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Thread: Big Increase in Matches with Shared Ancestors

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    Big Increase in Matches with Shared Ancestors

    Have you all noticed an apparent increase in the number of matches you have with an identified set of shared ancestors? I know I have. Many of the people I looked at long ago and couldn't figure out how we were related now show up for me with a "Shared Ancestor" leaf and a set of apparently solid ancestors they share with me.

    Looks pretty good, but I don't have time to comb through all of them to try to test the connection for faults.

    I just finished spending a couple of hours going through them and still didn't finish. I've been assigning them the little colored dots based on surname groups. Funny how certain ancestors/surnames show up again and again and again.
     


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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Have you all noticed an apparent increase in the number of matches you have with an identified set of shared ancestors? I know I have. Many of the people I looked at long ago and couldn't figure out how we were related now show up for me with a "Shared Ancestor" leaf and a set of apparently solid ancestors they share with me.

    Looks pretty good, but I don't have time to comb through all of them to try to test the connection for faults.

    I just finished spending a couple of hours going through them and still didn't finish. I've been assigning them the little colored dots based on surname groups. Funny how certain ancestors/surnames show up again and again and again.
    Personally I'm a bit bemused, almost all of the ones for me and my parents don't even have trees so how FTDNA are supposed to be working this out perplexes me ????
    Last edited by jdean; 05-14-2019 at 11:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdean View Post
    Personally I'm a bit bemused, almost all of the ones for me and my parents don't even have trees so how FTDNA are supposed to be working this out perplexes me ????
    Many of the ones I am talking about don't have complete trees or linked trees, or the trees they do have are private. It looks like Ancestry is using the trees of other relatives to fill in the gaps.
     


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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Many of the ones I am talking about don't have complete trees or linked trees, or the trees they do have are private. It looks like Ancestry is using the trees of other relatives to fill in the gaps.
    I noticed that as well, starting with their new Thru Trees and continued with their new (Beta) Common Ancestors feature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Many of the ones I am talking about don't have complete trees or linked trees, or the trees they do have are private. It looks like Ancestry is using the trees of other relatives to fill in the gaps.
    That is the same with my new hints. They are mostly 5 or more generations ago, the DNA tester has only 2 or 3 at most generations entered so Ancestry are using other trees with their new tool. I am both pleased and saddened.

    Pleased because they have access to trees which are both private and unindexed.
    Saddened because I had got quite good at finding common ancestors when I put my mind to it, judging which trees hints were adequately referenced that I could trust them. So my hard-won skill is being matched by a deep learning algorithm which will continue to get better, from the practise and the advantages of private and un-indexed so my skill will be diminished with time.
    C’est la vie!

    If it gets too boring because everything is done for me and I just have to accept hints I will have to find a different additive hobby.
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    Judging from the number of matches I have on my Stutz/Stutts line, which is Swiss German, it's a wonder I don't have more "Germanic Europe" in my Ethnicity Estimate, right now at 4%. Of course, my Stutz stuff comes to me filtered and admixed with a bunch of British lines that family married into.
     


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    Red Hair Carrier:
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    Dad's mtDNA: K1a1

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Judging from the number of matches I have on my Stutz/Stutts line, which is Swiss German, it's a wonder I don't have more "Germanic Europe" in my Ethnicity Estimate, right now at 4%. Of course, my Stutz stuff comes to me filtered and admixed with a bunch of British lines that family married into.
    I have the same issue not only with my German lines -- which Ancestry claims is only 6% -- but also with my Spanish lines. Ancestry shows no Spanish ancestry at all, when on paper it should be about 12.5%. They do show my Spanish ancestors in my ThruLines, and I've got lots of cousins to whom I'm related through those lines.

    Ancestry has my "British" ancestry as 80%, when on paper it can't be higher than about 40%. The problem here is that it really isn't British ancestry, even through that's how Ancestry characterizes it. According to the label and the map, it's "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe". The problem is that Ancestry doesn't acknowledge how much of this really is just the Northwestern Europe part.

    That's why I wish they were more precise in defining their reference population for this group. How many samples actually came from outside Great Britain -- that is, from "Northwestern Europe"? They don't say. But it matters. If in fact all the samples are actually just from Great Britain, they should say so; and they should actually call the reference group that, not just give it the same name as the group label. But, if a significant number of the samples came from Northwestern Europe, they should say how many.

    Instead, they prefer to represent this component as an "increase" of 55% to their former category of "Great Britain". This is misleading. I did a paper trail calculation of my ancestry going out to my 6th great grandparents where possible. (It some cases it wasn't possible, but in those cases I'd generally already gotten to folks already in the "old country", whatever that happened to be.) On paper, I ought to have about 34.4% "German" ancestry, not 6%. This isn't even counting my 6.2% Alsatian or my 1.2% Swiss, which one might think would also show up as "Germanic Europe". Of course, on the map they might also be "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" -- but then Ancestry shouldn't pretend that this category is merely "Great Britain" by another name.

    My actual British and Irish combined is only 40.6%. The remainder of my ancestry is 3.1% French -- not reported by Ancestry, but presumably also subsumed into "England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe" -- 12.5% Menorcan Spanish -- also not reported -- and 2.0% Native American, which is.

    The Menorcan Spanish ancestry is an interesting case. I could see it not showing up entirely as Spanish, but it should then probably show up as French -- not as part of "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe". Menorca is the north easternmost island of the Baleares, and on LivingDNA's map it's actually included in the "France" region. (So is the neighboring island of Mallorca. Ibiza and Formentera are included in the "Iberian Peninsula" region.)

    I know a lot of people don't seem to have high regard for LivingDNA's results, but they appear to be closer to my paper trail in some regards, except that they only report my German as 26.3%. That's about 8% lower than my paper trail, as opposed to 28%. They also report "Great Britain and Ireland" as just 20.4%, where Ancestry has the combined total as 91%. On paper, it should be closer to 40.6%. Presumably, some of my British and Irish ancestry is to be found in LivingDNA's calculation of 45.5% "France", as is some of my German ancestry and some of my Menorcan Spanish ancestry. Finally, unlike Ancestry, 23andMe, and FTDNA, LivingDNA doesn't see any of my Native American ancestry. It's there on paper, and at most other companies I've tested with; and it shows up in the "appropriate" relatives. Sometimes at higher percentages than mine.

    Anyway, I've never been a fan of Ancestry's "update". If they were clearer in acknowledging that "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" isn't simply another way of talking about "Great Britain", I'd be happier. Especially if they showed the actual distribution of their reference panel. But they don't.

    So the map clearly shows a great deal of continental Europe -- in fact, probably an area larger than Great Britain -- but they still persist in suggesting that this ancestry somehow originated in Great Britain. In reality, it's just that a lot of "British" ancestry is simply drawn from the same parts of the continent as my German/Alsatian/Swiss ancestry. But that doesn't explain the complete loss of over 10% of my ancestry which came directly from Menorca, and should presumably show up as either Spanish or French. (Or quite likely, as a bit of both.)

    EDIT:

    I might also mention that 23andMe shows 39.2% "French & German", which they say is mainly from "Switzerland" and the German state of "Hesse". "British & Irish" is reported as 31.4%, with the top places being "Greater London" and "County Dublin". I only get 5.1% for "Southern Europe", so presumably some of my Menorcan ancestry may be appearing in my "broadly Northwestern European" percentage of 19.7%. There's also 0.4% "Finnish", which I can't account for but persists even at 90% confidence.

    23andMe also reports 1.8% "broadly European" and 2.3% "Native American". The Native American number drops to 1.7% at 90% confidence, but I also get 0.2% "broadly East Asian & Native American", and my "unassigned" increases from 0.1% to 2.4%.
    Last edited by geebee; 05-16-2019 at 12:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Judging from the number of matches I have on my Stutz/Stutts line, which is Swiss German, it's a wonder I don't have more "Germanic Europe" in my Ethnicity Estimate, right now at 4%. Of course, my Stutz stuff comes to me filtered and admixed with a bunch of British lines that family married into.
    Ancestry DNA as well as Living DNA indicate I have 19% North Wales ancestry.. Since my know Wales ancestor came into Delaware Welsh Tracts about 1680-1710 I know that t snot possible.. Because the sample population supposedly reference people whose 4 grandparents were from that area I can understand..23andme actually ID's those who have 4 grandparents ( but not specifically Wales) I have identified ONE Ancestral couple which appear in at least 75% of my Welsh matches ( people who live in Wales now) and they are from a sister of my Owen David/Dafydd a prominent Welshman who is my 7th grandfather.. The sister and other siblings remained in Wales (Agharad James and William Pritchard)

    Many are very small matches but some come up as 4th cousins.. which simply means that the doubled up DNA from cousin marriages both In Caernarvonshire and the Delaware Welsh Tracts add up to 4th cousin size.. My Wales cousins do expect them to be actual 4th cousins sometimes..

    Also importantly is that some a fair amount of my Irish matches can come up as Welse for that reason.. My Limerick/Tipperary Faunt line were mercenaries from Normandy in 1250-1300 and remained tied to the military.. My 3rd/4th great Aunts and uncles have ended up near Liverpool,Devon and Anglesea and "look" Welsh.. Trees help that..
    I am enjoying it however..
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    I've only had my AncestryDNA results for a short while so I can't really say if my Common Ancestors matches have increased but the hints seem to be on the money (I've looked through most of them). The technology is pretty incredible for someone as primitive as myself, Ancestry has been invaluable for verifying DNA relationships in my tree and I'm surprised that so many of my English cousins have tested. My only problem is I'm having major issues with my Colonial American lines, I'm thinking that part of my tree must have more than a few errors because I can never find a common ancestor in the trees of my Colonial cousins. It's a bit frustrating and I really don't know where to begin but I guess that's for a different thread! Anyway, I really like the Common Ancestors hints and I think I'm finally beginning to understand how LivingDNA will implement their own tree building feature.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    I have the same issue not only with my German lines -- which Ancestry claims is only 6% -- but also with my Spanish lines. Ancestry shows no Spanish ancestry at all, when on paper it should be about 12.5%. They do show my Spanish ancestors in my ThruLines, and I've got lots of cousins to whom I'm related through those lines.

    Ancestry has my "British" ancestry as 80%, when on paper it can't be higher than about 40%. The problem here is that it really isn't British ancestry, even through that's how Ancestry characterizes it. According to the label and the map, it's "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe". The problem is that Ancestry doesn't acknowledge how much of this really is just the Northwestern Europe part.

    That's why I wish they were more precise in defining their reference population for this group. How many samples actually came from outside Great Britain -- that is, from "Northwestern Europe"? They don't say. But it matters. If in fact all the samples are actually just from Great Britain, they should say so; and they should actually call the reference group that, not just give it the same name as the group label. But, if a significant number of the samples came from Northwestern Europe, they should say how many.

    Instead, they prefer to represent this component as an "increase" of 55% to their former category of "Great Britain". This is misleading. I did a paper trail calculation of my ancestry going out to my 6th great grandparents where possible. (It some cases it wasn't possible, but in those cases I'd generally already gotten to folks already in the "old country", whatever that happened to be.) On paper, I ought to have about 34.4% "German" ancestry, not 6%. This isn't even counting my 6.2% Alsatian or my 1.2% Swiss, which one might think would also show up as "Germanic Europe". Of course, on the map they might also be "England, Wales and Northwestern Europe" -- but then Ancestry shouldn't pretend that this category is merely "Great Britain" by another name.
    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    Judging from the number of matches I have on my Stutz/Stutts line, which is Swiss German, it's a wonder I don't have more "Germanic Europe" in my Ethnicity Estimate, right now at 4%. Of course, my Stutz stuff comes to me filtered and admixed with a bunch of British lines that family married into.
    I have similar issues, my great grandmother was German and I get a fat zero in Germanic Europe. My mother even has a small bit of German and Dutch admixture (maybe 3% at best) but it is so small that I can understand it being overlooked or misplaced, my great grandmothers contribution not so much. This leads me to my next issue, and one that really bothers me, I am given 9% England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe. Okay, so this would be my German? Problem is I also have a great grandfather from England. His tree, backed up with DNA matches, is almost entirely Kings Bromley and Burton upon Trent and I do not see him represented in my results. I say this because I'm given 74% Ireland and Scotland. This is a high estimate and seems to include my English contributions, even my mothers (she is approx. 6% mixed British), by paper trail I am about 57-59% Irish/North Irish. I don't think Ancestry has a bad estimate but, in my personal case, it's definitely not anything to write home about.
    Last edited by BackToTheForests; 05-17-2019 at 02:44 AM.
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    I have one group of shared matches that consists of approximately 40 people. All originated from my great great grandparents. GGGF was Colonial mix and GGGM was German/Swiss.

    I get 4% Germanic and 4% England/Wales/NW Europe, but both should probably be higher considering that one of my great grandmothers was half Colonial and half German/Swiss while both of my maternal great grandfathers were half English/half Dutch. On the other hand, I get 4% Swedish and 3% Norwegian with no paper trail to back up either. Yet I get 29% Ireland/Scotland with an Irish great grandmother and no other known Irish/Scottish ancestry.

    Ancestry's estimate isn't the worst :cough cough: LDNA & MyHeritage, but there are enough big misses to question a lot of the smaller percentages.

    A lot of those matches mentioned above haven't updated their ethnicity results -- most of them still show Western Europe instead of the more specific categories.
    The more I learn about this DNA stuff the less I know.

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