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Question about Ancestry matches

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  • Question about Ancestry matches

    I had my dna done by I contacted a couple of people indicated in my matches, both at the 4-6th cousin level. They live in VA, and I am looking at my father's side of the family, who came from around the Ozarks. These individuals indicate they are not connected to anyone from this part of the country. Did Ancestry get it wrong? One of them was sort of hateful about the whole thing -

  • #2
    Ancestry didn't get it wrong. What was the total cM shared? Fifth cousins is getting to the limit of autosomal matching at 3cM. It's hard to account for everybody back that far that might have ended up moving unless they have one heck of a paper trail.


    • #3
      Estimates of the degree of cousinship beyond about second cousins are frequently way too optimistic (i.e., wrong), the relationship often appears to be several generations farther back.


      • #4
        It is not uncommon to be unable to confirm exactly how you are related to your matches - whichever company did the testing.

        "Unable to verify it with the paper trail" is not the same as: "wrong".

        I have waited seven years since testing to get the first match we could both confirm. Although I have many matches (thousands) apart from that, all the others remain unconfirmed. I've had some interesting correspondence about how we might be related, but nothing ('til now) that was provable.

        I'm afraid you need to get used to "matches" saying they've never heard of your ancestors - and you saying you can't make any connection with theirs, either.

        What I don't understand, though, is anyone being "hateful" about it. A high proportion of enquiries don't lead to any breakthrough - this is not the fault of the person doing the asking. I always try to be polite about it, even if, more than 99.9% of the time, I'm having to say: "I'm sorry, none of those names or places showed up in my research".

        After seven years, I finally got the 0.1% where I was able to reply: "Yes, I know them all! And I can tell you more."