Quick & Dirty Family Trees for DNA Matches

Genealogists often build Quick & Dirty family trees (Q&D trees) for DNA matches who don't have linked family trees or for DNA matches whose trees aren't complete enough to help determine the family relationship.   I don't have the patience to build a tree for each tree-challenged DNA match, so I use a shortcut.  

Disclaimer.

I'm a hobbyist. My husband is a professional in the industry. Professional Genealogists probably consider this a very low-brow method partially because I'm using a public family tree that I didn't personally research and because the FamilySearch tree will have errors. When I research with my husband, he hands me a stack of these papers and tells me, "Document everything, especially failures." This isn't that; it's not original research. That's why the title includes the words "find" and "quick and dirty." I ain't doing the work. To some pros, this method is akin to dum…

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Do the Math – How Many Ancestors Do I Have?

Sometimes you just need a simple answer to the question:   How many ancestors do I have?   There's a mathematical formula for figuring out how many ancestors you have at each generation. x=2n  

x is the number of direct-line, biological ancestors you have;

n is the generation back from you.

So, one generation back, x=2¹ or x=2, you have 2 ancestors, your biological parents. You may also have adopted parents, step-parents,  etc, but for the purpose of DNA matches, we're concerned with biological ancestors you may have inherited DNA from. As a general rule, this formula shows the largest number of ancestors you could have.

At some point, you'll have pedigree collapse and this formula no longer applies, but it works well for the limited number of generations we examine in most of our family history work.

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Happy DNA Day – an Offer for AncestryDNA Testers

Happy DNA Day!   23andMe is holding a one-day special for AncestryDNA customers. If you've tested anywhere other than Ancestry, skip to the end for sites where you can get free offers. Today only, Ancestry DNA testers can upload their test results to 23andMe (for free) and receive 4 free health reports! 23andMe doesn't usually accept DNA test uploads.         To download your AncestryDNA, you'll need to:   Login to your account at Ancestry.com Navigate to the DNA tab on the top menu bar Select "Your DNA Results Summary"         Select the Gear icon next to "Settings" on the right side of the page         PAY ATTENTION HERE - Select "Download Raw DNA Data" on the right side of the window BE CAREFUL, it's inconveniently close to a "Delete Test Results" button         Enter your Ancestry Account passw…
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