Friday, October 9, 2015
Using Segment Data In Evidence Citation
Yesterday the need for segment information was discussed at the Facebook ISOGG group, and also brought up by a Kapple DNA match. Many people say triangulation isn't working for them so the fact Ancestry doesn't provide segment information doesn't affect them. Since we all can agree that we can't accept undocumented facts and add them to our trees without substantiation, we should also agree we can't accept a DNA match without the segment information to provide evidence that we really do match, and where on the chromosome we share DNA. This is a form of citation and documentation. I appreciate Ancestry for the hints their DNA product provides, and the resulting collaboration. Occasionally I have been able to persuade matches to upload to GEDmatch from Ancestry. Ancestry isn't required to provide this information. If, and when, they do it will have to be done through permission from both parties agreeing to share segment info. This isn't an ideal situation, but more people would agree to share if they could just click a button and do it. I've had problems downloading the raw data file at times. This feature is sometimes down. It would be so much easier if you could just share the segment info at Ancestry. Ancestry isn't a strictly DNA company. As many have said most users wouldn't know what to do with the segment information if they had. This may be true now, but I believe many will have their curiosity piqued and eventually would use this information.
Thinking further about the importance of segment information as supporting evidence I feel I need to add the exact segment information to the ancestors the segments likely correspond with. I will add the AncestryDNA info to my genealogy software too, but I can only say that Ancestry predicts such and such relationship, but no supporting chromosome information is available. Saying "Ancestry says" isn't the best supporting evidence, unfortunately.
I've decided to add the segment information to notes. I noticed you can add Y and MtDNA information at Rootsmagic. I don't see a way to add segment info? I don't have the most recent version of the software. Maybe more recent versions have more options for adding DNA info? Somehow all of this DNA information needs to be integrated with the rest of my evidence.
We need substantive information from DNA testing companies in order to get the most out of our tests. We need substance so we can more confidently collaborate with our matches. We need segment information if we want to use DNA testing results as serious supportive evidence.