22 October 2012

My DNA Results II

You can read about my initial results here. Since that post I've had time to look through all the matches and new ones have been added almost daily.
Here are the stats so far:
1144   total matches
    18   are in the 4th to 6th cousin range with 95% confidence or higher
    67   of the public trees have fewer than 30 people on them
  157   do not have a tree on Ancestry.com
  184   have private trees
Because of the large number of results I'm setting aside the matches that have no tree and those that have private trees. My tree is public so they are free to look and if they find a match I hope they will contact me. One person already has because she read my previous blog post! She invited me to view her private tree. No luck finding our connection (4th - 6th cousin with 95% confidence) but we'll continue to search.

After the jump: Surnames and DNA matches

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

So how easy is it to find matches in the 800+ remaining trees? You may think, "Well, just look for a surname that matches a surname on your tree." Consider this:
# of surnames
             2            Parents
       +    2            Grandparents
       +    4            Great-Grandparents
       +    8            Great-Great-Grandparents
       +  16            Great-Great-Great-Grandparents
       +  32            Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents
       +  64            Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents
       +128            Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents
       +256            Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandparents
         512             TOTAL for 10 generations
That number is with no pedigree collapse and no same surname coincidences. Most of your DNA matches will be somewhere in the 4th to 8th cousin range. Finding some of those links could require that both of you have researched back to your 7th great-grandparents or that at least one of you has gone that far back and researched descendants.
Do you have all 512? If you do you're a very rare case. If you're thinking, "I have a lot of work to do," you are not alone. A few years ago Crista Cowan, a.k.a. The Barefoot Genealogist, wrote a blog post detailing how much of her direct line is complete.
"I'm a professional genealogist and I can only prove out 32% of the people in the past 300 years responsible for my existence. That means that 68% of my ancestry is completely unknown to me." - Crista Cowan
You can see a more recent version of Crista's post on Ancestry.com's blog.
Of course I was curious and had to do the exercise for myself.
Generations 1-4: 15 out of 15        100%
5th Generation: 15 out of 16           94%
6th Generation: 25 out of 32           78%
7th Generation: 36 out of 64           56%
8th Generation: 26 out of 128         20%
9th Generation: 6 out of 256            2%
10th Generation: 0 out of 512          0%

Total: 123 out of 1,023                  12%
I will own up to not having complete documentation on a few of those so my total is probably more like 8 or 9%.


These are my matches that have been confirmed by links on both their tree and mine.

3rd cousin, 4x removed        Confidence: Moderate, 5th - 8th cousin
6th cousin 1x removed         Confidence: Very low, 5th - 8th cousin
7th cousin                           Confidence: Very low, 5th - 8th cousin
4th cousin                           Confidence: Very low, 5th - 8th cousin

The first two matches are through my 6th great-grandfather, Abel Lanham. While the first is a "moderate" match it's only to Abel and not to my 6th great-grandmother. That person is a cousin through a child from Abel's second marriage. The other three matches are to both great-grandparents but Ancestry's DNA match program only shows the male match.
The last match was not identified by Ancestry's program. It was not the fault of the program. The other person just hadn't gone back to her 3rd great-grandfather on that particular line. Luckily I have found a lot of descendants on that line so her grandparents names are on my tree.
Since the test and the DNA portion of Ancestry's site are still in the BETA phase it's important for everyone to give feedback. A few issues that I, and others, have sent:
1. Email notification does not seem to be working yet. I was under the impression that we would be emailed when we had new matches. I have yet to receive an email and have new matches every time I check my DNA page. There is nothing from Ancestry.com in my spam folder.
2. I would like to be able to sort the matches myself. Ideally I could put those with private trees or no trees into a file and set them aside. I don't have time to message over 300 people to ask if they know how we're related.
3. Showing the match on the male line only is sexist. Unless there's some genetic detail that Ancestry hasn't told us. Two of my matches are to my 6th great-grandparents, not just my 6th great-grandfathers.

UPDATE: Ancestry's test is now available to order in the U.S. without an invitation.

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RELATED POST: My DNA Results , My DNA Results III, New DNA Results

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