When I started the “In Search of” series, I expected it to be 4 or 5 articles for people searching for unknown family members. It’s taken on a life of its own and expanded quite a bit.
As I progressed with the series, I realized that, in some cases, foundational articles were necessary before progressing to the “how to find” articles.
I’ve also added related articles – like how to sort through unexpected close matches when you don’t recognize the match and didn’t even know they existed before they appeared on your match list.
New Permanent Resource Page
I’ve created an In Search of Unknown Family Resource Page, here, to give these articles a permanent home and make them easy to find for:
- People who discover they don’t match their family as expected
- People dealing with endogamy
- People who need to determine whether a sibling is a half or full sibling
- People seeking an unknown parent
- People seeking unknown grandparents
- People who receive a relatively close unknown match
I’ll be adding several more articles over the next few months, but to date, I’ve published 8 articles in the series.
In Search of…Articles
The articles are listed in order of publication. I suggest reading them in order because the information presented and skill set is cumulative and provides you with the tools to make your search experience the most productive possible.
I wrote the article, Identifying Unknown Parents and Individuals Using DNA Matching as a primer explaining the process in general. In other words, how this process works. I recommend that you read that article first, as these article focuses on each vendors, test type, tools and step-by-step instructions for specific types of relationships.
- I introduced the “In Search of” series in the article, DNA: In Search of…New Series Launches.
- In DNA: In Search of…What Do You Mean I’m Not Related to My Family? – and What Comes Next?, we discussed the discovery that something was amiss when you don’t match a family member that you expect to match, then how to make sure a vial or upload mix-up didn’t happen. Next, I covered the basics of the four kinds of DNA tests you’ll be able to use to solve your mystery.
- In In Search of…Vendor Features, Strengths, and Testing Strategies, we discussed testing goals and strategies, including testing with and uploading to multiple autosomal DNA vendors, Y DNA, and mitochondrial DNA We reviewed the vendor’s strengths and the benefits of combining vendor information and resources.
- In DNA: In Search of…Signs of Endogamy, we discussed the signs of endogamy and various ways to determine if you or your recent ancestors descend from an endogamous population.
- In DNA: In Search of…Full and Half-Siblings, we discussed how to determine if a sibling match is a half or full sibling.
- In Connect Your DNA test, and Others, to Your Tree, I explained how to optimize your DNA tests to take advantage of the features offered by each primary DNA testing vendor.
- In How to Share DNA Results and Tree Access at Ancestry, I wrote step-by-step instructions for providing access to another person to allow them to view your DNA results, AND to share your tree – which are two different things. If you have a mystery match, and they are willing to allow you access, in essence “to drive,” you can just send them the link to this article that provides detailed instructions. Note that Ancestry has changed the user interface slightly with the rollout of their new “sides” matches, but I can’t provide the new interface screenshots yet because my account has not been upgraded.
- In In Search of…How Am I Related to That Close Match, we step through the process of narrowing down the possibilities of how an unexpectedly close match is related to you – and what to do next.
- Not all of your ancestors contribute an X chromosome to you. In the article, X Chromosome Master Class, I’ve described how you can utilize the X chromosome when seeking to identify certain people in your tree. Conversely, an X chromosome match can effectively eliminate some relationships.
- Looking for close family? In Search of…Your Grandparents provides step-by-step instructions to identify missing grandparents. You can use this same technique to identify unknown parents as well.
Yet to come are articles detailing the steps to identify unknown parents and grandparents. I’ll add them to the resource page when they are published as well.
Please feel free to share the resource page link, here, or this article with anyone who is searching.
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DNA Purchases and Free Uploads
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
- MyHeritage DNA – Autosomal DNA test
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- AncestryDNA – Autosomal DNA test
- 23andMe Ancestry – Autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder – Genealogy software for your computer
- MyHeritage Subscription with Free Trial
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – Genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
- Legacy Family Tree Software – Genealogy software for your computer
- Newspapers.com – Search newspapers for your ancestors
- NewspaperArchive – Search different newspapers for your ancestors
- DNA for Native American Genealogy – by Roberta Estes, for those ordering the e-book from anyplace, or paperback within the United States
- DNA for Native American Genealogy – for those ordering the paperback outside the US
- Genealogical.com – Lots of wonderful genealogy research books
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – Professional genealogy research