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Family Finder matches I/F misleading with focus on surnames

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  • Family Finder matches I/F misleading with focus on surnames

    I administer a number of DNA projects, and I find autosomal testers get too easily confused when they interpret results. They are researching a particular surname, they have a match who has an ancestor with the same surname, and they get hung up on that, failing to grasp that the match could be through another way entirely. People start to think that autosomal DNA has the capability of Y DNA, which it does not.

    I am starting to think the FF match interface contributes to this problem. When we view matches, we are first presented with a list of people. We even have a "Most Common Surnames" display, which in my case, tells me almost nothing. Chromosomes are the secondary consideration. It should be the other way around.

    When the observer selects a match and selects "Common matches | matches in common," the interface does not consider *how* they match. A person who shows up in the "matches in common" list may match the selected person in a way that is different to how the observer is matched.

    I would find it more helpful to be able to pull up a chromosome and view a list of people who match me along that chromosome. When there are multiple matches congregated along a particular segment, at that point it is useful to look at the surname lists and the GEDCOMs to try and puzzle out how we might match, genealogically.

    The current chromosome browser does not have that capability. It is tedious to hunt and peck through a list of matches in common to render them on the chromosome browser, only to see that they match me in different ways.

    Instead of that "Most Common Surnames" bar I'd prefer to see what my busiest chromosome is, in terms of matches. Maybe even have the chromosomes sortable from busiest to the most idle.

  • #2
    Nowadays, genealogy is another science with strict rules. It has many prerequisites hobbyist or people who are just interested in their family lines skip, especially if they can skip learning genetics.

    Yesterday, I have mentioned in another thread here that it might be useful to ask FTDNA to have an advanced interface or advanced tools/options for those who would understand them, due to their knowledge/education.

    W.

    P.S. You are very right, depending on their culture/society people have very different notions of family or blood (DNA) lines. To some their mother is their family, but their mother family is not their family... Some consider second cousins to be a distant family, while others not only keep track, but also know their third cousins... Thus a Family Finder finding for them recent common DNA might be very confusing to some.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sbarr10 View Post
      A person who shows up in the "matches in common" list may match the selected person in a way that is different to how the observer is matched.
      Most definitely, and almost certainly the "in common" matches on any given person in one's FF do not descend from the same person.

      So with all of this confusion about DNA matching, what to do? If only FTDNA would update their FF with the tool you request - group matching on chromosome regions.

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      • #4
        ABSOLUTELY!

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        • #5
          I match three people of the same surname on chromosome 1 in the same position and two of them on chromosome 12 in the same position. The two who match me at chromosome 12 must be closer related to each other that the other person.The two are 4th cousins and the third is a 5th. They all have a well known Scottish clan name but there cousin lists some people with Irish names that are found in the surrounding counties.
          I think that the this dna from chromosome 1 is ancient because some of the Neanderthal SNPs are found in this chromosome.

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          • #6
            Please make matching simpler

            the present method of finding matches is cumbersome and time consuming. At least give us a way to eliminate those who do not respond from our matches. The present tree is useless and offers no information beyond a common name. Surely after all this time your tech people can do better.

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            • #7
              Hmmmm, so if I match a person my my chromosome 2 and other on chromosome 16, do that mean that the 16 is more recent than the 2?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RobertaMarques View Post
                Hmmmm, so if I match a person my my chromosome 2 and other on chromosome 16, do that mean that the 16 is more recent than the 2?

                I don't know what way the dna is passed on but I know that I cannot connect any of my 653 FF matches to my family tree.
                Chromosome one is the largest with the most SNPs and genes. Chromosome 21 is the smallest with the least SNPs and genes.The X is one of the largest and the Y looks like a degenerate alongside it.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karyotype

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RobertaMarques View Post
                  Hmmmm, so if I match a person my my chromosome 2 and other on chromosome 16, do that mean that the 16 is more recent than the 2?
                  No. The larger cM the more likely the relation is more recent but that isn't always true. Not all matches are related even within 1,000 years. Which chromosome you share with a match has no meaning as far are how far back people are related.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 1798 View Post
                    I don't know what way the dna is passed on but I know that I cannot connect any of my 653 FF matches to my family tree.
                    Chromosome one is the largest with the most SNPs and genes. Chromosome 21 is the smallest with the least SNPs and genes.The X is one of the largest and the Y looks like a degenerate alongside it.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karyotype
                    You and your matches probably don't have trees that go back 12 or more generations. It is an extremely unfortunate situation that so many records around the world were destroyed by accidents, wars, or a lack of care.

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                    • #11
                      I find the "new" FF far better than any other time .

                      question - what does the bold surnames indicate in the ancestral surnames.

                      I ask, because my wife's line has a Zeghet surname ( typical friulian surname ), but this in some Italian ancestry was Italinized to Segat............
                      Since Segat is not in bold, but a another surname of Rizzo is ( which is common in North-East Italy), then what does this bolded Rizzo means ????
                      S, Z and X are entwined in venetian text, example
                      kiss in the 11th century was Baxi, then it became Bazi, currently it is Basi .......all have the zed sound ( italian it is Baci )
                      another example,....middle-ages Venexia, became Venesia and now Venetzia or Venezia


                      BTW, she has others bolded, like Reis, but has a Rech in her ancestry ( another surname from NE-Italy )
                      Last edited by Bartot; 25 November 2014, 12:24 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Bolded Surnames

                        I have wondered why some surnames are bolded, also. I think it may just be that they are newly added to the persons list of names.

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                        • #13
                          Searching chromosome segments on FF

                          There is a way to search by chromosome segment on Family Finder, although it requires manipulating Excel and it still won't give you ancestral names -- which are the most useful.

                          First, from the Chromosome Browser page, download "All matches." You will get an enormous Excel spreadsheet. Use "Control-A" to highlight the data. Then select "Data" and on its drop-down, select "Sort." You will get "Sort by" selection choices.

                          I would first sort by Centimorgans, from largest to smallest. Then insert a space to separate, say, all results over 5 or 7 cM and above from those that are smaller. Use "Control-A" again to select the bottom group of small segments, and use the "Delete" key. This will get rid of a lot of noisy segments.

                          Then go back to the remaining data, using "Control-A" to select them from any corner of the data, and keep them all selected; go back to Data/Sort, and this time Sort by Chromosome Number, smallest to largest; use the "Add level" button to sort "Start Location," smallest to largest; and, finally, add a third level to sort by "Centimorgan," this time largest to smallest. Then hit "OK." You will then be able to browse all your results by chromosome segment.

                          This is easy. What's hard is adding in ancestry data and other comment fields.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 1798 View Post
                            I don't know what way the dna is passed on but I know that I cannot connect any of my 653 FF matches to my family tree.
                            Chromosome one is the largest with the most SNPs and genes. Chromosome 21 is the smallest with the least SNPs and genes.The X is one of the largest and the Y looks like a degenerate alongside it.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karyotype
                            If the story of evolution is correct then we had chromosome 1 before we had chromosome 22. We also had the X chromosome before there was a Y. That was a long time ago.

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