I've spent hours tonight - and I mean about four or five hours - building a very thorough, well-resourced tree for a potential MRCA with a 2nd-4th cousin which looks to be actual 2nd or 3rd cousin.

My match didn't want to give me access to his tree and has no tree on FtDNA, just a small handful of surnames with English counties. One location matched my ancestors to the very town and the very same time period.

After I asked twice, he gave me the name of his ancestor from that location who was born in 1802. It is this man's family that I have been building out. The ancestor was married twice. My match didn't tell me which child was his own ancestor so I found all the children and built their trees down. Still the same location but no match.

Finally, a chance google search located my match's tree on a lesser known family tree site. I was able to view it all.

His own ancestor - a girl - was the illegitimate daughter of this man's wife, born a full ten years before she even moved to the district. The man I have spent all night researching is NOT AT ALL RELEVANT to our DNA!

I sent an email to point this out. The reply was that in the next census she is listed as a daughter in law so must be his own child.

Words cannot express .... I have five days of holidays left and have just wasted several hours of it, just because he didn't want to link me to a tree that is actually fully public anyway.

No wonder I'm not finding common surnames in people's trees.

Yes, this is just a gripe. I feel a little better for having got it off my chest.