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


I thought i was the only one fighting for the loss of the 6-7.9 cM. i complained the day the notice came out and shared with some others. Many were thankful and a few tried to tell me it was just noise. I know it is not because i have a line on my non-Jewish side that i can trace back 10 generations. One day I saw a surname in a distant match and she had a larger tree. i could follow her tree to meet exactly where they were supposed to....6th cousins.  I was stunned because originally i understood that these results were unreliable.  

Fast forward. I had made a couple more matches similarly but my Jewish lines were harder to prove due to paper trails before North America being harder to document. But wait there is more. We all know that Jewish Genealogy is a special search requiring a some basic understandings of endogamy, name changes, migration patterns, geographical name changes, generic terms like 'Russia' Or 'Austria' which could mean Belarus or Hungary.  

Because i have both adoption in one generation and an NPE at the next, I do not have the luxury of starting with the myself and going backwards. Most genealogist presume that inductive reasoning is the principal method of searching. This technique worked fine on other lines because i had data to fill in.  On my Jewish line i had nothing.  I could not use inductive reasoning.  I had to find clues and even that was not good enough.  Yes I had experience in breaking down other really tough walls in my other research but still i had the luxury of moving up the tree. 

So for those of us who have missing parents or grandparents identities through the holocaust, NPE's or adoption, this methodology will not work. You may get lucky and have a breakthrough but it will not be because you had information available to you about missing tree members. 

In these cases we have to parachute into the top of the tree and start climbing our way down. if the top of the tree is shaved off, we are stuck in limbo.  But after reading the support of people who wrote in, it is not just people with my issues but there is a broader range of researchers who realize the additional information that is stored in the distant past. 

I know not everyone agrees. I have had people who told me that this was 'just noise'.  Noise may be at the 1 to 2% level and it is a nice buzz word but i once thought that there was little reliability at this level and through evidence I found on my own, I have changed my position. I was wrong. In the last few weeks when my wrists got sore and my eyes blurred while i spent hours per day documenting as many distant matches as i physically could, I learned something I have not been able to find in my closer matches. I was able to separate my great grandparents and figure out that my Great Grandmother was Litvak and my Great Grandfather was Galician. That was a huge breakthrough and i could color code it.

Secondly i was able to find an entire line that could be documented to a closer cousin hence strengthen the jump to my tree.  I am still breaking down the wall and i know if i still had the 6 to 7.9 cM i would have a better chance at resolution. DNA has helped me determine a surname I am seeking. I was looking for the wrong name in the wrong place for years before DNA.  Closer DNA matches allowed this discovery. 

I am in support of all those who want to have the DNA reinstated.  I believe it was the contract we agreed upon for submitting DNA though they say these agreements can be changed on their part at any time. A one way street. It can't hurt those who do not care so it is a non issue. Maybe there could be an opportunity for those who do not care for it to have an off button so their 6-8 cM matches are not downloaded to their account. I would not have an issue with that. 

I hope we can fight to get the information back. You made some difference because they did delay the deletion by at least four weeks at one point. It was not adequate for me to cover all the areas i was trying to save.

No voice is acceptance. One voice is heard, many voices are answered. (one way or another).

Susan Gardner

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