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Old 10-17-2018, 09:48 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813


For anyone looking for bio family, the best suggestion I have is to do your DNA at Ancestry; normally it's $99; I do have coupons for $89. It goes on sale a few times a year for $89, $79, $69 and very rarely $59. I suggest Ancestry because of their family tree feature. It's the most popular place to do DNA because of this.

To maximize your results and to really make your DNA pay; I suggest uploading to My Heritage for free ethnicity, family matching, chromosome browser, matches by country, surnames of matches and family trees if available. I'm 1st generation Hungarian born in the US. According to what I was told I shouldn't have any relatives in the US but after doing my DNA at Ancestry I found I have 3rd and 4th cousins here. I was part of the founders project at My Heritage because they saw I was 1st generation born here; surprisingly I have matches at My Heritage that I do not have at Ancestry. It's pretty cool to see matches in Hungary and all different European countries unlike ancestry. You'll see that I like My Heritage a lot. With them being a new company their ethnicity estimates may not match Ancestry, 23 and me or FTDNA but give it time; they rework it every now and then.

While you're uploading to My Heritage, consider uploading to FTDNA for free family matching; GEDmatch and GEDmatch Genesis for free ethnicity and family matching. With FTDNA, for another $19 you can get ethnicity and a few other things.

For directions, see my thread Family tree and DNA general instructions

There are various ethnic FB groups you can join that have a tool called match maker that will match your GEDmatch and GEDmatch Genesis matches with people in their groups. If you've hit a brick wall with your matches, you may consider joining one. I'm in a few for my son with Irish, English and Scottish. Search facebook using the ethnicity DNA, it should come up. There are also ones just for genealogy help.

PA2UK has a great list of free places Autosomal DNA Upload Options if you're interested in uploading to even more sites. To see her original post click the arrow in her quote below.

Autosomal DNA uploads at My Heritage are 100% free until December 1st. Some people have asked "what's the catch"? I think the only "catch" is they needed our DNA to make their database larger. If you have not taken advantage of their free uploads; make sure you upload if you're interested because they will be charging for uploads starting in December, the 1st from what member PA2UK said. There will be no changes or charges for those of us that uploaded for free; you will continue to enjoy the same benefits as paid members from what I hear.

In order to upload to My Heritage in time before they start charging; you would have to do your DNA at Ancestry now. Here is the coupon code for anyone needing it.

Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
Ancestry DNA $89

If you order DNA; Topcashback and ebates give 7.5% cash back with each test. Join both sites then shop online like you normally would adding items to your cart. Once you're done open top cash back, type in the store/ website you're shopping at; it will give you the cash back link, next, hit your ebates cash back browser button, once activated go to your cart and check out. It's that easy.

Top cash back

Ebates - has a button you can add to your browser, thats the easiest way to use it.
In my opinion, My ?Heritage's DNA site is superior to all the others; especially since it's free! GEDmatch doesn't give all the cool tools that My Heritage does unless you're a paid member. I personally have not tried GEDmatch's paid tools. My Heritage gives matches by country, chromosome browser and you can select 5 people to compare chromosome browser results; they give surnames and trees when available. You can also check out DNA Painter which will help you learn about your DNA/matches when using Chromosome Browser.

Just follow the directions in my thread Family tree and DNA general instructions. Scroll to Now to the DNA; I will also copy it below; will include backing up your family tree GEDcom file. One word of caution for My Heritage; on free accounts you can only have 200 people in your tree; so I suggest making a basic tree or consider including the relatives you've hit a brick wall on

I keep my main tree at Ancestry, I have a lot of decent DNA matches there who I know what relatives we have in common but I have totally different matches at My Heritage from all over the world.

Family tree and DNA general instructions. - to go to my original post; click the arrow in the quote below.

Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
Updated with more links
I originally wrote part of this as a reply to someone, hopefully what I've learned will help someone not waste time doing their tree. If anyone has any tips or correction of info, please let me know. I've been doing my family tree since fall of 2015, our DNA June 2016 so am fairly new myself. I wish I had found a basic guide but instead learned everything the hard way. My goal is to leave a tree for my kids, grand kids and my hubs grand daughter that we do not see, so she only knows her maternal history.

I started my family tree on My Heritage a year and a half ago. It's been a learning experience. My parents both came to the US from Hungary in the late 50's. My dad passed away 11 years ago, his brother only speaks Hungarian which I do not speak. My uncle gave me what he knew of their family (father, mother and her parents) when I had someone to translate a letter. My mothers relatives are in Hungary too, I have one Hungarian cousin who can answer basic questions using google translate, so I have a little help if needed. He gave me my grandparents, grand mothers maiden name plus my mothers siblings that I didn't know, I still need some date of births and locations. I have 2 kids, my daughter is in the same boat with immigrant grand parents from Poland and Germany while I had a good amount of info on my son's side. I have help from my kids grandmothers when needed. For my hub I had a good amount on his mothers side but not his fathers. I was able to start my tree with a decent amount of info. Now I have about 2,000 people in my tree at Ancestry.

So, I did my 1st tree on My Heritage, it gave me matches and some times smart matches where I looked at the match, was able to take what I needed to add to my own tree. At one point someone copied my kids relatives; so I ended up going to Ancestry to work in private; so far it's been great. I keep my main tree there. I've gotten pretty far because Ancestry gives you hints too. With the free account you can't save the hints, you have to type the info out yourself which is no big deal. I really do not do much with the tree at my heritage any more but that may change after I do my DNA there or if I run into a relative road block. I'll enter them to see if I get a match on someone elses tree.

I've used Family Search for records in the past. At some point I realized they gave free family trees too, so I started a basic one there. The tree view itself takes some getting used to but the person profiles are what I mainly use it for; I then go to their records search page to get info on a relative I'm working on at ancestry. The only time I add more relatives to my family search tree is when I run into a dead end so to speak. What's nice is they let you attach those records to the person profile in the tree. I have found more records at family search for some relatives then I have at ancestry. What I like about family search is that when you're entering say parents for your mother, it will do a search to see if she's already listed there; you may get lucky with a full tree branch as a result; which you then attach there, and when you have time, enter it into your tree at ancestry. It's not going to be a quick process; but you'll get rewarded with knowing more about your family and who you're working on.

When you do your tree, make sure you pay attention to privacy settings. Some people make their trees public but mine is private because I have relatives that are private people, they do not want their info to be public. I personally do not want my info public either. As a matter of fact, check out the thread 'Creepy' genealogy site knows a lot about you, it's about the site Familytreenow.com. In the search, enter your name; parents, grand parents, see what you come up with. That will give you an idea of what a public tree is like; info at anyone's finger tips. If you keep your tree private at ancestry or my heritage, people have to ask for an invite to view your tree. I didn't know about security when I started. I have not paid at any site and have not used my free trial at ancestry yet. I'm doing everything as a free account. I'm saving the free 2 week trial until I run into a dead end. Right now I'm getting tons of free info on 3 sites. IT takes more time entering things yourself but I feel it's worth it because the cost of membership at My Heritage or Ancestry is pretty steep. It wouldn't be bad if they did $10 a month but they want the hundred dollars or more in one shot. I'm going to need the world explorer which is a lot more.

Once you make a tree on Ancestry or My Heritage, you want to go to tree settings, save as GEDcom file. It's easier to make a tree on one site then upload the GEDcom file to other sites. I didn't know this when I started, had I known it, I would have started on Ancestry, then uploaded the GEDcom file to my heritage. I wasted a lot of time retyping my tree not knowing about it. Family Search also does GEDcom files, I haven't tried it so can't offer anything.

Family Tree Sites and GEDcom Files - Back up your family tree to upload to other sites

Ancestry - go to your family tree, next click the name of your tree in the top left corner, you'll see tree settings, click on it. On the right side you'll see a white box with Your home person in this tree; Your home person in this tree; Hint preferences; Manage your tree - Export your family tree data, as a GEDCOM file, to your computer, the GEDcom download will take a few seconds to generate.

My Heritage - Go to your profile, At the top it says home, family tree, discoveries, DNA, photos, research; mouse over family tree you'll see import GEDcom and manage trees, click manage trees, on the far right under actions you'll see export to GEDcom. My Heritage is limited with free family tree accounts. I have 203 people in my tree, it's telling me I have reached the maximum and will have to pay to add more people.

Family Tree DNA FTDNA - Log into FTDNA, you'll be on the main page that shows Welcome to myFTDNA with your account info in the left box, you can't miss where it says family tree; which you click then upload GEDcom is right there.

Family Search Scroll down on the main page, you'll see Do You Have a GEDCOM File? Preserve and Share Your Family Tree. You'll then see Submit Your Tree. To submit your tree, you must sign in or register with FamilySearch.org. What does it mean to submit your family tree? When you submit your family tree, you can upload a GEDCOM file so that others can search it on FamilySearch.org. This process replaces the Share My Genealogy feature that was used to submit information to the Pedigree Resource File (PRF). It then goes more into detail. Family Search trees are public trees, which I only recently found out. They do protect living people so only you will be able to see the info you add but I'm unsure exactly what others see so it's on my list of things to check out.

wikitree is a public tree. It's a community of genealogists trying to connect the world on one tree. I have not spent much time on wikitree so I can't really say anything about it except it's a decent place to get info for your own tree, but from experience you have to make sure you check what they have because it could be incorrect. There is a relative of my son's family there who has a lot of wrong information. I left comments on some of the profiles that have wrong info, she has not fixed it yet. I've emailed her asking to be on the safe list for the relatives because some are set to private, she hasn't answered. I haven't had time to go back to wikitree to each relatives profile to ask to be put on the safe list for each of the relatives we share. From what I see you have to sign up to volunteer before they'll let you do anything such as edit incorrect info.

Now to the DNA

Where should you test? I personally suggest Ancestry because of their family tree feature. I have not done 23 and me yet, last I read it was on a new chip that can't be uploaded to all of the sites except Genesis. Once you get your DNA raw results at Ancestry, upload to My Heritage for free ethnicity, family matching, chromosome browser, surnames and family trees when available. FTDNA gives free family matching and for a small fee (under $20) you can get chromosome browser and ethnicity. Also GEDmatch and GEDmatch Genesis for free ethnicity and family matching. Please note, it is a public site where law enforcement have been using. I personally use nicknames for my 6 samples and do not have a family tree GEDcom file. My email also does not use my name, it goes to "Rose Lover".

For anyone needing advice on which DNA test to buy, see the blog post by PA2UK
Which DNA Test Should I Buy? A Comprehensive DNA Buying Guide

AncestryDNA - How to access and download your autosomal DNA results once you're ready to upload to other sites.

1. Navigate to the Ancestry.com website homepage.
2. In the upper-right corner, click Sign In to display the sign in window.
3. In the Username or email field, enter your username or email.
4. In the Password field, enter your password.
5. Click Sign In. Your Ancestry home page is displayed.
6. On the menu bar, click DNA > Your DNA Results Summary. The AncestryDNA home page is displayed.
7. On the right side of the page, click Settings. Your Test Settings page is displayed.
8. Scroll down the page.
9. On the right side of the page, in the Download your raw DNA data section, click Get Started. The Download your raw DNA data window is displayed.
10. Enter your password in the empty field.
11. Click Confirm. A window requesting that you check your email is displayed.
12. Check your email for an email from AncestryDNA with the subject line Your request to download AncestryDNA raw data.
13. In the email, click Confirm Data Download. You will be redirected to the Ancestry.com website.
14. Enter your username or email and password in the appropriate fields, and click Sign In. The Download DNA Raw Data page is displayed.
15. Click Download DNA Raw Data to download your raw data file. Note where you save the file on your computer

23andme Accessing your Raw Data

FTDNA Accessing your Raw Data to upload to GEDmatch

23 and me offers 2 tests, one for family finder ($99) and another for health ($200). If you do the family finder without health and you're interested in doing the health later on it will cost you an extra $25 so be aware of that. They do not support uploads from other sites. 23 and me uses a new chip that can only be uploaded to GEDmatch Genesis. If anyone wants to get their moneys worth, use ancestry. If your sample won't upload there is an online fixer tool

Ancestry DNA - costs $99 plus $10 shipping. They do not allow uploads from other companies. Tests normally go on sale mothers and father's day, black Friday $69 and the Christmas holiday $79. I have a coupon code in my 1st post here I believe where it's $89 but you have to add the $10 shipping to it. It's very easy to buy more tests to add it to the people in your tree.

Family Tree DNA costs $79 or you can transfer your Ancestry DNA or 23 and Me autosomal DNA data to discover new matches for free. For $19 more they will give you myOrigins, ancientOrigins and Chromosome Browser. I haven't done it yet. I plan to do it at some point so I can get the experience. I have directions on how to upload multiple raw data files at FTDNA in case anyone gets stuck. Once you have the 1st one uploaded and have electronically signed it, logout of FamilyTreeDNA, then select the drop down box "DNA Tests" and select the "Autosomal Transfer". Fill out First Name and Last name of the person who's test you will be uploading and select if they are male or female and then enter your email address if you are the person who will administer this account. It will then assign you a new kit number and email you a new password for the kit. Then it will proceed to the upload DNA page. Make sure you look for the password email. You're going to get one for each sample you upload. You have to upload your family tree GEDcom file for each sample which is a pain in the butt but over all it's been a good experience. Directions page in case anyone needs it.

My Heritage DNA is normally $99 but they're selling it for $79. They're a new company so you may not get many matches. I didn't have many matches until recently. Their database has really grown.. They allow free uploads from Ancestry, 23 and me and FTDNA. June 2017 - New, they now give free ethnicity estimates. I won a kit from My Heritage for a founders project. They were interested in me because my family has lived in Hungary for a long time. I got my ethnicity report from it, I'm 96.3% East European and 3.7% Italian. It took 6 months, they wouldn't release it until they were done analyzing data from everyone that was in the project. They did give me DNA matches, I only have 5 where on FTDNA and Ancestry I have a lot more. To upload your DNA from another company, go to your profile, you will see the DNA tab where you can upload your raw data. They're saying they will eventually be charging to upload raw data. They're also going to add a surname feature where they will give surnames at some point. To upload DNA to another person in your tree, find them on the tree then click their name, it will open a box on the left that has the link to upload.

My Heritage has a lot of neat features they recently added. I'll post a link to their newest blog about it
Introducing the New DNA Match Review Page

My Heritage free kits to adoptees and birth family - For any adoptees, my heritage is giving away free tests, you only have to apply. It's called DNA Quest main site
DNA Quest application

WeGene, - gives ethnicity for free as well as haplogroup. I'm still learning the site. 23andme's V5 chip now has been supported by WeGene. Users who tested with 23andme after August and uploaded your data shall have access to your ancestry composition analysis and others

GEDmatch Genesis Also be sure to upload to here too as it is separate from GEDmatch. Right now it's beta, eventually it will be merged with GEDmatch. IT contains results from the major 3 as well as results from 24 Genetics, Atlas, Complete Genomics, DNA Land, Full Genomes, Gencove, Gene By Gene, Genes For Good, Genos, GPS Originas, HGDP (Stanford), Living DNA, NatGeo, Oxford (FTDNA), We Gene, YSEQ, and some labs that a few of my matches used; Parabon, Dante Labs, Whole Genome and other sites that are not supported with regular GEDmatch. It also says there are more accurate matching tools.

GEDmatch where you can upload both your DNA and a GEDcom file; look for matches and do all sorts of things with finding out your ethnicity that's more involved then any of the other companies. They go back to hunter-gatherer. GEDmatch upload in case you can't find it. It only takes a few minutes to upload the DNA, then you can play around with the tools. Full results will come in a day or 2. I have not spent much time here so can't go into more detail on the matches. There are tutorials on DNA matching that I have not read yet. Click here to register

To get the break down on your ethnicity, see below GEDmatch Heritage Tool

GEDmatch Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research -
Analyze Your Data
'One-to-one' compare
X 'One-to-one'
Admixture (heritage) - Eurogenes and other admixture utilities
Admixture/Oracle with Population Search
People who match one or both of 2 kits Updated
Predict Eye Color
Are your parents related?
3D Chromosome Browser
Archaic DNA matches
Multiple Kit Analysis NEW
DNA File Diagnostic Utility

GEDmatch Heritage Tool
copy your DNA sample number, go to Admixture (heritage), select project, Eurogenes. Next page, Select how you want to process it: Admixture Proportions (With link to Oracle); Enter your kit number: Select the 'calculator' model to use: Eurogenes K13, Enter your Ethnicity: you'll then get the graph, Eurogenes K13 Admixture Proportions; under the populations on the left, you'll see oracle and oracle -4
Here's a basic intro guide to gedmatch's admixture calculators: Genealogical Musings: Finally! A Gedmatch Admixture Guide!

Near East Neolithic K13 - select Admixture (heritage), Select the project GedrosiaDNA, Select how you want to process it: Admixture Proportions (With link to Oracle); Enter your kit number; Select the 'calculator' model to use: Near East Neolithic K13

DNA Land - free upload of raw data. See the Frequently Asked Questions to see what you can do and directions to upload multiple raw data files from other relatives

Q - I have consent from a number of my family members to upload their DNA files/I have DNA files from all three of the companies, but I only have one email address. Is there anyway I can make multiple accounts with one email? (top)
A - We can currently handle a single genotype file per user/account as part of the consent process. But, if you are able to use a Gmail account, there is a trick that will allow you to create all your accounts using one email address. Say that your Gmail address is dna.land.user@gmail.com. To upload another family member (say your mother) to DNA.Land, create an account with the email dna.land.user+mom@gmail.com. Though it may look weird, DNA.Land will accept this as a valid email account. When we send the validation email to dna.land.user+mom@gmail.com, Google will redirect the message to YOUR account (dna.land.user@gmail.com). You can do that for as many genomes as you’d like, all under one Gmail account
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:41 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813
Taken from my reply (click the arrow to be brought to where I posted)
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
If you're searching for bio family please read
I see so many posts by adopted people and others some how separated from bio family. The easiest thing to do is to try doing your DNA. Watch the show Long Lost Family, I'm amazed at the stories that say the person has been looking for their child, birth mother or sibling for 30+ years but they've never done their DNA; yet when the show does it, they usually get some sort of match.

There are other free databases in my thread Family tree and DNA general instructions but they're not as large as the one listed. I normally do not suggest 23 and me because they were on a new chip that couldn't be uploaded anywhere but Genesis but from what I hear there is a work around. 23 and me mostly focuses on health, ethnicity, family matching and haplogroups. They do not support tree uploads. I personally have not done them yet, but eventually will. Those needing to make their DNA money work for them; it would be Ancestry hands down. I suggest when you have "extra money" to put that towards 23 and me.

For any adoptees, my heritage is giving away free tests, you only have to apply. It's called DNA quest.
DNA Quest main site
DNA Quest application

Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
PA2UK has a great list of free places Autosomal DNA Upload Options if you're interested in uploading to even more sites. To see her original post click the arrow in her quote below.
I forgot to include her quote from the thread Ancestry.com DNA test sale (ends 8/20)

Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Originally Posted by OhioJB View Post
Never thought I'd do this because I've heard of inaccuracies in results other people have had, but today just out of curiosity I decided to see how much it cost. Noticed it was on sale for $59, shipping was $9.95 so $68.95 total. Yes, I did get suckered in, couldn't resist I guess.
I wouldn't necessarily say they are inaccurate, they just often do not meet people's expectations. It's important to remember that the ethnicity report is only an estimate, and additionally that it can be more representative of about 1,000 years ago, which predates the vast majority of people's traceable ancestry (especially in it's entirety).

I find it a little amusing that there are two big complaints about the ethnicity report - one is that it doesn't match their expectations and therefore they think it's a scam, or not accurate, etc... and two is that it does match their expectations and then they complain that it "doesn't tell them anything they didn't already know". It's like the DNA companies can't win, lol.

The third complaint is that the regions aren't specific or narrowed down enough, which is understandably disappointing, but that's why it's important to understand what you're getting before you buy it, and that the true value of the test is in your DNA matches, not the ethnicity report.
Originally Posted by OhioJB View Post
So 7-10 days to receive the kit, then I know it'll be several weeks before I get results after I mail the sample in. We'll see if I'm really English, German, French, Scottish, Irish, & Swiss or not.
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
Ethnicity reports can't be narrowed down that specifically. At AncestryDNA, England, Wales, and Scotland are all grouped together and Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are grouped together as well, so there's significant overlap of the categories too. Germany and France are grouped together into "Europe West", including some other nearby countries too.

This help article includes a map and list of all their regions: https://support.ancestry.com/s/artic...088591488-2556 (some of the regions have new names like "Italy/Greece" is now Europe South).

AncestryDNA does have Genetic Communities/Migrations which can narrow down more specific areas, but they do not include percentages.

It's really best not to take the ethnicity reports too literally at the regional level. They are fun to explore, and fairly accurate on a continental level, but you should take the sub-continental regions with a grain of salt.:
Originally Posted by OhioJB View Post
I saw on someone's Youtube video you can link the info from Ancestry.com's DNA test to find out even more information. Believe it was tied to what diseases you are likely to be susceptible to, among other things. Have plenty of time to research that before I get results back.
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
There are many places you can upload your DNA to, including for health reports. I keep a list of them here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...TxG-0u/pubhtml

But the most common source for health reports is probably Promethease.
Originally Posted by OhioJB View Post
Just wanted to give a head's up to others who might be interested in the sale. They probably have them at other times as well. They call this one their summer sale. Guessing there'll be a holiday sale, winter sale, etc.
They usually have sales for about a week for DNA day (April), Mother's day (May) and Father's day (June), the summer sale (July/August - might be longer than a week), Black Friday/Cyber Monday (November) which then runs into the Christmas/holiday sale (December - might be longer than a week). Amazon sells their kits too, and sometimes has sales at other times, like on Prime Day (in July).

Last edited by Roselvr; 10-18-2018 at 06:59 AM..
Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2018, 08:01 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813
Those looking for bio family can also get help in the genealogy section of City-Data. The more info you post the better results you'll get.

Also see the thread in this section Please read-important tips.
Originally Posted by 7th generation View Post
1) Include the name of the person you are searching for in the thread title.
2) Name: first, middle, (or initial), and last. Maiden or married name helps.
3) Date of birth or approximate age.
4) Last known location and date.
5) Any known relatives-wife, husband, mother, father, brother, etc.
6) Why are you looking for this person and what is your relationship.
7) Employment history.
8) Please let us know when you have resolved your search.
9) Do not bump threads or start multiple threads for the same search, a search will direct members to your post.
There is also another thread here called Input from People Search Helpers please

Post #3 by Eldemila

Originally Posted by Eldemila View Post
Here's some information I put together, I'm sure I will think of more. I hope we can compile a good list among those of us who take the time to help people who are searching for someone. I appreciate any input on what I post in hopes it helps in making a useful and informative thread.

1) Please start your own thread if you are searching for someone and have never searched for this person on CD.
Please include the name of the person you are searching for in the thread title.

2) Please include first, middle name/initial and last name. Maiden names, divorced names, any names, include them!

3) Date of birth, or age they would be as of the day you posted. If no dates are known, try to give an
approximate time frame. If your age would be relevant in the search, please list that.

4) County and/or city of birth. Hospital is helpful if it involves adoption.

5) Names of any known relatives, siblings, parents, etc.

6) Any occupation information/employment

7) What is your relationship to the person you are searching for?

8) Please post when you have resolved your search so no one unnecessarily keeps searching

9) What websites have you already searched, and what information did you already find?
Withholding information you may already found to see if someone comes up with something
else is not helpful. It wastes time. Give us what you have/know and let us see if we can come
up with something new for you that would add to your search.

10) Take a moment to thank those who have helped in searching, whether they provided vital
information or not.
You can also thank anyone by rating their post positively, and adding to their reputation just by
clicking the small scale icon on the right, on the dark blue bar.

11) If there is some pertinent information that you know will help in your search, but you do not want
it to be public, you may contact any of the people who are willing to help by sending them a Private
Message aka P/M. Just click on their name and you will see that option.

12) If there's any other information you have, but we have overlooked in asking for, please provide it.
It can't hurt, but could help.

13) Please be careful of trolls. There are people who will come on the CD forums claiming they know
the person you are searching for. They always seem to be people who have never posted on
here before. Proceed with caution, please.

************************************************** *************************

Provide as much information as you have possible to those who are willing to help. You may not think some information is important, but every little bit helps. The one piece of information you may hold back may be the key that helps find the person you are searching for.

Patience is key. If the person you're looking for hasn't left much of a trail to follow, you probably won't find them doing one simple search. Give yourself timea,d be patient. Every day new information is being shared on the web. What you may not find today, could be found tomorrow.

There are many tools out there to aid you in your search. Google is top dog, but it's not the only search engine on the web. Do not limit yourself to a single search engine, or just one website. Each search engine/website can give you totally different results. Leave no stone unturned.

Many sites are free. Before you go spending money on any particular website, utilize all the options you have that are free. Only pay for information if you've exhausted all avenues if you feel it's the only option, and be very careful about providing information to any given website asking for a credit card number.

Public Records: Many counties have ways to search their public records, some you need to pay, but most are free. Property records are the same. These are great ways to search to see if someone may still be in a particular area you know they lived in at one time.

People Search Sites: These sites are great, and can help you find whoever you are looking for. They may list other family members that are related to that person. Many websites will list last known addresses, and even phone numbers.

Here are just some of the main sites I utilize in just about every situation, as well as some ways I may search:

Google - When you do a search and come up with too many possibilities, put names, such as John W. Doe in quotes "John W. Doe" Test it out and see what difference this makes. It goes from over 4 million possibilities just to 3,880. You can also do a VERBATIM search which is under SEARCH TOOLS.

Ancestry.com Library Edition - utilize your local library! Ancestry has a library edition available at public libraries, it doesn't cost anything, you just need a valid library card. You can even take your own laptop or tablet and use the libraries Wi-Fi so you can download whatever information you find right on to your personal device. Each library may have other genealogy websites available to you to search.

Familysearch.org - This is a totally free site from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This site should NOT be overlooked. Anyone can search for free. If you create an account, there's even more information you can access, and again, it's all free, there is no fee involved.

Adoption - If you are an adoptee, birthparent, or anyone searching for someone that can relate to an adoption, scour every and all websites. Post and search them all.

Dates - Having valid dates are great, and vital to many searches. But know that there are many ways to search the same date. Searching 01/01/1880 gives you about 52,600 results on Google, but search again the same date as "January 1, 1880" in quotes and it gives you 62,000 results, and "Jan 1st, 1880" gives you just 6,640 results. The way you put in your dates can have very different results! Utilize every way you can think of.

Names - Spell them right, spell them wrong, spell them every which way possible, and then some. If you are looking for someone for genealogy purposes their names may have been spelled phonetically, as many people were unable to read, or write. Some of the census workers wrote names incorrectly. I can't tell you how many ways I found past family names of Shapiro misspelled. Middle names were used as first names way back when, nicknames, or shortened versions of names were used. Many times just initials were used, maybe one, or both. You have to be creative when searching. If you are searching for a female, please include maiden name, and if married, all married names known. Include all spouses names as well.

And please, check the website, and check it often, at least within a short time of your original post. There is nothing worse than having someone come on this website as a first time poster and not returning. You may be missing out on the information you were searching for!
Post #6 by Eldemila
Originally Posted by Eldemila View Post
And another tip people can use to help in their search:

Find out if there is a LDS Family History Center near you!!! Please see the link below which tells you all about the FHS and what can be done/found there. It could be a great resource if you can make it to one!!


Some of the records you have access to at a center would be:

Family History Centers provide free access to many subscription genealogy websites, including: You can also order the microfilms that are available. There is a small fee charged for ordering films and fiche that helps defray the cost of copying and shipping. There is no charge to view films from a center’s “Resident Film Collection.” Some Centers offer access to printers and digital scanners at a per-page cost. Check with a FHC Staff member to ask that Center’s fee schedule.


It amazes me how people come on this forum, ask for help, and then don't come back. Then they wonder why no one is helping in their search months later, when their post has long been off the first page and they finally decide to check (if they even check at all).

I personally have taken time when there's a new post to look for the information and have found what people were searching for, and then they don't come back. There are quite a few people who have posted that I had found additional information after my initial reply to them, but I did not post it because I need some verification I am on the right path. Needless to say, if it's not that important to them, it's not going to be that important to me.

I think, especially for first time posters on CD who come on this forum asking for help in their search should be directed to this thread to answer the questions we need to know before time is taken to help them in their search unless they have provided a wealth of information from the get-go.

And the list goes on....

Originally Posted by katzenfreund View Post
We would like to ask all those that help to find missing loved ones to send private information, such as

Social Security numbers
unlisted phone numbers
Cell phone numbers
Criminal records

in a DM (direct message) to the person seeking the information. Please do not post this type of information on the forum.
Thank you very much!
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:06 AM
1,751 posts, read 2,829,063 times
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:06 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813
Originally Posted by leadingedge04 View Post
No what?
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:41 PM
10,833 posts, read 14,836,702 times
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Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
No what?
I looked it over. I see one word misspelled out of all of it.
If it was just a typo......
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:24 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813
bumping back to page 1 from the bottom of page 2. Asked for it to get pinned.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:13 AM
Location: wrong planet
5,127 posts, read 10,255,915 times
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Only two posts can be "pinned" unfortunately and the two need that are, need to stay up there. One has the "rules" and one tips. I can move your posts to the pinned tips one? http://www.city-data.com/forum/peopl...rs-please.html
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. ~Henry David Thoreau

forum rules, please read them
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:30 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813
Originally Posted by katzenfreund View Post
Only two posts can be "pinned" unfortunately and the two need that are, need to stay up there. One has the "rules" and one tips. I can move your posts to the pinned tips one? http://www.city-data.com/forum/peopl...rs-please.html

Thanks for letting me know Katz. I'll leave it floating. I did copy it there (reply #9) before I made the post here.

Tips from People Search Helpers :)
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:42 AM
Location: NJ
10,666 posts, read 21,336,483 times
Reputation: 8813
bumping up
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