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DNA Shared Matches

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by Bryman, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    For what it’s worth I am confused (as perhaps are others) by many of the ‘techno-speak’ postings in this DNA Shared Matches section. Like my interest in computing and IT in general, I find myself coming up against jargon and do my best to interpret without recourse to same. (Indeed, my Computer magazine has a section where it quotes techno-speak and then explains in plain English what it means in just a few words)

    Now I find myself reading Forum DNA related postings thinking … ’what on earth are they getting at"? Even though I know -heart of hearts –they are doing their best to explain.

    I note Peter once again mentioning that Thru Lines does not take account of DNA as I well know. This probably explains why I find it the most useful addition to Ancestry’s repertoire (particularly filtering ‘Potential Ancestors). I also enjoy HINTS, regardless of the ‘funnies’ they often produce. At the end of the day it up to the individual to sort the wheat from the chaff and I have learned much from both avenues of research.

    As Peter often says, DNA adds a new dimension to traditional research and that is exactly how I use it. Having read (sometimes forgotten and re-read) his Masterclasses, and perused the useful charts, I have a basic understanding of things. Plus, hopefully, enough savvy to be aware of the pitfalls of oddities that do not fit the jigsaw without the need to dissect their cause, as many seem to do.

    As you have probably gathered, I dislike jargon and overt complications - so do not get me going on multi-colour coding- and put it down to my old age and carry on regardless.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2019
  2. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    Sorry, Bob, if I've used jargon. You are right that we should avoid it, and as Peter reminded me, even the jargon goes out of date!

    I think one valid conclusion that has come out of this thread is that DNA shared matches can be useful but need to be treated with caution. You are right that DNA can't be used in isolation, but needs to be combined with traditional research for meaningful results.
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Absolutely right Helen, and when the two disciplines meld together it is a pure delight and even more so when people respond to messaging and pass on new information (As recently happened to me in my discovery of my daughters maternal Mormon connections). May not strictly be breaking down brick walls in the accepted sense, but very rewarding nevertheless.

    Jargon forgiven by the way as you are very adept at explaining things as I have commented before
  4. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I still do not understand "segments". Are you saying that common matches with just one segment should be pretty much ignored? Most of those whom I have identified as matches do have more than one; my niece has 77 and a cousin once removed 14 (she is only on my maternal line). Most of those listed as 3rd or 4th cousin, matched or not, have at least two and only two with just one have been identified as a fifth cousin once removed and a sixth cousin; (obviously both are far back to a 5th GG)
    in fact, many with two have not either. I have a half 4th cousin once removed with 2 segments.
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The closer your matches are, the more segments you're likely to share with them - and the more cM you'll share in total. But it drops off very quickly, and beyond 2nd or 3rd cousin the amount of DNA shared is virtually meaningless as a guide to how closely-related you are.

    But provided you follow the strategies in the Masterclasss none of this really matters
  6. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    Oh, how I agree, Bob.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  7. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Bob, don't make excuses for yourself! I am sure that you are no older than me.

    Regarding the list of DNA results from Ancestry, I agree that multi-colour coding adds more complication than it is worth but I have now found that I ignore the shade and just use it as an indicator that I know which octet of my tree that person belongs to. Some shades are so similar and even if the difference is detected then I cannot remember which is relevant for each branch, so I use the pointer to hover over the coloured blob and the name of my relevant family gets displayed.

    If nothing else, when most results are indicated as belonging to just one branch, I then know where to enhance my conventional research to find the missing twigs. Although Shared Matches are no guarantee of which branch contains that individual, they do provide a strong probability.
  8. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    There may be a few years between us, although I doubt many, but my dislike of over complicating things has more to do with mindset than age. However, I agree with you when you say ...
    ... that makes sense and although to date I use no colour shading in my DNA results, I was persuaded a while ago to try colour coding in FTM and did so using just 4 shades (something like -Red/Purple : Green/Yellow) as a recognition aid. This is more useful when viewing the 5 or so other Trees I store in FTM.

    I might try the 4-shade colour coding with DNA results, but as I tend to concentrate on 4th cousin or better -unless suitably intrigued to go beyond if a Tree is public and bountiful - I am seldom at a loss to know which branch of my Tree is involved anyway. As I said for FTM, it may be of more use when working my wife or daughters DNA results. But multi-colouring no way Pedro!
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The important thing to bear in mind is that having created a group you can search within it. This might enable you to figure out how you're related to a cluster of relatives.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    Bob I think it is 'No way Jose' and 'Oh No! Pedro!' ;)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I was doing a 'Dell boy' interpretation, as my wife and I often twist the French vernacular as he was prone to do... our favourite being Quel Fromage!
  12. emjay

    emjay LostCousins Member

    Monge too mate :confused:
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1

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