If You’re My Cousin Why Don’t You Answer My Email? Part One

I don’t know how many times I’ve personally sent an email to a DNA cousin and have not received a reply. But I know it’s a lot and as you can imagine its very frustrating. Especially when you are trying to solve a mystery like the Beaton/Batten Mystery. So here are some things that I’ve found that you can do to ensure that your own messages are getting through.

  1. Confirm that your DNA provider; Ancestry.com, Ancestry.ca, Family Tree DNA or 23andMe has your correct email address.
  2. Confirm in the case of Ancestry and 23andMe that you have set up your account so that internal messages are being emailed to you. Did you know that if several of the emails are rejected (by your email provider) that you are removed from receiving Ancestry’s emails?
  3. Confirm that your DNA emails aren’t going to your junk folder.
  4. Make sure that your DNA provider hasn’t been put on your blocked list.
  5. Add your DNA provider to your safe list. Have you ever noticed that even though you are getting emails from someone/anyone that sometimes their emails still go in your junk folder? That’s because there are times that your email program has incorrectly classified it at junk. So it’s a good idea even if your DNA provider emails are coming through that you add them to your safe list.
  6. In the case of items 3, 4 and 5 you can contact your email provider for help. Or do what I do; Google your question. So you can Google; “How do I put an email address on my safe list on Outlook? “
  7. If you do discover that your internet provider blocked your DNA provider you might want to contact your DNA provider to ensure that you haven’t had your email suppressed. This happened to me several years ago. Ancestry had sent an email,  my email provider (Telus) had blocked the email address or maybe it was Outlook, which in turn bounced the email back to Ancestry and then Ancestry had suppressed all future emails. I made sure that Ancestry was on my safe list and I called into Ancestry and presto I was receiving emails from my cousins. Now I receive all my emails.

If you’re still not sure you can always go to the Help section of whichever DNA site you’ve used and go to the FAQ to find tips to ensure you get your emails.

Also, if you are a person that primarily uses an app to access your DNA account then you want to make sure that email is working correctly. I use the Ancestry app and if you do too you’ll notice there is no message system on their app so you won’t know you have a message from a cousin unless your email contact info is working properly.

So now that we are sure that we are getting our emails and we hope our cousins are doing the same; next week’s blog will be about what you should and shouldn’t write to your cousins to entice them to reply back because you know me; I’m always looking for cousins. 


Be sure to check back to Hound on the Hunt as I will be giving away a 2018 Roots Tech pass worth $279.00 in the coming weeks.



1 Comment

  • Emilia C Winding says:

    It could also be that the sender is pretty clueless about the need to demonstrate a willingness to put in some work on his/her side to investigate the connection. My typical email is as follows: “My kit# is 123126 how are we related?” This person usually does not have a tree anywhere online and doesn’t even provide some of the family names that might be shared. I do not bother to respond as there are many more contacts who are polite and show a willingness to share data and work collaboratively.

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