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Thread: Still Don't Understand DNA Circles

  1. #1

    Still Don't Understand DNA Circles

    I've been on Ancestry with DNA results since January; I now have my list of names on my paper trail built up to a couple thousand. Still, I'm not in any DNA circles. And yet my dad, who has no tree, who took his test years ago, and doesn't really care much about genealogy, is in 4 and it's like huuuuh?

    Why does it work like that? Why shouldn't, after I get back my autosomal results, after I've built up a substantial tree, just be in one. Shouldn't Ancestry have an algorithm that goes "oh hey look I can see you have this person on your tree and you seem to have many other people you match with autosomally who also match with this person or his descendants...here's a circle...come join the circle of this group of people or this famous person. Yay!"

    I guess I'm just not understanding how you get to be in a cirle.

  2. #2
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    Although your dad has no tree himself did you link his DNA result to his record on YOUR tree?

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    I suspect it depends on several factors. I tested on Ancestry a couple of years ago; I have five DNA circles--three are related to each other and the remaining two are connected to each other. All of the circle groups start with an ancestor who had large numbers of descendants yet none of the circles have even ten members--and two of the members are myself and my sister. To get these circles one would have to have people who were interested in genealogy, were on Ancestry, and tested DNA. Only one branch of my tree before my generation seems to have been interested, and not seriously. I have 21 first cousins; only three of us are interested and only two have actually tested DNA. Additionally, most of my great grandparents were the immigrants, which I think cuts the pool of possible connections even further.

    The paper trail hints (the "leaves") on profiles have been more useful, honestly, save for one case.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Earl Davis View Post
    Although your dad has no tree himself did you link his DNA result to his record on YOUR tree?
    No tree. He just created an account and took the test...4 circles. He's not linked to me at all.

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    I don't think you can get circles without a tree. I have tons of circles (around 25) and my sister has none, since she's not linked to a tree (also not a paying member). It is easy to have a tree and not have it linked. I'd look at yourself as your dad and see if you are connected to a tree. Before I DNA-tested I had 4 separate trees (one for each grandparent) and I had to pick on to link and then recreate it to reflect everyone to get all my circles.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by msmarjoribanks View Post
    I don't think you can get circles without a tree. I have tons of circles (around 25) and my sister has none, since she's not linked to a tree (also not a paying member). It is easy to have a tree and not have it linked. I'd look at yourself as your dad and see if you are connected to a tree. Before I DNA-tested I had 4 separate trees (one for each grandparent) and I had to pick on to link and then recreate it to reflect everyone to get all my circles.
    I don't understand why it says he has 4. Btw, you can't actually view and see what they are...I dunno if that's because he's not a paying member or what.

    But going back....why shouldn't I be in one tree?

    The condition that may be holding me back is that maybe to be in a circle you need to:

    a. Have done an autosomal test.
    b. filled out your tree in it's entirety as much as you can to a level where you can connect with other autosomal matches on a single verifiable person on your tree.
    c. must be able to connect with that member through both autosomal and tree.
    d. This must all happen with multiple individuals.

    If all those things aren't aligned, it won't happen. In my case, the people that have tested on my paternal side who have tested, haven't filled out their tree all the way to positively connect someone on their tree to me. But my tree is wide enough that I have their furthest on the my tree and so I know where they fall. But that's not good enough - we both need to have the same ancestor on our trees, and be an autosomal match. The other issue is they match with my dad but when the centimorgans get to me, my mom's information blocks out that information as a match.

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    I don't think you need to have the same person in both trees. I had a member in one of the DNA circles, with a surname I didn't recognize and didn't have on my tree. I contacted that person, but neither she nor I could figure out the connection, she didn't have anyone on my tree in hers. Some weeks later, entirely by accident, I came across court documents (through a "leaf" on his profile) for the brother of my 2x great grandfather (yep, that far back). This man left Michigan and moved to Wisconsin with his wife and family. She died and he remarried, had more children. Then HE died and she remarried. Turns out the children of the first father and second wife were legally adopted by the stepfather and their names changed. The member of the DNA circle is descended from the children of the brother and his second wife, hence our DNA connection through that brother. She's now added the former surname to their names in her tree and so we might connect that way but we had none in common when that DNA link first showed up.

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    You need to have enough on your tree to predict the common ancestor.

    Re your dad, you are matches, so he should be able to click on you and see your linked tree (if any) and vv. My suspicion is your tree isn't properly linked.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to msmarjoribanks For This Useful Post:

     Saetro (09-03-2018)

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    Yes and no. In this case she had the children with new surname and (unknowingly) incorrect father. I had an ancestor who had disappeared with a different wife. There were no surnames in common and without finding those court papers we would never have untangled that DNA match no matter how many people we had in our tree.

  11. #10
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    I donít know either, I have my tree linked and my tree is loaded with information. But Iím not paying member so perhaps thatís why Iím not in any.
    Last edited by czl; 09-02-2018 at 11:58 PM.
    Final Ancestry Paper Trail Tally:
    1/4 Russian, 1/8 Ashkenazi, 1/8 Belarusian, 1/8 Lithuanian, 1/8 Ukrainian, 1/8 Italian, 1/16 Kazakh, ~ 1/16 Black, 1/128 Uzbek

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