Sunday, August 6, 2017

Playing with DNA Information Part3

How many of your matches on Ancestry have trees? Is there a way to tell?  Of course! It is one of the files you will want to create for yourself anyway as a resource and reference.

Let's look at the "a" file created by the DNAGedcom client. In my case it is called "a_Clark_Lind.csv".

What is it telling us? Yes, it is a listing of the people in our matches' trees. But if you think about it, isn't it also a listing of matches who have trees? No tree, then they wouldn't be in this file!

So here is how you can create a list of just names.
-Create a new (blank) Excel file.
-Open your "a" file in Excel (a_Your_Name.csv) BE PATIENT, it can take a while to load..

Once open,
-click on columns C and D, highlighting them both.
-Right-click and select Copy (or ctrl+c)
-Go to the new Excel file and select cell A1. Right-click and select Paste (or ctrl+v).
-With both columns still highlighted, go to the Data Menu, and select Remove Duplicates.
-Save the file. Put it with the other files since you may as well import this into MS Access later anyway.

Now you know which of your matches on Ancestry has a tree. If you compare this file to your "m" file, you can also see who DOES NOT have a tree.


Another file you will want to have is a listing of your ancestors. Not your complete tree, just your direct ancestors. This will help out later when you start comparing matches. At this stage, we are not looking for matches by casting a wide net, that should already have happened. Now we are trying to see where those people match you in your tree.

There is no real easy way to create such a listing without using some genealogical software. One of the free programs I use for such things is Gramps ( If you download your Gedcom file from Ancestry (or have one already), you can open it in Gramps. Set yourself as the home person, then export to a new CSV file (not GEDCOM!!) using the option "Ancestors of Home Person" [you].

That will give you a csv file with just you and your direct relatives. Place it in the same folder as the other files.

These are just "utility" files that will come in handy later once you start comparing data.

More in the next part!

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