29 March 2013

Photo Friday: Axe Murderer

Title of photo: How I'm related to Lizzy Borden
Uploaded: Once, linked to 7 people
Attached to: 16 other trees
The photo is not attached to Lizzy Borden or her step-mother.


There may be more uploads of this photo on this tree but I'm not going through all 639 pages of photos to find out. That's right, this person has over 15,000 photos on their tree. I'm sure you can guess what most of them are.

Thanks to Janet for the link to this photo ;-)
If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.   

PREVIOUS POST: No Hardin Fast Rules
NEXT POST: April Fools' Day 1965

27 March 2013

No Hardin Fast Rules

Comments after the jump.

 MARY HARDIN
 B: 1690 in Isle, Virginia
 D: 14 DEC 1749 in Southhampton, Virginia

 FATHER
 Mark Hardin (1720-1790)
 MOTHER
 Ina Mae Hardin (1846-1917)

 SPOUSE & CHILDREN
 JOHN SIMMONS (1680-1749) m. 1716 in Surry, Surry, Virginia
 ✿ Edwin Simmons
 ✿ Sarah Simmons
 ✿ William Simmons
 ✿ John Simmons, B: 1675 in Surry, Surry, Virginia
 ✿ William Simmons, B: 1704 in Surry, Surry, Virginia
 ✿ John Nicholas Simmons, B: 31 Jul 1707 in Pfeffelbach, Kusel, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
 ✿ Benjamin Simmons, B: 1707 in Surry, Surry, Virginia
 ✿ Henry Simmons, B: 1708 in Southhampton, Virginia
 ✿ Mary Simmons, B: 1715 in Surry, Sussex, Virginia
 ✿ William Jones, B: 1717
 ✿ Benjamin Simmons, B: 1718
 ✿ William Simmons, B: 1718 in Isle of Wight, Isle of Wight, Virginia
 ✿ Ann Simmons, B: 1720 in Evergreen, Prince George, Virginia
 ✿ Elizabeth Simmons, B: 1726
 ✿ Lucy Simmons, B: 1726 in Southhampton, Virginia
 ✿ William Simmons, B: 1728
 ✿ Benjamin W Simmons, B: 1730
 ✿ Charles Simmons, B: 1730 in Surry, Surry, Virginia
 ✿ Ann Simmons, B: 1731
 ✿ Elizabeth Simmons, B: 1746 in Virginia
 ✿ George Simmons, B: 1746
 ✿ William Simmons, B: 1746 in Virginia
 ✿ Henry Simmons, B: 21 Mar 1862 in Rotherithe, Surrey, England

25 March 2013

Civil War Zombie Corps 3

Comments after the jump.

 Esther Richmond
 B: 1669 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island
 D: 12 Nov 1706 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island

 SPOUSE & CHILD
 Thomas Burgess (1668-1743)
 ✿ Nathaniel Burgess, B: 17 May 1729 in Connecticut

 RECORDS
 ✿ Millennium File
     Name: Esther Richmond, female
     Born: 1669 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island
     Died: 12 Nov 1706 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island
     Spouse: Thomas Burgess
     Child: Edward Burgess
 ✿ U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 
     Name: Esther Burgess (no maiden name or dates)
     Spouse: Thomas Burgess (1668-1743)
     Child: Nathaniel Burgess (1729-1793)
 ✿ U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865
     Name: W. J. Chandler
     Side: Confederate
     Regiment: 56th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company H
     Rank: Private
 ✿ 1830 U.S. Federal Census
     Name: Wyatt Chandler
     Residence: Gwinnett, Georgia
     Free white males: 1 age 30-39, 2 age 10-14, 1 age 5-9, 2 under 5
     Free white females: 1 age 30-39, 1 age 10-14, 1 age 5-9, 1 under 5

22 March 2013

Photo Friday: Ahead of Their Time

In 1826 the world's first photograph was taken.
You can see that photograph at this link.
Here we have some tree owners who either have no idea when photography was invented or don't care. These are from two different trees.

Uploaded to: Eliakim Wardwell (1634-1692)
Attached to: Same person on 5 more trees

Thanks to Margaret for the link to this photo. 

Uploaded to: Elizabeth Smith (1665-1766)
Attached to: Same person on 3 more trees
Thanks to Kristin for the link to this photo.


If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.


PREVIOUS POST: Mother or Father?
NEXT POST: Civil War Zombie Corps 3

20 March 2013

Mother or Father?

Comments after the jump.

 Freeman (sex unknown)
 B: 1762 in Georgia
 D: 09 Nov 1807 in Warren, Kentucky

 FATHER
 Private
 MOTHER
 BETTY DAHNELLE ADCOX (1931-1995)
 SIBLINGS
 5 siblings, all private, all sex unknown

 SPOUSE
 Allen (female)

 SPOUSE & CHILDREN
 Thomas Ford (1754-1807) m. 1786 in Georgia
 ✿ James Ford, B: 1787 in Tennessee
 ✿ Benjamin Ford, B: 1790 in Georgia
 ✿ Absalom Ford, B: 1793 in Kentucky
 ✿ Sylvia Ford, B: 1795 in Kentucky
 ✿ Nancy Ford, B: 1797 in Kentucky
 ✿ Elizabeth Ford, B: 1798 in Kentucky
 ✿ Thomas Ford, B: 1800 in Kentucky
 ✿ Daniel Ford, B: 1801
 ✿ Hettie Ford, B: 1802 in Kentucky
 ✿ Fannie Ford, B: 1804 in Kentucky
 ✿ Isaac W Ford, B: 1810 in Tennessee
 ✿ John Benjamin Ford, B: 1815

18 March 2013

My DNA Results III

In case you missed the first two posts on my results (links at the end of this post) the test I'm talking about is Ancestry.com's newest DNA test, an autosomal test. It can be taken by both men and women and is currently only available to purchase in the U.S..
I wanted to have results from both of my parents before writing another DNA post. I was fully prepared to write about how I really am "Daddy's girl" because I was sure my 40% Scandinavian and 18% British Isles were all from Dad. I was surprised that the percentage would be so far off of 50%. 52/48 I could see. 54/46 maybe. But 58/42 seemed off to me. Well my instincts were right. I just never expected British Isles results on my mom's side! Not even a single digit percent. I'm stunned!
Results and more after the jump.

15 March 2013

Photo Friday: DNA At Its Worst

TITLE
Necro-fiend-evolution of DNA at it's worse!

Cringing at the spelling and punctuation in that title!

DESCRIPTION
Free Fantasy Pictures.
Digital Art Photos http://www.feebleminds-gifs.com/free-pictures.html

The website now shows a 404 error message.
If that rings a bell it's because this from the same tree as the DNA Fantasy photo.

UPLOADED ONCE TO TWO PROFILES
Edward "The Outlaw Exile" Prince of England Aetheling
Born 1016 in Wessex Kingdom, Anglo Saxon, England
Died Feb 1057 in London, Middlesex, England
and
John Alexander
Born 1593 in Stirling, Essex, England
Death aft 1628 in Connecticut, United States

Attached to five other trees.

Original Source: Unknown

If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.


PREVIOUS POST: DNA Will Solve Everything Part 4
NEXT POST: My DNA Results III

13 March 2013

DNA Will Solve Everything - Part 4

Continuing from Monday we have more of the best, or maybe they're the worst, comments from Ancestry.com's DNA threads on their Facebook page. Of course the uninformed comments are not limited to Facebook. Elsewhere people have asked why they can't upload their DNA to a match's tree so the computer can find the link or they've complained because the test couldn't tell them the exact county in Ireland their great-great-grandfather came from.
As always the comments are cut and pasted. My comments are in red and most should be read with a heavy dose of sarcasm. We'll start with those that are fast becoming my biggest pet peeve. No, not those with private trees. Those complaining about private trees.

PRIVATE EYES

✿ I am also perturbed by all the dang private people. Why the heck get your DNA done if you are not going to share? I find it selfish.
✿ "They won't share with ME. Everyone should do the test for the same reasons as ME." They are selfish? Pot, meet kettle.

✿ Frustrated because so many of the matches are private trees and can't get responses back. It ends up a waste of money when you can't find out anything.
✿ I may have to do a post titled "Seeing private trees will solve everything" because all the whiners seem to think that private tree owners hold the secrets of the universe.

✿ I don't get why some people take the test but make their family tree private.
✿ I only wish that the people who get the DNA test would not have their tree private. I have alot of moderate matches but can't see the tree, it's disappointing. I know you can ask to see their tree but most of them don't answer, so why do the DNA test if you don't want to complete your tree?
✿ They didn't take the test for you. To the latter comment..."Complete"?!!?

✿ I am thoroughly pleased. The one thing I would gripe about is that many others took the test, yet their tree is kept private or it is a tree with only 1-15 or so people. I assume these people expected a magically filled family tree to pop up as a direct result of their DNA results explaining to them who their ancestors are, really?
✿ I've covered private trees in an earlier post but yes, some people actually expect a "magically filled family tree." I find that those people usually have a public tree though. A friend of mine was contacted by a match and asked for a copy of her GEDCOM. The match had no idea which line he matched on but that didn't seem to matter.

✿ I have had good results, but we need more options for people to share private trees. Why not have the option to share only with other DNA participants? How about having an "Unlock Your Tree Day" so that we can at least check for matches. The percentage of people who have responded to my requests to see their trees is low, but the interaction with those who have has been great. Still, I'm stunned when someone doesn't respond even when you have the leaf hint that says you have a match. I still have at least one major roadblock and wonder if one of those locked trees would solve it. If your tree if private to protect someone's innocence, I can understand that. But I don't care if a tree might have errors. It's my responsibility to check to see if the information is valid, and sometimes getting the DNA match helps verify a relationship. It just seems selfish to me to be in the DNA program, to take advantage of checking results in all the public trees, and then not to allow other people the same courtesy. Sorry if that is harsh, but I don't agree with some of the reasons people give for not sharing what they do have.
✿ Well since YOU don't agree let's just change it. Obviously your way is correct and perfect and no one will have a problem with it.

✿ I don't want people who won't share their tree to be able to benefit from my hard work and research that can be found in my tree. I am willing to share and help others, but only those who are also as generous. It is very frustrating to find a tree that might be of great help....only to be denied. I am tired of those that make their trees private benefiting from others yet the rest of us are shut out. I respect the right to make your tree private....you just should have restrictions for doing so... it's only fair. I am serious about this too Ancestry.com...I pay a lot of money yearly on your site and I want to be able to share what I have with others that do the same. I want an option to click to make my tree unavailable to those that have private trees. Please make that happen.
✿ What a brilliant idea! If your request is granted (it won't be) then private tree owners could just create a tree with 3 people on it, all living. Heck, they could have a tree with 50 living people on it. They could view your tree and you would still see nothing on theirs but they would have a public tree. Really, good going. What a wonderful, well thought out solution.

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN

✿ Somewhat disappointed with the results. I know my ancestry back to the countries of origin and the results have been subpar. Also, no help with the Native American side of the genetics.
✿ "Countries of origin"? So you know where your family started thousands of years ago? As to the latter comment I'm guessing this is yet another person who thought DNA could assign you to a tribe.

✿ The more I think about it, the more I don't believe it. I am supposedly 84% Central European and 11% Scandanvian. At least 80% of my heritage is from the British Isles. My Dad's people came over with the Pilgrims and Puritans, and my Mother's were 100% Irish. I can't believe there is no British Isles in my DNA. And the matches are ludicrous -- names like Smith and Miller. And none that match any of the names in my extensive tree. It has been a total waste for me. More I think about it, angrier I get.
✿ Me too! The state of the American education system is a pathetic and the fact that we have adults who have no knowledge of history, no ability to apply logic is,...oh, that's not what you're angry about.

✿ Would like more detailed breakdown of WHERE and WHEN, ie what part of British is English vs colonial American English vs Irish vs Scottish, what part of Scandinavian is recently from Scandinavian countries or the result of Viking raids some thousand years ago. If "unknown" can't be specifically categorized can it at least point to a certain part or parts of the world or indicated with probability percentages?
✿ "what part of British is English vs colonial American English" Yeah, doesn't DNA include that biological clock that I'm always hearing about? Can't it tell me when my ancestors came to America and when they lived in certain countries?

✿ I am more than skeptical of my results. My mother's side is 100% German documented back to my great-great grandparents in the early 1800's and there's not a single percentage point of Central Europe in my DNA. My father's side which is Swedish but not documented past my grandparents came through loud and clear with 42% Scandinavian. The mystery is the 55% British Isles. Not a single documented relative from there. This would have had to come from both sides of my tree for the number to be 55%. I don't see it being true even as a remote possibility.
✿ Of course it's not a "remote possibility." No one in the history of the universe ever crossed the English Channel.

✿ I took it and was not happy. I KNEW my Grand parents were from Italy and Italy never came up. I never got any kinda of 'answers' for lack of a better word. I contacted names/emails of people they sent me and never got a responce from anyone. Very disappointed.
✿ And since their grandparents are from Italy that means everyone before them HAD to come from Italy because since the beginning of time there has never been an invasion or a migration.

✿ [name of person who tried to point out the ridiculousness of people wanting an exact country of origin], no need to school us. I'm sure most of us know our history ESP theses of us that we're born in the British Isles. As I said before..... Why any British Isles DNA?.. As you said, we are Saxons, Vikings, Angles, and some Celts, although celts is actually not a group of distinct people. Also, the Romans left very little DNA in Britian.
[same person 3 minutes later]
* those
✿ Glad you added the correction or we would have absolutely no idea what you were trying to say.

✿ So how do we research humanity? My faternal grandfather was mexican, but this is not showing in my brother's DNA.
✿ Paternal? Maternal? Not sure what "faternal" is. Mexican is no more an ethnicity than Canadian is. Mexican ancestry can be Native North American, Native South American, Southern European, Central European, and probably a few others. Of course the poster didn't indicate what did show up in his brother's DNA.

✿ No German in my results and my mother was 100% German......what gives??? Not real excited about the results I received!!!
✿ I was surprise that it did not show my German roots (I have 2 German grandmothers from German parents and one was born in Germany) but I have found some connections on both side of the family. I'm not sure I trust the results for my ethnic results, but I have made some connections
✿ skipped the French side of my family, showed british isles 96%, but I do know for a fact, my Great Grandfather was 100% french, I was a bit disappointed...
✿ What this sounds like to me: My [parent or fairly recent ancestor] was from Connecticut. Why don't I have Connecticut in my results?

✿ Not so good, 5th-9th cousins, really? Haven't found a single connection this way. Have done far better by jousting using Facebook. Bucking for a refund or something, if this doesn't improve. Disappointing at best.
✿ I was very disappointed. It didn't list any British or German ancestry, even though that's where all of my family came from. It showed 23% southern European and 6% Caucasian/Persian even though I couldn't find anybody from those areas. I also don't like the fact that of all the matches I only had one that was 3rd or 4th cousins. I tried to contact them but they didn't reply. Most matches are 5th cousins or more.
✿ Why can't Ancestry force more of my 3rd and 4th cousins to take the test? And why didn't my results match my tree?

✿ I was not happy with mine. It showed everything I already knew and nothing I needed to know.Anyone looking at my tree could have given me the same results.
✿ Things reported on my DNA results could probably been found from reading my family tree. I'm disappointed.
✿ I got nothing except what I gave them on my family tree plus they threw in 33% British Iles although my ancestors never saw that place ever. The 5-8th cousins sent reveal NOTHING. Not even close. I expected some kind of DNA test results not my family tree reguratated badly. This is worthless.
✿ The results didn't tell me anything. I feel like Ancestry.com just pulled information from my existing family tree and told me information I already knew. I wish it was more detailed, instead of just giving me continents as my DNA results.
✿  How dare my results match my research?!!? Will someone who believes Ancestry just used your tree to determine your DNA results please tell me where Ancestry got results for those with no tree?

✿ I was disappointed in the broadness and inaccuracy of the results. My maternal side is almost entirely German, but no indication of this on my results. Honestly seems as though the information was actually taken from my tree.
✿ Your maternal side is missing from your results and the results were taken from your tree. Which is it?

UNCERTAIN

✿ I also didn't like the 3% unknown factor. Unknown? What is that? Am I 3% alien or something?
✿ I was VERY surprised at the results: 49% Scandinavian, 34% British Isles, 14% Eastern European, and 3% "uncertain." Does that mean that 3% of me isn't in your data base? Alien perhaps?
✿ I was no tsurprised at the 60% British Isle, nor the 19% Europe. The 16% Finnish, Volga , Aral was a big surprize....Gotta find that! the 5% undertermined I figured it sthe Native American...bu tone of my daughters said, "Aliens!!! We're five percent Aliens!"" :-)
✿ I'm 2% unknown - not saying it was aliens - but it was aliens
✿ This has become a running joke. Being a BSG fan and a Capricorn I'm gonna go with Caprican. My 9% unknown is Caprican. So say we all!

✿ I wish that when results are shown as uncertain, ancestry.com would tell us what that uncertainty points to. My DNA gave a specific breakdown of four ethnicities. My mother's showed only two, plus an "uncertain." I would love to know if her uncertain matched one of my other ethnicities. The results could say something like, "Your results indicate a possible link to Central Europe, but the sample was not specific enough to say for sure." At least that would help us rule certain things in or out.
✿ Has not helped me at all, 7% unknown will it ever show the 7% unknown.
✿ My husband had 7% "unknown" what in the world does that mean?????
✿ Instead of "DNA will solve everything" now it's "the unknown percentage will solve everything." I'm sure if they had no uncertain percentage they would be completely satisfied with the test. Here's the official Ancestry answer which shows when you hover over "Uncertain" on the full results page:
If you have "Uncertain" in your genetic ethnicity results, this means that small traces of a specific genetic population may have been found in your DNA, but the probability levels were too low to pinpoint it to a specific ethnicity. This is not uncommon, and as more genetic signatures are discovered with a higher confidence level, we may be able to update this "uncertain" percentage of your ethnicity over time.

After the jump:  The Native American Dream, Engraved Invitation on a Silver Platter, You Took a Different Test, and Success Stories.

11 March 2013

DNA Will Solve Everything - Part 3

Ancestry.com's Facebook posts about their new DNA test have changed from "what do you hope to find" to "tell us about your DNA experience." The comments are no less annoying than when I wrote parts 1 and 2. I'm sure it's no surprise that the most vocal are those who are unhappy with the test and/or with their results. Most of those are people who had unrealistic expectations to begin with. One example:
I did the Ancestry DNA test. The results came back giving me all the info I already knew and "coordinating" it with my ancestry tree. But where I was hoping to find the dead ends, it gave me 7% unknown. So basically it looked like they took the info from my tree and said this is what you are. I was hoping it would pinpoint an area in Norway, or a Indian Tribe, or where is Germany. But nothing like that.
When I read those types of comments this is what goes through my head:
I read nothing about this test but I assumed it would tell me what street my great-grandfather lived on in Ireland, which Native American tribe the wife of my 4th cousin 2x removed belonged to and the names of all my ancestors back to Adam and Eve. DNA is labeled with names isn't it? And you're digging up Charlemagne and every royal and every famous person ever and putting their DNA in the database right? I didn't get answers to any of my completely unrealistic assumptions so this test sucks.
On most of the DNA threads there are always a few people who are pretty knowledgeable about the AncestryDNA test and about DNA in general. They try to answer as many questions as they can. It's usually easy to find them since they comment multiple times on a single thread. Then there's those who think they know something about DNA. Sigh.
The AncestryDNA test will not help you find family. It does not look at your mtDNA if you are a female or the Y-DNA lines if you are male. THAT"S where you will find your lines. I'm 72% Scandinavian, and Ancestry is matching me with others who have a lot of Scandinavian. How many millions of Scandinavian people are there in the world? Your basic, deep ethnicity is very random, depending on what you inherited from each parent, and what they inherited from each of their parents, and so on. I would love to see the results for two NON-identical twin sisters (who will match each other identically in their mtDNA) to take this AncestryDNA test and then get the results. I bet they will not be identical. I NEVER see Ancestry acknowledging any of this, or answering questions about how they are matching people other than some similarities in trees or the percentage of a certain ethnicity.
[same person, different thread]
Sorry- the ethnicity test is really worthless in finding family. It will only tell you what your ethnicity is. I'm 70% scandinavian, that doesn't help me find my maternal or paternal lines. You will ONLY find family through taking a mtDNA (women) or a Y-DNA (male).
Ancestry, you need to do a better job in explaining what the AncestryDNA test (the autosomal one) really is, that it determines ethnicity and is not a real tool for determining shared family like the mtDNA and Y-DNA tests do. Too many people are led to believe this test will "find family". Two sisters who share identical mtDNA (through their maternal line) can STILL be different in their ETHNICITY based on what combination or mix each inherited from the same mother and father.
"Ancestry, you need to do a better job in explaining what the AncestryDNA test..." I think this person needs to do a better job at reading comprehension. Relationship matches are not based solely on a match in ethnicity. If I were matched with everyone I share an ethnicity with - Scandinavian, Native North American, British Isles, Native South American and Persian/Turkish/Caucasus - I'd probably have a few thousand pages of matches instead of just 43 pages. My parents have plenty of matches that don't share a single ethnicity with them.
If you're looking at your tree in a pedigree or fan view Y-DNA analyses only the uppermost line: your father, his father, his father, etc.. mtDNA looks at the bottom most line: your mother, her mother, her mother, etc.. Even if you do both of those tests all the lines in between are ignored. Autosomal looks at your entire genetic make-up.
My great-grandmother's parents immigrated from Sweden. She had two daughters, my grandfather's sisters. Neither of them had daughters. There is no one left to test unless I track down a female descendant of her sister's (and then only a daughter of one of her daughters). But with the autosomal test if any of her DNA filtered down to me it was included in the test.
Click here and scroll down a little to see a chart. The filled in blue and filled in gray show the lines that Y-DNA (blue) and mtDNA (gray) tests analyze. The open blue and gray show the lines that are ignored. Autosomal includes any and all lines that you inherited DNA from, though it doesn't tell you which lines those are. I didn't plan on going into this but the above comments just grated on my nerves! Hopefully no one will take her word as fact.
Back to the topic. I've compiled some of the most um,...interesting comments from the DNA threads for this post. The craziness was too much for one post so it will overflow into Wednesday's post as well. As always the comments are cut and pasted. My comments are in red and most should be read with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

WARNING: Comments after the jump may drive you to drink. Do not drink while reading. BUWT is not responsible for any damage done to your computer if you do not take this advice.

08 March 2013

Photo Friday: Double Helix

This seems to be the most popular DNA photo on Ancestry.com.
Or maybe it just seems popular because it was uploaded
1916 times to a single tree.
One THOUSAND nine hundred and sixteen times!
Of course each photo is only attached to one profile.
If you think I'm going to count how many other trees they have
all been saved to you're crazy.
Oh, and some of the profiles it's attached to have B.C. dates.
Ugh!


If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.


PREVIOUS POST: AncestryDNA Site Tools
NEXT POST: DNA Will Solve Everything - Part 3


06 March 2013

AncestryDNA Site Tools

The DNA site is still in the BETA phase. If you think of something that can be improved or a feature that you'd like added be sure to use the feedback button on your DNA page. Hopefully they'll add features that many people have asked for. A surname search, a username search, the ability to find common matches with another user, and the ability to find matches that match each other are just a few suggestions I've made.

Top right: Feedback button
Bottom left: Full Results button

Here's a look at the features as they are today...

FULL RESULTS

Of course the pie chart is the most obvious part of the results. Under the chart you'll see a "Full Results" button. On the full results page there are tabs for each ethnicity where you'll find out information about each ethnicity in your results including: Modern Day Location, About Your Region, Migrations into this region, and Migrations from this region. To the right of that is a list of your closest matches with that ethnicity in their results.

If you have more than four regions in your results the page is esthetically unappealing but the function is there.
In the "About Your Region" section you may find some helpful information but you will need to get past pointless filler statements like, "This is where Shakespeare wrote his plays and poems. It's home to the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood." In what way is that is helpful?

PEDIGREE AND SURNAMES

The 10-generation tree is probably the first thing you'll look at on your match's profile. If the tree is public you'll see the tree and on the left side of the page will be a list of surnames from their direct line. If you share surnames there will be a a separate list of those above the surname list.

This does not mean you are related through those surnames. This is not a "You are Related Here" sign but rather a "You May Want to Look Here First" sign. The common surnames are hints. If you click on a surname in that box you'll see, side by side, lists of people with that surname from your tree and your match's tree. The lists will only include people in the direct lines.
You should also look through the complete surname list below the box. The matches in the "shared surnames" box are exact matches only. While your great-great-grandmother might have been a Smith one of her brothers may have decided to use Smyth.

MAP AND LOCATIONS

The shaky leaf shows on the map.

The further back you go in time the less likely it is your family moved around a lot. Many families stayed in one place for decades. Because of that you may be able to find family connections if you find a relative of your match living in the same place at the same time as one of your ancestors.
In the case above the match has a shaky leaf hint. That shows on the map. Even if there wasn't a shaky leaf hint there would still be other hints. I could look at the "shared birth locations" on the left or the green markers on the map to try and find some common ground. Literally.
Just like the surname box you can click on a location in the "shared birth locations" box and see a list of people with that birth location from both trees.

NOTES

Surnames, maps and hints are only viewable by opening up the profile page. Notes on the other hand can be viewed on the results page by hovering over the note icon. The note will show only after you've written a note.
I can only tell you how I use notes. You may find other uses. When I've determined where the link is I put that in a note along with my relationship to the match. For those I haven't figured out I write a list of surnames in the note. Surnames that match those in my tree and surnames that I've seen on the trees of other matches. Then I can view the notes and open, in a new window, only those matches with a certain surname so I can compare their trees.
I haven't used the map feature yet, except to see how it functions. I will probably add any location details that I think are important to the notes as well.

Top arrow: Send message button
Bottom arrow: Add a note here

MESSAGES

Use the "send message" button on the match profile and a link to your match profile will be included in the message so the person you're messaging won't need to sift through their matches to find you. This link will not appear if you message them from their main Ancestry.com profile or from their tree.

After the jump, the various sorting options for your matches.

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.

01 March 2013

Photo Friday: DNA Fantasy

On a positive note this tree owner encourages everyone to only upload a photo only once, attaching multiple people to it. I'm all for less pollution. Unfortunately her tree is filled with fantasy photos. I'm biting my tongue in regards to the name of the website in the description.

Title: Evolution of DNA
Description: Free Fantasy Pictures. 
Digital Art Photos http://www.feebleminds-gifs.com/free-pictures.html 
[Note: Website now shows a 404 error message.]
Attached to: Various men and women born in France, French Canada and "Scottland" between 1600 and 1793 in this tree and profiles on 6 other trees.


If you have a photo to suggest please send a link to buwtree(at)gmail(dot)com.