Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AncestryDNA Shared Matches Appear

AncestryDNA announced a new feature on the blog today - see See Your DNA Matches in a Whole New Way by Anna Swayne.

I read that and decided to see if I had any.  I went to my DNA Matches (sorted by Relationship) and saw my second cousin at the top of the list - she's been there for awhile now.  I clicked on her name and saw:

down at the bottom are three buttons - the one in the middle is new - it is "Shared Matches:"

 There were four "Shared Matches" on the list - I knew about and have corresponded with the first two of them, but the other two were new to me.

I clicked on the third one down on the list above, and saw the predicted relationship (4th cousin) and shared surnames and their tree:

The common surname that caught my eye was "Richmond" so I clicked on that and saw that the matching person's ancestor was Elizabeth A. Richmond (1854-1931):

I recognized Elizabeth A. Richmond as the sister of my great-grandfather, Thomas Richmond (1848-1917), so this looks like it's a probably DNA match.

The matching AncestryDNA person doesn't have any parents for Elizabeth A. Richmond, so if s/he checks my Ancestry Member Tree s/he will gather at least two more generations of Richmond and Rich ancestors.  If s/he adds them, s'he will be in the same four DNA Circles that I have in my DNA matches.

We share common ancestors James Richman and Hannah Rich, the parents of Elizabeth and Thomas Richmond, who came to America from England in the 1855 time from Wiltshire in England.  They are my second great-grandparents, so that makes the AncestryDNA person my third cousin.

I took a look at the AncestryDNA person's tree and was able to add some information, along with sources, to my own tree so that I can provide the AncestryDNA person with more information about his/her ancestry.

For the 4th match on the first screen above, one of the matching surnames was Hill from Wiltshire.  I also have that surname in Wiltshire so that is probably our DNA match, but it's a 6th or 7th cousin relationship.

This AncestryDNA feature appears to work well - I need to investigate more of my close matches and see what else I can find.

One of the lessons learned here is that not every AncestryDNA tester has a fully developed family tree.  Those that don't can be helped by those of us with a leafier tree, and perhaps some AncestryDNA tester will have a leafier tree than I do.

Now I need to contact this AncestryDNA tester and see if s/he knows anything about her Richmond family - perhaps there are family photos or papers that we can share.  I have pictures of James and Hannah (Rich) Richman, for instance.

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Leah said...

I've been playing with this new feature all afternoon and it usually works. However, when I tried to see shared matches between myself and a third cousin, there supposedly weren't any. Then, when I looked at a more distant cousin I already knew was related to both me and my third cousin, the third cousin came up as a shared match! Anyway, it is a great new feature, or it will be when the kinks are worked out.

TheGeneticGenealogist said...

Leah - it looks like your Shared Match didn't come up because it is not a fourth cousin or closer to you (as you say, it is "a more distant match").

You can check Shared Matches for all of your matches, but you will only see a Shared Match result IF that Shared Match is a fourth cousin or closer to BOTH you and the person you are looking for matches with.

So, you saw the third cousin as a match because he/she was a fourth cousin or closer to BOTH you and your distant match. But, your distant match is not a fourth cousin or closer to Both you and your third cousin.

Rhonda Kennedy said...

Loved the article! Perfect timing as ancestryDNA's lab are working on my DNA sample now :) Thank you for the help. Now I will be more prepared when the test results arrive.