Focus

Since I got my DNA results last week, it’s all been a bit too much. Not too much as in, we found out some amazing information and we met an entire new family and now we’re all best buddies- but too much as in I’ve lost all focus.

I set some goals last year of what I thought our aims were, but it turns out they were all just a bit vague. I wanted to find out who my great great grandfathers were, and more about my maternal great grandfather, then I also wanted to find out as much as possible about every relative I have ever had that lived on Shetland! Who knew that this expectation would cause such anxiety?

It started off with my great aunt, I wanted to find out more, then my great uncle. Then I wanted to do that with my great great aunts and uncles, and their spouses and their children. I not only wanted to know more, but I thought having all this information would help me by the time my dna results arrived. I figured all my cousins would be there neatly recorded and I’d get a match and we’d both know how we were related straight away and it would be wonderful. What I got was a tree that didn’t fit on my computer screen anymore, and a bunch of matched cousins who have zero shared links with me. Once I saw this, I reached out, and I added more, and I stopped looking solely at my mother’s maternal line. I HAD to know how this person was related to me. So now I had great great uncles and aunts of huge catholic families on my dads Irish side, and their children and their children’s children. Alongside this my little shaking leaf in the corner was going nuts with hints for people I hadn’t even properly checked were my family. I had emailed ‘cousins’ asking for advice and no one had replied. I also thought I had picked reliable cousins to email, ones that had linked trees with thousands of names, ones who had logged in within the past week, but all I got was silence, don’t they want to know? I’m sure in the genetics genealogy world there’s a name for this fever post results. Whatever it is- I have it.

So this morning, as I was feverishly awaiting my dna results to be ready on myheritage.com after uploading my raw data, I suddenly had this realisation that I’d lost my focus and I had to get it back. My MyHeritage matches were full of suggestions for my dads family and his side of the tree was growing so vastly, and yet on this particular website, I hadn’t even recorded my mother’s family beyond my grandmother. My genealogy dream of finding out about my Shetland roots had turned into a nightmare. In dispair about what to do next, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the pedigree button. Curious I clicked on it and there it was, my direct lineage, no mess, no cousins, just my direct family. A sense of calm washed over me, I had found the page I didn’t even know I needed. I wrote out my mums pedigree and breathed!

Pedigree Tree

I’m still a little upset over the lack of response from people, and also the amount of matches I have that have no further information. They’re private or unlinked or have no family added. 173 matches and I’ve heard from 3 of them, 1 of them I already know, (who by the way has just found out she has a sister because of dna testing!). When I spoke a few weeks ago about expectations from dna testing, this disappointment was definitely not something I anticipated.

Anyway, I feel I’ve got some focus back, and I’ve also discovered Shetland Genealogy on Facebook, so I am going to upload my raw data to GEDmatch to and hope I can get some leads and links with them. From now on, with the exception of my great aunt and my great uncle, it’s the pedigree line only, and no more fussing about dna matches!!

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