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Fishing In All Ponds

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Getting the most out of the DNA sites.

Every case presents its own challenges – and with genealogy it's important to collect as much data as possible. You’ll notice in our Birth Parent Finder terms of service we mention uploading to other sites. Something us genealogists call “Fishing in All Ponds”.

Most people don’t know this, but if you’ve tested at the major companies like Ancestry, 23andMe or FTDNA, you can actually upload (for free!) to some of the other databases for more matches.

FTDNA allows free uploads of Ancestry, 23andMe and MyHeritage kits.

GEDmatch allows free uploads of ALL Direct To Consumer kits.

My Heritage allows uploads of FTDNA, Ancestry and 23andMe kits.

23andMe and Ancestry do not allow uploads – but that’s one reason we suggest testing at Ancestry first (the largest database of direct to consumer kits) and then uploading to the others.

Here’s a great example of how this can help:

We had a client come to us recently with very large Jewish ancestry. She had tested at and had given us access to view her matches to find her biological father. I had started building out the trees of her matches but were unable to find a “Common” ancestor to build down from due to recent immigration from Russia and Latvia. I downloaded her DNA results from Ancestry and then uploaded them to FTDNA. Low and behold, she had a match on FTDNA that was not on Ancestry, descended from an ancestor of one of her matches on Ancestry. This led me to build-down this family tree, and within an hour I had identified her biological father.

This illustrates the importance of “Fishing in All Ponds”. Getting the most out of your DNA kit is imperative to your case – and why trusting experts with your genealogical mystery can help.

So, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend taking a DNA test through Ancestry since they have the largest database. Then we recommend downloading those results and uploading to FTDNA, MyHeritage and GEDmatch. This can be especially helpful if you’re from an under-represented population. You never know when you’ll have that one match to complete your search – and you can never tell where they may be hiding.

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