Mine is just as long, Susan, but I've gotten between a 15% to 20% response thus far. Time will tell how many follow through as promised. I did hear from three 95%matches who had not responded before as well as severl others who had responded.
I liked your geography approach!
Here's an example of my lengthy but seemingly effective email.
My name is Blanche McGuire from Pittsburgh.
Forgive me if I've written before but you are such a strong match (96%) for my Dad's sister that I would really like to know how we are related.
My family tree is Private but I'll be happy to share it if you like.
My Dad's family lines go back to Cambria, Adams, Lancaster and Berks Counties in PA; Frederick, MD; Ireland; and Germany (especially Alsace-Lorraine.)
I'd also like to tell you about gedmatch and to recommend that you post your raw Ancestry DNA file on this site.
Gedmatch is a free website that takes raw DNA files and matches users to others with similar DNA. Sounds like ancestry.com, right? Yes, but there is a big difference.
At Gedmatch your DNA is compared to DNA from people who have uploaded data from ancestry, FTDNA, Gene and 23and Me. Your matches are no longer confined to one company! You can get matches outside the US since FTDNA is not restricted to a US audience.
You can also identify the exact region where your DNA matches someone else. For example, my sister matches a 5th cousin on a certain region of Chromosome 16. This cousin is only related on one family line so we know that anyone else with this segment match is likely to be a Glass descendant.
If you post your data on Gedmatch, we can identify the dna segments that your relatives share with my aunt. This could give us huge clues about which family line we share. I can't promise that we'll have the answer overnight but we might be that lucky!
A DNA expert has prepared an easy to understand comic that explains gedmatch and why it should be used for DNA analysis. Type in this link to read all about it. http://tinyurl.com/gedcomic
Gedmatch had such a flood of ancestry users subscribe that it has discontinued uploads until May 13th. That should give you time to read all about it. To find gedmatch, just go to gedmatch.com.
Gedmatch also has other 'tools' that are fun to play with. You can use the Admixture tools to get ethnicity estimates for your DNA overall and by chromosome. This can supplement your ethnic breakout from Ancestry.
I turned out 12% Persian Turkish Caucasus on Ancestry and lo and behold I saw that I've Caucasus DNA on several chromosomes! (Still have no clue what ancestors gave me this DNA but I have it from both my Mom and Dad.)
I am very excited about gedmatch! Can you tell?
If you decide to use Gedmatch, please let me know your kit number. I'll then send you my aunt's kit number.
Hoping to hear from you soon,