I’ve been playing with 23andMe’s Relative Finder this week, since it’s now in open beta. It’s been interesting hearing from 6th to 10th cousins from around the world, and we’re working to find ancestors in common. I’m looking forward to identifying – for the first time – a piece of autosomal DNA that came from a specific ancestor.
While in the beta period, the number of relatives is limited to 1000 (I currently have 173 with only 5 in the 3rd to 7th cousin range), and you can only contact other people who have opted in for the beta test. So if you have a 23andMe account, please opt in to the beta test via the following instructions (kind provided by Ann Turner):
1. Open the page https://www.23andme.com/user/profile/ and check the checkbox near “Name:” and click on the blue “Save Changes” button.
2. Open the page https://www.23andme.com/user/edit/privacy/ and UNcheck the checkbox near “I do not want to receive sharing invitations from anyone.”
3. Open the page https://www.23andme.com/you/relfinder/ and check the checkbox near “Highlight my profile in Relative Finder to show that I’m interested in making connections with potential relatives.”
Ann also wisely suggested expanding your profile to include information that will help other users find a genealogical connection. Since the profiles are searchable by keyword, and she recommends including any special interests (regional/ethnic/etc) in the profile. Like Ann, I included information about my genealogy back to 6 generations in my profile. Hopefully it will help my genetic relatives find a match.
Lastly, if you have any success stories using Relative Finder, please leave a comment below or email me. I’m always looking to highlight success stories or learn more about how an autosomal matching service can help people in their research.