6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison

With matches for hundreds of 4th cousins or closer and thousands of distant cousins on AncestryDNA, I needed a simple but efficient method of working through and sorting my brother’s DNA matches. A spreadsheet in Excel was not an option as I wanted something I could refer to while on site.

Reducing the Clicks on AncestryDNA

To find out more about an AncestryDNA match you have to click on View Match.

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AncestryDNA Results for my brother A.D.

This takes you to a new page with your match’s name, ethnicity, predicted relationship, and DNA Circle connections (when available) at the top.

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Match’s DNA Profile

To see the amount of Shared DNA you click on the little i.

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Amount of Shared DNA

At this point, to avoid having to repeatedly go through these extra clicks, I add the following information to Add note. The note, limited to 500 characters, can be added to each match.

1. Amount of Shared DNA

The first item I include is the amount of shared DNA. I shorten “245 centimorgans shared across 10 DNA segments” to “245 cMs 10 segs.” Consistency is important as will be seen in my follow-up post next week.

ancestrydna42. Proven or Assumed Relationships

If I can determine the relationship to the match I add, for example, 2C1R instead of 2nd cousin once removed, and the common ancestor(s).

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Check Shared Matches

In this example, H.L. had a public tree (not a tree attached to her DNA) with 7 people. By checking the Shared Matches and the tiny tree I was able to figure out the relationship. There were 51 shared matches – two 2nd cousins, three 3rd cousins, and 46 4th cousins. Many had scanty trees, no family trees, or private trees. The top shared matches suggested a Dempsey connection, a name seen for 2 of the 7 persons in H.L.’s tree.

3. Match’s Member Profile

I administer my brother’s DNA results and have access and editing rights to a more distant cousin’s DNA. He is in the 5th-8th cousins range and does not show up on the Shared Matches which is only available to the 4th cousin level. Ancestry has a feature which shows matches to tests you administer or have editing rights to. Click on the match’s name to View Member Profile. Below the profile photo and description is a box titled AncestryDNA.

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AncestryDNA box on Member Profile page

I have not had my DNA tested and therefore this person is not on my DNA Match list. But when I click on your the two tests I have rights to can be checked. Surprisingly, in this example, both tests I admin are matches to H.L. This does not mean all three match the same ancestor.

I add to the note that there is possibly another connection. My brother’s match to H.L. may include DNA from our paternal grandmother’s side through the CLONCH or DOSS lines as well as DNA from our paternal grandfather’s side.

4. Date Message Was Sent/Received

When I contact a match I include the date the message was sent in the note. As replies or queries come in I note the date a message is received.

5. Date Results Were Viewed

If a match doesn’t have a tree or it is private, I make a note of this with the date viewed. This way if a tree is added later I will know it hasn’t been checked.

6. Match Name and Kit Numbers

If the match has shared his/her name, GEDmatch and/or FamilyTreeDna kit numbers, I include these in the note.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite use of the notes feature. What information do you include in your notes on AncestryDNA? Next week I’ll share how I use the notes on AncestryDNA and how I manage them.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 39 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

20 thoughts on “6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison”

  1. Yes, these are great hints! I also put the surnames or birth places we have in common. I use the chrome add in so I can download and search my notes more easily. But I have no 245 cM matches… 50 is a good one for me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a 479 match but am having a hard time finding the DNA connection. I am almost positive it is on my moms side as she is adopted and I have my dads side of the tree pretty far back. Do you have any suggestions on how to make a “mirror tree” to try and see if any DNA Beta matches or circles are found? I have heard to do this but can’t figure out how… Thanks in advance:)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sara, I’m sorry but I have no idea how to do a “mirror tree.” I’ve heard of them in the DNA Detectives (Facebook) group but could not understand how they are helpful.
        The New Ancestor Discovers are helpful for people like you who have an entire side of the family tree missing. The Ancestor Circles are for people already in your tree – and I understand these are what people who are doing “mirror trees” are aiming at. Thank you for reading my blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I use the heck out of Notes and Comments. I made FOLDERS for each 4 Branches so I can keep track of their Emails also. So I don’t have to keep going searching for Messages. I just put them in those 4 so I know I can at least search through that Branch folder. I also tightened up my Profile to include my Haplos and who I tested with. So many TIPS! Great Job! love to see how others keep track of their DNA.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Patricia. Personally, I am not sure if this would work for me. For example, I have a 2C and we have over 60 shared matches. Each matches at a different place in the shared family tree I have with my 2C.

      Like

  3. Great post. I didn’t know that button had the cm information. Thanks. I write the surname match based on the tree if they have them. I only emailed people that I could not figure out how we matches. I tested to find my paternal Lithuanian Miller relatives. Unfortunately most of my matches are for my well documented maternal lines. My aunt just submitted to test though. I’m hopeful that will help narrow down the matching for me since she has a different biological father than my dad. Common matches would be on the Miller line. Thanks so much for explaining this so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was hesitant to write such a simple post on how I use DNA. It brought more traffic to my blog than any other I’ve written with 1,101 views in one day (893 for the post).
      I was quite surprised that people did not know about the notes, New Ancestor Discoveries, and even the button with the cMs information. Thank you Jen for letting me know it helped you. Good luck on your Miller line.

      Liked by 1 person

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