Top tips to tempt a DNA match to get in contact

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09 March 2022
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Top tips for contacting a DNA match
Karen Evans shares her top five tips for encouraging a DNA match to get in touch so you can share family history information.

If you've taken a DNA test and uploaded the test results to the website of the test provider, chances are you'll be curious to see who else shares your DNA. Anyone who appears to be a match could, in theory, share an ancestor with you.

It can be tempting to shoot off a message to your matches, but take time to think about what you want to achieve and how you could go about this.

DNA expert Karen Evans shares her top DNA match messaging tips:

1. Are there any clues on how you may be related? People are more likely to answer if you give them some ideas. Based on shared matches I often have an idea which part of my tree they are from so I look at names and places which could be of interest.

2. Keep your message to the point. If you throw too much detail at them it could scare them off but equally don’t say 'We are related, tell me how' (honestly I’ve seen that!).

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3. Tempt them! This about offers of documentation you would be willing to share.

4. Make the message friendly. Know that sometimes it takes months for people to answer.

5. Offer to e-mail. I offer my e-mail address as another contact – some people seem to prefer this. However, don’t feel you need to share anything you are not comfortable with.

Extracted from an in-depth DNA workshop with Karen Evans in the April 2022 issue of Family Tree magazine. Get your copy here.

Karen Evans is a former primary school teacher who has been tracing her family history since 1983. DNA testing is her current passion but in her spare time Karen loves dressing and dancing in the Regency period.