Thursday, October 22, 2015

What do I think of AncestryDNA?

So still waiting on my last kit to result but with my three other kits, and my cousin's who have shared their results, been playing around with the AncestryDNA site. In comparison to 23andme what have I found?

Well for starters, yes, you can see all your matches, but, I don't think I have any higher response rate there than I do at 23andme. The ancestry suggestions and circles seem to be great, so does the shared matches function, but, without being able to compare segments and map chromosomes, I kind of think it is an impressive interface that is user friendly but doesn't tell you a lot of information.

Several people I have successfully contacted have been open to gedmatch, but other's just don't understand DNA comparison usefulness, or aren't tech savvy enough to be able to manage it. And then there are the high percentage of matches with no trees or private trees, which you can work around by using shared matches if you have known matches to look for.

No where do I see anything about how they define their matches either by degree of cousin (cM's) or by "extremely high" or "good" or "moderate". I kind of feel that they could at least put that info in the help section for those who want to know. One advantage, not only are they now the cheapest (large) company on the market but you can upload the raw data to FTDNA if that is what you are interested in doing.

Of course I think one of the disadvantages about AncestryDNA is that not only can't you compare, but the tree's are misleading. Anyone whose been researching for any length of time and cares about accuracy will tell you that a lot of tree's on Ancestry are just full of errors. Some folks just take those little green leaves as proof and fail to do do diligence in their research. Which means that even if you "think" you know how you match based on a tree, the tree may be wrong. Or you may have a situation like dad does with CRB. He has a paper trail to her father, but is matching CRB, her sister, and her mother on the same segment. Meaning, we have an unknown, undocumented relationship.

Given the price hike at 23andme, well, I still think that ancestry is useful, but to be honest, if Gedmatch were to go away (please no, donate folks, it's a private non profit site), it is basically useless until you can compare segments. Given the almost monopoly the corporation has on ancestry web sites, I don't know that that is ever going to be their priority either.


  1. Some people on Ancestry(including me) put a couple asterisks next to names of people we are uncertain about, as well as warnings. It's not much, but it helps!

  2. I put possible in the name or a question mark lol

  3. hi If we tested on Ancestry com can we load our dna results to FTDNA for free? Thanks Jeanette