My Cook lines and also my Jakes/Harger lines(both paternal) are ones I have been focusing on lately. I have a lot of genealogical questions for which I'd like to find answers. The steps are pretty much the same regardless of which group I choose.
- Select a Focus Group(ex. my Jakes/Frizzell Great Grandparents)
- Find a close cousin among the matches who is in the Focus group(you can do this by choosing one of your matches from the DNA circle if you have those)
- Browse thru the Shared Matches that you share with that cousin. Pick a few that have the smaller trees to build out in search of the MRCA.
- Don't ignore the larger trees. Look at all the ones that aren't in the circle to see if they have a path that might lead to the Focus Ancestor. I've found many who were only a generation away from the MRCA which would have put them in the circle.
- Contact the match with any knew information you find and ask them to consider uploading to GEDmatch. It's always nice to get a message from someone who can extend your family tree.
Utilize the NOTES feature on your match's page. Connections lead to more connections as each of you may have documents, pictures or stories that would help the other in their research. I guess this is why it upsets me a great deal when I cross paths with a researcher who is only researching his or her direct line. Don't be someone who misses out on finding that extra something just because you are only interested in your direct line.