Monday, September 17, 2012

Checking in on Ancestry.com DNA Matches

I had my autosomal DNA test done by Ancestry.com earlier this year, and wrote some posts about it, including:

*  Results from Ancestry.com Autosomal DNA Tests - Post 1
*  Results from Ancestry.com Autosomal DNA Test - Post 2

Ancestry has now tested many more persons and there may be many more matches for me to examine, and perhaps contact.  

Here is the top of my DNA page on Ancestry.com:



and further down:



I have 12 matches that are 4th to 6th cousins (about 95% confidence), and many more that are more distant cousins (about 50% confidence).  The ones that I haven't looked at before are shown with a blue dot in the screen above.  

When I look at the 12 matches that are 95% confidence, I look for the list of common surnames (as shown below for one of my matches):



If I click on one of the common surnames, I can see my most recent ancestor and the other person's most recent ancestor(s) with the surname:



In this particular case, it appears that our common Boyden ancestor is probably Jonathan Boyden (1652-1731), one of my 8th great-grandfathers.  In other words, we are probably 9th cousins for this particular match.  

I have clicked on every one of the 25 common surnames for this particular match, and do not see any closer potential common ancestors.

I have exchanged emails and Ancestry messages with the person who submitted this match, and we both have extensive family trees online and cannot find any closer matches based on our family trees.  There is the possibility that one or both of us have "brick wall" ancestors that we have not found yet and that those lines produce the 4th to 6th cousin match.  

The other 11 "high confidence" matches have fewer common surnames and I have been able to find 8th cousin matches on one of them and 9th cousin matches on two more.  One has an intriguing list of Knapp families in the Fairfield CT area near where my brick wall 3rd great-grandfather William Knapp was born in 1775.  One match has a private tree, and several trees that match have a limited number of persons in their Ancestry tree (one has 11 persons!).

I will revisit the list of matches later in the year to see how many "high confidence" matches I have then.  

Based on this list of "high confidence" matches, I don't see any 4th to 6th cousins on the list.  Perhaps 7th or 8th cousins.  I don't know what the criteria is for "high confidence" matches because Ancestry.com doesn't provide the raw autosomal data or the matching segment lengths on the different chromosomes the way Family Tree DNA's Family Finder does.  

The URL for this post is:   http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/09/checking-in-on-ancestrycom-dna-matches.html

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

10 comments:

Linda said...

Very interesting post, Randy. I have four or five 4th to 6th cousin matches- a few have common surnames somewhere, but none have any common ancestors with me. I've even enlisted my father's help to compare since he's been working on our genealogy for much longer and has gotten much further back in certain lines than I have, so he can identify more ancestors in these matches' trees if there is a match. So far though, no confirmed matches. I'm wondering if the match is much further back than Ancestry predicts, or just in lines with brick walls.

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