Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Optimize your FTDNA account

Since we seem to have hit a flat spot in new members/new results, I'll take this opportunity to post a couple of reminders that will help your results to work better for you.

Each of you should go to your FTDNA Personal Page:   First, click on the 'User Preferences' tab and select your matches to be "set against the entire database".    Leaving it set to "display of matches only to my Surname Project" will severely limit your opportunity to see matches that may be of interest to you but are not yet in the Project.    Severely, as in 'No Chance'.    One exception to this advice is that if you have more than 12 markers tested it will probably be a good idea to uncheck the 12 marker button.    Since 12 marker matches are mostly meaningless this will avoid those 'dear cousin' emails from folks with different surnames.

Next, you should all check your 'Y-DNA Matches' tab.    Those of you who have gotten new results, be sure to upload them to ySearch.    Take a look to see if the 'Click here to upload to' line is there.    If that line's not there, no worry.   You've already done it.    If it is there, click it. This doesn't happen automatically, only semi-automatically.   You don't have to type the numbers in but you do have to click the 'Click here to upload to' line in the 'Y-DNA Matches' tab.

Also, while you're at your Personal Page, you have the opportunity to upload a gedcom of either your Y-DNA family tree or your mtDNA family tree, or both.    Just click on the 'GEDCOM - Family Tree' link under 'Tools' and follow the instructions.    Or you can ask me for help.    Having this information available online can be very helpful to others trying to make a connection to you, particularly on the mtDNA side.

I'm assuming that you've gone to the trouble and expense of DNA testing to further assist your family research.    These steps will help optimize that endeavor.

Another friendly reminder - If you've been considering upgrading or ordering any new tests where FTDNA already has your DNA sample on hand, take this as a sign that TODAY'S the day to do it.    It will save you up to a week on getting your results back.    Place the order before 4:30 or so this afternoon, Mountain Time, to avoid waiting up to a week additional for the next batch to be shipped out.


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