Where Do I Begin?

Surname project

Getting Started

Where do I begin?

  • DNA websites like FTDNA, GEDmatch, Ancestry, My Heritage and 23 and me have help centers with information you can read.
  • Similarly, many DNA websites have webinars and there are several DNA tutorials and YouTube videos available online.
  • If you are a Stiles MALE (last name Stiles) and have not yet done a DNA test, please consider taking the Y DNA test at FTDNA and joining the SFA Genetic Genealogy Stiles Y-DNA Project at FTDNA.
  • Autosomal DNA looks at all your lineages. If you have not yet taken the test, consider doing the Family Finder test at FTDNA and joining the SFA Genetic Genealogy Stiles Autosomal DNA projects at FTDNA (Stiles Autosomal) and GEDmatch.  If you have taken a test on other sites, you may be able to download your data to upload to FTDNA or GEDmatch. 

How to Participate:

          1. Open accounts at:

a. FTDNA home page:   https://www.familytreedna.com/

b. GedMatch home page:   https://www.gedmatch.com/

2. Order your DNA Test at FTDNA:

a. For Autosomal-DNS order a “family finder” kit at: https://www.familytreedna.com/products/family-finder.

b. If you have taken an autosomal DNA test elsewhere, see “Transferring an Autosomal-DNA Test” below.

c. For Y-DNA, order a Y-DNA test at https://www.familytreedna.com/. As of July 2022, the Y-37 test was $119.00 and the Y-111 was $249. We recommend not investing in the Big Y-700 ($449) unless one of the project administrators request you do so.

            3. Enroll in SFA Genetic Genealogy DNA Projects

a. Family Tree DNA:

i. Stiles Autosomal-DNA

ii. Stiles Y-DNA

iii. Share your DNA. Path:  Project Preferences | Project Preferences | Group Project Profile.  Opt in to Sharing to public your anonymized Y DNA and Autosomal DNA results and ancestor information for your Y and Autosomal DNA projects.

b. GEDmatch (must be logged into your GEDmatch account):

                                                              i.      Choose “Stiles”

4. Build your family tree at a site that allows you to attach documentation for information like birth, death, and marriage dates and locations.

5.  Build your 5+generation tree

6.  Download your tree as a GEDcom file to your computer and then upload it to your accounts at both FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch.


            “How-to” article on website: “Uploading a GEDCOM File to Your Family Tree

            FTDNA – “How-to”  YouTube video  

b.  GEDmatch – “How-to” YouTube video

7.  Share your family tree on FTDNA. Path: Account Settings|Privacy & Sharing. Scroll to Family Tree Sharing and opt into sharing.  

8.  At FTDNA, complete your Surname List. Path: Account Settings|Genealogy|Surnames. This will help improve you matches and make it easier for your matches to find you.

9.  At FTDNA, complete your Earliest Known Ancestors. Path: Account Settings|Genealogy|Earliest Known Ancestors. This will help improve your matches.



Transferring an Autosomal Test

If you have already done a DNA test elsewhere, download your raw DNA file from your test site and upload it to your accounts at both FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch. Most sites that offer DNA testing have instructions at their site about how to download your raw DNA data.

Both FamilyTreeDNA and GEDmatch websites have instructions about how to upload your raw DNA file.

FamilyTreeDNA:   Autosomal DNA Transfers Guide

Transferring to GEDmatch –    GEDmatch: Getting Started