In defense of’s DNA offering

The recent good sales prices got to me, so I broke down and tested my brother with the DNA test. I had held off testing there, not because of the low opinion of their DNA tools held by serious genetic genealogists, but because my ancestors emigrated to the USA so recently that I doubted whether I would have many useful matches in a database that is 99% American.

So why do the serious genetic genealogists complain? My DNA cousin and blogger Kelly Wheaton  on the DNA-NEWBIE yahoo list described ancestry’s offering as “a dumbed down product on steroids;” which really says it well.

ShipleyAncestryDNAsmllShe went on to say, “What DNA testing does better than anywhere else for people with a decent sized tree (1,000 people or more), and who are American or Canadian, is make matches for you. If you have a DNA match and a tree match it does the work for you. Although these suggested matches may not be accurate in terms of who the ancestors in common are for two people who have multiple relationships, for most they do a fine job.” I completely agree with her.

By the way, the serious genetic genealogists do not like it because you cannot see where the DNA segment match is and thus triangulate with another cousin to prove that this is the right common ancestor. You have to load the raw data from ancestry to GEDmatch in order to look at the segment overlaps and not all your matches at ancestry will do this. But you have to give credit for good marketing and for making it easy for folk who are not interested in doing the hard work to prove these relationships.
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Angie Bush reports on a new DNA sharing matches feature

Ed note: My friend, genetic genealogist Angie Bush, the author of this post, is an expert user of the DNA functions at so when she excitedly reported this new feature on the ancestry group at Facebook, I asked her to do a step-by-step explanation of it for my blog. Thanks Angie!

AncestrySeeMatchesSmllAncestryDNA launched a new feature today that allows DNA test results to be shared in much the same way that family trees can be shared with other Ancestry users.

So if you have family members that have taken a DNA test, and you want to see the DNA matches you have in common with them, you finally can! In order to find this new feature, go to “Your DNA Home Page” and click on settings.

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