Saturday, January 10, 2015

Genealogy Update: Sticking with the Basics

An Ancestry.com subscription isn't required to see one's Ancestry DNA ethnicity results, but it is require to view DNA connections. Such connections are made based on DNA, not surnames. When I started all this, not knowing how it works, I purposely did not fill out a family tree. I didn't know if such information would bias results. It doesn't. I have over 300 DNA connections in Ancestry's database and several of those individuals have yet to fill out a tree as well.

While connections are based on DNA, a tree filled with surnames is necessary to see how we're related. Curiosity got the best of me, as I'm sure Ancestry knew it would. I signed up on a month-to-month basis and began filling out my family tree. Public records began popping up everywhere, and it wasn't long before I had generations of direct ancestors and their siblings on the tree, along with my husband, his direct ancestors, and their siblings.

So I was surprised when only four of my DNA connections came up with shared surnames. Yesterday, I did myself a favor by deleting the entire tree and starting again with only my direct ancestors. Without the competition of all those siblings, more hints relative to my direct line popped up. I found more names in my ancestry than I had before, and I was able to record more of my history.

Now, relationships with nineteen of my DNA connections have been established. More are forthcoming as I work out a puzzle in my ancestry and fill out even more info. It's exciting, and once again, I'm hooked. Well played, Ancestry.com. Well played.

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