Wowsers! Ancestry Fixed My ThruLines

Last Sunday I gave feedback to Ancestry on my ThruLines™. As I was writing the feedback message I realized it might be good material for a blog post. At the end of the feedback message, I let them know I might use it in a post.

Dear Ancestry, My Feedback on the Step Relationship Bug in ThruLines sat around in my drafts until Wednesday. I took a few moments to check my ThruLines™ as I’ve done every few days since they came out – getting more and more irritated.

Wowsers! Those ugly grrr!! images I’d added to my great-grandfather’s step-mother and all of her ancestors are missing.

Could it be Ancestry took my feedback into consideration and got the step-relationships fixed? Had they been ready to roll out a fix before or after I sent my feedback? Does it matter? Well, yes, I would like to know why it happened so quickly following the feedback I gave. I want to know if this step relationship bug in the ThruLines™ was solved for everyone or just for me.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

I’m seeing Milla Susan PETERS as my great-great-grandmother. I’ve been hoping to see her ever since they gave me Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON, the 2nd wife of Gordon Washington ROOP, as a potential 2nd-great-grandmother showing half-cousins as full cousins.

Why, you ask, was I so excited about one ancestor being corrected? One right ancestor means I should be seeing her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents in my ThruLines™. All of these ancestors are from lines with many descendants who have had their DNA tested.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

Although Milla Susan’s ThruLines shows only two DNA matches, the next generations have many more matches:

  • 107 DNA matches through Jordan N. PETERS (father of Milla Susan)
  • 33 DNA matches through Rachel PROFFITT (mother of Milla Susan)
  • 68 DNA matches through Zachariah PETERS (father of Jordan)
  • 129 DNA matches through Kesiah LIVELY (mother of Jordan)
  • 113 DNA matches through David PROFFITT (father of Rachel)
  • 110 DNA matches through Sarah COCKRAM (mother of Rachel)
  • 123 DNA matches through Joseph LIVELY (father of Kesiah)
  • 128 DNA matches through Mary L. CASH (mother of Kesiah)
  • 97 DNA matches through Augustine “Austin” PROFFITT (father of David)
  • 97 DNA matches through Elizabeth “Betsy” ROBERTSON (mother of David)
  • 231 DNA matches through Edward COCKRAM (father of Sarah)
  • 232 DNA matches through Mary WORTHAM (mother of Sarah)

It’ll take time to confirm each match is a descendant of the ancestor he/she is listed under as the lines down are only as reliable as the trees ThruLines™ uses to make the connection. The large number of matches for the PETERS, LIVELY, PROFFITT, and COCKRAM lines was expected due to the families being large and having many descendants.

But wait! Not only was the step-relationship corrected for Milla Susan PETERS, but I am now seeing  <<drumroll>>

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD as my 2nd great-grandparents. They’ve been missing from the ThruLines™ since they came out.

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

William is my most frustrating brick wall. Sarah Ann’s branch and all matches associated with it are very important. I hope they will help me to sort out all the matches for her side.  This would leave only matches which will point to William’s unknown parents and ancestry. At least that is the way I believe it should work. ThruLines™ is showing potential parents for him which I cannot accept at this time.

Sarah Ann WOOD’s ancestry is bringing in many matches which will also have to be verified.

  • 41 DNA matches through William A. W. DEMPSEY.
  • 45 DNA matches through Sarah Ann WOOD (wife of William A. W.)
  • 87 DNA matches through Elijah WOOD (father of Sarah Ann)
  • 93 DNA matches through Rachel HONAKER (mother of Sarah Ann)
  • 92 DNA matches through William WOOD (father of Elijah)
  • 90 DNA matches through Mary Ann McGRAW (mother of Elijah)
  • 162 DNA matches through Frederick HONAKER (father of Rachel)
  • 154 DNA matches through Rachel WISEMAN (mother of Rachel)
  • 70 DNA matches through Bailey WOOD (father of William)
  • 95 DNA matches through Nancy _____ (mother of William)
  • 147 DNA matches through Martin McGRAW (father of Mary Ann)
  • 109 DNA matches through Margaret “Polly” _____ (mother of Mary Ann)
  • 173 DNA matches through Hans Jacob HONEGGER (father of Frederick)
  • 30 DNA matches through Maria GOETZ (mother of Frederick)
  • 202 DNA matches through Isaac WISEMAN (father of Rachel)
  • 204 DNA matches through Elizabeth DAVIS (mother of Rachel)

Another New Feature

Screenshot courtesy of Ancestry

ThruLines™ are now connected to the tree linked to a DNA test. On the pedigree view of the tree, there is now a DNA symbol in on the left to turn on this feature which adds a little blue ThruLines™ icon next to the ancestors’ names. William, Sarah, and Milla are ThruLines™ ancestors but in the pedigree view above they haven’t been updated. I discovered this about the same time my ThruLines™ were fixed on Wednesday.

Did the feedback I sent on Sunday to Ancestry on the ThruLines™ help them to get this fixed? I will likely never know. But I believe this was a lesson in giving the best feedback possible to help the team to get ThruLines™ working correctly. As I wrote in my feedback to them, ThruLines™ could be a powerful tool.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

29 thoughts on “Wowsers! Ancestry Fixed My ThruLines”

  1. Cathy, So glad you were able to get some answers through this correction. Hopefully, more will happen as they make adjustments to ThruLines. Awesome stuff! Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Cathy,
    This week my ThruLines disappeared my mother and all her relations! I switched linked trees to one focusing on my father recently to chase a lead, and when I changed back to my mother’s tree, ThruLines is stuck on my Dad’s and his family. It hasn’t changed in days, despite my efforts to get it to recognize my Mom’s tree again. I have written feedback, so we’ll see what happens! Has this happened to you??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a public ancestors only tree linked to the DNA. I switched to my complete tree and made it private. I had to upload it to Ancestry as I don’t work on the site. It took a week for it to be switched. I think once they are recognized and were in the system they can be switched within 48 hours as they write in their blog. However, if it is a new tree, in my case at least, the waiting period was LONG. Switching back and forth only slows it down, in my opinion.


    1. Thank you, Laura. Sorry for being so slow replying. “Access to ThruLines™ Beta is available to customers without an Ancestry subscription for a limited time.” If you have your tree linked to your DNA test then you are able to view the ThruLines at this time.


  3. My 3rd great grandmother’s 2nd husbands wife’s parents are no longer in thrulines. But hardly anyone else is either. And that little blue icon thing is now gone completely. I didn’t know what it was for so I went back to see and it’s not available at all. But I don’t care. The whole feature is worthless to me.


    1. Toni, only direct ancestors are used in the ThruLines. If your 3rd great-grandmother’s 2nd husband was not your 3rd great-grandfather then this is why his parents aren’t included. As for the icon, did you perhaps turn it off. Click on the DNA icon at the left under the zooming tool. A panel will open up on the right to turn the icon on and off. Sorry to hear you think the feature is worthless to you. Maybe once it is out of beta testing you can try again.


  4. Great! Now that is a LOT of matches to sort through—will you ever come up for air?? And I need to go see if that new tool you identified has anything of interest for me. Thanks, and great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may seem like a lot but I will only have to confirm one or two generations up from the matches since my full tree (private) is attached. For most, several generations from the MRCA down are in my tree. You’re welcome and thank you, Amy.


      1. Amy, you can attach a private tree but it has to be searchable. Your tree remains private. As with all trees which are private but searchable on Ancestry it will show up in searches. Users cannot access it but they can get in touch with you.
        In ThruLines, it’s the same. Your private tree may be used to make a connection. When the user clicks to view the tree it takes them to the contact page which includes the ancestor’s name if they are deceased and the year of birth and possibly place.
        One drawback: If you have given someone access to your DNA, they can view your ThruLines but if you are using a private tree they cannot see the names of the ancestors. They will see only cards with Private – no names or dates. You would have to give them access to your private tree so that they could see the ancestors’ names in your ThruLines.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know anything about the Thru Lines other than what you have written about. It’s now time to investigate what this is all about. Always appreciate your informative, learning posts ~ don’t stop 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am thrilled to see that they fixed your Trulines. The Peters and PROFFITT lines are very important to me. Those are the family lines that I do most of my research on. Thank you so much for giving us your input on the Trulines experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to do some work on the descendants of the PETERS and PROFFITT lines, mostly the second so that the ThruLines will be quicker to follow down to the matches. Your DNA kit on Gedmatch is very helpful to me as it helps sort out the matches we have in common. You’re welcome, Bonnie.


  7. Glad to hear that your issue has been resolved. When talking to Ancestry people at RootsTech, one man mentioned that they read all the comments made on their Facebook page. If talking to someone doesn’t help. perhpas a FB comment would do the trick?


    1. I’ve contacted Ancestry on their Facebook page by message and received quick replies. For one issue it took a while to get them to understand the problem and in the end they offered me a free month US sub. That was a year ago and I still haven’t used it. Good to know they read all comments. Thank you, Linda.


    1. Over the years (I’ve been an Ancestry subscriber since 2002) I have often sent in correction on indexed records. But I have rarely given feedback other than answering surveys. Maybe as a long-time user I should give constructive feedback more often. Thank you, Diane. I hope the ThruLines will help you with your two brick walls.


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