Are you set up for success? We share four tips to help you get the most from your 23andMe DNA test.
The popularity of DNA testing in recent years has resulted in a tremendous increase in the numbers of testers in the DNA companies’ databases. Those testers represent a wide spectrum of motivations, genealogy experience, and understanding of test results. But regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, one thing is certain: everyone wants something in return for their investment. So how can you best setup your DNA test for success? The answers depend upon where you have tested. We will focus this discussion on configurable ancestry-related tools at 23andMe, and not on any health-related features they offer.
Set up Your Profile
One of the most important opportunities to ensure success comes with setting up your profile, even with how you display your name.
- To maximize clarity regarding your ancestry for your matches, include your maiden name if you are married.
- If you were adopted and know your birth name, consider including it. That could trigger a match’s spark of recognition if you are searching for birth family.
- Write a brief introduction for yourself, such as your research interests and what you’d like new relatives to know about you.
- Show the city you call home.
- Display your birth year helps others determine whether you are likely in the same generation or more removed.
- Include a friendly profile photo. This makes you feel more approachable.
- Share where your four grandparents were born, as well as additional ancestral birthplaces.
- List your ancestral family surnames so that shared lineages can be identified.
- Choose to display your ancestry reports you to your DNA Relatives including Ancestry Composition (ethnicity), Maternal Haplogroup, and your Paternal Haplogroup.
- Consider displaying your matching DNA segments to your DNA Relatives, but keep in mind that it may be possible to identify your genetic variants related to health.
- Post a link to your online family tree from Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, MyHeritage, WikiTree, or others.
Invite Cousins to Connect
- Click a genetic relative’s name and Request to Share.
- Check for matches who 23andMe has recommended you connect with as well as ones who have requested to share with you. Only matches with whom you have established a connection (or those who are sharing with everyone by default) will display whether or not you share DNA in the same area of your genome.
- For those with whom you have connected and have a known relationship, go to Your Connections and click on their settings icon to choose your known relationship from the limited list offered in the drop down.
Add More Information about Your Family Tree
- If you have a parent who has also tested and you are sharing information with them, use the mother’s side or father’s side filter to determine which side a match of yours is likely to be on. You can then use this to filter your match list.
- Build a 23andMe Family Tree. See https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/360045637854-How-to-Build-and-Edit-your-23andMe-Family-Tree.
Join the 23andMe Connect Forum to Connect with Fellow Customers
- Create a username and profile, which are completely separate from your regular account.
- Set your preference for notifications: email or popups.
- Choose whether to share your email address with members.
- Search the forum before posting for content and answers to your questions.
- Add tags to your posts.
- Convert a specific, detailed discussion with a member to a private message, when desired.
Finding and configuring these 23andMe features can maximize the usefulness of your 23andMe DNA results. When you have accomplished all you can and are anxious to learn more, Legacy Tree Genealogists stands ready to help you take the next step toward exciting new discoveries from your DNA. Contact us for a free quote!