DNA: Using Ancestry

Ancestry DNA home page
·         Note:  Ancestry tools are genetic networking not triangulation.
·         DNA Story box shows Ethnicity Estimate for thousands of years ago and Genetic Communities for hundreds of years ago.  Ethnicity Estimate is also called Admixture.     
S     Settings (family tree linking/attach a tree; sharing; download raw data on right; never, never delete). 

·         To export your tree in a gedcom format, open the tree you want to download.  In the dropdown menu for the tree, go to Tree Settings.  Under Tree Info there is a green button to Export Tree.

·         To make the tree you are attaching public, on the top menu go to Trees, select the tree you are attaching, select Tree Settings, then Privacy Settings where you can choose public or private.

·         Circles:  Family units are first cousins and closer. Can be very useful for connecting to living cousins.  Need three matching groups/individuals to be a circle.  Must be second cousin or more distant to count as an individual or group.

·         New Ancestry Discoveries:  Uses other people’s circles.  May be an ancestor not in your tree or more remotely connected.  You can see the circle they are based on.  Good for people searching for collateral relatives; not usually direct ancestors.

Matches List
·         “? in a circle” at upper right is the DNA HELP button
S     Sort by relationship or date

·         Filter by shared ancestor hints, new, stars, or Genetic communities

·         Stars are under your control to be able to identify a specific characteristic (like mom’s side).

·         Confidence ratings: There is a chart to convert EH, H, G to centiMorgan range.  Most testing services use centiMorgans except MyHeritage uses percentages.

·         Possible range: ? is explanation of relationships  

·         Symbols for leaf hint, private (lock), No tree

·         No tree means “no tree attached”.  If they have a tree in their profile, you will have a chance to select it.

·         Shaky leaves for DNA matches with Shared Ancestor Hints; “possible relationship hint”; called pedigree matching or tree matching.  Sometimes more than one common ancestor.

Individual Match page
·         You want to send messages to your matches.  See the green Send Message button on the upper right.  Don’t use the green button.  Instead click on the Match’s name to go to their profile.  Use the tan button there.  Roberta Estes explains here https://dna-explained.com/2017/02/01/revisiting-ancestrydna-matches-methods-and-hints/   Use the green button and your match will NOT get an email announcing your message.  Use the tan button and they will get an email.  Use tan, not green.

·         Click on user name to see member profile

·         “i in a circle” gives cM and segments for your match

·         Ancestry limits your matches to 8th cousins; after that the segments are too small

·         Notes-write on individual match page and view on match list

·         Pedigree and Surnames, common ancestors, shared matches, locations

·         Shared matches are 4th cousin or closer to self and your match. Most important for identifying networks of matches.  Provided even when the match has no tree. 

·         Link to full tree

Using CentiMorgans
·         CentiMorgans are a measure of length and strength of matching segments.  If the number is larger the relationship is closer.
·         Get an DNA Detectives Autosomal Statistics Chart.  Google it or go to the DNA Detectives Facebook page.  It will show you how to estimate Relationships based on matching centiMorgans.
·         CentiMorgans greater than
·         There are no cases of second cousins not having a matching segment.

centiMorgans    Rating                                     Likelihood of a Common Ancestor within 5-6 Generations
More than 30     Extremely High                                  Virtually 100%
20 – 30                 Very High                                             99%
12 – 20                 High                                                       95%
 6-12                      Good                                                     More than 50%
Less than 6          Moderate                                            20% - 50%

How to find help for Ancestry
·         Help tab in top taskbar; there are discussions and articles; look for Ancestry DNA Common Questions and videos called Getting Started.

·         ? or i in a circle where you are working

·         Google “site:ancestry.com” with your question.  Sometimes the Ancestry Help search is not helpful.

·         Ask on a facebook group.  Look for a group most focused on the website or software you are asking about.

·         Ancestry Support feature:  A place where you post questions.  It requires a separate login and password.

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