Re: Ancestry's Drastic Changes Dash Hopes of Finding Connections #dna


Adam Turner
 

I think I come down somewhere in the middle on the value of these small-segment matches and autosomal DNA research generally. DNA doesn't show how you're connected - but finding patterns among my matches in AncestryDNA has definitely been hugely useful for identifying groups of people who, after these leads are followed up with traditional research, turn out to be in distantly-related branches (those of the siblings of my ggg-grandparents) that can then be joined to my tree.

That said, have the matches below 10 cM or so been vital for accomplishing this? Not especially, in my experience. They're more like gravy: usually, the only way I ever find promising matches in this range in the first place is by using the search bar to mine my match list for a name/surname/ancestral town that I already know is associated with my family. Then, I can compare them to a group I've previously identified - which mostly contains matches above 20 cM. If I turn up a cluster of 9 people among my matches who are all associated with the Greenstein family of Anatevka, and Joe Kloppenberg in that cluster who matches me at 7.2 cM turns out to also have some match to 12 of my known cousins, that is decent supplemental info to have as I investigate the cluster further. But I have yet to come across a case where I would never have been able to identify that cluster of people if it weren't for the people in it who have the most marginal matches to me.

Adam Turner

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