Is DNA the 'Magic Bullet' for OGs," I'm providing another Evernote form for Freebie Friday. This is a super simple form (table) to keep track of a select set of test information. When I say simple, I mean simple. It does not keep track of any DNA information, just identifying information and relationships. I use this as a quick reference for test ids. I also keep a handful of other information I might want to see when deciding who to include and what analysis tool to use.
NameI enter the person's real name IF I know it. The project I initially created this for involved a core set of tests from researchers I've known since before any kind of DNA testing was available. It is also easier in correspondence to refer to an administered test by the testee's name rather than "the test you administer A000000" which just takes more time. If you need to compose an email on a mobile device, you will be glad to use a name rather than a wordy description.
Ancestry User NameThis is not JUST their AncestryDNA user name. Trees are often available on Ancestry.com even if the person tested elsewhere. I record their Ancestry.com user name but I make a note if they have not tested there.
FTDNA "name"Family Tree DNA doesn't show you the test ids so you have to identify people by the "name" they listed. If I know their number and they don't have a GEDmatch id, I also enter it but it won't help on the FTDNA site.
GEDmatch IDEnter their GEDmatch ID. I don't worry about their GEDmatch user name or email on this form because I only need their id to run any tools. Remember, this isn't a correspondence log or spreadsheet of results. I keep it simple so I can see info "at a glance."
OtherI record email addresses here sometimes. I also list the tests of children or other relatives. With children or grandchildren in particular, they can't have any DNA the parent doesn't have so I often exclude them from the initial analysis, so it doesn't look like I have a strong set of matches when it's really one immediate family. I may also include other relatives here until I decide I want to give them their own line. That's why it's called "other." Use it how your project dictates but remember, this is a simple table.
MRCAMost Recent Common Ancestor. I always list the MRCA for the project I am working on but I will also make a note if the actual MRCA is from a different branch. You may wish to list all shared ancestors, just be clear. I do include the project MRCA's child so I can see how well represented the family is.
Replace [focus test] with the name of the person, otherwise this column is useless. I use the abbreviations 1C for first cousin, 2C1r for second cousin once removed, etc. I have some serious endogamy in some lines so I list all the ways the person is related. If it is multiple ways, I include the name of the child of each MRCA next to each relationship (and yes, sometimes there is one MRCA with two different relationships because they descend from two children of the MRCA). I also list the relationships if the "Other" column lists relatives' tests.
Relationship to [focus test]
You can get a copy in the Resource Library (you'll need a password but it's free to Occasional Genealogists subscribers, click here to subscribe). Remember, let me know what kind of project this worked for or didn't work for and why. You can also share your modifications (still include why) so others can learn from what worked for you.