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Getting it off my chest -why don't matches seem to match?

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  • Getting it off my chest -why don't matches seem to match?

    OK, so I've now purchased 3 FTDNA tests - yDNA, mtDNA and Family Finder - and have been offered hundreds of potential matches.

    Here's my main gripes:

    1 - why do so many people not submit enough details re place of origin, family surnames etc so that we can decide whether it's worth getting in touch with them? and why do so many people put up a family tree which is not available to look at?

    2 why does the system tell me that so many people are likely to be 2nd or 3rd cousins, when I know that I have most of these covered already and any connection is obviously much much further back?

    3 despite being offered hundreds of potential matches over the years, across 3 different tests, why have I never ever been able to authenticate even 1 single family connection?

  • #2
    Calculated matches/little or no family information

    The following complaints have been expressed numerous times and they are still extremely important and valid concerns. Why do a test at all if you or no one else in interested in results or finding out their roots?

    I had my yDNA done in 2009 and my Autosomal a little bit later, so I have had time to see and evaluate results and responses from other matches.

    My yDNA has been more helpful, I think I have narrowed down my male line a little. I have an NPE around my gr-gr-grandmother and now have a possible surname.

    The autosomal results have truly been very disappointing to say the least. About 70% of my matches have little or no posted information (GEDCOM or surnames). My possible 2nd to 4th cousins are pretty bogus. I may be related to them, but not between the 2nd and 4th level. I am the one who usually initiates first inquiry to potential matches. I have had only a couple calculated matches make the first contact.

    It will not do any good, but I will try again --

    PLEASE, PLEASE, POST A GEDCOM FILE.

    If privacy is you concern, PLEASE TO NOT WASTE THE TIME OF SERIOUS RESEARCHERS AND PLEASE REMOVE YOUSELVES FROM GENEALOGICAL DNA SITES!!
    Last edited by sspeters41; 14 April 2016, 10:17 AM. Reason: type in wrong word, need to correct

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    • #3
      3rd-4th cousins

      many people have little information published because most Americans do not know all of their Great Great Grandparents.

      when I started looking into my genealogy I only knew the names of 10 of my 16 GG grandparents. Took some research to identify all 16.

      3rd to 5th cousins are not easily predicted via DNA. This can easily be observed when you have a parent and child tested. If not for my mother being tested I would not have discovered some 3rd cousins once removed and a fourth cousin.

      for example, my third cousin once removed shares just 22 cm with me , a predicted 5th cousin...yet my mother shares 82 cm with him and my sister shares 44 cm (twice as much as myself)

      since we all have many more 5th cousins than 4th cousins, most of these predicted 4th cousins are more likely 5th cousins, but sometimes they will be more closely related. Having other family members tested helps identify the true 4th cousins or 3rd cousins once removed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rvlkaplan View Post
        OK, so I've now purchased 3 FTDNA tests - yDNA, mtDNA and Family Finder - and have been offered hundreds of potential matches.

        Here's my main gripes:

        1 - why do so many people not submit enough details re place of origin, family surnames etc so that we can decide whether it's worth getting in touch with them? and why do so many people put up a family tree which is not available to look at?

        .......
        I believe this (tree unavailable) may be a system bug. My family has a cousin who descends from my Grandmothers aunt, she has her privacy for tree set for matches to see (3 categories in tree settings), but all my kits which matches her can not view tree, get unauthorized message.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by prairielad; 14 April 2016, 05:16 PM.

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        • #5
          Also, FTDNA has had issues with Gedcom files. I finally found a way to get my Gedcom loaded after about a year of off and on trying. Many people will give up long before that.

          However, I have not received one contact based from my loaded tree since I finally got it up. My kit number is 390534. Is it possible that my tree is showing as "not available"?

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          • #6
            I'm sure this has been stated before and will again.
            Not everyone tests for the same reasons.


            Many people test relatives for FF/yDNA/mtDNA etc. purely to compare the results on a particular side of the family they are researching. They may have no interest in the other lines, and the testee is only helping by providing the sample, with no interest in the test or results at all.
            They may not knnow anything about their other family lines....

            That might not seem fair to some, but we each have our own interest/reason for testing or having other family members test.

            Get over it... Not everyone is interested in all the results and may not be bothered posting trees or responding to emails.

            Some may have passed away and not bothered to have anyone take over the research. (If they had anyone to do so.)

            I certainly didnt have my family members test to help everyone one else, I paid for members of my extended family to test to help me on my family lines.
            Selfish YES...

            I do respond to emails, even if I have no information or interest in a particular line, but not everyone will.
            That is life......

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            • #7
              how many cousins

              in a related topic. how many third cousin does the typical American have ?

              the average will be about 200 Third cousins, but a lot of families will have 300. my Paternal Grandfather had 80 first cousins, 50 of them lived in his town. He had more than 300 second cousins.

              the typical American will have 1,000 4th cousins and 5,000 5th cousins.

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              • #8
                I have to say I was surprised to see that only about the same percentage of people fill ANYTHING out at all than do at 23 which I thought was supposed to be much worse in that regard. So many matches list nothing whatsoever and FTDNA blocks you from even getting to see MyOrigins for any match! Even 23 lets you see their full version of MyOrigins for all matches that share with you.

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                • #9
                  A couple of years ago FTDNA deleted all of the GEDCOM files. Not sure why they did that. It is possible that many of the people who had their files deleted have not bothered to upload them again, or perhaps they are no longer active on the site.

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                  • #10
                    because not that many people have been tested compare to the amount in the world population. so your relatives that you seek are not in the database

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GST View Post
                      A couple of years ago FTDNA deleted all of the GEDCOM files. Not sure why they did that. It is possible that many of the people who had their files deleted have not bothered to upload them again, or perhaps they are no longer active on the site.
                      wow, that's super unfortunate

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GST View Post
                        A couple of years ago FTDNA deleted all of the GEDCOM files. Not sure why they did that. It is possible that many of the people who had their files deleted have not bothered to upload them again, or perhaps they are no longer active on the site.
                        I think at that time there were separate maternal and paternal GEDCOMs. This is probably an artifact of the company beginning with Y tests and later adding mt. I presume they adopted a one GEDCOM system for use with Family Finder.

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                        • #13
                          Even if all kits had gedcom's, you still could not figure out where most kits match.

                          Jack Wyatt

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                          • #14
                            i deleted my tree from a site because on another site they was taking names out of my own tree and saying i was related but the other person wasnt in any way, I would get an email saying kit number ***** is related to your uncle charles, and then upon contact they would have nobody related to me. the source was my own tree

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                            • #15
                              I have tested at Ancestry and the mtdna test at Family Tree. I have not had ONE inquiry. I have written numerous emails and have gotten a few replies. I've initiated all contacts. Luckily, I have found one match that was related to my great grandfather. There are two people that I contacted numerous times through Ancestry because of the surnames in their tree and our dna match and I've never heard back. I also wonder why all the private trees, and secrecy. They could test then why not just opt out of publishing results and information. Is that even an option?

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