Automated DNA Icons in your Ancestry Tree

Did you know that you can turn on icons in your Ancestry family tree that connect to your DNA results? Click on the DNA icon at the bottom of the tree management icons on the left and a panel will swing in from the right (as in the image below) showing three icons that you can turn on: ThruLines, Possible DNA Matches, and Connected DNA Matches. Just click the On/Off slider to turn each of them on or off.

Turning on the DNA Discovries Icons – red arrow showing where to click is my addition

 

Of all those, I find the ThruLines icon the most useful because when looking at the boxes view in a complicated tree, I can easily pick out my ancestors because of the little blue ThruLines icons (as in the example above). Since my brother has tested, all my direct ancestors back to my 5th grandparents have that icon. In the past I had put my own icon in the suffix field. Then I used the direct DNA ancestor tag that Ancestry provides. It is so much less work having it done automatically for me!

Clicking on a profile with the ThruLines icon pops up a box with a summary of information about that person including, on the bottom, the word ThruLines with a down arrow to the right of it. Click either the down arrow or those words to expand the little window downwards, as shown on the left. and see clickable green highlighted words that will take you to the actual ThruLines page for that ancestor (example below).

Image of ThruLines for Halvard T. Tveito

ThruLines for Halvard T. Tveito … I may not have all these people in my tree!

Whenever I get a new match that I can figure out, I connect them to that person in my family tree which results in the Connected DNA Match icon on them in my tree. When you click a person with that icon, you get a pop-up box that includes the words Connected to a DNA Match with a down arrow on the right. Clicking either those words or the down arrow gets a nice summary of the match, predicted relationship, total centimorgans, and number of segments. Plus you can click the green highighted words View Match Profile to go to the DNA match page with that relative.

When the feature to connect DNA matches to your tree first came out, I spent much time, while watching TV news, connecting my many known cousins to my tree. Click here for the blog post I wrote about that feature.

The fun new feature is the Possible DNA Match icon. Since I routinely connect all my relatives right away when their tests come in, I did not have that icon anywhere in my tree. Fortunately I have several less active cousins whose trees and DNA are shared with me as an editor. Looking through one of them I found that my known cousin Claire was marked as a possible DNA match in that cousin’s tree, as were my brother and I. When I expanded the popup box for Claire, Ancestry asked if she was the same person as the DNA match of that name. Clicking the yes button connected the match to the person in the tree.

This feature could be quite useful for the people with good trees of their extended family who have recently DNA tested, thus having lots of these connections to make.

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12 thoughts on “Automated DNA Icons in your Ancestry Tree

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  1. I do agree that these icons are useful – thanks for reviewing them!

    The ThruLines icons are a bit “generous” however. Looking at my tree, all of my 4th great grandparents and below have the ThruLines icon. However in many cases there are not independent matching lines back to that ancestor. For example, in one of those lines, there are ThruLines matches in independent lines only to my 2nd great grandparents (my great grandfather and his brother). I have no other ThruLines matches pointing back to my corresponding 3rd great grandparents or 4th great grandparents except those that are children of my 2nd great grandparents, yet the 3rd great grandparents and 4th great grandparents show the ThruLines icons.

    It’s a small niggle in an otherwise useful feature.

    • Yes John, that in the case in some of my lines too. Some ancestors just had more children who had more children who have descendants who tested. Also you may have inherited more DNA from some ancestors than others. I was quite startled by the number of connections to my 5th grandad shown in this article.

  2. I personallly have a public DNA tree to which I connect everyone who tests. I have a private “working” tree as well.
    I don’t think I was aware of the possible DNA match icon. I’ll look into it. I very much wish everyone had a tree and would connect their DNA. But I’m grateful for what we do have.
    Thanks for the post Kitty.

  3. Hi Kitty, thank you. I am familiar with the Connected to DNA Match feature, but ThruLines does not work well for me. TrruLines icons show for everyone on my Dad’s maternal line, yet there are no known DNA matches on this line. Viewing the ThruLines via one of these tree icons, confirms no DNA matches.

    • Dara –
      That can happen if your Dad has a sibling tested or if you have one. Thus the only ThruLine match is way down the tree.

  4. These are very cool. Thanks so much, Kitty. The features seem to work on my DNA results but not my husband’s. We have both tested as have his sister and father who are linked as DNA matches in my tree. How do I see his matches?

    • Has he shared his results with you? You may need to log in as him and do that. On the other hand if you tested him under your own account, which used to be possible…. Go to “Your DNA Results Summary” page and use the “View Another Test” there to see his results. If they do not show as linked to his profile in your tree there then … Click on settings to go and link his DNA to your tree

      • I figured it out. I have to be looking at my husband’s DNA results and then go to my tree from his matches. Then it works for him only. When I go from my results, I see mine only. It would be nice if the tree had an icon indicating whose results it was matching. Thanks, Kitty.

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