How can you use FamilyTreeDNA's Search tool to contact matches / find contact information?


How can you use FamilyTreeDNA's Search tool to contact matches / find contact information?

I have been continually challenged (as described in the challenges below) by trying to figure out how to use FamilyTreeDNA's "New and Improved Search Tool" for productive purposes and make contact with individuals.

I am hoping someone has been able to successfully dissect the maze for productive purpose and can explain how they have worked through these challenges to be able to make contacts with individuals or the owners of the trees that show up in these searches.

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Challenge 1:

If for example I search for my last name "Souser" as a non-logged in user I get 25 results. enter image description here

As a logged in user I get the same results as an individual user as well as a project administrator. enter image description here

If you open "Private Member Tree" or the individual named in the screenshot you can see details of their tree.. but you have no way to contact them. The named individual here is actually known (4th cousin to the person logged in) but doesn't show up in Autosomal / Family Finder under that name.

Challenge 2:

This particular example, for someone who has mtDNA, Y-111, BigY, and FamilyFinder, though shows someone who share a common ancestor (Joseph Souser only 2 generations differences and their tree you click on reflects this) but I do not know the name of who they are and there is no one in the first 5 pages of this individuals autosomal / family finder results that have this Blair Souser in their results; again it provides no way to contact them. So I am dead on the water on using this information or making contact with them. enter image description here

Challenge 3:

I am result 12 on the search; I see the following under different roles as a ftDNA customer. I also have my information as "Basic Information & Tree for my Matches", not entirely private.

As the project administrator (myself) enter image description here

As my grandfather I see the following, which shows me as a match; but still have no way to contact me. enter image description here Note: Only the FamilyTree Icon is clickable and takes you to the same icon as the text "Christopher Souser's Tree" but the Match and ftDNA customer icons have no links.

As myself (not my project administrator account) enter image description here

As someone under the project who is not directly related performing the search. enter image description here

Challenge 4: Then depending on your privacy settings the results that are from my own tree, the user conducting the search get marked like one of the following; including for ones' self as well as other members in your attached GEDCOM to your profile; but the information appears in public searches for non-logged in users.

enter image description here

OR it lists all contents of your tree (the user doing the search) and does not filter out yourself or content of your own tree.

I confirmed this challenge by changing a detail in the tree and it does not identify it as my own tree or filter out the content from my own tree.. further adding to the confusion of trying to use this 'tool'.

I have invested significant amounts of money in ftDNA and so I have contacted FamilyTreeDNA support a couple of times now and have yet to figure out a productive use of this feature and looking for a way to productively use this tool; if it exists.

The responses from FamilyTreeDNA that I have received are:

"For privacy reasons we cannot release information to non matches."

Which would make sense if it actually worked this way and it facilitated me contacting my matches via this tool.

"It is a tool that is available to anyone who navigates to our site. It will be even more useful for our customers who have completed testing as you can further filter results to that who are DNA matches."

This would make sense if that were true.. but someone who has completed every single test (FF, mtDNAFull, Y111,BigY) they offer I would think the tool would then be of use to me..

I have challenged them on whether it is purely marketing but received no response and they have been unable to provide any useful application example via their support process to date.

The only semi-productive usage has been to troll random users trees but does not tie into any other features of the site and is complicated by the inconsistent results illustrated above.

Question: How can you use FamilyTreeDNA's Search tool to contact matches / find contact information?


Posted 2016-02-04T19:07:31.313

Reputation: 5 469

No answers