Goran Runfeldt, this brilliant computer guy over in the UK, who is also a genealogist, has made my day. His latest development, The Triangulator came to my attention at two a.m. this morning.
I found out about it on the amazing Roberta Estes’ blog, DNAEXplained. You can link to her post here.
It wasn’t like I wanted another night without sleep, but once I started playing with it I couldn’t stop.
The Triangulator is for everyone who has their data at FTDNA. (There is no reason not to have it there when FTDNA offers free transfers from most other companies. ($19 one time cost for full use of the tools. FOREVER!)
As soon as I read Roberta Estes’ article I couldn’t connect the Chrome extension fast enough. (I already use Chrome.) And it WAS fast. All I did was click a button and the extension attached to my Chrome browser. I knew it was installed because in the upper right corner of my browser screen was this colorful little icon.
I logged in to FTDNA and there The Triangulator was, waiting on my toolbar ready to go to work, just like Roberta promised.
One of my favorite pastimes on FTDNA is clicking the little box next to a match, selecting “in common with” and then looking at how people compare in the chromosome browser. Now all I have to do is the same thing, but instead of clicking on the chromosome browser, I click on the Triangulator tool!
I made a folder for all of my different comparisons using my name and FTDNA Triangulator. I did the same thing for the people whose kits I manage. (Otherwise I blunder and end up with files scattered all over my desktop.)
It's a good idea to insert an extra column in the Relationships spreadsheet to make a note for the level of grandparents to ask about when a match is contacted. (The matches names are removed in this screenshot for privacy.)
That way I can word my emails on behalf of those people whose kits I manage along these lines, “The Triangulator extension on FTDNA indicates the match shared of (give name) is 3rd cousins, to (give name) therefore the common ancestors are 2nd great grandparents. Could you tell me who yours are, or share your tree with me? By the way the segment they share is on Chromosome (number) Segment size is ( number). It says (fill in some names) also share this same common ancestor.”
You can find the chromosome and position information is on the CSV file you download from The Triangulator.
When I am contacting personal matches, I give them the names of my known grandparents. If you write everyone you have never confirmed, you may be an angel unaware and providing desperately sought after information. Please, be an angel and contact everyone.
How much easier can get get?!!!!