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How recent does a common ancestor have to be for FF to find a match

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  • #16
    In some ways I am extremely glad I decided to do these dna tests, and other ways I wish I had never even considered it! I am beyond frustrated. I do FINALLY have an obvious "Hefner" match, in fact for me, he is my 3rd closes match behind only my sons (total cM is somewhere around 69) and he is listed as a 2nd to 4th cousin. He also matches 1 son, but obviously to a lessor degree, but not my other son (which I get). But... he has ONE Hefner in his tree that is extremely mysterious as most women of her time were hard to trace. I have an extensive tree, much of which needs to be confirmed but much is quite accurate as well. For us to be 2nd to 4th cousins, I would THINK I could find a match for his Catherine on my tree but no such luck!I know my closer Hefner family! It is my distant Hefner clan that I am unsure of! But I am still most baffled on how I can come from such a HUGE family, and not match ONE PERSON in the FF with my maiden Surname!!! Anyhow, this cousin has a cousin that I believe is starting to look in a line I know we do not belong to, IF my families long term patriarch line is correct. And now all I can do is wait for my dad's yDNA, which I was amazed he consented to give me! But... that takes months. And still, if we do match the guy we are SUPPOSED to match, that brings me no closer to figuring out my cousin match and his real relationship to me!

    And the person my son originally had a slight match to with gedmatch? I don't think I matched at all! Hmmph!

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    • #17
      Back at the beginning of autosomal dna stuff, a person told me they usually found the common ancestor(s) a generation or two farther back in time than ftdna estimated. This does seem to be true for my parents, who are both descended from US colonial era ancestors on all lines. They each have known paper trail 6th cousins who share enough dna to be estimated 2nd to 4th cousin. Got a few fourth cousins by paper trail who actually share estimated 4th cousins amounts of dna, too, but fewer of those. The vast majority of my parents' matches seem to be coming from 1700s era ancestors who are just out of paper trail reach. They've even got a few cousins by paper trail where the shared dna has proven to be coming from behind genealogical brick walls on ancestral lines not connected to the known paper trail at all. (headdesk, and boggle)

      'Intermarrying US Colonial families' has come to have immediacy and actuality, in a way it never had before I started the genetic genealogy. I'm wondering if this will also be the case for people who test in other parts of the world.

      Once, a person posted that the most useful relatives to test, in their opinion, were your original dna donor's 2nd and 3rd cousins, as well as the oldest generations available, like your grandfather. In my opinion, the hardest matches to come by seem to be the 2nd and 3rd cousins by paper trail.

      Hope this helps, or at least does not frustrate.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by MerryB View Post
        Back at the beginning of autosomal dna stuff, a person told me they usually found the common ancestor(s) a generation or two farther back in time than ftdna estimated. This does seem to be true for my parents, who are both descended from US colonial era ancestors on all lines. They each have known paper trail 6th cousins who share enough dna to be estimated 2nd to 4th cousin. Got a few fourth cousins by paper trail who actually share estimated 4th cousins amounts of dna, too, but fewer of those. The vast majority of my parents' matches seem to be coming from 1700s era ancestors who are just out of paper trail reach. They've even got a few cousins by paper trail where the shared dna has proven to be coming from behind genealogical brick walls on ancestral lines not connected to the known paper trail at all. (headdesk, and boggle)

        'Intermarrying US Colonial families' has come to have immediacy and actuality, in a way it never had before I started the genetic genealogy. I'm wondering if this will also be the case for people who test in other parts of the world.

        Once, a person posted that the most useful relatives to test, in their opinion, were your original dna donor's 2nd and 3rd cousins, as well as the oldest generations available, like your grandfather. In my opinion, the hardest matches to come by seem to be the 2nd and 3rd cousins by paper trail.

        Hope this helps, or at least does not frustrate.
        I have found that to be true so far too. My only confirmed connections of otherwise unknown people have been those listed as 2nd-4th cousins who are actually more like 6th cousins if both paper trails are correct. I have another match, my closest match besides my children, listed as 2nd-4th cousin as well... but there is no way I can see that he can be less than a 6th cousin. He is from a part of the country that my branches of the family left MANY generations ago (by 1820's). Is it POSSIBLE that there is another connection? Sure, but very unlikely!

        Anyway, all three of my kids have tested (it is a fun project for them) and my husband and I have tested. My husband's mom and sister have been tested, but with 23andme and I am not hopeful that I will ever have access to their matches or that my sister-in-law will follow up on them (MIL died before Christmas). On my side, I have tested my dad and my mom's sample SHOULD be getting to the lab any time now. I am hoping to get a DNA test from my Grandpa. My son will have to try to get that when he visits in a month or so. Beyond that... I doubt I will get cousins to test... I don't want to keep paying for more kits! lol

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        • #19
          As for the original question... I still haven't "confirmed" any of my direct paternal line yet, which surprises me still! I have that one match with the same Surname, but we haven't found a definite papertrail connection yet. I has GOT to be via my most distant known paternal ancestor somehow or his offspring... but there is a gap in the paper trail. I am waiting on my dad's yDNA to confirm our most distant known paternal ancestor, to VERIFY the papertrail is correct. And maybe my dad will have more obvious names matching our surname. While I haven't found his direct paternal line matches yet, I have found others that are connected to each of my paternal grandparents, but for my Grandfather it would be his mother's family that I have found a DNA match for. I am looking for more matches specific to my grandfathers direct paternal line.

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