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No Replies from Ancestry contacts

Discussion in 'DNA Questions and Answers' started by Andrew Lloyd, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I've never seen that message in more than 16 years of using Ancestry - I can only guess that the member concerned has unsubscribed from all emails.
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I suggest you refer to the coloured chart in the Masterclass - this shows the average amount of shared DNA, and the range, for each relationship.
  3. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    I've never seen this message either. I don't think it's unsubscription from emails as such. I think they must have checked the 'Do not allow other members to contact me' option in the Community Preferences section of the Site Preferences page.
  4. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I actually printed your Masterclass pages awhile ago but had not actually checked regarding C.W. - it looks as though he might be in the grey box - half GG nephew? Or maybe half great-nephew, depending on his age. That is if he is indeed connected to my paternal grandfather. And probably too many generations between to be much help. I need someone closer to my age with higher numbers.
  5. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    Half matches don't mean half-cousins. See this article which gives some basic but useful advice on using GEDmatch (there's a section on full and half matches just over halfway down). I have several matches with documented full cousins on GEDmatch and they all show just 'half match' segments.
  6. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    From my experience and the numbers in Peter's Masterclass chart, I would think this person's most likely relationship to you would be 2nd cousin. As he is not related to your close cousin on your mother's side, the logical conclusion is that he is related on your father's side. A likely scenario could be that your paternal grandfather was a sibling of one of this person's grandparents. As I understand from your previous posts, you don't know the name of your paternal grandfather, so it follows that you wouldn't recognise the names in this person's tree. What you could do is a surname search on Ancestry for the surnames in this person's tree at the grandparent/great-grandparent level and see if it throws up any further matches to you.
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's best to avoid using GEDmatch if you can - there's too much scope for time-wasting and confusion. (Unless you're a DNA expert, of course, in which case you'll already know about the pit-falls.)

    Instead, use the chart in the Masterclass to create a list of possible relationships - some of which will be much more likely than others when you take into account how old the other person is, and the information on their tree. Try not to rely on advice from other people who are trying to be helpful - they can't see your tree and they can't see the other person's tree.

    Don't spend too much time on this one cousin - my 2nd closest match (with a similar amount of shared DNA) still hasn't replied after three years. Frustrating! But realistically, it's unlikely that even if he did get in touch it would help me knock down any 'brick walls' - I can already see which matches we share, and I have several other cousins in the same part of my tree whose tests I manage.

    If you follow the strategies in the Masterclass your experience will be much more rewarding. The most useful cousins are the ones who can help you knock down 'brick walls'.
  8. RuthD

    RuthD New Member

    I had also given up with contacting possible cousins, due to non reply, until recently. My cousin had contacted one of our DNA matches and had received a reply. So I decided to also contact him. His reply came back very short, and suggested he was not that interested, however I replied stating that his Mum and my Dad, who were 1st cousins use to keep in regular contact. A few days later I received a reply, asking if my Dad would be up to a meeting. Everything was arranged and they met up last week. Seeing the look on my Dad’s face, and the emotion, was something I will never forget. Sometimes it is worth pursuing.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  9. Willibrod

    Willibrod LostCousins Member

    I sent message to a Ancestry member . A part of the tree it matches exactly mine including a name that matches my second great grand mother . In the tree she is married to someone else . Her marriage to my second great grand father and the descendants are not recorded . I hopeful I get a replied
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Errors like this in Ancestry trees are fairly common. The chances are that even if the other member replies you'll be the one who has to demonstrate why the other tree is wrong.
  11. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    I agree. I have pointed out errors in people's trees (with evidence) where the other person has responded positively, saying 'yes I agree, you are right' - but when looking again at their tree some time later, I see they still haven't corrected it.
  12. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    Given this conversation - I recently had someone send me a similar message: an "You may have this portion of your tree incorrect" (found a cousin out of one of those emails once!), to which I thanked them and changed it - and I've sent them out myself, and had no reply!
  13. Willibrod

    Willibrod LostCousins Member

    I do see the errors quite often other peoples tree . I sent a message because it was a direct ancestor . There is enough evidence online to prove my point .
  14. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I'm sure there is, but it can be remarkably hard to convince someone to alter their tree - they could well have found convincing evidence for their version.
  15. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    And there are tree owners who seem to hold almost mythical beliefs about Ancestry's infallibility:

    1. I will find my relative's baptism, marriage etc at Ancestry (ie there will be a surviving record of the event in one of Ancestry's data collections, and it will have been transcribed accurately enough to show up in a search) - and if only one possibility shows up it must be the right one
    2. I can absolutely rely on Ancestry hints to be accurate and relevant to the person concerned
    3. there is safety in numbers - at least 20 other Ancestry trees have the same information, and they can't all be wrong, can they?
  16. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    It reminds I recently messaged someone respectfully pointing out a research error in their tree. I explained why and the other person messaged back to say they agreed and would change to suit. Then, a day or so later I received a follow up message saying ... "after telling my cousin what you said, she told me to ignore it and leave things as they are" (no reason given). I decided not to pursue further.
  17. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Star

    I agree, and I have come across lots of people who subscribe to your points 1-3 and cannot be persuaded otherwise. The 'safety in numbers' argument seems to be particularly persuasive for them, which is strange given the way misinformation is so easily spread amongst Ancestry trees, with the error likely to have originated from just one person's tree which is then copied by many others.

    For example, I have never been able to find the origins of an ancestor who - according to censuses - was born about 1834 in London. She is not with her parents on the 1841-51 censuses, but her father is named on her 1853 marriage certificate. On Ancestry (and online sources generally) there is only one baptism that 'fits', and many trees on Ancestry have this in their trees. However, this child - with an unusual set of forenames (only one of which matches the ancestor's name on censuses and marriage cert) - died the year after she was born (her burial record - with all the distinctive forenames - is also on Ancestry), so she cannot possibly be the correct person. I have given up trying to persuade others of this error in their trees.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. IanL

    IanL LostCousins Star

    This sort of error then spreads much further. I had a dialogue with someone running a one-name study about the mistakes in a report he had sent me. Every tree on Ancestry has these same mistakes. He admitted that he didn't have time to research every person in his one-name study so was reliant on the information he received from others. Much of it no doubt from Ancestry-users. Happily once I had sent him the evidence to demonstrate that the information on the Ancestry trees was wrong he corrected it. But I wonder how many other one-name studies are passing on duff information.
  19. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I had to produce and circulate a comprehensive 4 page Word document with extracts from certificates ,wills, and censuses to convince cousins from one branch of my tree that their ancestor was illegitimate and that the father named on two marriage certificates never existed. (it wasn't all bad news for them - although I robbed their ancestor of a father, I was able to tell who his mother was!)

    I eventually managed to persuade all of the tree owners to correct their trees, but I note that the problem has now reappeared on two new trees - such is life!
  20. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    Unfortunately, I am the person who has unknowingly put incorrect information onto Ancestry. Since my Dad told me the name of his father, I put that into my tree. (His mother told all three of their children that name) Apparently such a person never existed, or if he did he was probably the father of one of my aunts. Now, when I look at the little leaf beside the "unknown" in my tree (I have since corrected mine) I see what others have copied into their trees. Not all that many, since there are not a lot of people researching my side of the family, but still... I doubt I can get one paternal cousin to change her information; she is the one who stopped communicating when I told her that George Roberts was not our grandfather, or at least not mine.

    There is also the fact that for some unknown reason my grandmother decided to be Dorothy Annie, (or Annie Dorothy on my aunt's birth registration) instead of just Anne, so that error shows up as well. She is Annie in 1901 and Anne in the 1911 census. And on the registration of birth that I sent for. And the father's name she put on the marriage certificate was also incorrect. That is why it took me so long to find her; someone here on the Forum pointed me to her on the 1891 census, but even that was just a maybe until I received my DNA results. I can only assume that because she was brought up in a workhouse and essentially abandoned by her parents, that she may not have even known for sure their names. She had 13 siblings; I have found information on possibly three of them. Her mother and one of her sisters are in the 1939 register.

    I have a 4th cousin on my mother's side who sent me a 58-page report on my grandmother's family, back to a 5th great-grandfather, well researched and documented, so I have input all of that into my tree, assuming hopefully that it is all correct. I was able to fill in the blanks for him regarding our branch, as he had no information at the time about my great-grandfather, other than his name.

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