Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ancestry DNA - Shared Ancestory Hints

Earlier this week, I was contacted by another BRILES researcher who is trying to figure out how a third BRILES fits into our family. She had found me thru DNA matches. Discovering that we both descend from Alexander BRILES, I was puzzled as to why her DNA match wasn't showing on my list of 'shared ancestor hints'. Instead it was buried in my 326 pages of matches. It was also puzzling that I don't have a BRILES circle.

Because my Ancestry tree isn't my primary tree, I had uploaded the current version sometime in the last year. I also hadn't gotten very far in dealing with all of the shaky leaves. Although I couldn't find documentation to support this, I wondered if I needed to confirm the exact same hint as another DNA tester in order for them to show on my list of 'shared ancestor hints'.

Working on that theory, I decided that I needed to confirm some shaky leaves for my more distant ancestors. Not wanting to risk it not picking up the other test if we had confirmed different hints (i.e. one confirms the 1850 census record while the other person confirms the 1860 census record), I decided to go ahead and confirm trees.

Lo and behold -- my number of  'shared ancestor hints' went from 41 to 119 overnight.

Now that these BRILES DNA matches are showing in my list of 'shared ancestor hints', I might get a BRILES circle.

Lesson learned: 
Confirming shaky leaves essential to more easily finding matches sharing a common ancestor!