October 23, 2016

At up to 455 exabytes on a single gram, DNA storage could create mankind’s permanent record

In the era of cloud storage and ever-recoverable user accounts, the idea of data just “disappearing” can seem downright odd. The EU has had to pass Right to be Forgotten legislation just to require companies to work to make it possible for data to go away. Yet given the sheer volume of data… [Read more…]

Social Genealogy: The Mistakes You Made That Sent Potential Cousins Away

Social Genealogy: The Mistakes You Made That Sent Potential Cousins Away…And How You Can Fix Them

One Administrator, Many Trees

As genealogy and DNA sharing has evolved, there is still one very important rule to follow: Whether you’re sending a message to someone who administers another tree in Ancestry, or you’ve seen a thread in Roots web surname or location lists, or, you think you have a close cousin connection in any of the various DNA testing sites like 23andMe or others, the one thing you can do to further your research easily and quickly is to BE SPECIFIC when you contact them.

Periodically, I’ll get a message from someone who has been looking at the 23andMe site where I am the administrator for three different people: myself, my brother and my husband. Most of the time, I can determine which genome they want to connect with because I recognize a surname or they actually TELL ME which one they were looking at.

What should you include in your communication with a potential cousin? Here’s some ideas.

  • The name of the tree, or specific person’s name for a genome. For instance, you want to connect with me and were in my Yates (1) tree. Please note that specific criteria.
  • Are you looking at a genome? Was it Dave ____, Carol ___ or Jim___?
  • Are you replying to a thread about a surname? Please include a first name of your ancestor with that surname if you have one. Include any dates or locations as well. This would hold true as well for inquiries about a location.
  • Are you sending an email? Please don’t put “genealogy” or “family” in the subject line. That means nothing to anyone and will likely get deleted. Instead, have it read something like, “Re: Joe Black, 1812, TN”. (I have three Smith lines, hence the request for a first name when contacting me).
  • Tip: If you choose not to include your email address in the body of the email, but still want to share it with your recipient, just write it as webducky AT (instead of the @ symbol) gmail.com. People are more apt to reply via email than through the website’s message feature. Including your full email address online is a sure way to ‘invite’ email scrapers to send you spam.
  • Tip 2: Follow the rule of WHO, WHY, WHAT, WHEN WHERE.

The bottom line here is, you need to provide the most information to your recipient to ensure your success.

Be courteous and forgive someone if they don’t reply right away. You don’t know what’s going on in their lives. Genealogy and genome sharing is fun and helps to share a clue to ‘who am I’? for everyone involved.

Thanks for reading. Have a comment or suggestion for this topic? Please do! Interested in what your DNA says about you? Feel free to click the 23andMe graphic in the sidebar.

© Carol Wilkerson – 2015 All rights reserved.

You might also like to read:

How DNA Testing With 23andMe Averted Serious Surgical Complications

Genealogy: Why You Still Need To Use Message Boards And Mailing Lists


It was important to me to have my DNA tested now so it was “banked” and might be a source of future studies for my health. Today, I read an article that poses the question, “Is Fibromyalgia A Mitochondrial Disorder?“. I maintain that I have had fibromyalgia all of my life. I may not have always known it, but I felt the effects when I was very young and they have never ever gone away.

While I understand  🙁 the reasoning behind the FDA limiting the health results of those of us who have taken the 23andMe DNA tests (my brother has also taken the tests to fully round out our DNA profiles) but it infuriates me a bit that I may have a medical breakthrough in my reach, but not in my grasp. I won’t go into the money and lawsuits part of it all, but suffice it to say that’s probably what drives the reasoning behind it.

I invite any of my genealogy/DNA savvy friends to weigh in and leave their thoughts.

My 23andMe Results Are In! I\’m Pleasantly Surprised!


A J Jacobs Global Family Reunion Set For 06 June 2015 In NY

In case this event hasn’t been on your radar, please add the date to your calendar for A J Jacobs’ (yes, we are cousins!) Global Family Reunion to take place in New York on 06 June 2015. He’s hoping to break the Guinness World Record in a completely familial way, by showing that we all are related.

Guest Webinar – A J Jacobs Click on the link to view it. Runs 43 minutes.
Personally, I think this is brilliant because it makes logical sense. No, I’m not a Vulcan, but logic pretty much guides my life and my research in turn. How?

Logic and Genealogy

  • Here’s one example, when you add birth and death dates for someone, and then add a child born to the mother it’s logical (but not impossible) that the female can’t have children too close in age to her own.
  • Using logic you look at the location of where your ancestor lived and when they don’t show up in a census for that location, maybe they didn’t move but the county or state boundaries did so.
  • Using logic you know that everyone on this planet is of human origin, and anthropologists have proven we originated in one location (Africa) and then we migrated all over the planet. It’s not too much of a stretch to think we all might be cousins.

AJ Jacobs - Carol Yates Wilkerson

From Six Mothers – Many Tribes

Genealogy Tips and Advice

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