Sharing DNA results at Ancestry.com is very useful when you want to see how much your relative shares with other relatives. All that this sharing allows you is the ability to see their match list, their ThruLines, and their ethnicity results, not their raw DNA nor the ability to download it.
Being able to see a cousin’s ethnicity may help figure out which side of the family that Finnish DNA is from or whatever puzzling ancestry you are interested in. Seeing their match list can be extremely useful for solving a mystery or just for the fun process of collecting family data.
For years I have been referring my cousins to an old blog post kindly written by genetic genealogist Angie Bush which explained how to initiate a share. However by now the screen shots are long out of date, so here is a new step by step for this process created by sharing my results with my brother.
1. Go to your DNA home page by clicking on Your DNA Results Summary in the drop down menu under DNA in the top menu (see my pink arrow)
2. Click on Settings at the top right of the page (another pink arrow)
Unknown parentage searches have changed dramatically over the last year thanks to a number of great new automated tools. I will be updating my presentation on this for the upcoming i4GG conference in Las Vegas in a few weeks, the first weekend in February. I will also probably talk about what’s new at GEDmatch as well as be on a panel there.
Plus I will present how to use these new wonderful tools to explore your cousin matches at the North County DIG meeting next Saturday, January 18.
Below is a screen shot of the final slide in my unknown parentage presentation where I list the steps, in order, that I currently go through on these searches. I need to add at the beginning another step, “check the ethnicity,” as it can be a huge clue when the two parents are descended from very different populations. Click here for a recent blog post on a case solved with ethnicity. Also I have found that the listed communities at Ancestry are pretty accurate so they can be quite useful too.
Finding an unknown father in a few hours with DNA has become much more common due to the large number of American testers. A neighbor, let’s call her Dede, noticed I was a genealogist on FaceBook, so contacted me for help late one evening in December. She asked if I could help figure out who her unknown Dad was from her DNA results. She was a bit discouraged because no one had answered her messages.
Dede was tested on Ancestry and although her mother was not tested, a known maternal first cousin happened to be in her match list. That would be useful for separating the maternal from the paternal matches. Dede’s ethnicity had a surprisingly high 47% German percentage while her first cousin had only 27% . Plus that cousin had no Eastern Europe (Dede 10%) or Baltic (Dede 3%) so perhaps Dede’s father was part Germanic and Slavic.
Dede’s ethnicity at Ancestry – note the Kentucky community
I took a quick look at her Ancestry match list and saw several paternal 2nd and 3rd cousin matches so I told her that it would be pretty easy, then quoted her my discount rates and a estimate. The next day I sent her the wedding picture of her father’s parents. She and her family drove to Oregon after Christmas to get to know her half sister and Dad. What a magical Holiday it was for all!