Getting Started

If you are new to genetic genealogy and just starting out, I highly recommend you get an Autosomal DNA test (Ancestry is cheapest generally and has sales a few times a year) and enter your “raw data” into Gedmatch. While you wait, please put up a family tree. It doesn’t have to be a big one, parents and grandparents, preferably back beyond 1940 (for census records) even just names and birth year-something. It’s nearly impossible to find a match if you don’t have a tree.

Please understand this is not a “simple subject” and there are NO SIMPLE ANSWERS. To learn how to use these tools to find close relatives or distant ancestors takes time and a LOT of work.

DNA tests do not come with surname lists, biological parent or sibling information, or a family tree.

Also, understand that frequently people find that their results contain information that is not what they expected. Extra siblings, different biological parents, or ethnicities other than what they’ve been told, are common and can be upsetting.

Please understand that if you are looking for Native American, Romani/Sinti/Gitano, Irish, African, Mexican or any non-white European ancestors you may not find much. These groups of people were generally, in America considered second-class citizens, frequently indentured or enslaved and the paper trails on most of them are small to none. Don’t forget to check church records, but don’t assume one particular religion.

LOTS of educational Links here.

Beginners GEDmatch Admixture “How to” here.

If you wish to contact me, please click here.

**AND PLEASE NOTE:  As per the ISOGG and Genetic Genealogy Standards (here),
all personal information, names and gedmatch numbers are meant for personal research only and any information shared is not meant to be reprinted in any form nor shared with the public on any websites without my (or anyone else’s) express written permission.**

IPaypalme logof you have found this guide helpful, please consider making a donation. As a volunteer in the genealogy world I help others but do not charge for my services. Thank you.