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DNA matches

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by Lillibet, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. Lillibet

    Lillibet Genealogy in the Sunshine 2015

    We have just had my husbands DNA tested with Ancestry and it has come back with just 19 matches 4th cousins and closer. Is there and benefit in pursuing this as to me it is too limiting?

  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's very unusual to have as few close matches as that - perhaps Ancestry haven't finished processing yet?

    How many matches does he have in total? If his ancestors are mostly from the British Isles he should have at least 15,000 matches - I don't know anyone who has fewer than me, and I have over 17,000 now.

    Also, don't assume that close matches are necessarily more useful than distant matches. They're easier to resolve, but more likely to be on the same side of your 'brick walls' as you are.

    Finally a reminder that your husband needs his own LostCousins account - this is something you can sort out while you're waiting for Ancestry to update his matches. Make sure you follow the advice in my Masterclass otherwise your money will have been wasted!
  3. Lillibet

    Lillibet Genealogy in the Sunshine 2015

    It is the final result! I am not sure how to see how many matches he has in total. He ancestors are not from the Uk, so that is the problem. He is not at all interested and it will be hard to get any enthusiasm with these results. I made him do the test, so one day I could share it with our kids.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's not necessarily a problem that his ancestors aren't from the UK - it may well make the process easier, because many of the cousins he has matched with will only have a few lines outside of the UK/US, which will make it far easier to figure out how they are related to your husband.

    And even if he only has 1500 matches in total (near matches normally represent less than 1% of the total) that's still a large number. Even now I only have 1035 matches at 23andMe, and whilst I've got 2219 at FamilyTreeDNA, it was only 700 when I first got my results.
  5. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I had very few matches when I first checked but they keep adding more, as more people have theirs done I guess. A few weeks ago I had 205, now it is 223 and one was added just today. Unfortunately, I am no closer to finding my grandfather. The closest possible match (after my niece) has not replied to my message.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Are you talking about total matches - in which case it's an impossibly low figure - or close matches, in which case it is a higher than average figure? It's important to distinguish between the two as they generally differ by a factor of more than 100 times.
  7. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    There is no such thing as a "final result" with Ancestry DNA, they will keep adding information and matches as their data changes (and as more people test).

    My grandmother has a lot of matches (over 600 4th cousins or closer) and the majority of those I'm fairly sure come from her non-UK Ancestry (Dutch Ashkenazi Jewish) and it's almost scary to see them all.

    It would be interesting to find out what information you could gather from those 19 4th cousin links - perhaps they might break down a few brick walls!
  8. Lillibet

    Lillibet Genealogy in the Sunshine 2015

    Well out of curiosity I counted the total matches on Ancestry. I did that by adding the number of people and pages. The result is less than 1000! I do realise that the matches will be added to over time. My own have increased by about 25% in one year. So that in the scheme of things wont be much for my husband. I did believe that the areas concerned for him were well tested but there is always a risk there. If I look at his matches hardly any share matches, then take the percentage of responses expected, this would be an uphill battle. I think I got carried away as my own DNA regions pinpointed my ancestors were mainly from South England! It would have been lovely to narrow down something for his. I hear the positive comments sadly I am not quite as optimistic, although it will remain on the back burner.
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It sounds as if your husband is lucky to have so many close matches - for all the kits I manage they are fewer than 1% of the total. I had fewer matches than your husband for the first 4 years after testing with FTDNA so all you're seeing is what early adopters experienced.

    There will be few shared matches because Ancestry only include near matches when showing shared matches. Distant shared matches are often misleading.

    The key point is the one I made earlier, that in most cases it will be easy to work out how your husband's matches are connected to him. Nobody ever resolves more than a few hundred matches, so whether he has 1000, 10000, or 50000 isn't that important.

    If your husband has European origins then the My Heritage test would have been worth considering, as they sell in countries where Ancestry don't. You can upload your husband's Ancestry results to My Heritage free of charge, but the functionality is limited for uploads after 1st December 2018.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  10. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I have one close family - my niece. Nine listed as third cousins, three of which I have identified and they are in the same family. One much further down in the 4th cousin list is also identified as a 3rd cousin. Over-all 223 4th cousins and closer. A little over 500 pages altogether.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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