Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Twist in the DNA Journey -- Part One

It's been a while since I've shared much about my genealogical DNA journey, but the past couple of months have been fascinating.

This post is for you if:

  • You are a cousin in my Ekstrom - Fors family.
  • You are a cousin in my Nyström family.
  • You are on your own genealogical DNA journey or thinking about it.
  • You are debating who in your family should be next to have a DNA test.

A New Contact

On May 7, 2014, an email arrived from a man who lives in Stockholm, Sweden. I will call this new cousin "Sven":
My name is "Sven" and if I get it right we are 4th cousins 1R! I got the result today from FTDNA regarding my father's Family Finder.
Eric Carlsson Nyström and his wife Brita Christina Olofsdotter were my great great great grandparents on my fathers side.
My great great grandfather Carl Erik Nyström was brother of your great great great grandfather Anders Fors. I guess Anders took on the name Fors ...

The Family Grows

We have a friendly new cousin in Sweden with a good command of English. He has shared some photos and a map which will be in a later post. Part two will add more family information and a twist, so stay tuned.

Here's a graphical representation of our relationships and the DNA matching results. In part two of this series, the family tree will be expanded.

Lessons in DNA

  1. Test the oldest generation. This match emphasizes what the DNA gurus teach. Sven and I both have results on file at FTDNA, but he and I have no DNA match. Fortunately, both of us took the step of having our fathers tested, also. Our fathers are in their 80s and we gathered that DNA while we could. For $99 each, we made this priceless connection.
  2. Post your tree (GEDCOM) to your DNA testing website. I had posted my Dad's tree and Sven was able to see immediately where the connection was in our trees. He could follow the generations to calculate the relationship of 4th cousin to Dad and then once removed to me. We didn't have to ping-pong email to find the connection.
  3. Work the closest matches first. Sven's Dad has a fairly close match to my Dad. FTDNA proposed a 2nd to 4th cousin match. Sven also has a match, but it was 4th to remote cousin. It might have been weeks or months before Sven worked through his own matches to the page where my Dad showed up. By working that closer match, Sven connected much more quickly.
  4. Don't expect new ancestor information from every match. I've done a lot of Swedish research and have not added much information since connecting with Sven. He has augmented some of my knowledge and vice versa. The more complete your tree is, the easier it is to connect. You may be able to share bits and pieces with your new cousin(s) that will eventually lead to new findings.
  5. Keep track of the matching DNA. I've added the following matching information to my files. When my Dad's kit has another match on any of these DNA segments, I'll know what family that match connects to.

Next time: The Nyström DNA takes a strange turn.

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