Thursday, April 2, 2015

New AncestryDNA Circles: You Need A BIG tree!

No you just found some new in-laws for us

For everyone who thought DNA would eliminate the need for old fashioned family tree research the new Circles rolled out today at AncestryDNA would seem to dash that hope. DNA provides hints, but as someone reminded me recently digging through records at courthouses etc. is the only way to confirm a relationship. Today Ancestry finally rolled out DNA only Circle matches. Before only those with a tree plus segments matches were included in the Circles. 

I was initially excited when checking my Mom's DNA Circles because she had a new couple with Campbell in their descendants' trees. Doing more research I discovered the verified ancestral match was most likely on our Wray line. The new Circles require checking the trees of each person in the Circle to establish the connection. When I did that I noticed that a descendant in the Wray line married into the new couple line. I found this fact in two trees provided by Circle matches. The others did not have large enough trees. We are not blood relatives of this couple as far as I know at this time. It's possible we are related to the descendants of the line through both Campbell and Wray? However that still would mean we aren't descended from the couple presented to us in the Circles. My Mom is an Extremely High confidence match with some of the descendants of this heretofore unknown couple. It appears everyone in the Circle is descended from ancestors who migrated to Texas. None of my ancestors settled in Texas, our connection would have to be earlier, before the 1820's.

This tool is supposedly designed to help those who haven't put together any family tree, or have a very small tree. I don't see this helping them very much. They will need to build out a tree to establish a connection. If they concentrate on some of these couples they may become frustrated because some are just in-laws.

I have no new Circles with the change. Both my Mom and I belong in other Circles based on DNA and our Family Trees because a cousin has those Circles, and we actually match several people in the cousin's Circles. My cousins who had no Circles now have a few. I'm not sure if they are blood relatives of theirs or just in-laws?

The new addition to the Circles is called "Ancestor Discoveries." Should be called relative discoveries, since none of our new couple matches are actually ancestors, as far as I know? Three of my Mom's discoveries are in-laws, and one would be a many times great-aunt.

Ancestry discoveries are also provided to those with private trees.

I don't see a confidence level for the DNA only matches?

Now that I've broken down part of my Owens brickwall I do know that DNA was leading me to the correct branch of my Owens line. Our family was perfectly matching the correct branch on the Y test. The autosomal tests confirmed we have no breaks in our Owens line for we female descendants.

I'll check the Campbell lines shared by my Mom's matches. Not sure if that will go anywhere?

No easy way out with DNA. You still need a BIG tree!