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  • Ancestry Beta ThruLines

    Does anyone here use Ancestry Message Boards? I'm trying to locate a board I stumbled across on the Ancestry Beta Program called ThruLines. It's seems to be something that they might be thinking of using rather than Ancestry Circles. I've tried ThruLines and have found it to be of little assistance.

    Too many of the potential ancestors they pull up are not relevant and just plain wrong. For example, one of my brick walls ends at my great grandmother, Mary Jane Duncan. ThurLines gave me a potential 2nd great grandfather, Henry Duncan. I was really interested as awhile back I had used Henry Duncan on my tree for Mary Jane's father, per a family history mention of his name. I took Henry off my tree awhile ago. I went to see the info on this Henry Duncan and found out that there were 7 DNA matches descending for Mary Jane (all of whom are known to me as 1st or 2nd cousins). That looked promising.

    However when I looked at the one tree that was shown as the source for Henry Duncan, the information on Henry is simply his name, and then all the information I had on my tree going down my pedigree to me. The tree's owner probably used my old bare bones pedigree tree so none of my cousins are shown on her tree. So that's how ThruLines picked that potential ancestor, from a single tree who doesn't even share DNA with me. And a tree with absolutely no sources shown.

    So if anyone knows where on the message boards comments on Ancestry's new Beta ThruLines is showing, please let me know. I'd love to see what other's are thinking about it, and if it can prove useful to someone. Thanks


  • #2
    I don't see a board just for ThruLines but I do see people talking about ThruLines on the DNA "General Research" board and the "Ancestry DNA" board.

    Personally, I have found ThruLines to be very beneficial, but of course not always. I've gone through probably about 25 matches with ThruLines suggestions so far - maybe about half I've been able to confirm as legit. The other half are mostly ones that may or may not be correct but I can't find the evidence to prove it either way, and then there's been a few which I've been able to prove wrong. I make a note of the outcome (confirmed, unconfirmed, or disproven) and then move onto the next one. I still have some 80+ matches with suggested "common ancestors" to go through.

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    • #3
      My family's favorite case of Thru-Lines going wrong with their Composite Tree involves my father and his half-brother. My Grandfather's 1st wife died during the 1930's(they were married AFTER the 1930 census), and he had remarried prior to 1940. So along comes the 1940 Census enumerator who faithfully records my Grandfather's family of himself, his two children(by the first wife), and my grandmother.

      So we imagine that somewhere out there, somebody has done only very basic research on the family for whatever reason, knows about the 2nd wife(my grandmother) but is oblivious to the first one. Although they evidently suspected something was up because the eldest child doesn't have this issue(my grandmother being 14 at the time might have something to do with that). Both of the children from the first marriage are still living, so "private" family tree entries don't help things, Ancestry's very poor ability to display Step-Parent/Adoptive Parental relationships just helps to further confuse the matter. That the Census record only documents the relationship to head of house(their father), and not the relationship to the wife(their step-mother) just further helps confuse the unknowing. (There are obituaries out there which help clarify things, they just had to find them..)

      Needless to say, because of the 1940 Census, the stepmother likely became the mother for the younger of the two children on somebody's tree. 75+ years later, those two siblings have DNA tested on Ancestry, as has their half-brother. Enter ThruLines and their composite tree where it appears that my father and his half-sibling share the same set of parents, because somebody "out there" has a tree with the two half-brothers sharing the same mother, the woman their father was married to on the 1940 census. We take a look at the Thru-lines summary for my Grandmother just to see what it has, and it promptly declares that we're a DNA Match with our Uncle(who is actually a half-Uncle) through my Grandmother, even though we know it's through our Grandfather only. To make it more fun, he also appears as a DNAMatch on the ThruLines as we work our through the rest of my grand-mother's ancestral tree. Even though he doesn't actually match with anyone on that part of the tree, except for us.

      To make it more fun, AncestryDNA itself even knows it isn't likely to be a full-sibling relationship. They have listed him as "Close Family" with my father, and to make it even more sun, the elder half-sibling is listed as a 1st Cousin, even as the Half-Siblings DO show as full siblings to each other, as that's what they actually are. But hey, Ancestry's composite tree of every public/searchable tree has at least one tree where it says the two brothers are full siblings, and they're at least partial DNA matches to each other, so it must be right. Right?

      ThruLines is very useful for finding new leads, it makes doing descendency research very worthwhile in helping identify DNA matches which can, in turn, help work further up the tree through other shared/common matches. But that composite tree that they tack onto your own tree in order to make those connections happen? Buyer beware, what it says may not actually be so. There is a LOT of shoddy research to be found on Ancestry, and the Composite tree is very vulnerable to it.

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      • #4
        I know that one thing Ancestry doesn't seem to catch is the use of floating research branches on trees. Nor is it catching the fact that the potential ancestor they are puling up is already on my tree. The program is giving me John Dunn as a potential 2nd great grandfather, completely ignoring that I already have the same John Dunn on my tree as a 2nd great grandfather. They don't give me his wife as a potential ancestor. The program recognized my 2nd great grandmother as the same person that was on the tree with the potential John Dunn as my ancestor?????

        The program doesn't give a person any way to let Ancestry know that they've got it wrong. So I'm wondering how they will deal with the possibility of additional ancestors popping up and being correct, if they have already filled the slot with incorrect choices. They've given me Henry J. Moody and Betheny Kendall, his wife as potential 3nd great grandparents. They aren't. The only person that links to them is one shared match I have. She shares no other match with me. None of the Moody descendants that I know are correct share DNA with her. I went further up the tree and found that Betheny Kendall parents showed up as potential set of 4th great grandparent. Interestingly enough Betheny Kendall's mother maiden name is Callaway. Now that's a name I can relate to. However, that name isn't on the Moody side (Mother's line) but my father's line. My 5th great grandfather was a Callaway.

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