I now have 219 DNA matches predicted to be fourth cousin relationships or closer; my brother has 204. I regularly check new names and meticulously chart them on a spreadsheet, colour-coding the entries and grouping blocks of share matches to determine which belong to my maternal lines and which are paternal.

Just this morning I got my twenty second "share ancestor" leaf. Granted, three of those matches are my brother, my father and an uncle - but that still means I (well, my DNA sample results and software algorithms) have uncovered 19 living people with whom I share ancestors. This latest match is a seventh cousin; our shared ancestor is John IMPETT born in Ash, Kent in 1736. It's amazing, really.

And while it’s gratifying to have science confirm research done decades ago, and while I am pleased to see matches who connect to my mother’s Fletcher, Sutton and Culmer lines I can’t help but wish that tearing down brick walls was more easily accomplished through DNA testing. Who are all these matches living in every corner of the world? How do they link to me? Are their family trees accurate? Are mine? I am willing to put in the work but it might be helpful if people responded to messages left on Ancestry or, at the very least, entered the names and places connected to their lineage at least back as far as their great-grandparents.

I’d like a match who descends from my maternal Hardie family who can help me find my way back to Scotland. Please. Or a match whose ancestors are Brigdens from Sussex, and who has run to ground our link to eighteenth century Germany. And don’t get me started on my complicated paternal branches!

Right – hand me that spreadsheet!