What kind of tracking of DNA matches, MRCAs, etc. is available in RM8?
what did you do in RM7, if you used it @ddixzonwalker ?
Personally, I record :
any match “of interest” as a person in my DNA database
with a source of the tester / company the match was found from along with the details of the match in that source, including my notes as to shared matches, my ideas of MRCA etc
then work on their tree in RM,
If I also find them in the match list of other tested people whose kit I manage or access I add addtional sources for each with their match details.
Once back far enough, using the FamilySearch tree / links to import earlier generations until I, hopefully, hit someone on FamilySearch already marked as being in my database o I can connect them up.
I also colour code all test takers with the one colour, so that they show up on eg descendant view as tested descendants of x y or z
and pop their GEDmatch ID in the suffix field and eg ancestry username in the nickname for quick reference
Basically my main RM database is one large quick tree, with many many unlinked nodes, specifically for keeping track of DNA matches and investigations
As I also use Charting companion to do DNAMatrix (Maguire charts) every so often I also include a custom DNA Kit fact type with the description being the kit identifier on the company they were found at
Well, I’ve been using my ancestry tree for that, but hoped for a better way.
I encourage people to use the free uploads to the other sites to maximise their investment in DNA and fish in all ponds, so I’m keeping track across all sites
Lorna has some good ideas.
RM 7 had a DNA Fact Type where one could record Y-DNA & mtDNA specific details. It is missing in that form, but appears in RM 8 as just a plain ol “DNA test” personal/individual Fact Type.
I use Custom Facts, Sources, & Groups in RM. The various Custom Facts I have for DNA tracking (beyond the RM predefined “DNA test”) allows one to ‘select’ the Person Records which contain it for Group populating membership, Color Coding, & Reports.
Each Custom RM Fact has a corresponding Group named exactly the same.
I log one custom fact of “DNA kit” as the Place name = “-” (yes just a plain ol hyphen) and Place details as “Ancestry”, or “MyHeritage” (where the DNA Match’s kit is located online). If that is not appealing, then each Custom Fact can be established for each Provider.
So instead of “DNA Kit” the custom fact would be “DNA kit - Ancestry”.
Other Custom Facts I use are:
“MCRA m-f” where m is the males name and f is the females name of the couple. one can establish these for every generation of known/discovered couple which might be the furthest back common ancestral couple (or individual) documented. In these I document as a Note the relationship path or other details.
“DNA Match” this is useful if just tracking a single DNA kit (like just one’s own DNA kit) in the database. One can also use “DNA Match - Ancestry” or “DNA Match - MyHeritage” or even more detail name such as “DNA Match - Ancestry Uncle John Smith” however the latter makes for a Fact name that is too long and may be not visible in some RM selection indexes. In these I document the unique kit number assigned by the online service in the Description field (usually a hexadecimal portion of the DNA Match’s web page URL). This is important as some go private or rename their kits.
When I enter the DNA Match I also include a WebLink in their RM Person Record to their DNA Match page for the online DNA Matching service. This can also be recorded in a Source Citation.
One can also use ToDo and Research Log to documenting progress or relationships.
Just a snap shot of how it can be done. With actual practice one might figure more ways to document and track.
I believe this was left out of RM8 as it didn’t get included in GEDCOM. Adding such data to Notes is the recommended action
Thank you, Harold – lots of great suggestions here, and very detailed. Can I ask for clarification on something, please?
You said that for a DNA match, you document the DNA kit # in the Description field. What do you mean by, “a hexadecimal portion of the DNA Match’s web page URL”? And how would you then find this match again if they did “go private or rename their kit”?
For instance, on Ancestry, I’ll use the example of a DNA match with my mom. This is the url of her profile page (linked from our match page)
and this is the url of our match page:
Which information would I need to include in my description, to avoid having to include the whole url in the notes field for the DNA Match fact? (Of course, now that I’m realizing what “web tags” are, I could utilize those as well.)
By the way, I always appreciate your various well thought out responses on here, and on the old facebook support page. They explain well, and I’ve never seen you act like a question you were replying to was dumb and beneath you.
I’m not Harold but will add, that should you ever want to use Charting Companion’s DNA Matrix, their implementation of Maguire charts, they use a custom fact “DNA Kit” in each of the programs they can read, where the id for the kit goes into the Description field
ie conflicting use of the fact “DNA Kit”
In your Ancestry example above it would be the bit of the URL after the with/
for GEDmatch, the GEDmatch id,
for 23andme, the profile text in the URL
etc etc etc
Thank you, Lorna. Good to know. I am only a couple of years into this DNA testing thing, and still trying to figure everything out. I’ve not advanced to the point of using Maguire charts, but I will reserve use of the fact “DNA Kit” for now, and just organize my information under “DNA Match”. I’ve started tags/groups for ‘DNA match to myself’ and ‘DNA match to my husband’, and then using the ‘Place details’ field to identify the DNA company and the tester (for instance, ‘Ancestry - Helen’). So I think my test kit ID is b77c15f4-c528-4240-854f-dae91134996a, so my mother’s test kit ID is c2105cb3-bbdd-4e0e-bc2c-f998e6da2328. I suppose it makes no difference if the letters in the kit ID are capital or lowercase.
I’ve poked around on 23&Me, but can’t figure out how to find DNA kit numbers there; perhaps they don’t disclose that information.
@Helen_CO_USA no need to avoid the use of the DNA Kit just be aware that if you do so, AND later use Charting Companion, you’ll already be set up with the required results, and in the mean time have the kit IDs already available to you
For 23andme look up in the URL for the page when you are looking at a match, it’s the (slightly smaller) string of numbers and letters after profile/
For MyHeritage it’s the rightmost pair of two 38 character strings of letters and numbers starting D… in the URL
As a former database administrator and someone who has project managed several data migrations from one system to another over the yearrs I admit I groan when people use data fields for uses other than intended (your use of place details for company name - tester). You never know what problems that will cause over time, and you find you might need to move to other software eg
Yes my system means I have to look at my source to see which company(ies) the match was at but I’m leaving my place list “intact”.
Mind you I’m working with rather a lot of kits, managing those for many cousins and working at this DNA lark extensively.
I suspect that over time you’ll find that your groups will become too unwieldy if you start recording a lot of matches - personally, I’d colourcode them just as “tested” - but even then with yours youu’d need two colours - what if you find someone is a match to you both and you’ll only have one colour to use
Yes, I use groups extensively, but usually for much smaller subsets, eg shared match clusters on Ancestry , triangulated groups when I have a particular set of triangulations I’m working on - where I include both the test takers involved, AND any of the already identified earliest ancestor(s) involved between those in the group.
For really special to me groups of matches I do use my custon DNA Match fact and share it with the people involved, using the sort date to group them up by chromosome / start position popping them all in the 1800s as 1801 1802… 1823 - which given this is only for test taker sorts them to the top .
Works for me, may not do so for you of course.