I was asked this week what my goal with tracking my DNA matches. My first thought was how I have been distracted by all the BSO’s that have taken me away from my goal.
My main goal with tracking my DNA matches was to uncover who my biological maternal grandfather was. I have been very blessed or lucky or whatever to figure out that mystery once I had the correct people to finally do their DNA test. For me it was basically a waiting game.
So while I waited I decided to take the advice of many in the DNA field (advice I read), that we need to concentrate on our closer matches. I also decided to concentrate on matches with only one of the three companies that I tested with and I used AncestryDNA. Basically because it was simple to use yet they finally introduced the “Shared Matches” which allowed me to some basic triangulation.
Therefore a secondary goal of tracking my DNA matches is to figure out how my 4th cousins and closer matches are related to me. Currently I have 188 4th cousins or closer plus 34 shared ancestor hints. When I started my journey, I had 16 shared ancestor hints and 134 4th cousins or closer.
However, I started with the BSO of my ancestor hints. I reviewed each shared ancestor hint and inputted each match into my genealogy software program with their direct line from our shared ancestor back down to them. I entered a simple note in AncestryDNA that listed our shared ancestor and what our actual relationship was.
It was really difficult not to look into the Shared Matches of my ancestor hints (another BSO), however I needed to finish this task first. I knew the shared ancestor hints will mean so much more with the notes from all my ancestor hints.
Only after I had completed my shared ancestor hints did I go back into those hints and start to follow the Shared Matches. I would input more matches into my genealogy software program with their direct line from our newly discovered shared ancestor back down to them. Sometimes I had to do additional research on their line to take it further back until I found how they fit into my tree. While doing this additional research, BSO start to pop up or I get frustrated or bored researching their tree and go wandering from my real goal. However, I eventually found my way back and would do more with my AncestryDNA matches. I still haven’t made it through all those 4th cousins or closer matches and new close matches appear over time. This may seems like a never ending project, but isn’t genealogy in general a never ending project. Truly, will we ever finish?
Anyway, it was while researching some of those 4th cousins or closer matches that I found some common ancestors among them that lead me to a couple that I speculated might be my maternal grandfather’s ancestors. I did research of this couple’s descendants that lead me to find more matches both distant and 4th cousin and closer. It was through this research that helped me uncover my biological maternal grandfather when those two correct people finally did their DNA test.
The moral of this story, BSO objects will always be around catching our eye while we are doing our research. Even if the project feels overwhelming, by attacking the project in bits and pieces will finally allow you to get through the project or at least reap some benefits of all the work you have already put into it. I am grateful that I didn’t look at the scope of the project and throw my hands up in disgust and quit. When I started over a year ago, I had one 2nd cousin match (who was adopted) and two 3rd cousins matches and starting with 4th cousins was not ideal, but I had to start somewhere.
Like I said, I am still slowing going through all those 4th cousins and closer matches and my new BSO is another common ancestor of many of my matches. I am going to start researching this family. Many of my matches are related to Squire Boone, who happens to be Daniel Boone’s father or to Squire’s father George Boone. Therefore, I have started the major research project of researching this family and perhaps I will be able to figure out how my matches fit into this family and eventually how I might fit into this family. My working theory is perhaps one of my female end-of-lines where I don’t know her maiden name might come from this huge family. I have discovered that there were much intermarriages within the descendants of the Boone family and thus might be why the DNA is still so strong considering how far removed George and his son Squire are from my generation.
Back to researching and being distracted by BSO.