The Family History Hound Went Down A 23andMe Rabbit Hole

You know how you wake up in the morning and think, Today I’m going to get this, and this, and this accomplished, and you are feeling strong. You get a coffee and sit at your computer and have a quick look at Facebook (I know, right), and you see a post on Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques, which references a blog from 23andMe describing their new tree algorithm that helps clean up the tree you have on their site.

Well, I’m all about that, so I go on to read the article (click HERE but be careful; you may go down a similar rabbit hole).

I’m interested because when 23andMe first launched the tree feature, it didn’t help me much. In fact, I’d edited my tree, and after reading the article, I saw where I could “recalculate my tree.” Why not? I really didn’t think it was much of a tree anyway. So I decided I was going to do just that, recalculate my tree.

After seeing this warning, I decided to take a quick look over the tree I had and did a screen grab of the info I had inputted into my tree. Then I decided to look at my matches before I deleted anything. I check them when I get emails from 23andMe telling me about new matches, and if I see something interesting or have the time, I check them out.

But when I looked, I realized I had a new match that was quite significant. How did I miss that email? 147cM, and for me, that’s big, especially on 23andMe. But it didn’t take me long to realize that she was the 2x granddaughter of William Beaton and Maria Kottmann. Yes, William Beaton of the Beaton Batten Mystery. So this makes her my 2nd cousin 1 removed, and with 147 cM, she’s right where she should be on The Shared cM Project 4.0 tool v4 on DNA Painter.

Next, I decided to contact all the people we have in common to see how they connect. Granted, some are from the Kottmann side of the family, but perhaps there is someone from that Beaton side. As I went through the matches, I quickly figured out who was from the Kottmanns and who was from the mystery.

I made sure I used my DNA Correspondence Tracker (if this link doesn’t show as free, just change your currency to Canadian, and it should be good). I believe it’s essential to keep a log of your DNA correspondence because sometimes you send messages and don’t get replies for a very long time. Or, if you have your DNA and the other kits you manage on several sites, it may be hard to keep straight.

I sent six messages, and I’d already gotten two replies before I was done.

As they say, “The best-laid plans of mice and men ” I didn’t complete my original project, but you never know what these matches may tell me.

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