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Is this the most useless Ancestry Hint of all time?

Discussion in 'Ancestry problems' started by At home in NZ, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    You might not have a public tree, but this forum provides a knowledge base for LostCousins members: setting out the facts allows them to make better decisions.
  2. PhilGee

    PhilGee LostCousins Member

    I'm not surprised :eek: There was supposed to be more explanation (and proof reading) but I unintentionally sent the post instead of closing the browser (so that I could edit later = today).

    "the two are the common ancestor" should have should have explicitly referred to the 'one set of parents' (who are not my direct ancestors).

    To be fair, all the readily available information has both Eliza Doel's as born 1806 and there is one baptism +/- 10 years of that year in the parish of North Bradley (and 1 more in Wiltshire with none in Somerset!). However, the 1846 death certificate for my ancestor has her age as 44 (shown on the Wiltshire index and now added to the GRO index). Both Eliza's were about 22 when they married. All my relevant DNA matches appear to be descended from the "other" Eliza or her siblings as there does not appear to be any way to determine otherwise. There are a number of marriages that are probably relevant to me but do not [appear to] have associated baptisms!
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There are thousands of your cousins who have tested - that's why you have all those DNA matches.

    You don't need to persuade the cousins you know to test in order to collaborate with cousins - I've never even met most of the cousins who I collaborate with on DNA. Some were found through conventional research and subsequently tested, some I only found because they were DNA matches. Thinking about it, I've never met any of my relatives on my father's side with the exception of my grandfather, who died when I was 4 - all of the paternal cousins I'm collaborating with were found as a result of family history.

    Collaborating with close cousins helps to determine which part of your tree a match with an unknown cousin is with, but collaborating with more distant cousins is often key to knocking down 'brick walls' that are 5 or 6 generations back.

    Ignore distant matches at your peril. Ancestry sort the matches according to the amount of DNA shared, but once you get beyond 2nd cousins it's a poor guide to how closely related someone is. For example, the prize-winners who attended my DNA for Christmas presentation will know that one of my own 'distant' matches, someone who Ancestry classify as a 5th-8th cousin, is actually a 3rd cousin who I've been collaborating with him for almost 20 years, having found him through the Suffolk Surnames site. That's why it's important to follow the strategies in my DNA Masterclass if you want to make the most of your DNA test (and why wouldn't you, having shelled out upwards of £60).

    Perhaps those who don't understand DNA should either work to fill the gaps in their knowledge (the Masterclass has all they really need to know), or keep quiet on the topic? Otherwise it's rather like someone saying "I'm not going to get vaccinated because I don't understand how the vaccine works", but not trying to find the answers.
  4. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I obviously did not make myself clear, or you choose to side-track my meanings because I was obviously (or so I thought) referring to living cousins -or to be more specific first cousins -and siblings not having tested. I need no reminder that DNA matches will unearth generic 'cousins' and finding these and sounding them out is the name of the game. I create my own yardstick as to what I want to follow up so need no reminder of hidden perils, as none exist. Almost every match I short list (and a fair few have been contacted) fall within the 4th cousin or better bracket, and most are indeed 3rd cousins or better. I take your point that some classified as 5th-8th by Ancestry may indeed deserve closer cousin grades when fully explored and one or two certainly have done so. But given most in the 5th-8th category (and quite a fair few of those 4th or better) are a sheer waste of time posting 'no trees' or trees with a handful of names - and yes a few with private trees - I make better use of my time than exploring them further.

    In conclusion you take the High Road and I'll take the Low Road. Each has merit even if you cannot see it or relate to those who do things different. I shall not comment further.
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    So was I. Of course there are some people who have died after testing their DNA (though not as a result of testing of course), but in most cases their test will be managed by a son or daughter, who is also a cousin.
    In that case you should have been more specific.
    Which is precisely why everyone would do well to follow the strategies in my Masterclass. Because the two key strategies involve searching the trees of your matches in order to select the matches most likely to knock down your brick walls, they ignore matches with no trees and are much more likely to pick matches with large trees than small ones.

    The time to complain about something is when you've done all the right things and it still hasn't worked out.
  6. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I get along quite nicely without it. :D

    This discussion wasn't started so it could be turned into yet another DNA discussion, it's not even in the DNA slot.
  7. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Not sure what your point is or has to do with the fact I have a private tree, just like you do.
  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Are you never frustrated by your longstanding 'brick walls'?
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    One of your stated reasons for not having a public tree was to keep information attached to your tree private but we now know that it is easy to remove that information should someone wish to have a public tree.
  10. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    That may be true for some researchers but not for me where I have hundreds of trees (one per surname, more or less) linked together. This is another instance where it is not the developer's fault but rather the user who has done something unexpected and out of the ordinary, because it was possible.
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I didn't know you could upload linked trees to Ancestry - how does that work?
  12. Tim

    Tim Megastar and Moderator Staff Member

    Did you see my post Bryman? Are you still using Genopro? Can't you produce a single gedcom output of all the linked tabs?
  13. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    It doesn't. I assembled the Gedcom file manually to upload for my direct Ancestors only tree at Ancestry.

    Yes I did see your post and I am still using GenoPro and that is how I am able to link trees together. I do not know of any way that GenoPro can produce a single Gedcom file for multiple trees (not just tabs). I don't think it would be a very difficult exercise to allow that as an extra option but that would probably be only for me and the developers have now produced a new rewrite of the system so are no longer updating the version that I am using.

    If only a few trees are involved then I could manually stitch the separate Gedcom files together but that is not practical for hundreds of files.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  14. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I only have one that I am actually interested in breaking, as far as I know all his relatives that are in the 1881 census are in my LC but I've never had a match. There are few trees in Ancestry that are researching this family and none of the owners have broken the same brick wall.
    I have Irish ancestry, I have lots of contacts, mostly third cousins, through Ancestry that have helped and all of us get back to our respective third great grandparents and hit brick walls due to lack of records. Their DNA has not helped either.
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In that case, what's the problem?
  16. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Tracing Irish ancestors is difficult because so many of the parish registers are missing - and of course that's when DNA can be most helpful. The fact that your cousins haven't made any sense of their DNA matches shouldn't discourage you - it's very likely that they're not following the advice in my Masterclass (some might not even be LostCousins members). In any case, when you test you'll have a very different list of matches from them - even siblings don't have all the same matches (typically it's between half and two-thirds), and the more distant the relationship the smaller the overlap.

    Considering that you seem to have no other hope of making a breakthrough on your Irish lines, DNA is probably your only way of making progress. Even if you don't knock down any of your Irish 'brick walls' you'll be able to validate your research to date, and I'd be surprised if you don't knock down some of your British 'brick walls' in the process.
  17. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Just not as easy as you suggested.
  18. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Please stop wasting your breath Peter, I am not interested, never have been interested in DNA and never will be.
  19. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Surely it's just as easy for you to remove the private information from your tree prior to upload as it would be for anyone else? What takes you a long time is merging your trees, something you would have to do anyway.
  20. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't care whether you choose to test your DNA or not - but I do want other people to make their own decisions based on facts, rather than the personal opinions of others.

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