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"Suggested Relationship".....?

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  • "Suggested Relationship".....?

    Got my FTDNA results about two weeks ago. I was astonished to find my list contained 683 names of persons for whom I was showing a "match". However, upon looking closer at the data in the Excel file, I saw that "only" 53 persons had a "Relationship Range" of between 2nd Cousin and 4th Cousin, of which 9 were designated with a "Suggested Relationship" (to me) of "3rd Cousin" and the other 44 designated with a "Suggested Relationship" of "4th Cousin". (The other 600+ persons were all listed as "4th to Remote Cousin" level but none of these 600+ persons were shown with any "Suggested Relationship" entry on the Excel file.)

    Does this mean that my actual ancestral relationship with these 9 "3rd Cousin" persons doesn't go back much beyond the 3rd Cousin level (i.e., great-great-grandparents) and the associated likely time frame (i.e., a common ancestor who was born and/or lived in 19th Century), or could our common ancestor have been someone who lived looong before that, perhaps back in centuries well before the 1800's?

    Alternatively, should I interpret all these hundreds of "5th to Remote Cousin" persons as matches that are result of a common ancestor who lived long, long ago -- probably centuries ago -- and for which non-DNA research and identification is going to prove nearly impossible.

    P.S. I am in my late 60's. All of my ancestors, from both my parents on back -- on both sides, are Irish. Currently, the earliest known relative that I have on my tree was born in County Galway in 1807.

  • #2
    Here's our experience

    Hi, I do the Ftdna for me and my Dad.
    I can tell you our experience.
    Those people listed as 2nd-4th cousins have come in as:
    a. granddaughter of Dad's first cousin [1st 2R]
    b. seven 2nd cousins
    c. several second cousins one generation removed.
    d. Many others are 3rd cousins,but we don't have good enough family trees to figure out the connection.
    e. One glorious find! A woman listed as 2nd-4th to my father [b. 1924] is descended from common relative who lived from 1741-1801! She descends from one of his sons and we descend from another. Her longest block was 24 cM. She is a 4th cousin once removed.

    Many 3rd -5th cousins are in our lists. It just takes more research to find them.
    A big help has been having the 2nd and 3rd cousins I already know do the FF test. Matching them has helped us see who comes from what family.


    • #3
      Since the DNA matches are based on the amount of DNA you share with someone, it is possible for someone to show up as closer in as a cousin than they actually are. This is because DNA isn't shared in exact amounts even among siblings. You can have, for example, a cousin whose parents are both of the same family line, first cousins married. Their children will show up with more of a percentage of the line than if only one parent carried the DNA.

      Or the cousins can be carrying more than one family line that you also carry. And depending on how close a community was these lines can become very entangled.

      My father's uncle married his first cousin so half of the uncle's family were normal first cousins to my father, born of the first wife, and the second half of the uncle's family were first cousins from his DNA and 2nd cousins from his wife's DNA. I always think of them as first cousins plus. And I haven't been able to count the number of matches I have with people who have DNA that could trace back to more than one set of GGGgrandparents etc. we share in our paper trail.