Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My spin on the Ancestry DNA Update

This week as I was reading various genealogy blogs, I noticed that several were talking about the Upcoming Ancestry DNA Update. You can read several I have found at DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy;The Legal Genealogist ; plus The Genetic Genealogist.

To make a long story short, Ancestry’s update will refine our matches. They claim there will be a net gain in matches for most people and a few will actually lose matches. I remember the previous update and I was mostly relieved by the loss of many of my matches. I had way too many pages of matches, now I am down to 96 pages which are still about 4600 matches. However, I did lose some confirmed matches, these were people who were stated that we were DNA matches and I could confirm that with their trees. 

Anyway, the most important thing about this news is perhaps recording your matches now, before you lose too many.

Suggestions were made about making a screen capture or other record of various data currently associated with your DNA result.

I thought first about using the snipping tool, this makes a nice screen shot of whatever I want to save. Downfall, the links are gone. When I look at my list of matches through DNA Circles, each match has a link I might want to preserve. Hopefully the links will still work after Ancestry’s update. Also, I don’t know about managing so many separate files.

Second, I thought about highlighting the data and then copy and paste into a word document. This can preserve the links; however, the format of the page is sometimes another thing. I find the format of the page doesn’t always pass over into my word document. Even though I could end up with one massive word document, the formatting loss makes it hard to understand the data.

Then I thought about highlighting the data and then printing into a pdf document. This usually preserves the links, but again, the format of the page doesn’t always stay the same. Plus, I don’t really want multiple separate PDF’s for everything. That is a lot of documents to look through to find what I want.

Then the light bulb came on. What can take documents, and help me search to find things on the page, plus preserve the links and save the format of the page. EVERNOTE came to mind. Again, I am not sure if preserving the links will work, if Ancestry ends up changing the location of the links, but saving the format of the page and the ability of searching out weigh the fact that I might lose working links. However, if Ancestry doesn’t move things around, the links might still work. Plus Evernote is accessible on all my devices.

So the suggestion was to perhaps save every DNA circle you have. I just opened the DNA circle, went to the link page and then saved the page to Evernote into my AncestryDNA notebook.
Next the suggestion was to save every NAD (New Ancestor Discoveries) you have. Again, I selected the link page view and saved the page into Evernote.  

Next suggestion was to “star” every Shared Ancestor Hint you have. To accomplish this task, click on the HINTS filter, located at the top of all your matches. This will display all your DNA matches who spell your common ancestor exactly the same and facts match too. I didn’t have too many, so manually, clicking the star next to each one didn’t take very long.

Next they suggest that you screen capture as many of the Shared Matches list for your Shared Ancestor Hint matches. This is a very good suggestion. Once I clicked on the Shared Matches tab for each Shared Ancestor Hint, I then saved the page to Evernote and titled it with the DNA Shared user’s name.  This is most important for those distant cousins, who might fall off your list. You would think if you have a Shared Ancestor Hint, you would not lose those, but from previous experience, I know I lost a few on the previous update.

The final suggestion, if you have time and energy, was to screen capture as many of the Shared Match lists for other folks without Shared Ancestor Hints at the fourth cousin level as you can. I could have done the save to Evernote for this suggestion too, however I had already started a spreadsheet of all my matches through fourth cousin level and I have recorded the shared matches of these people.  

Now all these tasks were not too bad, but if you manage multiple tests, like I do, this could take a while. I did all the steps with exception of the final step for all the tests that I manage.

Why not the final suggestion, basically because I just don’t have the energy.  I have 134 4th cousins or closer, my full sister has 133 4th cousins or closer.  I do know that we have a lot of the same matches, there are only a few different, and yes I could take the time to figure out who I am missing. My half-sister has 156 4th cousins or closer and my half-brother has 159 4th cousins or closer. Again, I have some common matches, less than my full sister and my half-sister and half-brother have a lot more in common to each other based on their Dad’s side. However, I have decided a long time ago, that I need to concentrate on one testing company for one tester. The company is AncestryDNA and the tester is me.

Therefore, I am done for now! Whew! 

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