Like many I've been pretty disappointed with AncestryDNA, so much so I really haven't been checking potential matches on a regular basis. But today it may finally have paid for itself! Before I get too excited, I thought I would run it past the readers here and see if you believe I am interpreting the results accurately and what other things I should research as a result.
I discovered the "Filter by: Has a Hint" today and discovered that I have 5 potential matches where a probable common ancestor has been identified. All 5 are low probability distant cousin matches. Two of the five are private trees; one of which has over 82k entries. (I don't understand how anyone could manage and research a tree so large and tend to discount them as a result.) Of the remaining 3 matches, one is from the paternal line of one of my great great grandmothers (Elizabeth Chism) and the other two from Elizabeth Chism's maternal line. The two matches from the maternal line identify the same common ancestor, Mary Wheeler (1711-1761) a 7th great grandmother.
I have been attempting to identify Elizabeth Chism's parents for some time and to-date have researched 5 different couples as her possible parents. I have these couples in my tree as alternate parents for her and the couple that I think is most likely "set as preferred." The probable common ancestors from the 3 matches appear in the lineages of the preferred couple that I believe to be most likely to be her parents.
Bottom line I have two fundamental questions:
1) How much weight should I give this DNA match evidence as having "proved" (in a genealogical sense) that I have correctly identified Elizabeth Chism's parents?
2) What other research can I do with this match information?
I have already looked at shared surnames and the only ones in common on the two maternal matches only appear in the preferred couple's lineage.
And I plan to review each of the match trees to see how well documented each of my matches' trees are to our probable common ancestor.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.