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Messages - Eric Hatfield

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Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: where to start??
« on: Sunday 06 May 18 23:04 BST (UK)  »
I feel quite the opposite to you David. It isn't always easy to find the information we want, and not always easy to understand. I have been helped many times by posting on this and other genealogical forums (and also computer forums), for which I am very thankful. We all have different abilities and interests, and we can all generally help someone else and be helped by someone else.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: where to start??
« on: Sunday 06 May 18 09:46 BST (UK)  »
Did he really say that? I have read his reply and didn't see that.
I have heard (I think on the DNAeXplained blog that a transfer from Ancestry to FTDNA doesn't give as good results as a FTDNA test for 2 reasons - Ancestry doesn't test as many locations (or the same locations, and FTDNA only shows higher level matches because it says other results would be misleading. That's my recollection of what was said.

Also I was surprised by his advice to test with ftDNA AND MyHeritage as I thought it was the ftDNA labs that carried out the MyHeritage tests
Yes, I'm surprised by that advice too. I think I may have meant to test with Ancestry and My Heritage and upload to FTDNA, but I typed the wrong company in. Thanks for picking that up.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: where to start??
« on: Sunday 06 May 18 08:50 BST (UK)  »
Hi Jaybeinz,

I think previous comments and the reply from Margaret should all be helpful. My extra thought is to suggest you make sure you are clear about what you want out of DNA testing. There are many different things people want, for example:
  • a better picture of their ethnicity
  • it might be interesting - maybe it will help with some parts of their tree
  • an adoptee wants to find one or both birth parents
  • they want to see if they and someone they know with the same name are really related
I feel that thinking this through is helpful, because sometimes the choice of test and company may depend on your aims.
  • For example, FTDNA does three different types of test, and two of them are generally not so useful for family history, but in some cases they can be extremely useful.
  • If it is really important to a person to find something out (e.g. with adoptees), they will likely want to test with as many companies as they can to increase their chances of getting that important match.
So I haven't answered your question, and I hope I haven't confused you more. But if you wanted to discuss your aims a little more, I'm sure people here could help you in your choice.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Ancestry DNA Circles
« on: Tuesday 24 April 18 23:36 BST (UK)  »
I didn't find DNA circles at all useful - only one circle of 4 people, all of whom were known to me, and obvious. I couldn't see the value in them, but I readily admit to not understanding them very well. (I use past tense because I am not currently subscribed to Ancestry, so I don't see that one circle at all just now.)

I suspect I have limited results from this because I live in Australia, but my ancestors were from UK and Ireland several generations back, and only a limited number of ancestors migrated to Australia, and a very much more limited number in Australia have tested. Americans seem to have tested far more, have many more generations in their country and thus have many more close matches.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: MyHeritage DNA
« on: Tuesday 24 April 18 23:26 BST (UK)  »
This is a useful discussion, thanks everyone. I didn't know before how to get around the 250 limit on the tree (thanks Margaret), and the discussion has helped me see that I'm not using My Heritage enough.

I uploaded my FTDNA results there, so now I have my DNA at Ancestry, FTDNA, My Heritage, Gedmatch, DNA Land and Geni. My difficulty is that I don't always remember all these sites, I don't always check them regularly, and I don't have much familiarity with some of them - we can sometimes have too much information for our brains!

So thanks for the incentive to spend more time at My Heritage.

Hi S128,

You will find many different opinions on this, so I might as well add mine. I find myself somewhere between the negative views of davidft and the positive views of brigidmac.

I agree with David that Ancestry oversells the value of the ethnicity testing, but I still think it tells us something interesting and sometimes useful. The areas are a little arbitrary and overlapping, but that is because populations (and DNA) vary gradually, and do not exist in tight well-defined blocs. The reference populations may be small or arbitrary in some cases, but that are still useful information. The percentages do keep varying, so we shouldn't set too much store on the exact numbers, but they still give us a general picture.

I think one of the difficulties is timeframe. If, as is often the case, our ancestors moved around a bit - whether a long time ago or more recently due to war and persecution - then we may have near ancestors in UK, older ancestors in Germany and ancient ancestors in an arc across Europe from Turkey to Scandinavia (as is my case, revealed through mtDNA testing). The autosomal test will reveal relatively recent ancestry, but that may still be varied if we go back more than a few generations.

The reference populations will include this sort of variation, hence the fuzziness of the areas and estimates, and the differences between the different companies. I have ethnicity estimates from Ancestry, FTDNA and Gedmatch (which has many different estimates) and they are all different, but there is a reasonable commonality too. I haven't yet found ethnicity useful in developing my family tree, but I don't think it will always be irrelevant, especially as more and more people test and reference populations get larger and better defined.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Ancestry DNA Results Filtering
« on: Saturday 24 March 18 10:49 GMT (UK)  »
I too would like to be able search and sort my Ancestry match data. I think the only way to do it is the download the data to a spreadsheet, which (if you are familiar with spreadsheets) can help in manipulating the data. Then, if the database contains a field for whether the match has a tree (which I think it must because that information is listed on each match's page), you can sort to find those that do and don't have trees.

Trouble is, Ancestry doesn't seem to provide a download facility, for reasons that I'm not aware of. FTDNA does it, so why not Ancestry? But a couple of third party tools do allow this.

1. AncestryDNA Helper is a free Chrome extension that allows you to download the match list, so you can open it in a spreadsheet. I haven't tried it because the Mac version isn't working at the moment, but it apparently works fine on a PC. Instructions are here.

2. DNA gedcom is another way to download though, again, I haven't tried it yet. There is a price to use it for a month or a year.

Hopefully one of these might do the trick for you.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Size of DNA data bases
« on: Friday 09 March 18 00:32 GMT (UK)  »
Removed because I got it wrong. Sorry.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Size of DNA data bases
« on: Wednesday 07 March 18 10:37 GMT (UK)  »
Not quite true.  Yes, it would be rare for a person not to inherit any DNA from an ancestor five generations back (a gtgtgt-grandparent).  But just because you inherit DNA from an ancestor doesn't mean your fourth cousin who descends from the same couple will have inherited the same DNA from them that you have.
Hi Hurworth, yes you are right. My first statement was  correct, but only a percentage of 4th cousins will match. I mentioned some of the percentages before, and your reference provides them too. Thanks for the correction.

My point was that while we miss some matches, we also get plenty, which is better than nothing. (It's a bit like paper records. Some church records for example have been lost, some are still available, but that doesn't stop us using what we can find.)

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