Friday, March 24, 2017

Warp Speed Genealogy

Gedmatch and WikiTree are powerful tools for genealogists. When used in combination with each other you can grow your tree at warp speed. Both sites have some learning curves. Both are free. You can control your privacy settings on WikiTree. Open trees are best (all living people are set as private).

Be sure to add your Gedmatch number to your WikiTree profile.

Want to find some cousins fast? 

You can download your AncestryDNA tree to a gedcom application. There are plenty of free gedcom apps you can download for this purpose. (Some are trial offers, you don't have to buy if you aren't going to use it for anything but this.) It takes about five minutes to download a gedcom app and install it on your computer. Another five minutes to download from Ancestry. (Do an online Youtube search to watch how to download your tree from Ancestry.) Make sure all ancestors have at least three sources even if it is only census records. (Upcoming post on easy sourcing and attributions.)

 If you have a large tree and are lucky, be prepared to spend an afternoon making cousin contacts when you upload to WikiTree.

Link your merges.

When your upload is complete, there will be a list of "possible matches" at the bottom of the page for each person in your tree.  You will be prompted to deny, compare or merge the entry. When you find a merge, chances are, you just found a cousin! A window is available to immediately send the administrator of the other entry (your possible cousin) a note. You might want to be prepared for this by having a generic note prepared in notepad.

Each ancestor in your WikiTree is assigned a number after their surname during the gedcom upload. The match will also have a surname number for a like entry. There will be instructions on the merge page about how to request the merge. That's when you will send your prepared note. "Looks like we have a match! Are we cousins? Looking forward to hearing from you. Have you taken an autosomal DNA test? If so, do you have a Gedmatch Kit Number?" Sign with your personal Surname-Number (you get it when you register at WikiTree). I propose the following merge ..." (Add surnames with WikiTree numbers)

If you have loads of possible matches, you don't really have to compare, deny, confirm, or merge all in one session. However, it's polite to do it as soon as possible after your gedcom is uploaded. You can also update this tree by doing single entries to your tree as you find them. That's what makes Wikitree so dynamic.

If you are on Gedmatch, your WikiTree is available for instant searching on your one-to-many page. WikiTree will send you an email when someone requests a merge. When merged, and your Gedmatch Kit Number is on your profile page, all other cousins who have Gedmatch numbers in their profile, will have their numbers added to this common ancestor as well. Talk about cousin bait! It's triangulation waiting to happen! And when you triangulate you have scientifically verified your linage via DNA. And your cousins may have photos, land records, marriage records, census records to add to those you provide. This is true collaboration.

This is growing your tree at WARP SPEED!

Gedmatch Kit Number T689325

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