How Do You Keep Track Of DNA Matches?

I’ve been working with my DNA matches for over ten years now. In fact, I’ve tested at every company that I think it’s of value to test at. Ancestry, MyHeritage, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), 23andMe, and LivingDNA. I also administer the kits for my parents, my brothers, my sons, as well as many of my aunts and uncles and cousins. So keeping track of correspondence can be a struggle.

About nine months ago, one of my followers asked me this question, and I passed along the tool that I use, so I thought perhaps I should tell you about my spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet has three tabs across the bottom. One is the info tab that tells you how to use the worksheet. One tab is called DNA Kits List, and it’s here that you note all the kit numbers, user names, or the email login information for the kits you might manage. You can also document GEDmatch # as well.

The final and most crucial tab is where you track your correspondence. Here you can keep track of the following information;

  • Kit Owner (testee)
  • Site
  • Type of Test (is it autosomal, mtDNA or YDNA)
  • GEDMatch #
  • Match name
  • aka (if it’s different from their name)
  • Age
  • Possible Relationship
  • Who made contact
  • Date
  • cM
  • Longest Block
  • X Match
  • ICW
  • Email
  • made contact (Y/N) in other words did they reply or did you reply if they made the first contact
  • When
  • Where do they live
  • Tree link (if they have a public tree)
  • Common ancestor (if known)
  • Notes

For me, it tracks just about everything, and it’s about keeping as much info in one place for ease of access.

One other thing to keep in mind is that each of the DNA companies offers you space to write notes. So be sure to use that space.

If you’d like to have a look at my spreadsheet, you can download it for FREE HERE. As a BONUS, I’ve added a page where you can also track your genealogy correspondence as well.

If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

2 Comments

  • Carole Townsend says:

    Great spreadsheet. I have been using a spreadsheet for a few years, and have a lot of the same information. One thing I like is that I have a column for family line. THat seems similar to your common ancestor, but I only use the surname. So i am able to sort on that and look at all the DNA matches I’ve corresponded with by family line. I do not keep the CM or longest block, but maybe will add that! I make ample use of the notes field for anything that I want to add that doesn’t fit anywhere else. Thanks so much for sharing

  • Robert Hobbs says:

    Good spreadsheet. I have something similar but also include the number of DNA segments.

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