Friday, June 21, 2024

AncestryDNA Pro Tools - Shared Matches of Shared Matches (SMOSM) Are Great!

 I finally received the AncestryDNA Pro Tools today - the Group indicators are now squares with rounded edges (a minor improvement), and the Shared Matches of Shared Matches (SMOSM, a great help!).  There are several blog posts and YouTube videos already from the genealogy community about these new features, so I won't bore you with describing these features.  See the following:

I was impatiently waiting for the Shared Matches of Shared Matches (SMOSM) tool since it was announced at the 2024 RootsTech conference, and I want to demonstrate the process and the results.

1)  In my DNA Match list (From the Ancestry home page, select DNA, select DNA Matches), I saw the top of my Match list (I have tried to blank out the match names on the images below):

Note that I still have the circular Group indicators on this screen.

I scrolled further down the list to a 2nd cousin 1x removed (let's call her BP, I know she is my 2C1R from genealogy research and she has a ThruLine back to my great-grandparents Thomas Richmond (1848-1917) and Julia White (1848-1913)).

2)  I clicked on her link and then on the Shared Matches link for BP.  Here is the top of the page:

Further down this list, on page 2 of 3, are these Shared Matches:

The second person on this screen above is ST, who shares 27 cM with me and shares 578 cM with BP.  The relationship of ST with BP is listed as "1st cousin 1x removed or half grandniece."  

The third person on this screen above is LM, who shares 27 cM with me and shares 882 cM with BP.  The relationship of LM with BP is listed as "half nephew or first cousin."

I clicked on the link for ST and looked at their Shared Matches, and LM  is listed as her father with 3,485 cM.  

3)  So this tool has helped me identify LM as the first cousin of BP, and ST as the child of LM and first cousin 1x removed of BP.  

I was able to do genealogy research to determine the parent of LM because I could narrow my search down to LM's grandparents based on other shared matches.  Since I knew the names of ST and LM, I used the Ancestry trees (no help for these matches because all the tree profiles were private) , MyHeritage Public Records database (which provides household names), Google, and Ancestry searches to find the parent of LM, but I couldn't find the other parent of ST.  

Using this tool, and these techniques, I've been able to add 5 more DNA Match persons to my RootsMagic tree (and soon to my Ancestry Tree) just from this Richmond line of shared matches.  I already had 21 ThruLines from my 2nd great-grandparents James Richman and Hannah Rich, and more from earlier generations.  

4)  The power of this tool is that it can identify the relationships of a shared match with another shared match.  If you look for parent/child, siblings, aunt/uncle/niece/nephew, or close cousin relationships then you have significantly reduced the genealogy research necessary to determine your relationship with the shared matches.  If you are working on a Shared Match with no Ancestry tree or a small tree, perhaps one of their close relatives has a larger tree to help you identify a common ancestor. 

5)  This Shared Matches of Shared Matches (SMOSM) concept is not unique - MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe have had similar tools for many years (but the 23andMe tool currently is not available).  But they don't have as many DNA testers or the plethora of larger family trees that Ancestry has.


Disclosure: I pay for an All-Access subscription from In past years.  provided a complimentary All Access subscription and DNA test, material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City.

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Tuta said...

Hi Randy -- do you share Roberta's concerns about the naming issue that has seemed to crop up by use of Pro Tools ?

Roberta Estes' Story About ProTools

Interested in your take.

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Tuta,

I do share the concern. But all the "children" are adults and almost all can be found on social media, public databases, etc. I don't think scammers are smart enough to use DNA databases they have to pay to use.