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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
 
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Guidelines for Submitting Your Lineage to Your DNA Project
To participate meaningfully in a genealogical DNA project, you need to share your ancestry with the group.  For a Y-chromosome DNA test (males only), you need to share your patrilineal (direct-male-line) ancestry; for a mitochondrial DNA test (males or females), you need to share your matrilineal (direct-female-line) ancestry.  I give examples of both (see below), but there is no fundamental difference between the two, except that surnames on the female line (usually) change with each generation. 

The Importance of Testee Lineages in DNA-Testing Projects

The ideal way to submit your lineage would be in the form of family group sheets or a GEDCOM*, but I will accept the information in whatever format is easiest for you because I don't want the format to become an obstacle to your getting your information to the project.  You may also wish to submit a minimal line initially (when you join), to be supplemented with family group sheets later (by the time your test results come back).

Please don't be embarrassed if you do not know your ancestry back more than a few generations.  While different members are currently at different stages in their research, we all started out newbies!



*If you are joining the Danish Demes Project, a GEDCOM is greatly preferred.
Direct Male Line for Y-chromosome DNA Test

Minimally, the group needs to know your earliest known patrilineal (direct-male-line) ancestor and your connection to him.  Using actor Sam ROBARDS, son of actor Jason ROBARDS, as an example, such a line can be written as:

Sam6, Jason Nelson5, Jason Nelson4, Frank P.3, James Nelson2, George1

Or minimally, just

George > James > Frank > Jason > Jason > Sam

For purposes of our study and as presented on the project's web site, a living person in such an ancestral line would be designated "Pvt," in other words, Pvt6, Jason Nelson5, Jason Nelson4, etc.

Another (and better) way to minimally share your line is to list the couples, for example:
 
George ROBARDS (1795-1845) & Temperance MONROE (1794-1863)
_James Nelson ROBARDS (1832-1912) & Catherine HARTMAN (1837/8- )
__Frank P. ROBARDS (1858-1940) & Elizabeth LOOMIS (1860-1938)
___Jason Nelson ROBARDS, Sr. (1892-1963) & Hope Maxine GLANVILLE (1895-1992)
____Jason Nelson ROBARDS, Jr. (1922-2000) & Lauren BACALL (1924- )
_____Sam Prideaux ROBARDS (1961- )

By including the names of the wives and the dates, you eliminate the ambiguity that might be present in a simple sequential list of the male given names, especially when the list is short, the given names are common, and middle names are unknown.  (Living persons will be displayed as "Pvt" on the web site.)

With regard to Y-chromosome DNA testing, not only should every male on the above list have the same Y-chromosome (barring rare mutations), any male-line ROBARDS descended from any of the males on this list should also have the same Y-chromosome.  That is, any ROBARDS male whose ancestral line intersects the one from Sam to George at any point should have the same Y-chromosome.  For this reason, it's helpful and considerate of others to include as many of the siblings in your line as you can in the information you supply, and supplying that kind of information is best done by providing family group sheets.

Direct Female Line for mtDNA Test

Minimally, the group needs to know your earliest known matrilineal (direct-female-line) ancestor and your connection to her.  Using actor Katharine HEPBURN as an example, such a line can be written as:

Katharine Houghton HEPBURN5, Katharine Martha HOUGHTON4, Caroline GARLINGHOUSE3, Martha Ann SPALDING2, Jennet MACK1

Or minimally, just

Jennet MACK > Martha SPALDING > Caroline GARLINHOUSE > Katharine HOUGHTON > Katharine HEPBURN

Another (and better) way to minimally share your line is to list the couples, for example:
 
Jennet MACK (1779-1836) & Erastus Lyman SPALDING (1775-1830)
_Martha Ann SPALDING (1818-1882) & Leman Benton GARLINGHOUSE (1814-1872)
___Caroline GARLINGHOUSE (1856-1894) & Alfred Augustus HOUGHTON (1851-1892)
____Katharine Martha HOUGHTON (1878-1951)  & Thomas Norval HEPBURN (1879-1961)
_____Katharine Houghton HEPBURN (1907-2003)

With regard to mtDNA testing, not only should every female on the above list have the same mitochondrial DNA (barring rare mutations), any sons and any direct-female-line descendants of any female on this list should have the same mitochondrial DNA.  For this reason, it's helpful and considerate of others to include as many of the siblings in your line as you can in the information you supply, and supplying that kind of information is best done by providing family group sheets.

Most genealogy software will produce family group sheets or some kind of "Ancestor Report" (e.g., an ahnentafel).  If your data are in one of these genealogy software packages, please set it to output the relevant line (not the whole database) and send it to me, either electronically or via snail mail (see below for details).  If your data are not in the form of family group sheets or are not entered in any software package, it's probably time to start using both, but I will accept notes scribbled on old envelopes if I have to.  Please just keep in mind that the more time I spend converting your information to family group sheets, the less time I will have to devote to the project or to helping you with your research.

The reason the use of family group sheets is so widespread in genealogy is that over a century of researcher experience has shown them to be the best way to organize, store, and exchange genealogical information next to computer files, of course.  Please check this page for a sample of the standard information on a family group sheet.  On this page, I harp about documentation, but it is not necessary to include it with your initial submission to the project.  We can fill the documentation in later if it appears needed.

Please do not include your own personal family group sheet or your parents' family group sheet if they are still living.  Please only include family group sheets where everyone on them is deceased and indicate how the test subject connects to this family. 

If you are using one of the minimal ways of representing your line, please just include the information in the body of an email addressed to me.

If you are sending family group sheets via computer, you may send them as Word (.doc), Adobe (.pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or plain vanilla ASCII (.txt) files, either as an attachment to an email or by uploading the file(s) to my ftp site:

ftp://ftp.dgmweb.net/incoming/

Instructions for Uploading Files Via FTP It's Easy!

While I no longer use genealogy software for my database (my web site is literally my database), I do have copies of FamilyTreeMaker and The Master Genealogist, so you can send a native FTW file or a GEDCOM, and I can import it.  But please do not send your entire database, just the line from you to your earliest known direct line ancestor.

Please do not send graphic images of pages, such as .tiff or .jpg or .gif files I've got a storage problem as it is.

To send paper, please email a request for my snail mail address.

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