In genealogy in general there is a lot of ‘cousin hunting’ but in DNA Genealogy where people do not necessarily also have published trees for you to explore but you are reasonably close matches you have to sometimes make a shot in the dark in your initial communications with the individual match to try to find common ancestor.
This usually seems to be most helpful if you keep it high level narrowed down to last names and be decisive with your information. I have been trying to revise my first contact email for autosomal (ftDNA FamilyFinder, AncestryDNA, 23andMe) matches as well as Y-DNA & mtDNA matches. Other than some specific information included in the introduction of the email I try to convey basic information back to about 5-6 generations which is the effective normal reach of the Autosomal test; though I have had good matches up to 8. Conveying less than 4 though based on most of my matches is usually not effective.
I have not had good luck with graphic screenshots of trees, charts (especially the Fan Chart and Double Ancestor), PDFs, or even GEDs and had much more success with basic text outline. As well Ancestry.com and some other sites messaging system only allow text.
So I have been trying to refine my text outline format for DNA Matching Communications without it becoming confusing and keeping my entire message under 1 printed page if not shorter. I have also tried additional indentation to the bullets and not all email clients (or stack exchange) handle this well or excessive wrapping makes it unreadable to those, especially if they are reading it on their phone. I also do not want to get all crazy with highlighting / coloring as it would be lost in b&w printing.
I am really looking for something simple and not over whelming but conveys the information. It does not need to be out of a program.
The following example is for one line I have used but feel it becomes confusing about generation 5 and start adding previous generation’s name as well as do not always include beyond generation 5.
I have tried other variations of it including 5 generations in 5 lines but I even get lost in it.
Note I use mother / father abbreviations vs. the Great GGG abbreviation to try to denote which side of the family and make it easier to track.
I am really looking for something simple and not over whelming ** but conveys the basic information.**
What are others doing to communicate this same set of information clearly in the same format without overloading the individual being messaged?
- Each Generation adds a letter to the right side of the label. M=Mother, F=Father; not Male/Female. (Location Abbreviation)
- The solid FFF.. line is the Y-DNA line and the solid MMM.. is the mtDNA line.
- The number of families doubles each generation and I usually build these templates out to at least 8 generations (if the information is available) for each individual I am administering their DNA test results.
Note: All but target individual are deceased in this example and I am more than 2 generation removed from it.
- Generation 1
- a. S. Target Individual (IL)
- Generation 2 (Parents)
- a. F. Souser ** (PA) / M. Van Duesen (Van Dusen) in (IL)
- Generation 3 (Grand Parents) (2 Familie)
- a. FF. Souser (PA) ** / FM. Averill (IL)
- b. MF. Van Duesen or Van Dusen / MM. Allen (IL)
- Generation 4 (Great Grand Parents) (4 Families)
- a. FFF. Souser (PA?) / FFM. Ickes (PA)
- b. FMF. Averill (IL) / FMM. Cole (OH & IL)
- c. MFF. Van Duesen / MFM. Pomeroy
- d. MMF. Allen / MMM. Miller
- Generation 5 (Great Great Grand Parents) (8 Families)
- a. FFFF. Unknown / FFFM. Unknown
- b. FFMF. Ickes (PA) / FFMM. Slick or Sleek (PA)
- c. FMFF. Averill (VT or NH) / FMFM. Standish (England)
- d. FMMF. Cole (OH & NY) / FMMM. Frost
- e. MFFF. Van Duesen / MFFM Jordan
- f. MFMF. Pomeroy (NY & MI) / MFMM. Halcomb (MA & MI)
- g. MMMF. Miller (PA) / MMMM. Kuntz or Koontz (PA)?
- h. MMFF. Allen (PA) / MMFM. Plaugh (PA)
**Known to have had another spouse that had at least one child.
This post is meant to both share information of what I am doing, but also seek a specific answer(s)/suggestion to increase information communication efficiency. This is not meant to be a discussion post, please include a personal example or a revised version of the above in your response.
Update: 03/06/15 - As mentioned by Jan Murphy below, I acknowledge if you can communicate a horizontal grid display this is a good option but it is not something that you can get by most websites text based message systems, as well as run into a few other minor constraints. Though I thought about it, and if you build a grid template and copy and paste it into most email clients it will send it as HTML. This is a great email first contact, but doesn't overcome the text messaging system of Ancestry. I did do some testing and for narrow columns you can get a very slimmed down up couple of generations (<4) through Ancestry.com but the display of it does get messed up a bit. (unless I am missing something) so that puts focuses back on text.