My Non-Identifying information or non-id told me very little about who I was searching for, but it did have some clues. One very good one was that father’s family was large. My DNA matches through Ancestry could be used to match my non-id, however, I needed a way to organize the information that made sense and followed an established system. Thankfully, I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Ancestrys’ family tree building program is good, but I had problems with it glitching with duplications that I had to go back and delete. I spent hours deleting and correcting, especially with the huge families that I found with the first top matches I had. Family Tree Magazine offers free forms that I used to organize the massive information. I needed to view the multiple branches all at once but on Ancestry I could only view a small section at a time.
A large dry erase board is another option for organization. I didn’t have room in my home for one, but I could see the advantage to keeping the information organized through a large dry ease board, or simply just use it to work a section at a time before transferring them to a sheet or computer program. There is one caveat, however, when copying work be careful. It is very easy to transpose names, dates, or other information. Inadvertently you may create an error in your tree, double-check the information as you transfer.
As I worked in my potential birth father’s family the tree grew and it became clear that my first cousin match wasn’t my first cousin. I worked up the family tree to her Grandparents. It was most likely that we shared these same relatives because I noticed that I also had matches to both sides of these two peoples families. They had twelve children and I had to work out the families for each to see if any of them remotely matched my non-identifiying information or if my non-identifying information might be a fiction and I should just focus on the DNA.
Getting a subscription to Newspapers.com was a necessity for me as most of these people were from Illinois. Thankfully, the newspapers that covered the areas that these people lived in were included in the subsciption service. Tracking down twelve individuals, their marriages, children, deaths, and obits would be hours of computers work. Would it be worth it? What did I want from it? That remained to be seen, I mainly wanted to know where I came from and have simple answers, the answers were out there, I just had to work to find them.