Dear DNA Cousin

Dear Cousin,

I'm writing you this note that you can read at your leisure and, should you choose to (please choose to!), follow the instructions to help determine how we are related.

In the initial email I sent to you, I probably outlined how I believe we are related on my lines. Unless I said so directly, I probably don't know exactly how we're related but I would like to find out.

Do you have a family tree posted online? If not, please post one and send me the link. If you have it on Ancestry, please send me an invitation. You will find my Yahoo email address at This is the address associated with my Ancestry account. I keep my tree available on Rootsweb here. My parents are in this database as John Anthony Miller and Agnes Catherine Panther. Browse through their ancestry there and see if you find any names or locations that look familiar.

If you tested on Ancestry, I'm sorry to say that the tools they make available don't do a lot to help us find out how we may be related. It will likely help if you are able to download your raw data and upload it to a few different sites. I don't expect you to do all of this at once. Step through some of this, then come back later and take a few more steps. The more places you have your DNA results, the more likely we'll be able to figure out our relationship and possibly break down a brick wall for one or both of us.

I'll leave the instructions that I started below but has a good article explaining how to download and upload your DNA kit to and from various testing sites. You can find that article here:

Here are the partial instructions I started creating before finding the article above:

1. Download your raw DNA data from Ancestry.
  • Sign in to Ancestry
  • Go to the DNA tab and click on Your DNA Results Summary
  • Click Settings on the right side of the page.
  • Click Download Raw DNA Data on the right side of the page.
  • Enter your password and click CONFIRM.
  • Go to your email account and open the email
  • Click Confirm Data Download.
  • Click Download DNA Raw Data.
  • Save it to a location on your hard drive where you know where it is.
2. Upload your raw DNA data to Family Tree DNA
  • Go to and click on Upload DNA Data/Autosomal DNA
  • Fill in your information and click "Join today!"
  • Select the appropriate button associated with your DNA testing company. If you downloaded your data from Ancestry, click 23andMe / AncestryDNA
  • Browse to your downloaded DNA file and select it to upload it. 
3. Upload your raw DNA data to GEDMatch
  •  Log into
  •  Click on "Generic uploads (23andMe, FTDNA, AncestryDNA and most others)"
  • Fill in the form with as much information as you have
  • Click on the Browse button at the bottom of the page
  • Find the title of the raw data you just downloaded from Ancestry. Hint: look for the correct download date
  • Highlight the title then click on open at the bottom of the page where the title occurs. The title will now appear next to your GEDmatch browse button.
  • Click the upload button and wait until you see the word "Finish."
 4. Upload your raw DNA to My Heritage DNA
  • Go to and create a free account
  • Click on Data/Upload DNA Data
  • Click Start
  • If you are uploading your own data, select "Mine", put checks in the two boxes saying you've agreed to MyHeritage's policies, then click "Upload" and browse to your downloaded DNA data.

In the meantime, please read my blog and drop me an email. I enjoy talking about our shared genealogy and would be happy to provide any information I can.

--Matt Miller