Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy - Updating My Leeds Method DNA Lists

 One of my endless rabbit holes time-wise is dealing with my DNA Matches.  It often takes significant research work to find the common ancestors.  I also use Ancestry ThruLines, MyHeritage Theories of Family Relativity, skeleton or quick and dirty trees, descendancy research, Google, and more to sleuth out common ancestors.  I love the challenge of finding the common ancestor of any autosomal DNA match, 

One of the DNA Analysis tools that I have not used very much is the Leeds Method (see Dana Leeds' webpage The Leeds Method).  See also Roberta Estes post on The Leeds Method.  The method looks relatively simple and elegant if the user has any spreadsheet experience.  It is useful in sorting your DNA matches into groups according to grandparents or great-grandparents.  I have done the Leeds Method chart for my AncestryDNA matches (see My Updated AncestryDNA Leeds Method Chart) and need to update it again.

1)  I have a spreadsheet in Libre Office to add DNA matches to analyze the matches found on each of my DNA test providers (AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe and MyHeritageDNA).  This week, I have added more matches to my 23andMe and MyHeritageDNA Leeds Method sheets and have spent about 6 hours to update my spreadsheet.

Here is the top of my 23andMe Leeds Method sheet:

2)  Of my top 25 DNA matches on 23andMe, I think I know the side of the family and which grandparent's line for 17 of those top 25 matches.  For the next 25 matches, I think I know the information for another 8 of my 23andMe matches.  Of those top 50 matches (which go down to 0.64%, or about 45 cM), I think I know only 8 of the grandparent's lines on my father's side of my ancestry.  I have only 2 matches in my top 50 matches with known or suspected Seaver ancestry (both descended from my grandparents).  I have only about 20 matches on 23andMe who are 3rd cousins or closer.

On my mother's ancestry, the Auble/Kemp ancestry is well represented with 10 matches, and the Carringer/Spangler ancestry is represented by 7 matches.   However, there are several of these matches for whom I don't know a common ancestor with any certainty.  My top Carringer/Spangler ancestry match is adopted but has matches in common with both sides.

I have not added any of my matches to the "Other" column yet.  I have a cluster of matches whom I think descend from my Richmond/Rich ancestors in Wiltshire, but I have not found a common ancestor to date.  

The numbers are even lower for FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritageDNA matches.  

3)  I think that my problems are threefold:

a)  On my Seaver ancestry, there are no known common ancestors for my 3rd great-grandparents on 23andMe.  I have some on AncestryDNA.  These Seaver, Hildreth, Smith, and Gates families in New England had few children in later generations. 

b)  On my Carringer ancestry, my second great-grandparents and great-grandparents had only one child who had children, so that line has only a few DNA matches who are closer than 4th cousins. 

c)  23andMe does not offer family trees to help figure out the common ancestors.  Some of my 23andMe matches are also on AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, or FamilyTreeDNA, and some have trees that help determine common ancestors.  I have built family trees on ancestry for several of my 23andMe matches with several successes.  I need to do more of that - a genea-bunny's family tree is never done!

4)  For 23andMe matches, the most useful information is the "Relatives In Common" list for each match - in some cases, I can often determine who the match is closely related to as a parent, child, sibling, first cousin, etc.  That is helpful, but only if I know how I am related to a Relatives in Common.  The 23andMe chromosome browser is also useful - if I know which common ancestor a match is descended from, then I can add those DNA segments to my DNA Painter chart.

5)  So I keep plugging away at this task.  23andMe and the other providers add new matches on a regular basis, and I'm trying to keep up with all of them every week.  I'm trying to update these charts every quarter now. 

Where are my carrots?  It's time for a genealogy bunny snack.


Disclosure: I paid for my 23andMe DNA test back in 2011 (?), and have received no remuneration or considerations from them for writing blog posts about 23andMe.

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1 comment:

Diana Bryan Quinn said...

Thank you for this post. I have used the Leeds Method with my Ancestry tree with some success but have never considered using it with the other sites where I've tested. I look forward to this new project!