DNA Account Usernames Contain Clues

DNA matches that have no trees or whose submitters fail to respond can be a challenge to those working through their genealogy DNA matches. Sometimes there’s a clue in that username that may help you to determine who that match likely is.

These approaches are best done after you’ve worked on matches that you can determine. That work usually allows a researcher to have an idea of what general part of your tree a match is from. Two treeless matches with submitters who did not respond were likely determined using their username. Unfortunately those usernames did not appear to be the actual name of the submitter.

In both cases, the shared matches that I had with the match in question allowed me to know which portion of DNA testee’s tree the match was related through. That helped.

The MySpacer

This match was known to connect to the test kit submitter through the submitter’s maternal grandmother. The connection to the kit submitter was in the second-third cousin range and not someone who could easily be identified as closer matches were. This match had no tree and did not respond to a couple of contact attempts. A Google search was conducted for their username that was used for their DNA results. It turned out an old MySpace account had the same user name. Looking at the public information on that page (including their actual name) provided enough identifying information that the match’s identity and relationship to the DNA kit I managed could be determined.

Named for my parents

This match was known to connect to my DNA results through one of my paternal great-grandfathers George Trautvetter. The username, which I have changed, was of the form “bobandesmerelda.” There was no attached tree and no response to communication. In reviewing all the descendants of George Trautvetter’s grandfather (also a George Trautvetter), I located a deceased great-granddaughter named Esmerelda who I had not researched any further. Information on her indicated her husband was named Robert. While I’m not certain exactly who the match is, it seems possible that the submitter named the account for their parents–Bob and Esmerelda. The genealogical cousinship I have with Esmerelda is consistent with the predicted relationship range based upon the shared DNA. Not 100% proof, but suggestive enough for me to classify the match as determined.

In both cases, my analysis is in my DNA match notes so that I remember later exactly how these matches were determined and can re-evaluate later if necessary.

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DNA Account Usernames Contain Clues