Help = Ancestry DNA .. is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives? #dna


mandy.molava@...
 

 Ancestry - is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives and Jewish on both sides of the families?
Was told not to bother with anything below 4th in 4th Cousin by speaker in a local talk, however told also by another researcher that the DNA is magnified once it gets past 2nd cousin? I am on Ancestry, My Heritage and GEDmatch. (love the GEDmatch tools) to compare and do the wider searches.

Thanks in advance
Mandy Molava


chuckreback@...
 

Yes.  On Ancestry I have been able identify almost every DNA match with over 100 cM and fewer than 10 segments.

Chuck Reback
Spartanburg, SC
USA


rhonda.post@...
 

I think it depends on the longest segment size in GEDMatch. There are 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th cousins who have a long (50 cMs) strand and we were able to figure things out. If the longest segment is less than 20 or 30 cMs, I don't think you will find the connection.
--
Rhonda Rubin Post
rhonda.post@...
Silver Spring, Maryland


Bob Silverstein
 

Chuck, you got me curious.  How do you do it?  Hardly anyone replies to my emails, even my known cousins!
--
Bob Silverstein
bobsilverstein@...
Elk Grove Village, IL

Researching Kaplan (Krynki, Poland) Tzipershteyn (Logishin, Pinsk, Belarus), Friedson/Fridzon (Motol, Cuba, Massachusetts), Israel and Goodman (Mishnitz, Warsaw, Manchester).


elissa7@...
 

Yes!  I have even met my 3rd cousin once removed and my 4th cousins!  I lucked out finding my paternal grandfather's family.  I found my Great Great Grandparent's names including my Great Great Grandmother's maiden mame on an early 1900's NYC marriage license of my Great Grandfather's sister.  
It was my Great Great Grandmother's family who I found.  One of my cousins lives in the next town as me.  Crazy to think we all came from a tiny town in Russia (now Belarus), started out on the East Coast and ended up living just miles away in California.  
Also located a 3rd cousin on my paternal Grandmother's side who lives 2 towns away and we've gotten together a few times.  
Sometimes you get lucky and can find exactly where that person is in your tree.  

I also found my Mom's father's family by posting on a message board on Ancestry.  I never thought I'd have any luck because the name was changed to Cohen from what I thought was spelled Tsucker.
A cousin recognized the story, Cohen family in Rochester, NY and they had a missing Max.  It took a few years for her to find my post.  When I did speak with her she asked about the Tsucker name.  I said I was writing phonetically and the name meant Sugar.  Turns out the correct spelling was actually Cukier.  I was really surprised by the actual spelling.  By the end of our conversation she had sent me a photo (previously unidentified) of my Grandmother and Uncle.  And I sent her photos of my Great grandfather.  
In all these cases I was able fill in a lot of my tree.  Not everyone will write back to you.  I usually put all my family's last names and locations and people seem more likely to write back with the more info you provide. 
You never know what you'll find!

Elissa Haden
California

Researching: WALLACH/VOLAKH from Bocki, Poland - WATNICK/VATNIK and KAPLAN from Svislach, Belarus - GLICK/WEISS from Hungary and Utica NY - FELDMAN from Lodz - GOLDMAN - Lomza and more..


Marc Friedman
 

Mandy:

I have had limited luck with smaller cM matches (down to single digits), BUT I also know the names of the majority of my 2G grandparents (and some going back much farther), so that makes a huge difference because I can check matches against other posted trees (many people do not have trees on the site).  If you see someone with a private tree, do reach out to them, provide some information about your family, and ask if there is any match that they can confirm.  Even if they do not have a posted tree, reach out to them, because they are probably having the same issues as you, and I have found a lot genealogy is collaborative work.  (I have some strong matches who have an adoption in their line where the connection is probable, and I circle around with them occasionally to find out if they have discovered anything.)

Also, ask older relatives what they know about their parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Even if they were born in the old country, there may be some names that may provide clues for you.

Generally, I find anything below a 3rd cousin match to be the "easy" cut-off point (G grandparents were siblings).  But there are some techniques you can use to confirm more distant relations.

In Ancestry, I would always select the person, then check the "Common Matches" tab and look for those common matches that you are able to confirm.  Granted, this does not always work because I have experienced individuals with common matches on both my maternal and paternal lines, so I cannot narrow down the connection(s).

And, if you have a tree on Ancestry - public or private - under the "DNA" tab there is a newer item called "ThruLines."  This is a quick way to check against other people's posted trees.  I have had success using this to connect with - and share information with - cousins descended from my 4G grandparents.

The more you know (or can find out) about your own ancestors and the names of the siblings of those ancestors, then the better your chances of success.  So don't be discouraged and give up.

Good Luck!
Marc Friedman


Sally Bruckheimer
 

I have 3rd and more distant cousins on my list of matches at Ancestry, but if I didn't know what I know and who I know, we might not know.

I met my Catholic 2nd Cousins in 1979 (one gr-uncle married a Catholic); my mother didn't tell me that the Esther Fitzgerald we picked up to visit another cousin was actually a cousin herself. My mother said she was a friend of Florence's, not a Ruslander by birth. So I know a bunch of them who tested, and some other 3rd and 4th cousins in my list, but you and / or the match needs to know.

My closest match other than my nephew (not his son however), is in no way we can determine related to me. Go figuire.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ
Princeton, NJ


Dahn Cukier
 

An opinion.

Try to have more than one known relative to submit DNA. Best a sibling.
If a person is your 3rd cousin, but does not appear in your sibling list,
they are probably not relatives.

But if a person appears in both lists, they may very well be related.

Israel does not permit home DNA test for genealogy, but I found the
children of my mother's second cousin in the north by studying
pages at Yad VeShem. It turned  out that they are interest and tracing
genealogy for years. Neither of us had any idea we exist, DNA
would have found us earlier and showed that we are related.

My grandfather stayed with a family in London after WWI, how
are we related to this family was found a couple of years ago
using DNA result communications tools.

Dahn Cukier


When you start to read readin,
how do you know the fellow that
wrote the readin,
wrote the readin right?

Festus Hagen
Long Branch Saloon
Dodge City, Kansas
(Gunsmoke)


On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 10:46:56 AM GMT+2, mandy.molava via groups.jewishgen.org <mandy.molava=aol.com@...> wrote:


 Ancestry - is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives and Jewish on both sides of the families?
Was told not to bother with anything below 4th in 4th Cousin by speaker in a local talk, however told also by another researcher that the DNA is magnified once it gets past 2nd cousin? I am on Ancestry, My Heritage and GEDmatch. (love the GEDmatch tools) to compare and do the wider searches.

Thanks in advance
Mandy Molava


sharon yampell
 

I have to somewhat disagree with your statement about the person not appearing on a sibling’s list , not being related…  DNA is not evenly distributed so sometimes a sibling may or may not get the same DNA or DNA from the same person.  I have found many family members who I  know I am related to and have shared DNA with and then there are others that should be matches to, because they match other family members on the list, but they don’t…

 

Sharon F. Yampell

Voorhees, New Jersey

 

From: Dahn Cukier via groups.jewishgen.org
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2020 3:03 AM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [JewishGen.org] Help = Ancestry DNA .. is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives? #dna

 

An opinion.

 

Try to have more than one known relative to submit DNA. Best a sibling.

If a person is your 3rd cousin, but does not appear in your sibling list,

they are probably not relatives.

 

But if a person appears in both lists, they may very well be related.

 

Israel does not permit home DNA test for genealogy, but I found the

children of my mother's second cousin in the north by studying

pages at Yad VeShem. It turned  out that they are interest and tracing

genealogy for years. Neither of us had any idea we exist, DNA

would have found us earlier and showed that we are related.

 

My grandfather stayed with a family in London after WWI, how

are we related to this family was found a couple of years ago

using DNA result communications tools.

 

Dahn Cukier

 

 

When you start to read readin,
how do you know the fellow that
wrote the readin,
wrote the readin right?

Festus Hagen
Long Branch Saloon
Dodge City, Kansas
(Gunsmoke)

 

 

On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 10:46:56 AM GMT+2, mandy.molava via groups.jewishgen.org <mandy.molava=aol.com@...> wrote:

 

 

 Ancestry - is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives and Jewish on both sides of the families?
Was told not to bother with anything below 4th in 4th Cousin by speaker in a local talk, however told also by another researcher that the DNA is magnified once it gets past 2nd cousin? I am on Ancestry, My Heritage and GEDmatch. (love the GEDmatch tools) to compare and do the wider searches.

Thanks in advance
Mandy Molava

 


Carl Kaplan
 

I have attended several webinars, and they tend to advise to ignore the "relationship estimate", and rather go with the numbers, and what you know about the family. The numbers I use, from the webinars, for a match worth going after, are Total = >95 cM and one segment > 20cM and two additional segments >10 cM. But that can move. If I see a match that's close, I send a message. The whole idea is to narrow down the thousands of matches. I have definitely found 3rd cousins who were less of a match. One also has to take into consideration what is in the total. Ancestry seems to subtract small pieces from their total. At least this is how I do it. The main objective is to take it down to a manageable number. 

As for replies, good luck. I get very few, and that seems to be a common story. To me, that makes sense. Most of the TV commercials selling DNA kits talk about ethnicity, so I assume most people are ordering DNA kits to find their ethnicity. Since they don't care about matches, they're done. Some sites tell you when the person last logged on. Lots of them are over a year. I have also learned to put as much information as I am comfortable with in my message. I have received several that say, "I think we are related". That doesn't make me want to jump to reply. Lastly, I somewhat ignore last names in common. For a 3rd cousin, and I have found several through DNA, the names can change many times, especially if the connection is mainly through females. Your match can easily be on the 4th surname from the original. Hope this helps.
--
Carl Kaplan

KAPLAN Minsk, Belarus
EDELSON, EDINBURG Kovno, Lithuania
HOFFERT, BIENSTOCK< BIENENSTOCK Kolbuszowa, Galicia
STEINBERG, KLINGER, WEISSBERG, APPELBERG Bukaczowce, Galicia


Adam Goodheart
 

Another technique for unknown distant DNA matches on Ancestry: 
 
1) Use the "custom groups" feature to create a color-coded group for each of your ancestral lines.
 
2) Assign each of your *known* relatives whom you've matched with on Ancestry to a group or groups, identifying which line/s they descend from. (One match can belong to multiple groups.)
 
3) When you look at an unknown match, go to the list of "Shared Matches" with that person and click on "Groups." The drop-down will show you if the person matches predominantly with your known relatives from a specific ancestral line.
 
4) Research whether the unknown match shares any of your towns or surnames on that line.
 
I've used this method to identify quite a few unknown Ancestry matches. It seems to work even with pretty distant relationships. 
 
For instance, I looked at one unknown "5th-8th cousin" with whom I shared only 14 cms — but with whom I had 3 already-identified shared matches, all of whom came from the same line of my family tree. This 14-cm match turned out to indeed be a 4th cousin from that line of my family, The technique also seems to work especially well when— as in this case —  the unknown match is only part-Jewish.
 
Adam Goodheart
Washington, DC


chuckreback@...
 

To answer some questions I received privately.  

It sometimes take months for someone to reply.  Some never do.

I have an extensive tree.  I know the names of all my g g grandparents.  I have identified many (most) of my g grandparents' siblings.; for 5/8 I am confident I have the names of all siblings.  Thus I sometimes recognize the names of many potential matches.  Through names or common matches I can usually tell which branch (at the g grandparent level) they are on.  When i don't recognize the name I try to find the match on social media to see who their relatives are or where they are from.  When i contact the match I tell them how I think we are related and often ask if so-and-so was their parent or grandparent.

Finally, most branches of my tree spent time in Fall River, MA, so I ask if they have any ties to southeastern MA or Rhode Island.  

Chuck Reback
Spartanburg, SC


Adam Turner
 

I heartily endorse all of Adam Goodheart's technique here and will add a few bits to it:

  • The technique only gets more powerful the more cousins you know of who have tested. On the side of my family I have researched the most extensively (3000+ known cousins out to about the fifth-cousin level) there are at least sixty people who have tested on AncestryDNA. When you have a color-coded group that large, the best new leads become really obvious - if a new, unknown match only matches 3 cousins out of the 60, that's not necessarily very promising. But if they match 25 out of those 60, while not having a similarly strong pattern of matches to other sides of my family? Then we're in business.  
  • For reasons I don't fully understand, on AncestryDNA the Ashkenazi endogamy seems to play much less of a role in clouding the matches of people who are only part-Jewish. I am 100% Jewish, and have a handful of matches over 100 cM  that appear to be purely artifacts of endogamy, not true cousins. But at least at this level, people I collaborate with who are only 25% Jewish seem to have much more reliable matches. If AncestryDNA says that one of their matches is 117 cM and has some meaningful amount of Jewish ethnicity, that person is almost always going to be a real cousin of theirs. So I use the ethnicity estimate as another piece of the technique: someone who is only part-Jewish, but nonetheless has a promising-looking matching pattern to one of my color-coded groups, is a potentially very strong lead - potentially, an even better lead than someone 100% Jewish with a similar matching pattern. (There are a couple of women in my matches who are probably about 1/8 Jewish, and who I have been itching to hear back from: each of them only has about 7 shared matches with me, but all of those 7 people are known cousins on one side of my family!)
  • You can really supercharge the technique if you can convince your cousins who have tested to share your matches with you. Normally, you can't see if that promising-looking lead with a 77 cM match to you also has a 99 cM match to another of your cousins who has tested. But you can if they've let you view their matches! The more sets of cousins' DNA results you can study, the better a look you'll have at who might be descended from a ggg-uncle you didn't know about before.
Adam Turner


kdomeshek@...
 

There is a very informative article that explains the autosomal DNA pitfalls of endogamy, which include Ashkenazim.  The author is Jennifer Mendelsohn.  The title is:  No, You Really Don't Have 7,900 4th Cousins".  There was an earlier reply on this thread from someone who noted that distant cousins could be connected genealogically with a higher incidence of success, if they involved his non-Jewish side.  That was logical.  The non-Jewish population is comparatively heterogenous, such that shared lower levels of cMs are statistically more likely to be from traceable genetic matches.  To avoid the "false positives" of untraceable matches, I use a soft cut off of 150 shared cMs, when dealing with a 100% Jewish person.  However, if a lower-level match has a shared long block of 20 or greater, it is probably not a coincidence.  A shared long block with 20 or more cMs is an indicator of a common ancestor, because it is statistically unlikely to have occurred randomly.  A lot of shared short blocks, which total 150 or below, is a potential indicator of random endogamous DNA that is recirculated among insular, intermarrying populations, such as Ashkenazim.  Instead of being from a single common ancestor, the pattern of many shared autosomal short blocks could be explained by multiple ancestors who existed further back in time, potentially during the patronymic period, which predates the effective generational range of the autosomal test.  (Contrary to the misleading advertising, the autosomal test is good for about 3 generations, 4 if you are lucky.  Beyond that, the signal-to-noise ratio of this test becomes unreliable.  The patronymic period ended in circa 1800 AD, up to 8 generations ago.) 

Ken Domeshek
FTDNA Project Administrator
Damesek, Braverman, Kartorzynski, Sinienski


Sarah L Meyer
 

I have had a lot of difficulty identifying matches, regardless of site.  That said, I do a surname search on my match list and go through all the surnames that I know are in the family - especially husband's of cousins surnames.  I have had more luck with distant cousins + surnames and trees than I have had with 3rd cousins and no trees or just a couple of people.  BTW I have one first cousin on Ancestry and NO second cousins, so I drop immediately to third to fourth.  A couple of people I recognized, but I have some fairly extensive tree depending on the line.
--
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com


mandy.molava@...
 

Thank you so much everyone, I really appreciated your help and sorry for the delay in replying.

I have my Aunt and Uncle and a few cousins on Ancestry and 4 cousins - the lowest of these known ones is 109cm  and 8 segments, anything below this and it feels like a needle in a haystack. I have colour coded, cross ref and looked at the long segments on GEDmatch, but I have very little information and it appears to be very mathsy and guesswork. I have managed to find my G grandmothers maiden name from an English record and her birth records from Slovakian church records with her mothers name which would be my GG grandmothers (I am 99.9% sure of the latter), which gives me another generation of names hopefully to work with - HALASA.

It has become a quest and the older I get the more frustrated I get, I'm gathering everyone must feel this way?

Thank you again I will try and sift through the bits here I haven't done. I did go to Rootstech, (it's FREE online conference if anyone is interested in Feb), but when they started doing the maths, it all got so deep I got lost! I am no master at any of it.

Have a relaxed Boxing evening
Mandy Molava
Researching: MOLAVA - Brest + WEXLER & HALASA Slovakia/Krakow