RootsTech is a world-wide, free, online family history conference that will be held this week. In addition to over 1500 class sessions, there is a fantastic feature called, “Relatives at RootsTech,” that can help you in your genetic genealogy research. If you’ve ever wanted to connect with like-minded family members who may share your interest in family history, as well as DNA, here is your opportunity!
Do you ever wonder who the people in your DNA match list are and how exactly they are related to you? “Relatives at RootsTech,” can help you become acquainted with your relatives, and discover if some of them are included in your DNA match list(s).
How to Access Relatives at RootsTech
To access Relatives at Rootstech on a computer, open https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/ and click on “Menu” at the top right. Then choose “Relatives at RootsTech” from the drop-down menu.
Search by Location
In Relatives at RootsTech, you can search in the Location tab for people who live near you or in an area where your ancestors lived. There is also a map feature that you can turn on to see general locations where your relatives live.
Search by Ancestor
Think of ancestors you’d like to research. Are there branches of your family tree that you’d like to extend? Is there a dead-end or brick wall in your family history research that you’d like to overcome? You can select one of your ancestors who is listed in the FamilySearch Family Tree and see in the parentheses next to the ancestor’s name how many of his or her descendants are participating in RootsTech. Next, click on the ancestor’s name, and a drop-down menu will open with a list of the names of your relatives. You can send messages to those relatives and begin a collaboration to research and locate records that about the ancestor’s parents and family. You can ask if your relative has taken a DNA test, and which company they tested with.
DNA Target Testing – Information in the “By Ancestor” tab could help you trace descendants who you could ask to take a DNA test to help you both learn more about your shared ancestors. Think of the types of DNA that would apply in your relationship. This previous blog post, Which DNA Test Should I Take? can help you figure out which type of DNA test would be best.
Search by Attendee
DNA Match list – Take a look at your DNA match list in the DNA company websites where you DNA tested or transferred your raw DNA data. Are there DNA matches who are also listed in Relatives at Rootstech? Enter the names of your DNA matches in the Relatives at RootsTech Search field. You may need to be a little creative in how you enter a relative’s name, since a DNA match name may be spelled in all lower case letters, or the name may have numbers included.
Relationship to Attendee and MRCA
When you see the name of a relative in the list, click on it to open the options of sending a message, viewing the relationship you share with that relative, and contacting your relative. If you select “Relationship,” the path between you and the selected relative will open. In terms of DNA, the ancestors at the top of the path are the most recent common ancestors (MRCA) shared by you and your relative.
Add to Contacts
You can add the names of your relatives to your Contact List, which can help you keep track of who you’ve contacted. I’m hoping that the Contact list will be available after RootsTech is over so I can easily message my newly identified relatives after RootsTech is over.
Take some time and explore Relatives at Rootstech to find your relatives who are also interested in family history. This is a wonderful opportunity to reach out and renew old connections and make new ones. I’d love to hear about your experiences!
Connect with us at RootsTech
Diana, Nicole, and I will be answering questions and connecting with RootsTech attendees in the chat feature in the Family Locket Genealogists virtual booth in the Expo Hall. We would love to hear from you!
Best wishes as you connect with family during RootsTech!
What a wonderful idea! My brain is on overload with the RLP with DNA class, so hardly watched anything at RT, but I did look at the Relatives at RootsTech. I saw a lot from one line I would never have dreamed of finding and no one at the line I was interested in. BUT, I do need to record those I can’t get to right now for future research. Thanks for sharing the idea.
How exciting that you found a new relative in a line of your family you didn’t know of before! Hopefully, even more of your relatives will sign up for Rootstech next year. Great idea to record other relatives who can help with future research. I’m doing the same. Increasingly more people are becoming interested in family history research all the time. RootsTech is a great time to connect with them.