How Contacting DNA Matches Helped Me With My Traditional Genealogy Research
I am new to genetic genealogy. I began to realize several months ago that I needed to add DNA research to my list of skills, so I purchased Ancestry DNA kits for myself and my husband at RootsTech in February. I received my results and didn’t really know what I should do next, so I started reading the articles about DNA right here at Family Locket and listening to all of the Research Like a Pro podcasts about DNA research.
My research project for the study group is centered in Southeast Poland, in an area formerly known as Galicia. I have never worked with Polish records before. A few of my DNA matches have provided historical background information and links to websites that have turned out to be great resources to add to my locality guide. Two particularly helpful resources have been a Dictionary of Lemko Surnames that lists surnames from the area and villages where people with these surnames lived, and a Lemko Village Resource Guide, which lists villages and their historical and modern spellings.
Archive and Record Suggestions
I have also received helpful archive information. A couple of matches sent me links to the Przemysl Archives in Poland and even included information about how to locate the church records I would need to look at within that archive.
One match shared a Galician Town Locator with me. It shows the administrative, judicial, and religious districts of each village. This jurisdiction information is important when looking for records. For example, if I am looking for Greek Catholic records from the village of Ozenna, I need to know that the Greek Catholic Center is Grab, and that the records will be found in the archives under Grab, not Ozenna.
Connections to Experts and Facebook Groups
Two of my matches pointed me to Facebook groups that are great forums for learning more. A requirement for one of the groups is that you have your DNA uploaded to Gedmatch for increased collaboration within the group. Another match provided the contact information for a great (and very affordable) researcher who is willing to retrieve documents from the Przemysl Archives if needed.
Information About Special Projects
Recording Information From DNA Matches for Future Use
As I have received helpful information from my matches, I have copied and pasted the emails and messages to my research project document so I don’t have to go hunting through my emails and messages from various DNA sites to locate the information when I need to refer back to it at a later date. I have also extracted details about websites, archives, records, and contacts, and added them to my Locality Guide.
I have found that contacting my DNA matches has been really valuable, especially as I have been researching a family that comes from an area I know nothing about. I am excited to continue learning as I work through the entire Research Like a Pro with DNA process with this project.