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New DNA Matches

New DNA Matches

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 5:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Nov 2012 5:46PM GMT
I know that now the test is public this will change, but how often do you find yourself getting new "family" matches? Once a week? Once a month?

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 9:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
I get new matches just about every time I look at the site, at least every other day or so. I do have just over 3000 people in our tree, so I assume that the larger your tree, the more matches with surnames there will be. Most of my side of the family tree are ancestors that came to the colonies before the American Revolution, so maybe many related people have been tested and chosen as possible matches. However, it is still hard to figure out most of the matches! Unfortunately, on my husband's side (our son took the test so both sides of the family would be included) we have not found any matches yet, probably because his ancestors came from Ireland in the late 1800's.

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 10:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for your reply. Out of my matches (I'd say only about 100). I've had NO common ancestors with any of them. Is this common in your opinion? You seem to have a good handle on this lol

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 3:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
The larger your tree is the more likelihood of you finding surnames in common. I wasn't getting very many matches until I took the time to expand my tree. Likewise, if other Ancestry members with whom you are a DNA match do not have many relatives on their tree, it will be difficult to determine how you are related until they spend time expanding their trees.

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 3:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
Quite a few of the "matches" ancestry.com has sent for our tree are people with NO family tree, or only a few names on their tree, and most of the time I cannot see any relationship to our tree. I assume that those matches must be based just on the DNA test results, and apparently the DNA matches can go back hundreds of years, way farther than many of us can trace our family trees.

I've yet to get a match to my main family surnames that I'm the most sure about, but that may just be due to a lack of people testing from those family lines.

I've e-mailed to a few of the private tree matches, but I'm finding that most of them don't answer, or don't want to share information - maybe because they CAN see my tree and aren't interested in what they see on it!

So far, of the 15 or so "matches" that I've contacted, two were very helpful and friendly, sharing links and data, four or five just sent a polite response but didn't want to go any farther, one said nothing in my tree matched anything in his, and the others have not replied after a few weeks so I don't expect to hear from them.

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 4:45AM GMT
Classification: Query
*ALL* matches are based *JUST* on DNA results. (Sorry, not shouting, just being emphatic, lol.) I want to draw attention to this because it's become clear over the past few months that not everyone knows this. People have repeatedly assumed that Ancestry is taking tree data into account, but this is not the case. (Ancestry really needs to make a FAQ.)

Also, the DNA matches *don't* go back further than reasonable records for many people. (I'm speaking with Colonial/Anglo-European bias, perhaps, but then many people can do that.) It's the pie chart of ethnicity that goes back beyond the records. The matches are predicted to be within 10 generations. (I've had some be a bit further if they came from, say, intermarrying Quakers. Or so I assume - there's no way of knowing until we have raw data/segment comparison tools. Hurry up, Ancestry!)

Just had to get that off my chest. :)

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 5:42AM GMT
Classification: Query
Please excuse my ignorance, but what are "raw data/segment comparison tools" and how will this help? Sorry, but I am not familiar with this term.

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 25 Nov 2012 2:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
The raw data is a list of the exact values for each tested area of your chromosomes, made available in a spreadsheet format. When you have the raw data you can do several things:

You can send it to Dr. Doug McDonald at the University of Illinois. He has his own data base and program to do admixture (deep ethnicity) analysis, which you can then compare with your Ancestry.com findings.

You can upload your data to Gedmatch.com. There you can find other admixture tools (Dodecad, Eurogenes, Harappa, etc.) which can give you other insights about your ethnic origins.

On Gedmatch you can compare your autosomal and XDNA to others who have uploaded their data, regardless of which company the tested with.

A chromosome comparison tool lets you see graphically or in tabular form which specific segments you share with your match. You can combine that with an "in common with" tool to identify any other matches who share those segments. That can help to identify several individuals with whom you might share a common ancestor and facilitate solving the mysteries.

In my own case, I have my raw data from FTDNA. I sent it to Dr, McDonald and used all of the Gedmatch admixture tools. That gave me more information about my ethnic origins than Ancestry did.

I also found new cousin matches through Gedmatch to people who tested with both FTDNA and 23and me.

Using the comparison tool I found that I share an identical segment with a person whose family lived near mine in Ireland and a woman from Australia who had a brick wall with an ancestor in London. We are still investigating, but it looks like her orphaned GGF had an ancestor from Cork, which is helping her to narrow the search.

Another valuable tool that is available elsewhere is the ability to search your matches for a common surname. I have a lot of Morgan matches and would like to be able to compile a list of all of them to look for patterns that might help me identify where they fit into my tree.

Hope this helps.


Jim

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 26 Nov 2012 5:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
I can see how improvements can be made in facilitating DNA matches. I discovered my great-grandfather from Australia was adopted and I have hit a brick wall with him. I have written to the Queensland dept. of vital statistics and there is no birth record for anyone with his name, searching 10 years prior and 10 years after his birth. I was told that back then many of the adoptions were by verbal agreement.

Thank you for that detailed and informative explanation. I am very new to the exploration of DNA and still have much to learn.

Donna Hopper

Re: New DNA Matches

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 5:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
I'm having the same experience. It can take A LOT of work to find the match and I've given up on some. The majority of my potential matches are either private or the tree is bare as a maple in winter. Also, I have found that the "possible range" is sometimes way off. I just made the connection to a "4th to 6th cousin" match but the match I found is 9th cousin--way off ancestry's prediction! Of course there may be another, closer match, but I found one with a common surname. This took extra work because this person had no family at all listed for their ancestor with the common surname so I did the work and was able to find the common ancestor.

I am amazed at how many people have taken the DNA test without having any sort of published tree. One of the main reasons I took the test was to discover matches and fill in information, and I have fortunately been able to do this in many cases. I guess some people just have their reasons and they don't include contacting potential family members!
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