Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Upcoming AncestryDNA changes - URGENT

As reported by many genetic genealogy bloggers there are some big changes coming very soon at AncestryDNA.

You can see some of the top genetic genealogy bloggers reporting on this at :
www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2016/04/19/ancestrydna-alert/ 
thegeneticgenealogist.com/2016/04/19/ancestrydna-plans-update-to-matching-algorithm/ 
dna-explained.com/2016/04/19/upcoming-ancestry-dna-update-urgent/


Here are some of the main points:

Your matches will change, you will lose some matches and you will gain some matches.  

Many matches will move down a category, ie from 4th cousins to distant cousins. This will change the number of people you can see in the "Shared Matches" list.  If AncestryDNA started letting us see ALL the Shared Matches instead of just the 4th cousin and closer shared matches, this would be wonderful!

Ancestry will make a way to get a list of your old matches that were lost, *if* they are starred or have a note attached by you.

My thoughts:

The Shared Matches feature is nearly useless since it only shows estimated 4th cousins and closer, so I'm not too concerned on that. 

I have 186 *pages* of matches, so if a few smaller ones that are possibly false matches disappear, so be it.  I am going to try to star and add notes to the entire set of matches but I'm not really worried.  

Change is good!  AncestryDNA wants their system to work for us (not withstanding their refusal to give us a chromosome browser) and they have devoted much time and resources to improving their methods for determining matches.  Database sizes are growing daily.  AncestryDNA has well over a million (I have seen 1.5 million reported) samples in their database.  As the databases grow in size, our time is best spent working on the higher, more reliable and easier to determine matches.  If you can tell me you already know the MRCA with the first 1000 (or even first 100!) matches on AncestryDNA, and have mapped them out, then by all means, spend your time working on those smaller matches.  No? Didn't think so...