I’ve been a FamilyTreeDNA customer for a couple of years, and I’ve had great success with using DNA testing combined with traditional genealogical research to break through one brick wall so far (see here https://www.randymajors.org/2010/12/man-who-wasnt-john-charles-brown).
I recently became a 23andMe customer as well…their holiday special was just too good to pass up!
Well, I started receiving my test results a couple of days ago for the Health Edition, and yesterday for the Ancestry Edition of 23andMe. I’m excited to say that I already have lots of matches to explore, and have already received about a half dozen requests to make contact, and I’ve sent about a similar amount to other people! A quick summary of the 23andMe Relative Finder shows that I have the following matches with other 23andMe customers:
- 4 second cousins (all with no name or personal details in their profiles though…bummer. Hopefully some of them will respond to my contact requests)
- 1 third cousin
- 68 fourth cousins
- 386 fifth cousins
Here’s what’s most exciting: The very first person that tried contacting me through 23andMe is already a match and a bit of a breakthrough! (And she was in the “fifth cousins” list)
Out of respect for her privacy, I’ll not mention her name, but here’s how the process has gone thus far. Again, this was all in just the first day after receiving my test results!
- I received a notification e-mail from 23andMe that a potential 5th Cousin would like to make contact
- I clicked on the link in the email and viewed her 23andMe profile, in which she listed her family surnames
- Her profile mentioned a few names that I thought were worth exploring since they match names in my tree: Fuller, Pierce, Pugh, and Warren, and “possible names” (her words) Hart and Shofner. So I accepted her invitation to connect and asked her what else she could tell me about those particular family lines.
- She replied in an e-mail that included high-level details on these matching family surnames, including names, locations, and dates. Out of all the names, only one was worth exploring …but it appears to be a breakthrough and solve a mystery for her in her tree! Here’s what she said in the latest e-mail:
“Henry Shofner 1755-1847 & Chloe Hart b.abt 1765 from Green CO KY may be my 4th gr-grandparents. My gr-gr-grandfather Wm. Pringle appears to be their daughter’s child. Is this the same family as yours? [She then goes on to list details about the 5 other matching surnames] Anything ring a bell? Of course, I’m hoping that the Hart/Shofner does. That could answer one mystery in my tree.”
Well, we found a match in a speculative branch of her tree, since Henry Shofner and Chloe Hart are my 6th great grandparents! I’ve shared this information with her, and have offered to give her access to my private family tree on Ancestry.com so we can compare more details, confirm facts, share photos and more!
All in all, a very productive first day of results on 23andMe!