|Family Finder||Relative Finder|
|Membership||Mar 2010||May 2011|
|Replies Received||109 (93%)||4 (26%)|
My results are a bit skewed by the limited amount of time that I've been with Relative Finder. I've only tried to connect with my closest matches, but I have few responses from them. On the other hand I have received a very high response rate from my Family Finder matches. The key here is that many folks test with 23andMe for the health report - they aren't interested in genealogy. Those who test with Family Tree DNA are almost all genealogists.
However despite a high response rate, I haven't actually uncovered our common ancestor very often. I've gotten lucky with a few where we have a surname in common and can follow it back on already researched lines. Other times I've found a common surname in a common area and with more research, made a match. Two of my oldest matches were made by connecting to a match's well documented family tree.
For the most part, however, I haven't made a match. Some folks I match with have trees that don't seem to match mine at all. In these cases I have to assume that it's on one of our brick wall lines or the match is very far back. In the end though, most of the matches I've made are pretty far back. Here are my known common ancestors:
|Bedie (maiden name?) Evans||abt 1833||4x Great Grandmother|
|Moses Cash||abt 1785||5x Great Grandfather|
|Samuel Armstrong||abt 1742||5x Great Grandfather|
|George Harris||bef 1770||6x Great Grandfather|
|William Yancey||abt 1730||7x Great Grandfather|
|John Boatright||abt 1680||7x Great Grandfather|
|Thomas Powell||abt 1600||11x Great Grandfather|
Pretty far back! I'd say that if you really want to make matches from these autosomal DNA tests, you need to be able to trace a majority of your family lines back to the 1700s. It all comes down to chance - are your distant cousins involved in genealogy and DNA testing and do you both have the paperwork to make a connection?
Of course that's not to say that if you can't trace back that far that you shouldn't take the tests. These are my results and my experiences, others may be different. Good Luck!