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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 Superstar

    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 Superstar

    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 Superstar

    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. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I have just received a reply from a DNA match 2 years after I first tried to contact him. He had no tree on Ancestry, but I messaged him as my 2nd strongest match (after a known 2nd cousin). After such a long interval (and a 2nd unanswered message a year ago), I'd given up on ever getting a reply. So it was great to receive his message yesterday (and his swift response to my reply).

    He apologised for the delay but he'd not logged in to Ancestry for a long time. He was adopted as a baby and knows nothing of his biological family other than his mother's surname. Now that a recent close match has turned up for him - who is also a shared match with me - we may be able to discover how we are related. I hope so for his sake, as he now seems keen to try and trace his origins, but I'm also intrigued to see how he is related to me. Fingers crossed we can solve the puzzle.

    So, the moral is: never give up on those 'no replies', they may respond eventually!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  10. Andrew Lloyd

    Andrew Lloyd LostCousins Star

    I totally agree.

    Since my original post, I have had 3 or 4 replies that have arrived several months later. In one instance, I had a reply 6 months after my initial message and it was full of very useful information and also full of enthusiasm to keep in touch, so I responded to this almost immediately. However it was another 6 months before a second reply arrived, again very informative and very keen for me to reply. I have just replied to this second message and so I look forward to the next installment at Easter!!
     
  11. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    It could mean that they are now elderly and incapacitated.....?
     
  12. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    With regard to late replies, I know from experience that lengthy holidays of several months duration or stressful/medical situations leave a VERY long list of e-mails on one's return to the computer if none are dealt with in the interim. In this instance, it is very easy to unintentionally overlook Ancestry messages.

    I have had success after contacting people a second time where the DNA match was of particular interest, often starting the message, "I don't know whether you are interested in genealogy or have simply taken a DNA test to determine your ethnicity, but....... and ending as Peter suggests, "I look forward to hearing from you." It seems a DNA test is a popular Christmas present!

    However, there are still a lot of people who don't reply. I have also heard that some people use a 'spare' e-mail address for Ancestry to avoid getting spam, and as a consequence, they don't regularly monitor it.

    Also, does a MANAGER of an Ancestry DNA kit always get contacted with any messages, or do some just go to the e-mail address listed by the DNA owner - who may or may not be interested??
     
  13. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    If you are looking at the DNA match via the manager's account, then yes, the email will be sent to the manager.

    An email would only be sent to the owner if you were to view the match through the owner's own account and message them from there. However, where someone's DNA is being managed by someone else, there isn't usually any way of knowing what the owner's username is.

    And if they tested some time ago, then it may have been before Ancestry required all DNA testers to set up their own account, so not all all DNA owner's will have one.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    I'm a manager for my grandmother's results, and I had to set up an account for her results, as per Ancestry's requirements. She's unlikely to be answering any messages (She's 96 and not able to see a computer screen anymore), and I don't tend to sign into her account to check (since I spend most of my time on my own account) - so this could be another reason why people may not answer if you message a user as opposed to the manager of their account.
     
  15. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I haven't had reason to post on the issue of delayed Ancestry responses -or even no responses, although I have a fair share of those - but one message received today, deserves mention.

    It starts (no name introduction just)..."sorry I have not been in touch but been awol only back due to boredom of virus". It then using few words precis's my two part query about a choice of spouse and and a marriage date. and ends..."i(sic) will now look into your query and come back to you tomorrow"

    I sent the message May 30 2019 and the reply received Apr 13 2020. He has taken some 10 1/2 months to respond. Even so I doubt it is a record, but to be truthful I had forgotten completely about my original query and will need to resurrect my research before he replies. This he says will be tomorrow, and as that is now today, is yet to be received. But if the original delay is anything to go by, I must give him a week or more to be fair.

    I suppose better late than never applies and have the virus to thank it seems for his reply.
     
  16. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    As far as I can tell Ancestry aren't sending emails any more. It's certainly a long time since I last received one.

    But yes, correspondence will go to the manager by default. There would be no point sending it to the person who has tested as they wouldn't have a manager if they were going to do it themselves.
     
  17. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I received an email notifying me of the Message about which I have just posted, and I recall two such in previous weeks. Plus notifications of 'Possible record matches' every one or two weeks, and 'You have new notifications.." (from shared Trees) at least once a week.
     
  18. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In that case it may be that they send out emails if the user does not collect the message within a certain timescale. I still get other emails from Ancestry, but usually ignore them.
     
  19. chrissy1

    chrissy1 LostCousins Star

    And if they tested some time ago, then it may have been before Ancestry required all DNA testers to set up their own account, so not all all DNA owner's will have one.[/QUOTE]

    I am a manager for 5 accounts, all of which were required to have their own e-mail addresses, none of which are monitored to my knowledge as most were set up solely for use on Ancestry. One cousin has since died, so I know this e-mail address is definitely not monitored!

    I receive notification regarding possible record matches, but that relates to my tree rather than DNA matches. I have entered a basic ancestors only tree for some of the DNA tests which I manage, but I don't monitor the possible record matches for these as I am not interested in growing their trees further, esp on lines which do not refer to my family. No point in adding my own large tree (apart from attaching it to my sister's DNA), as for second cousins, most of the information is irrelevant.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I too still receive notifications of messages (though the only other emails I get from Ancestry are about my subscription). The latest one was 2 weeks ago. This reminds me of my previous post (#29 in this discussion) about the person who took 2 years to respond to my initial message. Since then, we have had further correspondence, the latest being the aforementioned message 2 weeks ago telling me he'd discovered two half-sisters through DNA. These are also shared DNA matches with me (all in the range 45-70 cM) though I still don't know how they are related to me, except it must be through their father whose name I don't recognise (and who was born in Canada so I can't easily trace his birth).
     

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