Tuesday, February 6, 2018

New to Me: New Ancestor Discoveries Feature

It's been a couple of weeks since I last logged into Ancestry DNA and checked on matches for a few kits. Glad I checked, because I like the new new feature in beta: "New Ancestor Discoveries."

As shown above, the feature highlights a few "potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already" in the tree attached to my relative's DNA kit. (Names/trees are blocked here for privacy.)

Click on one potential ancestor, such as Mary Polly Shepherd, and the above screen appears. At left is a narrative bio of this possible ancestor. At right is the explanation of the DNA Circle containing 6 matches to my relative. 

By clicking "Learn about Mary Polly," I can investigate the possible ancestor's facts, including family members and sources like Census. 

By clicking on the DNA Circle, I can see other individuals or family groups whose DNA matches that ancestor. Importantly, Ancestry also tells me there's a "good chance" (in this case, "as much as 70%") that my relative is actually a descendant of (or related to) Mary Polly. I like the number better than a phrase like "high confidence," for instance.

This a promising, convenient way to suggest how DNA connections might lead me to new ancestor discoveries. The cousins in this situation would be really distant, but the ancestor discoveries might help me fill out sparse branches of the tree or even put a crack in a brick wall. 

Take a look to see whether you have this beta feature embedded in your Ancestry DNA pages.

NOTE: One of my genealogy blogging buddies points out that this feature might not appear on my other kits because those trees are very well developed and may already have names of ancestors mentioned in DNA Circles for DNA matches. Good point!

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