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How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 3 Jan 2013 6:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 3 Jan 2013 6:53PM GMT
What methods are you using to keep track of the details of those Ancestry matches which you have decided are positive?

Since most of mine do not have the 'hint leaf' showing, I cannot find them that way. I have been marking them with a star and a note saying 'Positive match --- with the details', but now I am getting so many starred items, as I use it for positive matches and also high potential matches that need further work.

I am saving screen captures of the ones which end up with Ancestry finding a common ancestor - but once again, Ancestry does not find and display all of them.

So for the time being, I am keeping a written paper log of my findings, but really wish there was some way of marking and retrieving all of them online.

What kind of system is everyone using?

Barbara

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 3 Jan 2013 7:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 3 Jan 2013 7:12PM GMT
A lot of us have asked for more organizational tools that we control, not controlled for us.

I would also like to be able to mark something as having potential rather than just putting it back to unread. They aren't ready to be considered stars and they aren't ones I want to discard. Nor are the unread. They are the ones I will probably prioritize to actively work on with my tree but they are lost under either the unread or read but not starred matches, so I would like to group them for when I can work on them. Also, I personally just work better going through one line at a time rather than constantly jumping back and forth each time a new match comes in.

Also, I would like to sort them by which line I think there may be a match. At a glance I can usually determine where I think my best chance for a match may be. I can tell by either locations or clusters of the surnames I frequently see with that line. However, finding the -exact- match or possibly building my tree to it may take some time.

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 3 Jan 2013 7:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am doing just about the same thing you are, and feeling overwhelmed also. The only difference might be that in addition to a running paper log (in a notebook with handwritten notes on each new promising match), I created a microsoft word table (I like it better than excel tables) that I can insert a new row when I find a positive match on the same line, ancestor, and make notes on which sibling the match is thru etc. That way I can quickly see that I have six matches to X common ancestor and who from...also make notes on this table about what kind of information is in the other tree and whether it is worth going back to look for more paper documentation etc. Not a great system. We definitely need more filtering tools as suggested, i.e. surnames at least. (On my table, I have five columns - username of match, family line it is in (i.e. maternal or paternal), name of match, notes on match, contact information if I followed up with message to match or not.

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 3 Jan 2013 11:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 3 Jan 2013 11:58PM GMT
Yep, I'm overwhelmed too.
I have tried various things, including an Excel spreadsheet. I couldn't keep up with it AND go through all the matches.
I got my results in early September and at that time the only organization tool we had was "stars". Later, we got "notes" and still later "hints" (leaf hints). I went through my 72 leaf hints and added detailed notes to each (good thing, as some have been dropping their leaves lately). Since then, I have sorted by "stars" and am working through the list, making detailed notes and "unstarring" those that lack any strong paper-trail support. I am progressing very slowly, but have learned a lot along the way.
I don't understand why Ancestry doesn't (apparently) do useabilty testing with actual users of their product. AncestryDNA (autosomal) has such tremendous potential! If I owned the company, I'd be getting users involved in the development/evolution of it. If they had done so or were doing so, we would have much better sorting/downloading/organizational capabilities. The tools we have are inadequate in the extreme and it's a shame.

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 4 Jan 2013 2:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
Excel is saving my sanity. Over 2000 matches since I got my results in Sept, and they keep pouring in. I star any match where I know or suspect the common link, and make a note right away. Then I immediately enter each starred match on my spreadsheet in exactly the same placement that ancestry gave them. I only work as fast as I can keep up with the spreadsheet. My columns are User name, Relationship to me, Surnames of interest to me, Locations of interest to me, Contact info if any, and Misc. notes. I can quickly scan my spreadsheet and find a particular match, or look at the spread of certain surnames and locations. Much faster than looking at individual notes provided by ancestry. It's well worth the time as patterns are emerging. About every tenth match provides me with a clue, and the rest I "discard". They just sit there waiting in behind the scenes, and when ancestry gives us search tools, I'll go back through them. I threw out my paper notes, and print out my spreadsheet now and then. It does take a lot of organization, but it's worth it to me. I only contact my closest matches, and use my spreadsheet as prep to follow up on distant matches when they give us our raw data.

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 4 Jan 2013 5:17AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 4 Jan 2013 5:22AM GMT
I have a concern. How do I address it. I looked a match and it has a man's name and a modern picture of a man. The portion of a tree shown looked promising however when I went to his actual tree it would appear that the portion ancestry is showing me is for his wife's line. I assume that she is not the one who actually took the test since it is listed for him. It appears the wrong part of his tree is showing. Last time I check the feedback button was not working so I guess I should just let him know....

Update: actually the problem is that his DNA does have him as the home person but his actual tree does not. He is the son of the person indicated as his home person so I can match him.

Somebody may want to let folks know this could be problematic for people trying to evaluate. New testers may need to be given some direction perhaps about how to set things up for easier reading.

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 4 Jan 2013 7:48AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 4 Jan 2013 7:59AM GMT
It would be nice if, when you went to the actual tree, ancestry took you to the person who the dna was attached to, but as you have discovered, you end up at the home person. I typically look for the names of the first living people in the dna match and navigate to them in the tree in order to find who the dna is attached to. It would be nice if people attached their results to the person who actually took the test also. I can't tell you how many matches I have where the results are attached to someone who died 100 years ago. The best was one of my husband's matches, where the results were attached to a man who lived and died in the 1700s. Pretty sure he wasn't the one to drool in the vial!

Re: How do you document positive Ancestry matches?

Posted: 4 Jan 2013 7:53AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have fallen a bit behind in keeping up with new results, but I have been using MS OneNote to keep track of my results. I cut and paste the shared surnames and 10 gen list to a page in OneNote and label the page with the name of the match. OneNote automatically hyperlinks to where it came from. I can make additional notes on the page and I tag pages where I have found a shared ancestor. The great thing is I can put a surname in the searchbar and find all the matches that have that surname... or all the matches that are tagged for a shared ancestor, etc. I'd never used OneNote before, but it's been my best tool for working with the dna results...
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