Do You Save DNA Match Information?

When I first started working on the matches for one of my DNA tests, I discovered that one of my correspondents was adopted and was trying to locate her birth parents. No big deal. Their test results had a tree attached to it (with the name of the birth parents and nothing else). We corresponded briefly after sharing what information we could, but a regular correspondence when there’s nothing to discuss is rather meaningless. The match was somewhat distantly related to the testee and I was not initially able to give them any real specific suggestions.  To be honest, I forgot about the match after our conversation ended.

In reviewing that match again recently, the tree is gone. The account remains, but the individual is not responding to messages and has not logged into their account in months. I’m not certain whether they are unable to communicate or have simply lost interest. Their username may also have been changed as it’s more “generic” than I remember it being.

I didn’t copy the information from their online tree while they had it up (screen shots at the very least would have been helpful). So there’s a little reminder here: capture that information. Some DNA testers die or become otherwise unable to respond. Others get busy. Some lose interest. Some lose access to their account. Those are problems that all of us occasionally have.

Others discover things they didn’t want to know and don’t respond to anyone to keep peace with living family members…and sometimes when they have that realization, they remove their tree or set it to “private.” And then they go incognito.

Capturing information about the match and their tree when you encounter it may be a good idea.


7 thoughts on “Do You Save DNA Match Information?

  1. Keeping record, paper or digital, of every clue we have is vitally important. I’ve learned the hard way. Some of the very earliest treasures I found, I can no longer locate on line or off. I thought it would “always be there”. Save, save, save!

    • Save, save, save it really what it boils down to. The citations and where you got it don’t have to be perfect, but not having it can be a problem.

  2. I try to get a private email address as soon as I can. Sometimes people keep one just for genealogy but some just have one for everything. And I’ve learned, too, to screen shot all the information about the match. I attach those to the individual as soon as I figure out who/where they belong in my tree. Until then they stay in a folder on my computer.

    • Those are good ideas. I’ve had another correspondent as well who evaporated and while I don’t know the reason why (and it doesn’t really matter), I’m glad I had copies of the match information and the tree they used to have attached to their results. The results and matches are still there, but their name and the names of their parents and grandparents are gone. Good thing I kept it.

    • Jennifer A Kendrick says:

      What a great idea. I had not thought to upload it to the individual in my tree and have been trying to figure out the best way to track them! Thank you!

      • Don’t forget to save it to your own media as well–that way if you no longer have your account, you’ll still have easy access to it.

  3. I was adopted and found my bio Mom in 96. Although she couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me about my bio Father. Had anouth several initaties say it was my oldest bio brother’s father. I my self would love it to be true. I have to question the outcome due to more matches that I can find no link to. I may never know for sure. I will keep searching till I find who I am.

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