Author Topic: Help!!!  (Read 296 times)

Offline hols92

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Help!!!
« on: Thursday 16 March 23 15:03 GMT (UK) »
Hi everyone, I have hit a couple of stumbling blocks when looking at DNA connections.

I have my Fathers DNA registered with Ancestry and currently in process of submission of the same with My Heritage but it takes a few days to a week to load in.

Initially, I was successful in tracing a 362 centimorgan link to a 2nd Cousin of my Father whereby they shared the same Great Grandmother as their Grandmothers were sisters.

However, I have since found 2 more DNA connections that I am unable to link into my family tree so easily.

I have found a connection to my Father with over 514 cms also related to his 2nd Cousin (above) with their child sharing 353 cms with my Father therefore narrowing down that the connection is through my Fathers Grandmothers Maiden Family.

Logic would suggest to me that based on the amount of shared DNA, the person with 353 cms would stand in a similar branch to my Fathers 2nd Cousin and the 514 cms is going to be a strand closer in relation. Though I cannot for the best of me ascertain this link into the family tree.

I have information of their family tree and obviously my own but cannot find the crossover.

Furthermore, I have another DNA connection of my Father, who shares 450cms with him but i am faced with the same issue except that there is an added dilemma, not only can I not fathom the trace between familys but this connection shares a Grandfather with the same first and surname as my own but they are different people! What are the chances!

Disclaimer: Neither of the DNA connections are knowledgable of the connection themselves.

I just wondered if anyone has been in a similar situation with being able to create two separate family trees with an apparent share of DNA without any way to merge them? And if so, did you find a solution to this?

Any help, advice, or guidance will be greatly appreciated as I am banging my head up against a genealogical brick wall right now!!

Thanks in advance!

Offline phil57

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Re: Help!!!
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 16 March 23 16:31 GMT (UK) »
Don't take other people's trees at face value. You need to rigorously investigate them to verify the information they contain with the same level of certainty that you have presumably applied to your own. People make genuine and honest mistakes. They make assumptions. Some also copy other peoples' trees or branches thereof in bulk without checking and verifying the information they add to their own trees.

Two people with the same name at a location where you might reasonably expect a common ancestor could suggest that one or the other of you might have made a misidentification. I've just spent a few hours looking at a My Heritage smart match I was notified about this morning. The other tree owner's family goes back to a man with the same name as my Gx3 GF, and he is shown as the husband of my Gx3 GM, but he was born 2 years earlier than my Gx3 GF, to different parents. I have been checking my tree and doing my own research on the associated people in the "matching" tree this morning, with an open mind. But the evidence I already have, including numerous DNA matches, and the information I have found in parish registers, censuses and other records for the family line of the namesake in the other tree have confirmed to me that the owner has misidentified the man - one of three men including my Gx3 GF having the exact same name and born within 6 years of each other in two adjoining villages.

DNA match lengths can vary greatly for most relationships. The Shared cM probability tool at DNApainter.com illustrates the range of match lengths that can apply to different relationships. All that sites such as Ancestry are doing when they say that a match is 2nd cousin, 3rd cousin or whatever are giving you a hint as to the most probably relationship between you based on the length of the match. But it is a hint, often the most likely of a number of possible ways in which two peole with the same length of match could be related, as the DNA Painter tool will show you if you enter the cM length into it and look at the results. The other relationship possibilities are just as valid, and whilst the most probable relationship makes it the most likely match, it doesn't follow that it will necessarily be the correct relationship for your match. Certain percentages of relationships at the same match length have to fall within the other probabilities, or they wouldn't exist!

So with every match you look at, it can be a slow and often painful process to work out the actual relationship. I am usually prepared to accept that my match probably knows the names and probably the year and place of birth of their own parents, perhaps even some or all of the same information for their grandparents. Armed with that information, if they are in the UK, you can usually start recreating and verifying their tree for yourself, in the same way that you would do, or have done, with your own ancestors.

I'm not suggesting that every or even most trees on Ancestry, FindMyPast etc. are wrong. There are a lot of good, well researched trees. but by verifying them - doing the research independently for yourself - you will confirm which are the good ones, and find the mistakes in others. If you don't, at some point sooner or later, you will get your fingers burned and you may not realise it until you have spent many more hours on research of your own before realising that you have gone down a wriong alley, need to unpick it all and start again.

It is also well worth researching your own tree to be as wide and deep as possible, certainly from the 1841 census and forward to as near the present as possible. So by that I mean researching the siblings of your grandparents, GGPs, Gx3GPs etc., their marriages, spouses and children, bringing each line forward to the present. With relatively high matches such as those you are dealing with, it is often then very quickly apparent how they fit with your family, as you will; find that you will often already have some of their ancestors already in your tree, their lineages confirmed.

I hope that all makes sense. DNA tests and matches give you information that can lead you towards certain probabilities, but other than parent and sibling relationships, they show you possibilities that can be filtered by degrees of probability to greater or lesser likelihoods of particular relationships, but you need to follow the paper trail through normal historic records to verify which is correct and confirm the match.
Stokes - London and Essex
Hodges - Somerset
Murden - Notts
Humphries/Humphreys from Montgomeryshire

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Help!!!
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 16 March 23 18:21 GMT (UK) »
Totally agree with Phil
Will add that it's quite common for cousins to share same first names and be of similar ages

Also if there are siblings marrying siblings in either line you will have stronger links to the descendants of

For example if your great grandad brother married your great grandma's sister

And other times there are first)second marriages that you or your match may not know about so for example your great grandmother.may have one surname in your tree and another in your matches tree if maiden name is unknown

Good luck unravelling this
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson

Offline Biggles50

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Re: Help!!!
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 16 March 23 22:43 GMT (UK) »
Great advice so far, totally agree with what has been said.

Your later comments about creating trees, I have a solution.

First go back a couple of years, I used to create a floating branch in my Ancestry tree based upon the DNA match, it turned out not to be a good idea as it is a nightmare to remove if what I created is wrong.

Solution is to create a totally new set of trees, one for each of the matches.

You can then buy and use Roots Magic where you create a new Project, select the Ancestry tree of the DNA match that you want to work on and it will copy it together with all the attached media into the software

Then you run all the Error Checking Tools and yes, there will be Errors in the Ancestry trees, no matter how careful you think you have been.  Run each of the database tools.

These tools will correct differing versions of place names, and add , or . Where there is questionable grammar.  Problem List will highlight, Residence before birth, burial before death etc, show duplicates, show unattached tree branches, ie oddity that can easily happen

Repeat the process with the other DNA matches tree.

Repeat again with your main tree.

Once you have finished the DNA matches trees with one open and your main tree open it is a case of selecting the Matches tree and dragging it into your main tree.  Error check, database check (tools available) then Tree Share back to Ancestry.

It is a far easier process than adding person by person to your Ancestry tree.

For a single highish cM match of mine I have built 7 tree versions to find a link, there are about 150 people born with his name from 1940 to 1990, he is proving very difficult to pinpoint.  Not helped by his lack of presence on DNA comparison websites.  I know from Shared Matches which line of my Great Grandparents his will probably link to, one day.


Offline hols92

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Re: Help!!!
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 18 March 23 00:21 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Everyone!

Can I ask, when having uploaded DNA to My Heritage? Is there any way to then link a DNA match to someone in my tree as the DNA match is predicting a different relationship than the person actually has and I wanted to amend that. Is that possible because I can't seem to find a button or link that I can click to do match the two and change the relationship.

Any help is very appreciated!!

Offline phil57

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Re: Help!!!
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 18 March 23 09:38 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Everyone!

Can I ask, when having uploaded DNA to My Heritage? Is there any way to then link a DNA match to someone in my tree as the DNA match is predicting a different relationship than the person actually has and I wanted to amend that. Is that possible because I can't seem to find a button or link that I can click to do match the two and change the relationship.

Any help is very appreciated!!

Sorry, I can't help with that, but my own preference is to keep an offline tree as I find the various online trees provided by the likes of MH, Ancestry and FindMyPast etc. are too restrictive and simplistic/difficult to navigate, for my needs.

I use Family Historian, and periodically upload a stripped Gedcom from the program to the onl;ine sites just to take advantage of the hints, DNA and smart matches. Family Historian is very powerful, but comes with a steep learning curve. But for instance with DNA matches, it is possible to run queries and create lists of all shared matches to the same MRCAs, their relationships and cM match lengths etc.

I could never rely solely on an online tree from the above sites. It would drive me mad and greatly inhibit my research.
Stokes - London and Essex
Hodges - Somerset
Murden - Notts
Humphries/Humphreys from Montgomeryshire

Offline Biggles50

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Re: Help!!!
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 18 March 23 17:15 GMT (UK) »
Thank you Everyone!

Can I ask, when having uploaded DNA to My Heritage?

Is there any way to then link a DNA match to someone in my tree as the DNA match is predicting a different relationship than the person actually has and I wanted to amend that.

Is that possible because I can't seem to find a button or link that I can click to do match the two and change the relationship.

Any help is very appreciated!!

Are you talking about your My Heritage or Ancestry tree?

With either you can only link to the DNA match if you actually have the branch pathway to them in your Tree.

You cannot do that with a standalone unconnected person in your tree, there has to be a pathway for the relationship algorithm to function.

Hope you can follow the above as I am trying to avoid using the word link.

You could also use My Heritageís chromosome browser to compare the two people to see how they match in the different segments.  Then you could compare them both with known and linked DNA matches, this will give you an idea of the MRCA between them.

Feeding the cM values into DNA Painterís Shared Matches tool will give a table of possible relationships with the probable percentages of the accuracy of the prediction model