While this may not seem like a Native topic, it is. I am the volunteer administrator or co-administrator of several DNA projects that are either focused on or include people with Native heritage. The goal of DNA testing is to find out and document your heritage and part of that is discovering who you match and what kinds of information they might have that could be useful to you, and vice versa, of course.
One of the most common questions I receive is how to figure out who you’re related to within projects.
For example, the Cumberland Gap project is massive with over 4000 members. In the past, people would go and look at the project page to see who they are related to, but with over 4000 people, that’s just impossible. Not to mention that as an administrator, I have to group them all individually, by haplogroup, and given that takes a minute or so each, that equates to over 66 hours, which I simply don’t have. So, participants need to use tools to see who they are related to. Thankfully, Family Tree DNA provides those tools.
First, sign on to your personal page. You can see who you are related to in any project by using the Advanced Matching tool that is available for Yline, mtDNA and Family Finder results.
Click on Advanced Matching. You will see several options.
First, select the type of test you’re interested in matching. If you’re interested in only the Family Finder test, then just select that one. If you’re interested in seeing who matches you BOTH on Family Finder and your Yline, then select Y-DNA 12, where there are generally more matches than at higher levels, plus the Family Finder, then click the box that says “show only people I match in all selected tests.” As you can see, by using combinations, this is a very powerful tool.
In addition to the tests, you can also select how to compare your data. You can compare to the entire data base, or you can compare to only people within certain projects.
For this example, I’m going to compare my results with the entire data base, asking for anyone who I match on Family Finder and on the HVR1 region of my mtDNA as well. You can see my selections below.
Hey, look, I have one match. That means that she may be related to me on my maternal line. I hate to run, but I need to e-mail this person and see if we can find some common genealogy, or maybe just some common geography on my mother’s side. Wow, the power of DNA combined with the right tools….amazing!!! Happy hunting.
If you’d like to take a DNA test, click here.