I Just Got My DNA Results. Now What?

There are so many directions you can go after receiving your DNA results.

First you might take a peak at your Ethnicity Estimates. Does it line up with what you were expecting? Now it’s important to keep in mind these are just estimates. Ireland has a complicated history, and there are all kinds of reasons it won’t show up as you expect. Among them, every DNA testing company has its own reference populations and its own way of generating ethnicity results. Still, take a gander. It’s interesting.

Next, click to your matches. Start at the top, and begin scrolling down. See how many you can identify as known relatives. Then see if there are any surprises or any high matches you can’t identify. They’re worth a closer look. If you’re feeling really curious, you might message them right away, but it’s probably best to gather a little more info first. Check their Shared Matches with you, and see if that offers any clues. If they don’t have a tree, but they do have a name or user name, do some Googling or searching around to see if you can identify their family. As you go from match to match, add notes for how you might be connected. Try these steps as you evaluate matches: Explore, speculate and verify.

Once the excitement of the new matches starts to wear off, you should download your raw DNA (it is after all, your DNA, you should have a copy of it in raw form):

AncestryDNA

  • Go to Settings, then Download Raw DNA. Click Download Raw DNA.
  • It emails you to confirm and then you can Download.
  • It saves to your computer.

23andme

  • Click the top right of the page and go to Browse Raw Data.
  • Click Download.
  • Go to Submit Request, it will email you and then you can save the raw data.

FamilyTreeDNA

  • Hover over myDNA at the top of the site, then Family Finder, and click Download Raw DNA.
  • Click Build 37 Concatenated Raw Data, and it will download.

As long as you are comfortable doing so, your next step would be to upload the raw DNA results to a few third-party sites to find more matches. This is especially helpful and vital for Irish research – every match helps build and verify your tree.

In this step of the process, be very careful where you upload. Don’t just upload anywhere, and anywhere you do upload, get familiar with their terms of service. Look for vetted, reputable genealogy sites.

One good place to start is Gedmatch. Go to gedmatch.com, register for a new account, and sign in. Go to Generic Uploads on the right side of the page, and upload your raw DNA file. Use an alias or nickname for yourself if you wish. You will be assigned a Kit #. Only your matches will see you pop up, or if someone knows your Kit # they can run comparisons. Immediately you will be able to do one-to-one comparisons (where you compare your DNA to one other person, see how much DNA you share and what segments you share), but you may need to wait about 24 hours for all of your matches to process.

MyHeritageDNA is another place you can upload for free, if that isn’t where you tested already. MyHeritage has a growing base of users in Ireland itself, so you may find matches from Ireland. Very helpful. You can upload to MyHeritage here.

Finally, you can upload to FamilyTreeDNA. There is no cost to do so, and you will get a list of matches, but you have to pay to unlock a chromosome browser and other features.

And you’ll want to join the Irish DNA Registry group on Facebook. You can use Gedmatch to generate your top matches, and share them there to correspond with living individuals who may share your DNA. It’s a great place to collaborate.

As you continue to explore your DNA results, utilize these resources around the web to build out your tree.

Want to show off your Irish pride? Have a look at these:

(The above links are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Irish DNA Net!)

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