Author Topic: Strange results at My Heritage?  (Read 604 times)

Offline Eric Hatfield

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Strange results at My Heritage?
« on: Friday 04 January 19 21:17 GMT (UK) »
I have uploaded FTDNA results to My Heritage for myself, my aunt, my wife and my mother-in-law. There is no known endogamy or cousin marriages between my wife's family and mine, and our families come from different parts of the UK (hers from Scotland and southwest England, mine from Ireland and Yorkshire). So you wouldn't expect there to be any matches between her side of the family and mine.

But recently I learned of an interesting My Heritage feature, where I can select for those who are both DNA matches ad Family tree "Smart matches". I was trying this out, and I found someone here in Australia who apparently matches all four of us, as follows:

Me: 54.5 cM
My aunt: 63.1 cM
My wife: 10.7 cM
My mother-in-law: 19.2 cM

I am struggling to explain this except as a mistake. The match with my family is quite strong, while the match with my wife's is much weaker, but 10.7 and 19.2 hardly seem like matches that would be found in a whole population.

Has anyone got an explanation please, or have had a similar experience?

Thanks.

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Offline sugarfizzle

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 05 January 19 04:59 GMT (UK) »
Eric, I tried this out as well when I heard of it recently. Not the same experience as yours, will be interested to see if any one else has.

I thought I must have been looking at my matches, whereas in fact I was looking at my husband's.

Two Smart Match of his were flagged because they had the same Steer line in their tree, my maiden name, but not as direct ancestors.

He is also a Smart Match with descendants of one of our son in law's ancestors. Conceivably, if s-i-l were tested, he would also match this person. But they do at least have common ancestry from Yorkshire, there is bound to be a bit of an overlap.

Basically, the Smart Match will identify if you have the same person in your tree, but not necessarily that you or your match are descended from them. Out of 5 Smart DNA Matches, I have been unable to positively connect to any of them.

So, not the same situation as yours, but highlighting some problems with Smart DNA Matches.

I'll be interested to see how yours turns out. I would hesitate before calling it a mistake, there should be another explanation. Does she actually on paper descend from the same family line as any of you?

Regards Margaret

Modified

Have just checked my own Smart Matches, 3 of them. The first two are valid, relating to a family where there are a lot of descendants who have had DNA testing. 

The third one is a Smart Match with my son in law's family again, from Yorkshire, though not as direct ancestor of the match.

All of my family were from London and South of England.

(No offence to Northerners, I am now a fully paid up member living in Cheshire).

Regards Margaret
STEER, mainly Surrey, Kent; PINNOCKS/HAINES, Gosport, Hants; BARKER, mainly Broadwater, Sussex; Gosport, Hampshire; LAVERSUCH, Micheldever, Hampshire; WESTALL, London, Reading, Berks; HYDE, Croydon, Surrey; BRIGDEN, Hadlow, Kent and London; TUTHILL/STEPHENS, London
WILKINSON, Leeds, Yorkshire and Liverpool; WILLIAMSON, Liverpool; BEARE, Yeovil, Somerset; ALLEN, Kent and London; GORST, Liverpool; HOYLE, mainly Leeds, Yorkshire

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.go

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Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 05 January 19 06:23 GMT (UK) »
Yes, the Smart Matches side of this is a little doubtful. In my case, I have only one family tree and it is for my side of the family, doesn't include my wife or mother-in-law, so it uses my tree for their smart matches, which isn't smart. If there was some way I could say they had no tree, I'd do that, but I can't find any. Of course, all this is because I am not subscribed, just using their free service. I am thinking of subscribing for a while and putting more than one tree on their, which would remove this problem, but when my subscription finished I'm not sure what would happen to me second tree as the combined number of people would be well over 250. So I think there are issues with all that if I don't stay subscribed, but who can afford to stay permanently subscribed to one of these services?

But I accept all that. And I can see that the process we are discussing isn't the source of the problem. I can find these same matches if I search hard enough in the straight DNA matches. So now I should restate the problem.

I have found someone who is supposedly a match to both sides of my family - myself and my aunt are more strongly related to the match while my wife and mother-in-law are weakly related. You expect this if the people came from the same area, but I don't know of any in the time frame we are expecting.

If this isn't a mistake, which I guess you are right that it isn't, then there must be some connection way back between both sides of my family, unlikely as that appears (since they come from different parts of the UK).

I think what I should be reading up on is how much DNA may be in common between people who are not related within a reasonable number of generations, and the "match" comes from way way back when virtually everyone is related.

Offline sugarfizzle

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 05 January 19 08:01 GMT (UK) »
Eric.
As for your main question, I did say that mine was not the same experience as yours, for which I have no answer.  But how did you find out that they matched all of you? If I look at my husband's results they are completely separate from mine. Or did you take notes and cross check?

The match with your wife's mother would nearly count as 4th to 6th cousin at ancestry, so not insignificant.

Do your aunt and your mother-in-law show as matches of any sort? For a true match all 5 of you should match each other as well as this Australian match, I would have thought.

One way round your tree problem, upload a gedcom.

I did this some time ago. I get reminders every so often that my tree exceeds the limit and even one phone call from them (I asked how they got my phone number as I had not given it to them, but the caller was unwilling or unable to tell me).

Regards Margaret



STEER, mainly Surrey, Kent; PINNOCKS/HAINES, Gosport, Hants; BARKER, mainly Broadwater, Sussex; Gosport, Hampshire; LAVERSUCH, Micheldever, Hampshire; WESTALL, London, Reading, Berks; HYDE, Croydon, Surrey; BRIGDEN, Hadlow, Kent and London; TUTHILL/STEPHENS, London
WILKINSON, Leeds, Yorkshire and Liverpool; WILLIAMSON, Liverpool; BEARE, Yeovil, Somerset; ALLEN, Kent and London; GORST, Liverpool; HOYLE, mainly Leeds, Yorkshire

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.go

Offline sugarfizzle

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 05 January 19 08:55 GMT (UK) »
A thought.

Are you looking at this from the wrong view point?

Wife's family from Scotland and southwest England, yours from Ireland and Yorkshire. No known connection.

Australian match has family from Ireland and Yorkshire, probably, as she had same names and places on her tree.

Has she also got ancestry from Scotland and SW England?  Is it her family where there is the dual connection?

Regards Margaret
STEER, mainly Surrey, Kent; PINNOCKS/HAINES, Gosport, Hants; BARKER, mainly Broadwater, Sussex; Gosport, Hampshire; LAVERSUCH, Micheldever, Hampshire; WESTALL, London, Reading, Berks; HYDE, Croydon, Surrey; BRIGDEN, Hadlow, Kent and London; TUTHILL/STEPHENS, London
WILKINSON, Leeds, Yorkshire and Liverpool; WILLIAMSON, Liverpool; BEARE, Yeovil, Somerset; ALLEN, Kent and London; GORST, Liverpool; HOYLE, mainly Leeds, Yorkshire

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.go

Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 05 January 19 09:39 GMT (UK) »
Hi Margaret, thanks for your replies.

Quote
But how did you find out that they matched all of you? If I look at my husband's results they are completely separate from mine. Or did you take notes and cross check?

Each of the four of us have between 4000 and 8000 matches (500-800 pages), so these matches with the same person (I'll call them 'A') were on the first page for my aunt and I, but buried down deep in the pages for my wife and mother-in-law. So I noticed the matches for my aunt and I, but not for the others.

When I tried the filter of "also having smart matches in my tree", the match for A showed up for me, which excited me, but when I checked the smart match, it was for my grandmother's adoptive parents, who shouldn't be related to me, unless she was adopted because she was born to a family member, perhaps even her adoptive father.

This was a lead I was very interested in, so I checked the match between my aunt and A, and they matched as well, which bothered me because she isn't (as far as I know) related to my grandmother at all. So then I did the filtered match with my wife and mother-in-law, and A showed up again because My Heritage associates my tree with them too, even though they don't appear on my tree.

So I only found that all four match A because of using the filtering, because the filtering only shows a few DNA matches who are also (supposedly) smart matches, and it is easy to check each one.

So I have used the chromosome browser, and found that my aunt, A and I share a decent segment (25cM), while my wife and my mother-in-law share a smaller and different segment with A. My aunt and I have no matches with my wife or mother-in-law. So A is supposedly connected differently with each side of the family.

So it is quite confusing (to me, at any rate).  I suppose there must always be possibilities of very distant connections between families we don't think are related.

Quote
One way round your tree problem, upload a gedcom.

I don't know how this works. I have stripped back my tree to 225 so I can fit with the Basic Plan, and as far as I know I can only have 250 people before I need to subscribe.

Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 05 January 19 09:43 GMT (UK) »
 
Quote
Is it her family where there is the dual connection?

If the results are genuine, then A and my wife & mother-in-law must have a common ancestor many generations back (say something more than 6 or 8), while A has a common ancestor with my aunt and I only a few generations ago. I guess that isn't impossible, maybe not even uncommon, but it just seemed like a coincidence that I was suspicious of.

Offline sugarfizzle

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 05 January 19 11:17 GMT (UK) »
Eric

"Quote
One way round your tree problem, upload a gedcom.

I don't know how this works. I have stripped back my tree to 225 so I can fit with the Basic Plan, and as far as I know I can only have 250 people before I need to subscribe."

Eric, Here is how to upload a gedcom to myheritage -

https://faq.myheritage.com/Family-Site/Import-Export-GEDCOM-online/951696821/How-do-I-import-a-GEDCOM-file-to-my-family-site-on-MyHeritage.htm

However large the gedcom is, it will accept it. As I said, I get reminders that my tree exceeds the limit, inviting me to upgrade. So far, I haven't done so and would trim it down if required to do so.

Regards Margaret
STEER, mainly Surrey, Kent; PINNOCKS/HAINES, Gosport, Hants; BARKER, mainly Broadwater, Sussex; Gosport, Hampshire; LAVERSUCH, Micheldever, Hampshire; WESTALL, London, Reading, Berks; HYDE, Croydon, Surrey; BRIGDEN, Hadlow, Kent and London; TUTHILL/STEPHENS, London
WILKINSON, Leeds, Yorkshire and Liverpool; WILLIAMSON, Liverpool; BEARE, Yeovil, Somerset; ALLEN, Kent and London; GORST, Liverpool; HOYLE, mainly Leeds, Yorkshire

Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.go

Offline Eric Hatfield

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Re: Strange results at My Heritage?
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 05 January 19 12:03 GMT (UK) »
OK, that make sense (although it is strange My Heritage allows that loophole). Thanks.