Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Thomas and Judah Farrell Project: DNA connections using AncestryDNA, Part 2

I need to emphasize again that I do really like AncestryDNA and it's key feature: using the Ancestry Member Trees to find matches and make cousin connections.  The interface is super user friendly and it's easy to navigate when seeking and finding DNA matches. I like that. Of course, I wish I'd find even more matches... don't we all?)

In the last post I wrote about our recent Biggerstaff side project and my longing for a chromosome browser built in to AncestryDNA. Now I want to turn the spotlight on a search mystery that's got Cousin Rich and me scratching our heads. The mystery has to do with the AncestryDNA search function especially as it relates to surname matching. You need to know right here that I have a very limited grasp of the mechanics behind how search apps work and that extends to the AncestryDNA search app as well. I just know what happens when I do this or that.

If you remember from the last post, Mom matches Cousin Joseph because they are both descended from Isaac Biggerstaff (1798-18440). Uncle Sonny is also a descendant of this Biggerstaff line, but not from Isaac Biggerstaff. But Uncle Sonny doesn't match Cousin Joseph. Why?

The answer could be as obvious as Mom and Cousin Joseph sharing Bigerstaff DNA that came right from Isaac Biggerstaff. The DNA shared between Mom and Uncle Sonny could actually be Farrell or House DNA. It remains to be seen and more will be known once Cousin Joseph uploads his raw file to GEDmatch so we can play around with the chromosome matcher utility.

When I found Cousin Joseph's match for Mom I emailed Cousin Rich and he went to see if Uncle Sonny or Aunt Mary also matched him. Joseph wasn't to be found amongst the regular list of matching people so Rich did a surname search on Biggerstaff. Still no Cousin Joseph.

Rich has a good sense of these things and it was Rich who first questioned if the AncestryDNA search function might have something off-kilter going on.

To double check I searched on Whetstone. Used that surname because I'd recently been in touch with a high confidence match who shared our Whetstone ancestors. When I did the surname search, whatta ya know, she didn't show up!

I have no idea why this should be. Is AncestryDNA looking at the same main match list and just searching for surname matches?

Now do you see why I really, really want AncestryDNA to tweek their search function and hopefully making it as good as the search function on the geanealogy side of the house?

Click here to get to this next search box, below, and enter your desired surname.

Late breaking update: tried the Whetstone surname search just now and it worked! But why didn't it before? Now I'm more confused than ever.

The URL for this post is:

No comments:

Post a Comment