Contact Your Matches

How to Contact Your Matches
  • After evaluating your matches, you will want to contact your best matches at the highest number of markers you have been tested. 
    • You can open an email to any match through your "matches" page at FTDNA by clicking the envelope icon to the right of the name. 
    • Keep track of the men you have contacted by making a note in the "notepad" tool accessed through the notepad icon to the right of the name. 
    • Don't be afraid to contact men with a different surname if they seem to be significant matches.  There are a number of ways that you could be connected, and sharing information is the only way to find out.
    • If you have a significant match who has tested at a lower number of markers than you, you may want to encourage him to upgrade to more markers to see if the match holds up. 
    • Be sure you have done all your homework you can before you contact matches.
      • Post your Most Distant Ancestor on your personal page at FTDNA. 
      • Upload your GEDCOM to your personal page at FTDNA. 
      • Submit your family pedigree to your project for posting on the project website's Patriarchs Page.
      • Be prepared to upgrade if your match has tested at more markers than you have. 
      • If a 12 marker test is your only or an important match, contact him to ask him to join you in upgrading to see if the match holds..
  • How to compose your message to your match. 
    • Be friendly.
    • Be clear about the purpose of your email:
      • Tell them...
        • Who you are ("Hi, John.  I was yDNA-tested at FTDNA and I am a member of the Jones Surname DNA Project. My kit number is 99999")
        • How you match ( "I have a 65/67 match with John Jones, which should confirm that we share a common ancestor.")
        • Your ancestry ("My earliest known ancestor is Nathaniel Jones, born 1776 in Boston, MA, married Jane Smith.  I have a complete family tree posted at FTDNA and my paternal pedigree is posted on the Jones Project's Patriarchs Page at www.worldfamilies.net/jones.  I am attaching my Jones family tree to this email.)
      • Ask them
        • For their help ("I was unable to find a pedigree for you at either FTDNA or the project's website.  Can you tell me more about your family tree?") 
        • To define their ancestry ("I am particularly interested to know if your family tree goes back to Massachusettes, to Nathaniel Jones, or perhaps even further back.")
        • To work together ("I hope that by sharing information and research we can each find out more about our Jones' ancestry. ")
  • MATCHES AT FTDNA:  FTDNA will send you automated messages when you have a match (either with only your surname project members or to their internal "opted-in" database) - depending on your selection.  You can contact these individuals by clicking their name on the page "Matches" on your FTDNA page.
     
  • MATCHES ON THE PROJECT'S RESULTS or PATRIARCHS PAGE OF THE PROJECT'S WEBSITE:
    • Each time Results or Pedigrees are updated on the Project's website, take a few minutes to see if you have a match or you recognize any of the ancestors.
    • Contact those whose pedigrees indicate that you share a common ancestor.  
    • Matches on the Patriarch's Page:
      • The name and email address for the pedigree provider is posted at the end of the first line of the pedigree. 
      • Change the AT to @ and remove the spaces to use the email address to contact him or her.  (We use the AT and spaces to preven spam harvesters from stealing your email address from the webpage.) 
    • Matches on the Results Page:
      • If you have a match that is shown on the project's Results Page, you will want to exchange information and compare your paper trails to find where you connect. 
      • Check the Project's Patriarchs Page to see if your match has posted a pedigree (kit number will be in red at end of pedigree).
      • Some (most) of your matches on the project’s Results page will also appear as a match on your personal page matches at FTDNA. However, some of them will not, as they may not have tested at FTDNA, they may not be a member of your project, or they may have chosen not to show publicly as a match at the FTDNA website.
      • Currently, it is difficult to correlate which project members you match on the project’s Results Page with the persons your match on your personal page at FTDNA, as Project websites use the kit number or an identity number to identify project members, while FTDNA identifies your matches by name.   You can ask your Project Administrator to tell you if a match on the Results Page already appears on your "Matches" page at FTDNA, to avoid contacting the same person twice.