Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy to Finally Have Some AncestryDNA Hints

One of the newer features in the AncestryDNA screens is the ability to sort the results by Hints.  The Hints (green leaves) mean that the tree of a DNA-matching person contains the same person(s) in my tree.

Here is my screen in AncestryDNA with "Has a Hint" selected in the "Filter by" field:

There is one match for a 4th Cousin, and three threes for 5th to 8th cousins with Hints.

I clicked the green "Review Match" button to check out the Hint for B.E.R. (the supposed 4th cousin) (two screens):

In the "Shared Ancestor Hint" area, the shared ancestors are James Richman (1821-1912) and Hannah Rich (1824-1911).  My descent from them is shown on the left, and B.E.R.'s descent is shown on the right.  We are actually Third Cousins!

This is, by far, the closest cousin that I've found using autosomal DNA testing.  I even had him in my database (but he doesn't show up in my Ancestry Member Tree because he is living).  I like the addition of the Sort by "Has a Hint" feature, and am very happy to see that the estimation of cousinship seems to be accurate in this particular case.

I was contacted some time ago by the fellow who administers B.E.R.'s DNA test, and we are conversing by email.

I also investigated the other three persons with Hints on the screens above, and the relationships are 7th cousin once-removed, 8th cousins, and 7th cousin once removed.  The AncestryDNA estimate of cousinship was 5th to 8th cousin for those three matches, so the actual relationships are at the far end of the estimates.

This contrasts with the AncestryDNA matches I have without a Hint.  I have 34 matches that are denoted as 4th to 6th cousin, and, based on the surname matches and the trees available, none of them are 4th to 6th cousins - they are 7th to 10th cousins if my genealogy research and their genealogy research is correct.  Of course, my, or their, genealogy research may be wrong or incomplete and the trees don't show genealogy matches.

I haven't looked at my FamilyTreeDNA autosomal matches for awhile - I need to do that soon, and if I find some close matches, I will blog about them.  I took the 23andMe autosomal DNA test about four weeks ago and expect those results soon and will report on them.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Greta Koehl said...

I have had interesting and potentially helpful results from Ancestry DNA; if they would just provide the genetic information for chromosome mapping, this would be an awesome tool. I have 40 matches with hints, and even though I have not checked out all of the hints (some are people with private trees, so there are a number who have not answered my queries or for whom I have not had a chance to query), I have a list of 123 people for whom I have been able to figure out at least one possible connection (there are two with definite double connections, with one guy actually related both through my father and mother, and the maternal connection is a case of two brothers marrying two sisters, so we really have 3 family connections). In addition, I have notes on probably another 30-40 people for whom I have an idea of where we connect but cannot yet find the link in the lines. For my Tarrant line, to help narrow down the possible father of my brickwall gg-grandmother, there are a number of connections to some families that married into this line. Although some of the connections go back another generation or two than Ancestry says they do, I have some close connections (2nd-4th cousins) that Ancestry estimates at being more distant than they actually are. Surfing through Ancestry DNA connections is definitely addicting....

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Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Randy, I have not tried DNA testing at all as yet. I find it intimidating and wonder if it is worth the expense. Sounds like you recommend it. How do I get started?

Elizabeth E. said...

I was in the original beta group with AncestryDNA. Recently I added my mothers test, as a control since one of the things I have is an adoption on my paternal line. (And my father is deceased). Between us, we have over 4000 DNA hits, with 600 shared between us. Some of the matches are good matches -- but on a whole Ancestry is very "generous" in the range it suggests for a match. The ones in the 4th-6th range are usually at the 6th range, while those at the 5th-8th are at the 8th. My one at the supposed 3rd cousin range turns out to be a 5th cousin -- but it is through a family line where there are 3 families that intermarried several times, so I think the "closeness" of the match is being picked up by the doubling effect. Sometimes the leaf hint symbol does not show up at the top level, but does when you review the match. I do not know why -- at one point I though it was because I had the testing before that feature and they did not retroactively add it. However, my mother's test was after that feature and it happens with hers -- when you review the match there is a shared tree hint but it does not show that on the top level. I take to marking those as "favorites" so they can be sorted out. I would love to see another sort feature: by user ID. With as many matches as I have to juggle I have created a spread sheet. Otherwise I cannot find matches easily.