Answer to My Question about My DNA Results

The other day I posted my thoughts about my DNA test at FTDNA.  It was a 3 month follow up on my observations.  One of the observations I made was that I had very few Azorean matches despite their being an Azores DNA Group at FTDNA.

Cheri Mello who is one of the people who manages that Azores DNA group let me know that the majority of people on FTDNA at this point have English/Irish roots.  On the other hand, there are 700+ in the Azores DNA Group.  This explains why most of my matches have leaned towards my Mom’s grandmother’s side of the tree.

What needs to happen is more people from the Azores need to test at FTDNA so their is a wider pool to match too.  Since I have one line with roots in one village to the 1400s, I know that once more folks test from that area they are going to connect to me.   It’s just a matter of time.

So, you Azoreans get out there and test.  And, make sure you upload your raw files to so that we all can match up.  I’ve got a very big Sao Miguel Island tree…you want to share DNA with me ;)


Observations on DNA Research Three Months Later


As many of you know, I got my DNA results in July. It’s been an interesting experience–and an educational one. There are a couple of things that have struck me

a) There are many people who have had the autosomal DNA test done, but who have only researched their father’s side of the tree. Autosomal results are based on both sides of your tree, so it isn’t as if they are highlighting the side of the tree that their test was for. When I contact them, for the most part, their maternal roots seem to be an afterthought, which is kind of sad.

b)  My Mom’s father’s side is completely Portuguese (Azorean, to be exact) yet I have matched very few Azoreans or even Portuguese.  (I am basing this on the family trees that people have posted at FTDNA.)

This surprised me. I had my test done at FTDNA which has an Azorean DNA Group, so the outreach is there. I have my Azorean tree researched well into the 1700s and to the 1400s on a few lines, so the opportunity to connect with people is there.  My roots are long and deep in one village, Maia.   But, other people with roots there have not connected to me.  I do know that my DNA checks out because I connect to my Pacheco 3rd cousin.

The majority of my hits have resulted on my English and Irish lines…the ones I know little about and don’t have enough information to connect with people…YET.

c) I have had a fairly good response rate. I have made  confirmed distant cousin connection with two people.  Yet,  I have not been contacted by anyone through GEDMatch or FTDNA since my results came through. I am assuming many people draw at line at which generation they are willing to contact.

What the experience has stressed for me is the importance of research.  For example, There is a family that I’ve now matched a woman, her brother, her sister, and her son–all in the 3rd to 5th relationship range.  I also match another woman in the 2nd to 4th relationship range who matches the brother and son (but not the woman).  But, our research limits us and we’ve yet to resolve where we connect.

DNA research is handy tool for researchers. But, you still need to do the research in order to figure out the connections. I knew this coming in, but given some of the responses I’ve gotten back, I wonder if others know it?

I would not discourage anyone from getting their DNA tested.  It’s a fascinating journey.  But, I think expectations need to be realistic.  If you aren’t willing to get your hands dirty with research, you aren’t really going to get much out of your DNA results.


SNGF: The Day of my Grandfather’s Birth

Randy Seaver over at has his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge out.  This week we’re to look up our grandfather’s birthday, find out what day of the week it was, note any historical events, and see if anyone famous was born on that day.

My Paternal Grandfather, Jean Lassalle, was born 29 Jun 1888 in Ogeu les bains, France.    I used Google Search to find the information I needed.  The website gave me the day of week:  Friday.

They had one historical event for his birthday:  the first recording of classical music was made.   It was produced on a wax cylinder.  The piece was Handel’s “Israel in Egypt”.  Using Wikipedia, I found that the recording was made by George Edward Gourard.  According to the History Channel website, Gourard was Thomas Edison’s agent in Europe.  Wikipediea has a copy of the recording on their page for Gourard.

Wikipedia lists two famous people born on Grandpa’s day in 1888:  Alexandr Friedmann, a Russian physicist and mathematician, and Squizzy Taylor, an Australian gangster.

I decided just to stick with the exact day to make it pertain more to my grandfather.  However, it was an important year.  The first wax drinking straw was invented, the National Geographic Society was founded, George Eastman took out the patent on the “Kodak Box Camera”, California got its very first seismograph (really, 1888?), and Thomas Edison took out a patent on the first movie machine, the “Optical Phonograph.”  Sounds like science and discovery was booming that year…and really, where would we be without the invention of the drinking straw?