View Full Version : Ancestry’s hints have gone mad!

02-07-2018, 07:28 PM
Has anyone looked at their Ancestry DNA hints recently?
I used to have about 8 of which only one was rubbish (I created many of them by working with surname matches)
Now I have 15 but the new ones are mad, a similar name but the dates of birth differ by up to 130 years and are on the wrong continent!
What does anyone else have on their new hints?

Edit: I should have stated DNA hints. I have more than 10,000 of tree hints to ignore.

02-07-2018, 09:24 PM
Mine look like usual, the first few I looked at were accurate, but I have a crazy number of hints so only looked at a few.

I have had some really bad ones in the past; I think what happens is that someone who has a matching ancestor saves some information and then it shows up as a hint. Can be helpful in connecting people to their married names, but also can be way off and needs to be treated with skepticism.

02-07-2018, 10:33 PM
I totally agree to be sceptical about all Ancestry hints but their algorithm must be very poor if they ignore a misalignment of birth dates of 130 years some tolerance is essential but not 130 years!
And geography cannot be a strong point either in the programming since I always put the country on and Cheshire England is not the same place as Virginia USA. How can they really suggest that they are the same person?

02-08-2018, 12:35 PM
I usually ignore most hints. That is I pluck what I want and enter the data myself. Also, I often look at tools, then scroll down to (whatever it is called) connections. Then later drop down to the bottom and click on (again whatever it's called) blue print that takes you to search stuff. Sometimes at that point I even google for info if the person in question is notable enough.

Phoebe Watts
02-08-2018, 02:21 PM
No change to my DNA hints. There are 14: ten correct and four incorrect.

Among the ten correct Ancestry's algorithm seems to have over-ruled errors in the trees of some of my matches. That looks quite clever.

The four incorrect were worth looking at, with similar names, dates, and locations which are quite close.

02-08-2018, 06:28 PM
My five DNA hints are all correct as well.

02-09-2018, 01:40 AM
If you're talking about "Shared Ancestor Hints", I have a little over 200 of them. About 42 or so involve people who are in the "4th cousin or closer" category. One who is predicted to be a 3rd cousin is in fact a half 2nd cousin, as are the first two of the supposed "4th cousins".

The hints for this group seem to be largely correct. I haven't checked out all of the more distant matches.

If you're talking about DNA Circles, I have 24 of those. This includes one with 263 members, though in fact that number is a bit inflated due to duplication -- some folks who are related in more than one way are also counted more than once. All of my DNA Circles are focused on folks who really are ancestral to me, though sometimes I've found myself in the circle of one or another of my ancestors' siblings.

The funny thing is, you'd think I'd have Shared Ancestor Hints involving all circles, and at least those folks in each circle who share DNA with me rather than just with the circle. But that isn't the case. There are folks who share DNA with me, and we're in the same circle(s), but yet there's no Shared Ancestor Hint. They do say how we're both related to the person at the top of the circle -- which also means they should be able to say how we're related to each other. They just don't.

EDIT: I also have a full 2nd cousin at Ancestry, and we should have a Shared Ancestry Hint, but unfortunately he has a private tree. And I have four 1st cousins once removed, and I'm in a DNA Circle with one of them yet we don't have a Shared Ancestor Hint. The circle we're in together is not for our closest shared ancestors, who I think are actually too close for a hint, since they're my grandparents and my cousins' great grandparents.

02-09-2018, 03:35 AM
Wow, I never noticed the shared ancestor hints -- I'd seen matches with shared ancestors, of course, but hadn't realized they were marked with the leaf. I just went through a bunch of mine, and they seem accurate, and I found some cousins on lines I hadn't realized I had (since I have not gone through all the distant cousins). Feeling dumb, but also excited about the new discoveries.

Phoebe Watts
02-26-2018, 10:28 PM
Just noticed that some of my DNA hints have changed too. My 4 x great grandmother born 1786 now has a suggested son born in the next village in 1725.

I do have the suggested son in one of my private Ancestry trees not linked to my test - he is an ancestor of one of my in-laws.

03-03-2018, 12:08 AM
I am an old hand at genealogy and DNA for it.
But new to Ancestry, like only this week.
One really bizarre DNA hint of a 4th cousin.
That part was fine, except I think it is probably at least 8th if at all. (Probable Timber fail)
But provided was a suggested tree showing the connection as if we were BROTHERS!!!!!!!

03-05-2018, 02:35 PM
I have vast numbers of plain DNA hints and DNA circle hints. Most of the plain hints are at least
reasonable guesses.

All of the circles are completely real. They all make perfect sense.
Lots of them are WRONG in strict detail, like being one generation off in the actual
paper trail MRCA, but on those I can see how the DNA can't tell.

They are all, except the first few I got, useless, of course. Just fun!
The first few for each root family confirmed my paper genealogy to them,
after that I didn't need more confirmation.

For some reason they have missed a couple of them, that I know are real
from Gedmatch data using ancestry DNA data. Why, I have no idea.

03-05-2018, 09:08 PM
You have to be extremely careful of anything you see on that website. To the best of my knowledge and experience, they are just about the only one I know who you have to pay to see your own data, but that gives or sells it to others.