Things to do while waiting for your DNA results:
- SET UP INQUIRY & INFORMATIONAL TEMPLATES -- I did set up several templates with a link to my working file at Rootsweb's WorldConnect...a listing of my GGG & GGGG Grandparents and areas in which they lived.
- "FLESH OUT" YOUR FILES -- I also made some efforts to find the maiden names of a few of the females where I had just their given name. While I didn't have a lot of luck with that, I was able to pick up some new names by finding who my direct line's siblings had married.
- WRITE A PLAN OF ACTION -- I did my atDNA test at Ancestry so my plan was to download raw data...upload it to FTDNA & GEDmatch. I set up my username at GEDmatch ahead of time and uploaded a GEDCOM. I also uploaded a "barebones" file of my direct lines to Ancestry.
- DOWN LOAD GENOME MATE -- This is a WONDERFUL software that lets you compare segments of your results. The first week I had my results at GEDmatch I was doing this by writing things down or copying into a spreadsheet...this is so much better. I don't regret having tinkered with it the hard way....I think I learned more by doing that. When I started out researching in 1990 I used the hand cranked microfilm reader.....to this day it is still my preference when viewing microfilm.(Don't judge me...lol)
- STOCK UP ON OFFICE SUPPLIES -- Truth is....I look for any and every excuse to do this. You will need loads of index cards for notes..post it notes unlimited supply of ink pens and mechanical pencils...and Print off a few 100 blank pedigree sheets and family group sheets so you can just grab those when the notion hits you. As far as the pedigree charts take two of them and label one X inheritence Son and X inheritence Daughter....use these as your guides for checking contributors to your X Chromosome.
- WATCH GENEALOGY SHOWS -- I have a bunch of shows such as Finding Your Roots, Genealogy Roadshow and Who Do You Think You Are? on my DVR. You may also be able to find these OnDemand or on the web.
- GET FAMILIAR WITH DNA TERMS AND TYPES -- Read DNA blogs like DNA Explained Join USER groups for the site(or hopefully sites) to which you plan to upload your DNA. For my budget, testing at Ancestry and uploading to GEDmatch and FTDNA was the way to go.
Several things I learned since getting my DNA results:
If you email 30 people you will get several responses....but then one day 20 will answer all at once...it will be overwhelming...don't stress.
Having a public tree at Ancestry.com doesn't mean that anyone with a username can see it. Be sure to send a share to a match if you use Ancestry. Those who have their test there but who do not have a subscription(such as myself) cannot see your public tree. I did not know that. I assumed(wrongly) that if I made a tree public, that anyone that had registered and had a user id could see it. That is not the case. I feel like the explanation of Public tree as given by Ancestry needs some clarification. Ancestry allows you to share(and turn off a share) with several different options. Don't miss out on a cousin connection because you didn't share your tree.
Not everyone loves genealogy. WHAT!!!! Some have done the DNA tests purely for the entertainment value of knowing their ethnic makeup. Sad but true...