Since the staff members at Ancestry.com are paralyzed, if you want the most out of your AncestryDNA investment, you need patience, collaboration, and tests from multiple family members.
Most important, you need a lot of patience. Ancestry.com has not made an effort to provide any functional administrative tools for using or managing DNA matches. Any practical use of the DNA results requires a manual search.
If you are not collaborating with multiple users, you are wasting your money. Surname and locale matches are a good start, but what if there are two or more matches or no commonality at all? I have fifty-nine pages of DNA matches. Only one matched another user’s tree well enough to get an “ancestry DNA hint.” All of the other matches I have proven required collaboration with one or more users; two of these were dead ends for years. If you are not collaborating, you are guessing, and you could guess without paying for the test. One last thought on collaborating, in most cases, excluding a possibility, is better than a match.
I am not a geneticist and will admit to being an idiot; however, even an idiot can see a trend in the following scenario. My ethnicity is 89% Central Europe, 6% British Iles, and 5% Uncertain. My sister’s ethnicity is 71% Central Europe, 24% British Isles, and 5% Eastern Europe. Also, even though we share numerous DNA matches, we have approximately thirty matches we do not share; several are proven matches. The point, DNA is dependent on the shuffling of the cards at conception.