The great new features just keep coming for Ancestry‘s DNA product. Now we can click new people into our tree from a DNA match with an Ancestor hint. This can be done from the page where it shows the pathway for each of you to the common ancestor, explained in detail on the next page of this post. Hopefully you will all be careful about this, checking sources and so forth …
One thing I love about Ancestry‘s common ancestor feature is that it always uses my tree first before extrapolating from other trees and records. Yes that’s right, it uses records!
When I look at a DNA match with a common ancestor I always note the relationship in the notepad and then color code by great grandparent line. This means that when I look through my DNA matches with common ancestors, the ones not yet categorized are easy to see since they have nothing added in the right hand column, for example Susan in the diagram above.
The other approach would be to filter by “Matches you haven’t viewed” and visually scan for common ancestors since you cannot combine those filters. [UPDATE 22-Apr-2020: they can now be combined, Ancestry now has a better menu bar than the one shown above with more ways to view your matches] Personally I have too many distant cousins that I have not looked at yet, but I often use the group filter of “Close matches – 4th cousin or closer” and combine it with the sort by date. People who have just gotten their test results are more likely to be on the site and thus may respond to your message.
The problem with the latter approach is that some matches you have already viewed may have recently added some tree information and Ancestry has found a common ancestor that was not there before. Therefore it is best to add notes and/or color codes and periodically check the list of people with common ancestors for new finds.
The other day I saw a very fanciful looking match with distant cousin “A” to my VE line from Hordaland. Her ancestry was almost entirely Norwegian with a bit of Swedish so that fit. Curious about an ancestor called just “J” in her line I had to investigate.
So what is the opposite of the saying when it rains it pours? How about the sun is not only shining but there are rainbows!
When you keep extensive spreadsheets that include the common ancestor for segments of DNA that triangulate, you sometimes have quick success with a new DNA relative.
I recently shared my Norwegian 3rd cousin’s kit with Shelley on 23andme. She has a large X match with him that I am still working on. His maternal side from Rogaland is not related to me that I know of.
Naturally I always compare a new DNA relative to everyone else possible. I was surprised to discover that she shares a small bit of DNA with my Dad and my brother that triangulates with a known fourth cousin and her sister. Synchronicity … these are the same cousins mentioned in my previous post about my X segment from Ve and Fatland.
Etne Fjord, Ve farm at very distant left hand side
So I emailed Shelley and told her that she shares a small (6cM) segment that we know comes to us from our ancestor Aamund Bjørnson Tvedten (Ve) 1772-1842 so perhaps we share one of his ancestors. She replied back, all excited, wow my great-grandmother is Anna Wee (Ve).
The X chromosome has always fascinated me. Whether it is trying to track down the family mild blue/green color blindness or just observing X inheritance patterns in my family and others.
The old farm house at Fatland farm, Halsnøy Island, June 2015
This morning I woke up all excited because I realized that a large piece of my X chromosome comes from my Norwegian 4th grandmother Metta Olsdatter Ve (Fatland) born 1729 on farm Fatland, likely in the house pictured here. She died in 1805 on farm Ve (or Wee) so made it into the 1801 census.
So how did I figure this X inheritance out? My Dad and I share 33.5 cMs of the X chromosome with my fourth cousin once removed Maria and her mother (so it is phased). They descend from a different wife of our common ancestor Aamund Bjørnsen Tvetden. So these 3326 SNPs of X located from 68M to 113M must come from him and therefore from his mother Metta.
No I did not share this insight with my husband when he brought me my morning coffee. I know better than to make his eyes glaze over … only other genetic genealogy aficionados would appreciate this, so I am sharing it here instead.
By the way I am still collecting X statistics, so click here for more on that and please contribute yours
Several of the Ve farms, Etne, Hordaland , June 2015