How I use Hashtags to track my DNA matches
Thanks to Michele Simmons Lewis, CG for this article.
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I track both my atDNA (autosomal) matches and my yDNA matches in Legacy using Hashtags.
When working with atDNA, if I know how the person matches me I go ahead and add their tree (their direct line) back to our Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA). I use a special Master Source to the new data called, “DNA Match – Lineage not confirmed.” As I have time, I collect the evidence I need to confirm their line and then I change the source citations.
Next, I add a hashtag to the tester and to each person in his/her direct line and to those in my direct line back to our MRCA. If there is more than one tester that has the same MRCA that person will get hashtagged on the same hashtag. I name the Hashtags like this…
MRCA – Graham, Albert and Mary Grantham
MRCA – Patton, Mathew and Caroline McMichael
MRCA – Simmons, James and Corrine Graham
MRCA – Simmons, William and Docia Perry
Now all of the testers with known MRCAs with me will be entered and the testers will be grouped by which MRCA they match.
I handle yDNA in the same way EXCEPT if I have a good yDNA match I will input the tester and his direct line even if I don’t know the most MRCA is. These testers and their direct lines will be entered as unlinked trees (Add > Add Unlinked).
These Hashtags look like this…
Simmons Group – Ephraim Simmons abt 1822
Simmons Group – William Simmons abt 1685
Simmons Group – William Simmons abt 1793
Simmons Group – James Simmons, Sr. 14 Aug 1764
Simmons Group – William G. Johnson NPE abt 1800
The name of the hashtag is the brick wall ancestor for each line. In the description field I have yDNA 67 marker match – TESTERS NAME (or however many markers they tested at) as well as some other helpful notes.
Since this is a SURNAME-based DNA test I also have many other Simmons groups as Hashtags and what I am looking for is any overlap. If I see that a certain Simmons has been hashtagged in more than one group that might give me the clue I need to start connecting some of the unlinked trees. Here is how I have these additional Hashtags set up:
Simmons Group – 10&20 Cons. LA Militia
Simmons Group – 13th Reg. MS Militia
Simmons Group – Amite Co, MS
Simmons Group – Bala Chitto
Simmons Group – Marion Co, MS
Simmons Group – Natchez District, MS
Simmons Group – Pike Co, MS
Simmons Group – Random Simmons’ (I don’t know how these guys fit in yet)Simmons Group – Silver Creek
Simmons Group – Washington Co, MS
I have all of the tester’s contact information entered on his/her address screen. I also create custom DNA events where I can record which company they tested with and their GEDmatch number if they have one. I can add screenshots of ethnicity reports and chromosome browsers results. I am also able to keep track of our correspondence in the Notes field.
I like keeping as much information as I can in Legacy which makes my DNA research less complicated.
Learn more about Hashtags
View the Hashtags section in this webinar or view the after-webinar party section in this webinar.
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