by Linda Jonas


This is one of the most important things you can do to find matches from people who have variations of the Thompson surname or who tested with other DNA testing companies: Upload your DNA results to Ysearch.

With Ysearch you can search by surname, by haplotype (your set of markers, e.g. 13, 24, 14, 11, . . .), or by haplogroup (e.g. R1b1). You can also use the Research Tools to compare your results with others in the database and determine how closely you're related. Although Ysearch is sponsored by Family Tree DNA, anybody can use it, and you may find matches there from other testing companies.

Please Note: Your email address will not be made public! To contact you, people will send an email to Ysearch, and you decide if you will respond.

You don't have to wait until you have your full panel of 67 markers.  You can upload each group of markers as it comes in. Each group will be loaded automatically. You can also go back to Ysearch as many times as you want to add additional information about your ancestor, his origins, and your paternal line.
If you tested with a company other than Family Tree DNA, you will need to enter your markers manually at www.ysearch.org.  If you are a Family Tree DNA customer, your results will be uploaded automatically:

1. Log into
www.familytreedna.com.  Enter your kit number and password.

2. Click on the orange tab for Y-DNA matches.

3. About halfway down the page you will see a box lined in blue with the following text [This box will not appear if you did not return a signed release with your kit or if all of your results have already been uploaded to Ysearch]
Additional possibilities for searching matches:
While our database is not open to the wide public for privacy reasons, Family Tree
DNA has created Ysearch.org as a free public service so that people who have tested
with the different companies can compare their results. You will be able to determine
what portion of your personal information you want to disclose. Please note that
a new user ID will be created for you and you will be asked to choose a new password.
This new set of ID/Password is exclusive for Ysearch.org. You will also be given
the opportunity to upload your GEDCOM if you have one.
Click here to upload to Ysearch.org

Click on the link to upload your results. Your marker values will be automatically loaded.  Record your User ID and password! (I put mine in the notes of my genealogy program).


4. Enter as much information as possible about your paternal ancestor so that other people can determine if they're related.  It is essential to fill out at least the first and last name of your ancestor along with an approximate year of birth. For ancestors in the United States select the name of the your ancestor's state under "Country/City of Origin."  Then under City of Origin, enter the name of your ancestor's county (or city if he lived in one).

5. Additional Information about Paternal Line: This very important box is for information about your paternal LINE, not just your ancestor.  Any information you enter should help people decide if they are related to your ancestor. Enter as much as you can about each generation of male Thompsons. I entered the following Additional Information about my Paternal Line:

Electious Thompson b 1755 m 1780 Eliza Alexander in Prince George's County, Maryland.
He lived in VA, NC, KY, and AL and died 30 Dec 1840 in Morgan County, AL. My line:
Electious [Jr.] b 1790 in Virginia m Rebecca; Jackson b 1816 in Kentucky m Mary
Wilkerson in Marion Co., AL; Electious b 1842 in Marion Co., AL m Nancy Eveline
Cantrell; Luther b 1868 in Marion Co., AL, d 1 Sep 1946 in Dallas, TX, m 1894 Cora
Rebecca Simmons in Johnson Co., TX.

6. Enter your haplogroup.

7. Surname variations are essential! Enter eight surname variations for the surname Thompson (that's is all you can have).  This is so that people with matches can find you, even if they have different forms of the Thompson surname. A list of variations is on our home page at
www.thompsonfamilies.org, and an alphabetical list is at www.thompsonfamilies.org/rec.html.
Choose eight of them, and be sure to include Thomson, MacThomas, and MacTavish.

8. You can enter a Latitude and Longitude, to help others locate your ancestral origins. This a confusing and somewhat cumbersome section which most people don't know how to enter.
    A. If you don't have a specific city, find out the name of the county seat for your ancestor's county (or use a nearby town). [I found the county seat for Prince George's County, Maryland by going to Google and entering the words Prince George's county seat Maryland.]
    B. You can get the coordinates from many sites. You can also use the link below the latitude and longitude boxes on the Ysearch site: "Click to look up latitude and longitude." If the coordinates you obtain are given in the decimal system, you must convert them to the DMS system (Degrees, Minutes, Seconds) because that is what Ysearch requires.
    C. I received the coordinates 38.8160N, 76.7500W for Upper Marlboro, so I have to convert them. If you received decimal coordinates, go to <http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/convertDMS>. Enter the Decimal Degrees you just obtained into the appropriate boxes in the pink section, then click Submit Decimal Degrees. You will now see a white box inside the blue Results section.  It will have the correct numbers to enter into the Ysearch boxes. [In my example they were 38o 48' 57.6000" Latitude; 76o 45' 0.0000" Longitude]. Enter these numbers in the Latitude/Longitude boxes on Ysearch. Do not enter any numbers after the decimal point. [On my page I entered 38 48 57 N and 76 45 0 W].

If you'd like to see an example of how I filled out my Ysearch page, go to
www.thompsonfamilies.org/results.html and click on T-42 in the left-hand column.

Some people wait until someone from their ancestral line is in the Ysearch database before they decide to do their own DNA test. Effective use of Ysearch will help people decide whether or not they're related, and if they are, it may encourage some of them to get their DNA tested.  It will also allow you to make more meaningful matches and help keep unrelated people from contacting you. Ysearch is one of your most useful tools.