Ancestry data on FTDNA
1. Get your Elders TestedIt doesn't matter what DNA service/test you use to get your Elders tested, just get them tested, as soon as you can. Also, buy the test for them as they may not want or have the money to put out, so you can cut back on the awkwardness and increase the likelihood of them agreeing to take the test, if you just buy it for em... plus you'll administer it so you will be able to access and control the results which is an added benefit. AncestryDNA, FTDNA and 23andMe or the top DNA testing groups in IMHO.
|Elders - Genealogy|
2. Sit down with your Elders with the old Photo AlbumsGather as much information you can from your family. The best way to do this is to go up into the attic and find those old boxes of photographs and photo albums.
|Old Photo Album|
3. Build out your GEDCOM-based Family TreeBuild out your tree with software that let's you either import or export the tree based on the GEDCOM exchange model. Most, if not all of the genealogy websites that support tree building, support the GEDCOM standard.
4. Get your raw data on GEDMatch.comProviding you don't have any issues with exposing the finer details of your DNA to everyone, you should get your DNA on GEDMatch.com, as soon as you can. At first glance, you'll be confused at best as for what the site does... but if you have a sharp mind and are good at figuring things out, you may end up using this site more often than any of the others. Consider spending the $10 bucks on getting the additional features that the site has to offer.
5. Get your data on FTDNAFTDNA also has some wonderful comparison tools such as it's Chromosome Browser. If you started out with FTDNA you should be good... if you started out with AncestryDNA you can transfer over with a free trial. I actually paid around $80 to get my AncestryDNA on their with all the features. It was worth it as I had several matches that were helpful in extending my tree.
*. LASTLY, NOTIFY YOUR FRIENDS/FAMILY OF THIS POSTGenealogy is best done when there is lots of supporting data. Consider passing on this post to your friends and family... If they all have Ancestry.com trees (i.e. GEDcoms), and are on GEDMatch.com and FTDNA... you will have lots of info to work from and a strong base to begin and continue your analysis.
As always, I hope this blog post has helped! Good luck with your research!