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  • Has anyone else noticed this?

    In the past 30 days, I have 30 new matches. Of the thirty, only three have listed any surnames. None have posted any family trees. That ratio is much lower than usual. Unfortunately these new matches are useless as genealogical matches.

    Since FTDNA has offered free transfers during this past month, I'm wondering whether there is a correlation. It may be that the type of people who are attracted by the free transfer offer have little or no interest in genealogy, as reflected in their providing no ancestral information about themselves.

    Obviously FTDNA wants to increase its database in volume of members enrolled, which is the motive for offering free transfers. (I'm not opposed to the free offer, BTW.) However, FTDNA was founded with the primary purpose of being a genealogical resource. If their enrollment is increased by people who have little or no interest in genealogy, what will the end result be?

  • #2
    The main problem with any company's DNA test is that the people who are taking them don't really understand what a DNA test can or can't do for them. Ancestry's marketing which reaches large populations stresses ethnic heritage and how easy it is to develop a tree.

    Companies now have an ever growing DNA data base that is pretty much useless to people who are interested in genealogy. At least at Ancestry, it is a bit easier to actually develop a tree if you put your mind to it, FTDNA's tree is just not really user friendly.

    I've got a tree of over 6,000 people at Ancestry and just a few over 200 here. At Ancestry I can easily spend hours just tracing down the records for distant cousins. Here at FTDNA I put up a bare bones pedigree tree with minimum information. But for both sites the number of matches with actual informative trees is quite low.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Carpathian View Post
      Obviously FTDNA wants to increase its database in volume of members enrolled, which is the motive for offering free transfers. (I'm not opposed to the free offer, BTW.) However, FTDNA was founded with the primary purpose of being a genealogical resource. If their enrollment is increased by people who have little or no interest in genealogy, what will the end result be?
      Good point! Since my interest is matching rather than ethnicity, in my view all that FTDNA has accomplished is to debase its database.

      Jack

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      • #4
        After transfers were introduced, I asked about 15-20 cousins at Ancestry to transfer. I thought it would be great to be able to identify some segments from the New England side of my tree. Knowing those segments might help with the brick walls in my southern line.

        Not a single person ever transferred, though one said he would and 2 others expressed some interest.

        All my matches are at Ancestry, none here. And Ancestry refuses to give us a chromosome browser, or even tell us the chromosome no., start and end points so we can keep our own spreadsheets.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by keigh View Post
          The main problem with any company's DNA test is that the people who are taking them don't really understand what a DNA test can or can't do for them. Ancestry's marketing which reaches large populations stresses ethnic heritage and how easy it is to develop a tree.
          That's the entertainment part of the business, the part that brings in the most sales. Ancestry's business model is much more clever and effective than their competition. That's why they have attracted the largest customer base. But the question is this: at what point does the scale tip from those who were and are here at FTDNA for genealogical matching, toward those who merely or primarily want to be entertained by new features like My Origins?

          Companies now have an ever growing DNA data base that is pretty much useless to people who are interested in genealogy.
          Well said. That comes through subscription fees and promoting multiple testing of family members, and in the case of FTDNA, offering free transfers. That benefits the GG companies involved, but probably more than it benefits their existing customer base.

          I've got a tree of over 6,000 people at Ancestry and just a few over 200 here. At Ancestry I can easily spend hours just tracing down the records for distant cousins. Here at FTDNA I put up a bare bones pedigree tree with minimum information. But for both sites the number of matches with actual informative trees is quite low.
          IMHO, your last sentence and observation is most important. It seems many people expect to be provided with much, as given from other subscribing members/customers, without their having given any of their information, nor anything else - except their initial monetary payment to the GG site provider.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
            ...Ancestry refuses to give us a chromosome browser, or even tell us the chromosome no., start and end points so we can keep our own spreadsheets.
            No kidding... The lack of a chromosome browser is a killer. As an adopted person, I found the lack of a chromosome browser to really be an impediment since I was starting with so little. Now that I know more, the matches with no trees could easily be sorted accordingly if such access were provided. Many of these treeless matches would be far more useful as a result.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
              After transfers were introduced, I asked about 15-20 cousins at Ancestry to transfer. I thought it would be great to be able to identify some segments from the New England side of my tree. Knowing those segments might help with the brick walls in my southern line.

              Not a single person ever transferred, though one said he would and 2 others expressed some interest.

              All my matches are at Ancestry, none here. And Ancestry refuses to give us a chromosome browser, or even tell us the chromosome no., start and end points so we can keep our own spreadsheets.
              Apparently Ancestry knows its customers well. Their refusal to provide a chromosome browser, or even tell us the chromosome no's doesn't bother their consumers. Maybe their subscribers expect other subscribers there to do the 'heavy lifting' of genealogy, and provide it for them, so they can benefit by finding it on Ancestry at the click of a mouse. <?>

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              • #8
                I have had absolutely no luck persuading anyone to upload to Gedmatch or to transfer here. My messages are courteous and brief, just giving necessary info. I've even tried using one directly from someone's blog (Roberta Estes, I think)to see if for any reason it would work better than mine, though it wasn't much different.

                I think people test just because they saw a commercial and want to know their ethnicity and nothing else. No one has ever contacted me. Few reply if I contact them. I do sometimes wonder if they have ever noticed that tiny email icon at the top of the screen. Did they ever even see my message?

                On my mother's first few pages, I can often tell which line a person with no tree belongs to just by looking at the shared matches. Try doing that here where I don't know the common ancestor for more than a half dozen or fewer distant matches. As far as close matches go, I only know the common ancestors for the cousins I asked to tests. I can never get anything out of the in common lists here.

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                • #9
                  MoberlyDrake - "No one has contacted you at Ancestry". Unless a person has a subscription, they cannot initiate a message. But, they can respond to your message. I am guessing a very large number of people at Ancestry do not have a subscription. I agree with many others here that most people test just for the ethnicity reports. Ancestry reported this week that they now have 4 million people who have tested. Only 10% of my new matches have trees.
                  Biblioteque
                  FTDNA Customer - mtDNA - U3a1b
                  Last edited by Biblioteque; 27 April 2017, 08:26 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by marietta View Post
                    MoberlyDrake - "No one has contacted you at Ancestry". Unless a person has a subscription, they cannot initiate a message. But, they can respond to your message. I am guessing a very large number of people at Ancestry do not have a subscription. I agree with many others here that most people test just for the ethnicity reports. Ancestry reported this week that they now have 4 million people who have tested. Only 10% of my new matches have trees.
                    If you have been tested at Ancestry, you can contact your matches through the DNA version of the Ancestry site. However you cannot access the genealogy area of the site without paying for a subscription. (This is my situation, as I use a public library for free access of the genealogy section. It's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of Ancestry.) Unfortunately many of the trees contain errors, and cut & pasted copies of other trees abound. IMHO, one of the best features of FTDNA is the ease with which surnames and locations can be seen and accessed. Unfortunately, most of my matches don't include them in their profile.

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                    • #11
                      "IF" I am wrong in Ancestry's contact policy, I stand corrected. I read this on another blog last year. Considering Ancestry's "hit and miss" (works this time, does not work the next time), archaic navigation tools and their perpetual "Ancestry is not responding due to a long running script" mantra, we could at times both be right. Working there, and getting things to work there, is a very frustrating experience.

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                      • #12
                        Ancestry &amp; Ftdna

                        It came to my attention when Ancestry began a program of disloyalty to customers and providers: it is not a genealogy site, but a site to market itself to potential buyers.
                        Access to records is main reason to subscribe.
                        It can afford to sponsor tv shows, but not to keep myfamily sites, or real dna projects.
                        Any good genea out there is hopelessly compromised by the quantity of dreck you have to wade through to find it.
                        Ftdna has angered me with confusing interface and crappy tree tools, but I hope it chooses not play tit-for-tat with an unresponsive and cynical behemoth.

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