s I mentioned in an early post, I had my DNA tested through Ancestry.com. I have looked at numerous results from my cousin “hits” but I found that it was getting hard to organize and remember all the details. To solve that problem, I designed a chart, which has helped me considerably. I used Word to format it (landscape mode), but you could use Excel or some other program.
On Ancestry.com, people often go by screen names. Once I learn a person’s real name I enter that in the chart. You can chat via Ancestry, but it is also helpful if you have a person’s e-mail address so you can send documents back and forth. Once I learn the e-mail address, I pop that in the chart.
I record the date I e-mail a potential cousin and, if they respond, I note that also. I also have a column for whose turn it is to respond. It gets confusing after several e-mails to dozens of people.
In the last column called “Miscellaneous” I put their cousin rank (4th-6th or 5th – 8th). I also add notes about surnames and geographical locations they have in common with my ancestors. As I correspond with a person, I add more notes in this column, such as “sent them my Brashear pedigree” or whether their tree is private.
Now, when I receive an e-mail or message on Ancestry, I can quickly search my chart and respond intelligently. Because there is so much information in the genealogy world, charts have been used for ages. Remember, charts are good. Carry on!
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "1200 Ornamental Letters," 2007.
Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, "Victorian Goods and Merchandise," 2006.