04 March 2013

WHY?!?!?! The DNA Edition

I've updated the BUWTBlog playlists on YouTube.
Genealogy related videos from the National Archives,
the Library of Congress, C-SPAN and others have been added.
Instead of showing you a messed up tree today I'm going to show you messed up DNA results. Going through my mom's results I found the result that is posted after the jump. This is a very distant match and the chances of us being related are less than 50%. [sigh of relief]
After the jump is not someone on the tree of the match. It is the match.

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

 Rene Cadotte (Cadau)
 B: abt. 1620 in Andard, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, France
 D: abt 1660 in Poitou-Charentes, France

That's right, the test results are attached to someone from the 17th century. One sure way ensure you won't find a match, or to completely distort your results, is to attach the results to someone other than the person who took the test. Unless the family dug up Rene Cadotte and paid scientists to extract DNA this is not the person who took the test.
Rene Cadotte is a 7th great-grandfather to the home person on this tree. If the home person took the test that means they are willing to ignore their other 511 7th great-grandparents in favor of this one.
I've had friends who have found similar results in their matches so this is not an isolated incident. Some people are attaching their DNA results to someone from the 19th century or earlier.
I have a match, let's call her Jane, who attached her own results to a parent, completely ignoring half her family. She could be matched with someone who has done a lot of research on descendants. They may be able to look at Jane's tree and determine their relationship but they cannot see half of Jane's tree and have no reason to believe she attached her results to someone other than herself. If Jane matched my mother I probably put her profile in the trash when I didn't see any Hispanic surnames.
Does anyone have a theory as to why someone would do this?

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  1. My guess is ignorance. They didn't understand what they were doing. I've seen questions on both the message boards and Facebook that indicate a lack of knowledge on DNA testing and what it can and can't do for you.

    The good thing is that those people I see asking the questions ARE asking questions. There are too many who don't.

  2. Haha, Rene Cadau/Cadotte is one of my ancestors! That's also funny that this was your example as my closest match on Ancestry DNA was to 5th great-grandparents Laurent Cadotte & Suzanne, a Cree woman.

    I have also had links to people where the person selected was alive in the 1800s rather than being linked to the actual person that took the test.