Last week I wrote about the six things I include in the notes on AncestryDNA for each of my brother’s DNA matches. 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 his matches.
As you can imagine I don’t have notes for every match. There are so many matches with no trees attached and I have become choosy about which ones I add notes to. Close matches and shared matches have priority.
When I’m on the results page or viewing shared matches I click on the notes icon to open up the information I have on the match. There is no need to go through several clicks to get to the information as described in my post last week.
When I’m viewing Shared Matches and they don’t have notes, I take a moment to add the cMs/segs and the other 5 things I add to notes when accessible.
Chrome and AncestryDNA Helper
Although Google Chrome isn’t my default browser I’ve added it to my list of tools along with the web browser extension AncestryDNA Helper. It adds extra functionality to the AncestryDNA site. A warning if you are not familiar with this extension. There are known issues of the extension not always working. Very often I have to close the browser and open it again to get the extension to work. This workaround, as well as several others, are mentioned here: How to use the AncestryDNA Helper extension for the Chrome browser (updated 23 Sept 2016).
The extension has a feature which allows you to search for users, surnames, and notes. I use it to manage my notes. For sorting through my DNA matches, in Chrome, I click on View all Matches. The search box feature (circled in yellow above), found above Ancestry’s filters for Hints, New, and Starred, is what I use search the text in all notes.
I can search for surnames in the notes, messages sent, or kit numbers. When I search for the term cMs a complete list of all matches with notes is generated. This is the consistency I mentioned in my post last week. Each match has different notes but cMs is the one word which is used in all notes.
The success rate of contacting matches through Ancestry’s message service has been low for me! I would like for people who share DNA with my brother to upload their raw DNA to GEDmatch so that I can use the tools on the site to compare the results. While I wait, this is the method I use for working through and sorting my brother’s DNA matches.
How are you sorting through your DNA matches? Have you been more successful getting replies to messages? Please leave a comment below. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
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.
This takes you to a new page with your match’s name, ethnicity, predicted relationship, and DNA Circle connections (when available) at the top.
To see the amount of Shared DNA you click on the little i.
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.
2. 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).
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.
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.
“We found potential new ancestors—just by looking at your DNA.”
A month after my brother’s AncestryDNA results came in I started seeing New Ancestor Discoveries. These are potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already in the attached family tree on the DNA page.
I found this a bit misleading until I realized what we can do with these “shaky leaves” from Ancestry.
The first one to pop up was for the Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle. It had 15 members and 3 had DNA matches with my brother. I say “had” because after a few weeks it disappeared.
However before it disappeared the Mary Ann Burks DNA Circle showed up with nearly the same members as the Boles circle. At first I was stumped by the names Mary Ann BURKS and Alexander McDonald BOLES. They could hardly be potential new ancestors as they were born around 1852, a time period in which all my ancestors are known and well documented.
In the Mary Ann Burks DNA Circle are 13 members, 3 of these have matches with my brother. One match belongs to a larger family group of 10 persons – none of the others in this group match my brother.
After taking a look at the trees of L. and G., two of the matches, I discovered the connection. The Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle had shown up because he was the father of Mary Ann BURKS’ children – but they were not married.
One of their children, J.P. “Hard” BURKS, has been in my database for a dozen years. He was married to Susie REELS, daughter of Isaac “Ike” REELS and Margaret Ann WEAVER. Because I do a lot of collateral research the surname REELS was familiar to me and I knew right away where this was taking me.
Genealogy Happy Dance
In 2004 and 2007 I corresponded with David, a descendant (2nd great-grandson) of Ike REELS through his son Millard Green REELS.
At the time I was part of a group of PETERS researchers working together under the guidance of Paula Kelley Ward who has been doing genealogy for over 40 years. We have her to thank for the work she did on Jordan N. PETERS’ War of 1812 pension file.
When David first first contacted me we were not certain if the wife of Andrew REEL, Susannah PETERS, was a daughter of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY of Franklin County, Virginia. Born about 1815 she was the right age to be their youngest daughter. However at the time there were two groups of PETERS families in Franklin County which further complicated matters. One of English ancestry (ours) and the other being of German ancestry. By process of elimination we determined Susannah had to be the daughter of my 4th great-grandparents, Zach and Keziah.
I needed more than finding the REEL/REELS surname in the families trees of these people who have matches with my brother. When I checked the Shared Matches I found L. and my brother had 4 shared matches – 3 of these have very small or no family trees attached. The 4th has 6 DNA Circle connections with my brother which point to the PETERS family.
G. has two shared matches with my brother. One of these has a private tree but since our PETERS group had worked on the collateral lines I recognized her as a descendant of my Jordan N. PETERS through his first wife Mary “Polly” TROUP. As her tree is private she is not in the DNA Circles.
I believe these DNA matches are further proof of the connection between Susannah PETERS, wife of Andrew REEL, and her until now assumed parents, Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY. I contacted David, L. and G. about my discovery and am waiting to hear back from them.
Don’t wait to check out your New Ancestor Discoveries. Take a good look at them as soon as they appear because they might disappear as quickly as they showed up. If a circle does disappears and you didn’t have time to look into it, don’t despair. It may show up again. While I was finishing up this post the Alexander McDonald Boles DNA Circle reappeared!
In mid-March I received this message from one of my siblings:
Just wanted to let you know that I ordered a DNA kit from ancestry.com. I will send you the results when I get them. Hopefully it will be useful in your research.
When his results came in late May he sent me this message and screenshot:
Hope this doesn’t mess up your research too much.
I thought he was holding out on me, waiting to let me know only after he came to visit for Mom’s 80th birthday. But the results truly did not come in until early morning of the day he was to arrive in Luxembourg.
He turned administration over to me as he thought I would know better what to do with the test results as he does not do genealogy.
The ethnicity results (above) of 100% European were to be expected although it blew the theory of a Native American connection right out of the water. Or so I thought. Where do the 10% Italy/Greece fit into our family tree?
After a week or so of trying to figure out some kind of system to work through the matches on Ancestry I decided to download the raw DNA data and upload to GEDmatch. After the kit (A131214) was tokenized and while I was waiting for the batch processing to complete I did a heritage test.
Admix Results (sorted):
Early Neolithic Farmer
Western European/Unknown Hunter-Gatherer
Ancestral South Eurasian
Ancestral South Indian
1.43% Native American DNA for my brother. I understand he got about 50% of his DNA from our father and 50% from our mother (European). Family tradition is the NA connection is through our paternal grandmother Myrtle Hazel ROOP‘s mother Rebecca Jane CLONCH. If I keep doubling the percentage (which may not be scientifically correct) I get 91.52% at the 4th great-grandparent level. Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLEY are the only known set. Another ancestor at this level was Levina DOSS who had her children with an unknown man. The unknowns are COOLEYs and TREADWAYs.
I admit this was just a game I was playing before I begin to get serious about using the DNA results for research purposes. But who knows, maybe I’m on the right track.
Oh yes, Laura and my brother are “predicted 2nd cousins” and share 381 centimorgans across 15 DNA segments.
In the case of Hamilton N. ROOP and Mary Elizabeth EPPERLY errors were made when the information was given for the marker placed on the grave. Who had this marker made and when was it placed on the grave? The children or well-meaning but more distant relatives?
The same incorrect years of death were found in Louise Roop Akers and Everette L. McGrew’s compilations on the Roop family.,  Did they get the dates and the name of the husband from the marker or was the marker made with the dates found in these compilations?
The certificates of death were found in the Ancestry.com database “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014” and show these dates are correct:
Ham N. ROOP, as his name was recorded on the certificate, died on 8 December 1918 and not in 1919 as seen above.
Mary L. ROOP, as her name was recorded on the certificate, died on 5 January 1929 and not in 1926 as seen above.
The death certificates and the grave marker might be considered by some to not be for the same persons as the names and dates are conflicting. However documentation for the parents and children show this is the same couple.
Mary Elizabeth EPPERLY was seen in all census listings as Mary E. except in 1880 when she was enumerated as Elizabeth. Her 1872 marriage record has her full name. Her son Silas Shelburne ROOP was the informant on her death record and gave her middle initial as L.
1872 Marriage: Hamilton N. ROOP and Mary Elizabeth EPPERLY (Marriage License/Certificate to Obtain a Marriage License/Minister’s Return of Marriage).
1880 Census: Hamilton Roop (no middle inital)
1890 Will of father James Roop: names son Hamilton N. Roop
1900 Census: Hamilton Roop (no middle inital)
1910 Census: Hamilton N. Roop
1918 Death Record: Ham N. Roop (informant: son G. H. Roop)
Hamilton and his wife named a son George Hamilton ROOP. This son’s nickname was “Ham” and he signed his WWI draft card George Ham ROOP. George died in 1930. Could this be the source of the confusion concerning Hamilton’s name on his grave marker? I have found no records which show the father and son as Sr. and Jr. other than the family compilations.
Concerning the middle initial: Family tradition may be where Hamilton’s middle name being Null, a variation of the maiden name of his paternal grandmother Catherine Barbara NOLL, came from. Or is it possible an earlier family historian believed he/she knew what the middle initial stood for and made this assumption? I have found no record to prove Hamilton N. ROOP’s middle name was Null.
I changed all my records and writings to reflect Hamilton N. ROOP and made a notation concerning my doubts about the middle name being Null. How would you handle this type of conflict?
Sources:  Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016).  Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised August 2000). Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17296789. Memorial page for George Hamilton Null Roop created by Roger Roop (#46830952) 4 Jan 2007, citing Surface Cemetery, Riner, Montgomery County, Virginia; the accompanying photograph by Roger Roop used with permission; (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=17296789 : accessed 7 January 2016).  “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and digital images, Ancestry.com, citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate of Death No. 40835, Registration District No. 601B. Ham N. Roop, male, white, age 63, born 10 Aug 1855, died 8 Dec 1918 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 9 Dec 1918, father James Roop, mother Mary Carl. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015).  “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” State file no. 2390, Registration area no. 600B , Registered no. 9. Mary L Roop, female, white, age 83, born abt 1846, died 5 Jan 1929 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 7 Jan 1929, father Allen Epperly, mother Susan Epperly, spouse Ham Roop. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 January 2016).
One of the first lines I worked on when I began researching on the internet was my grandmother Myrtle Hazel ROOP‘s line. Over the years I learned there were several researchers who worked on the ROOP and collateral lines. I am so grateful to them for sharing their work.
Before I go on with the actual reason for this post I’d like to mention three of these researchers.
Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008) on a book on the ROOP family. The summer of 1994 she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002.
During his research trips back to Virginia he met Louise Roop Anderson Akers (1933-2015) and they shared information. Louise and Everette did all their research the old way. They visited court houses, cemeteries, families, etc. collecting information, photos, and documents. Louise also put together her information in a book, The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope. I bought a copy of the book and later she gifted me a hardcover copy for Christmas 2001.
I began entering information from both of the books into my database. Both are compilations of dates and places of birth, marriage, deaths, residences. Neither have source citations but the second part of Louise’s book includes many photocopies of records she found. Unfortunately they are not linked in any way to the family groups in the front of the book.
As I entered the information I was able to confirm family relationships with census records. However I found dates and places I questioned and have wanted to find the answer to these for a long time.
One of these was the date of death of Nora M. ROOP and her husband Sherman LUCAS. Louise had the same date, 27 May 1941, for both Nora and Sherman while Everette had 27 May 1941 for Sherman and no date for Nora.
In my notes for Nora, above, I questioned the date of death being the same day as that of her husband (below).
In my January 1st post, In 2016 I’m Going To…., I wrote about the four Virginia Vital Records databases at Ancestry I plan on working with since I signed up for my 6-month subscription during the holidays.
Nora’s certificate of death was one of the first I searched for in the Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014 database at Ancestry.
The certificate of death for Nora May LUCAS confirms she died on 27 May 1941 as Louise wrote in her book. The next look up would be the certificate of death of her husband.
Sherman Paris LUCAS died on 20 February 1945, not the same day as his wife.
I was right to question the dates of death. It doesn’t matter how the error was made or who made it. This isn’t about pointing fingers. The important thing is I searched and found the records to correct the error.
As I work through the ROOP descendants I’ll be attaching the records and citing the sources to prove the dates found by earlier researchers. More importantly, if errors were made I’ll correct them and plan to write short posts about the corrections.
I have no plans of contacting owners of Ancestry Member Trees about corrections as this would be too time consuming.
….get my money’s worth out a 6-month Ancestry.com subscription.
I believe one of my ancestors was looking out for me over the holidays. Ancestry.com was offering $10 off their regular $99 price for the 6-month gift subscription of the US collection and I wanted it.
I tried to get the offer but was thrown in a loop going from Choose gift to Pay now to Choose gift to Pay now to Choose gift. I could NOT get to the billing page. I was told to try another browser or call in. I gave up before the offer ran out on Christmas Day even after I found a browser I don’t use which worked. I’m kind of stubborn that way.
Two days after Christmas I see 50% off on the regular $99 price!! Stubbornness on my part or someone looking out for me? Whatever, this time billing worked!
In May 2013 when Ancestry said, “We’ll be seeing you” they didn’t know it would be two and a half years later. 🙂
The four Virginia Vital Records databases at Ancestry, primarily “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” were the reason I finally caved in and took this great deal for six months. Let the research work begin….
To manage your own tree on RootsWeb WorldConnect go to http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ and click on Family Trees and then on Start Here. The second link, Also, go here to update or correct your existing Family Tree will take you to the same page as Start Here.
You may have to go through the Secure Sign In if you are not already logged in.
This is a screenshot of my Tree Administration page. I now have two trees.
Click on your new tree or the tree you want to manage. You will see your Tree Information and Tree Settings.
All screenshots below were taken of the original page which opens when you click on a setting – they may or may not be the settings I would choose.
Tree Settings 1: Display Options
This will allow you to choose how you want your tree to look to the public.
Don’t like the name you chose when you uploaded the first time, you can change it here. Would you like the name to be in italics? Add <i> before the name and </i> at the end.
Do you want surnames to be bold or capitalized?
The pedigree chart can be in table format or text format.
The depth of text pedigree, descendancy, register, and Ahnentafel can be chosen.
You can include the URL and name of your website or blog and it will be seen on top of each page next to your name.
You can add a header and footer which will be seen on all of your tree pages.
If you plan to have a clickable link in the notes section of an individual (like I have in the first image in this post) you will have to Allow HTML in GEDCOM.
I selected No for “Fix buggy CONC usage” – because, honestly, I don’t know what the heck this is.
Tree Settings 2: Living Persons Options
RootsWeb automatically cleans the living persons in your GEDCOM file with the maximum value 1930.
You can choose between Clean and Remove as well as changing the year. I use the 100 year rule and have my cutoff set at 1915.
You can choose to allow your notes and sources to be seen or have one or the other removed. My personal preference is to show notes and sources as people are more likely to get in touch with corrections and additions.
If you choose to clean living persons, not remove them, they will show up as Living Surname without any other information. You have an option to include a message for all living persons. I have one explaining the cut-off and request to be contacted if a person is known to be deceased or in the case of someone over 100 years old who is still living and should be listed as living.
The last item on this page allows you to remove certain individuals. I have only used this feature once to remove the deceased spouse of a living person as this was requested by a grandchild who thought the information could be used for identity theft. This will “stick” to the tree with every updated GEDCOM file. There is no need repeat this every time you update your file.
Tree Settings 3: GEDCOM Download Options
This settings allows you to choose to allow others to download a full or partial GEDCOM of your file. I don’t allow downloads. This is up to you and if you do allow downloads you can include a message, for example, your name and contact information, which will be attached to each person in the GEDCOM.
Tree Settings 4: Owner Information
This page allows you to include your name and email address on your page as well as get email notifications when another user adds a Post-em to your tree.
Tree Settings 5: Manage Post-ems
If you do not get email notifications of the Post-ems to you tree, this is the place to check if there are any attached to your tree. You can view the person a post-em is attached to, the post-em, the name and email address of the person who posted, and you can delete the post-em if no longer needed.
Tree Settings 6: Replace Tree with New GEDCOM
Time to update the file you have online? The process is the same as uploading a new file. Replacing overwrites the old file, no need to delete first.
Tree Settings 7: Download GEDCOM
Data loss? Computer crash? No backup? You can download your last GEDCOM from RootsWeb to your computer to restore your work – at least to the date it was last updated. Please see note at the end of this post.
Tree Settings 8: Take Tree Offline
If for any reason you want your file to be hidden from the public you can use this feature. Maybe you want to keep a copy online as an emergency backup copy but are not comfortable with people seeing it.
I tried this out with the dempseyorange.ged and got this message: dempseyorange has been taken offline. Please allow up to 36 hours for this tree to be completely removed from WorldConnect searches. The Take Tree Offline is now Put Tree Online and you can put it back online whenever you want.
Tree Settings 9: Delete Tree
Do you want to delete your tree? If you are sure, when you select Proceed your GEDCOM file and user information will be permanently removed from WorldConnect.
Did I miss something or is there something you didn’t understand? WorldConnect FAQs will take you to a page with, hopefully, the answers to any questions you may have.
I hope this two part post has been helpful. I look forward to hearing from everyone who has added a new tree to RootsWeb WorldConnect. Please post the link to your tree in the comments below – I’d love to see if we have Connections!
Note: It is recommended to keep a back-up of all your data in several places, i.e. external hard drive, thumb drive, a cloud service (Dropbox, I-Drive, Google Drive, OneDrive, to name a few).
This two part post has been a long time coming! In August Diane Gould Hall of Michigan Family Trails posted this question to the GeneaBloggers Facebook group:
Question for all of you. When you publish your blogs about specific family branches or people, are you adding this information to your family software?
For the posts I’ve done since I began blogging in January 2014 I have this code at the top of the note section in my genealogy program:
<a title=”TITLE” href=”LINK” target=”_blank”>TITLE</a>
I have my gedcom on rootsweb and this makes the link to my blogpost clickable on site.
Amanda Pope replied:
oooooh, Cathy Meder-Dempsey, I need to put my tree in Rootsweb! Do you have any tips (maybe a blog post? smile emoticon ) on doing so?
You hear about a computer crash and loss of data and are reminded you need to keep a copy of your genealogy database or a GEDCOM file on an external hard drive, thumb drive, or in the Cloud. I have mine in two clouds: my working file in Dropbox (mirrored on my laptop) and the most recent GEDCOM file on RootsWeb’s WorldConnect. I’ve been using RootsWeb to store and share my genealogy work since December 2000.
The first step to “putting your tree on RoostWeb” is to create a GEDCOM-format of your family tree. You don’t know what a GEDCOM file is? Amie Bowser Tennant wrote a informative post earlier this month, What Is a GEDCOM File and Why Do I Need It?
RootsWeb user-contributed instructions to creating GEDCOM files with some of the most-used genealogy software programs may be a bit outdated so check the user’s manual of your genealogy program if you need help.
You’ve already created (exported) and saved your GEDCOM file to your computer – remember the location!
We are going to click on Start Here but first a short explanation of #1 and #2. This is a new platform they have to upload your GEDCOM. If you are interested in seeing the old platform click on Click here next to #1. If you already have a tree on RootsWeb you can click the link next to #2 to correct or update your tree.
Click on Start Here to go to the Secure Sign In. If you already have a Username and Password for RootsWeb or Ancestry.com you can sign in without registering.
If you are not registered, click on Register and follow the directions on the next screen.
Once you are registered and signed in you will be directed to the Tree Administration page. This is a screenshot of my account. If you are a new user, this list will be empty. Click on Add New Tree.
To add a New WorldConnect Tree you will go through Step 1-3. As an example I created a GEDCOM for a non-attached family in my database: a study of the Dempsey families of Orange County, Virginia.
Step 1 of 3
Enter Tree ID: I choose dempseyorange
Enter Tree Title: Dempseys of Orange County, Virginia
Click on Create
Step 2 of 3
Click Browse and go to the location you saved your copy of the GEDCOM on your computer, type in or click on file name and Open.
When the GEDCOM file has been selected, click on Upload File.
Step 3 of 3
A little window will open to show the upload process. This example was a very small GEDCOM with only 290 individuals and took only 4 seconds. In the screen above the file is still being processed and as soon as all living persons have been cleaned the file will be viewable to the public. If you click on View Your Tree you will see the file is still being processed.
When you refresh the window after processing is finished you will see your family tree file. You will notice below (compared to my Opening Doors in Brick Walls page) that there is no header or footer (these will be added later in settings):