With the rollout of FTDNA’s MyGroups and global search tool, tackling your match list just might get a little easier. You can learn about the advantages of projects and how to join here. If you’d rather not manually search through the project index, you can experiment with the ‘Search Tool’. The tool can be found on your Welcome Page:
Once you have entered a surname or location of interest, you’ll be provided with a list of projects that have indexed your surname, as well as a list of relevant family trees. This is another reason to make sure you’ve entered your surnames, uploaded a family tree, and reminded your project administrators to add your surnames to the index. This will help others using the search tool find you. With luck, the search tool can transform Family Finder mystery matches to a familiar surname or location that can lead to discovering connections. You can learn more about adding gedcoms and surnames here.
Tree accessibility is dependent on individual privacy settings. You can adjust your settings from the ‘Privacy Settings’ dropdown. I want my tree to be available to non-matches as well as matches, so have chosen the ‘Public’ setting. When working with common last names and speculative ancestors, it can be just as important to be aware of who you don’t match as who you do match.
Help Your Matches Help Yourself
If you want your profile information to be visible to project members, from the ‘Who Can See Me in Project Member Lists’ section choose the ‘Project Members’ setting.
With MyGroups, project members have the opportunity to compare notes and make contact on the Activity Feed. When members post information, visible profiles identify, among other things any surnames in common.To access your fellow project members profile info, from the Activity Feed click on the number of members in a project:
At the Iowa DNA Project, match notifications are sent out on a weekly basis. At last count, 143 of our members have inter-project matches. Some connections are already known, some are narrowed down to specific branches, and many are still being worked on. The more we collaborate, and the more of the tools we take advantage of, the more likely we are to achieve success.