Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do You Want Responses To Your Inquiry?

Help me help you!

I received this contact yesterday via Ancestry. I do not know if it is referring to a tree connection or a DNA match.

For a quick response, it would be helpful to know what tree on Ancestry (I manage over ten trees on Ancestry) and what person in the tree you are interested in. For DNA connections, I would like the same information.

Here is an real email I received (I couldn't make this up!).  
Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 8:00 AM:
It seems we are related :) how are you?  I don't know any of my relatives so I'm trying to find them.
Merry Christmas

I have DNA kits at three different testing companies.  I manage a number of family DNA kits.  How do you think I should respond?

This email is slightly more helpful:

Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 12:31 PM:
Dear Bobby,

I am writing to you as Family Finder shows that you are my cousin. If you would like to get in touch with me to share our search results I would be very grateful.

Looking forward to hear from you soon,
Your cousin,

Here is an example of one I can respond to with some real information:

Sun, Nov 8, 2015 at 7:23 PM,
Subject: GEDMatch to KAK48

My mother (Axxx719) and I (Axxx205) have matching regions with KAK48 kit on GEDMatch.
I am interested in trying to identify our common ancestor.

Our ancestors are from Sweden, Finland, and Germany (Prussia, Pommerania). Does KAK48 have ancestors from any of these regions?

Thank you,

Here is one I sent that received a quick response:

Subject:  Gedmatch Connection to [kit numbers]
Hi Grace,

It appears you and Art are a cousin match to my husband Bruce B and his aunt Marion Brennan Enich (MBE97).  They are also connected via paper trail and DNA back to Norwegian immigrants.  Family names include Knutsen/Knudsen, Gunderson and Marcusen.

Would you be willing to see how you all connect?  The family tree is on Ancestry as a public tree Primas Brennan Family

Here are some requests of mine, if you would like to receive a response from me.
  • Use an interest catching Subject like “Gedmatch - Autosomal DNA Match - Raymond Smith”, not “Hello Cousin” or “We Match!”  If you use one of the latter, it’s may go to the spam folder or be low priority to read and respond.
  • Identify the person(s) you are trying to connect with or about.  In the case of DNA matching, do not assume the email is going to the tested person.  I manage many kits for others and need to know who you want to know about.  I also manage trees for other folks, so let me know what tree the person you are inquiring about is found in.  Where you found the tree would be helpful as well.  All my trees are not on Ancestry.
  • Please tell me the name of the tree and where you found it, along with the name of the person in question.
  • Include the testing company, kit numbers and/or names for DNA matching.
  • Give me a brief description of what you are working on/looking for in contact requests. Example: “My mother's family were German Lutherans. My mother was born in Volhynia, and the family was there from the mid to late 1800s up until 1941 when the Russians expelled the Germans.  I am looking for family connections.
  • A pedigree chart in pdf format would be helpful as well as link to an on-line tree.
  • Be courteous and gracious. Say please and thank you.  I am responding in my precious spare time.
  • Avoid sending messages with misspellings, incorrect grammar or abbreviated texting language.  If you are sloppy in your communications, what is your research like?  There are instances of incorrect grammar when I get emails from non-English speaking folks or through a translation engine, which is understandable.

I do not think I am alone in hoping (asking) for better and clearer communication among genealogists.  It would make it easier for us to help each other.

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