How do I enter a 'Shared Ancestor Hint' from's DNA project?

+8 votes
I use the tools at Ancestry to identify cousin's DNA matches. I have several shared ancestor hints, which I've used to add individuals into my tree. I 'bulk-up' those trees by finding census and other records. In this way I've identified how other DNA matches fit into my tree. Again, I se the matches' trees as my original source and go through the 'bulking-up' and verification process.


How do I 'source' these Shared Ancestor Hints?


BTW, my plan is to work on my known ancestors for a short time, then I'll look for how some matches link to me but have no trail.
in Policy and Style by Terri Rene DaVar G2G1 (1.5k points)
edited by Keith Hathaway

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
I will share my experience with you as I have been working on this for a while now.

I think the information is excellent for building Wikitree, however, you signed the honor code.

The honor code means different things to different people. To some people, every entry you make needs to be sourced, for others, the profile must contain one source, and for people like me, if you change or modify existing information, it had better be sourced. There are also people that will check your work just to make sure it is not blank, regardless of whether your source is helpful or not.

Usually, if I am just copying information from Ancestry or Find A Grave I leave it blank. Blank to me, means, it is my word or someone else's word we are depending on here. The only source information Find A Grave gives is what is printed on the headstone that has been photographed and clearly legible (unless sources are included in a descriptive biography that has been sourced).  Maiden names and relationships usually are not carved onto a headstone. This is even more applicable with Ancestry.  When I run across an error or inconsistency, I will research and source the inconsistency or notate the profile with a conflicts section to be looked at later.

I firmly believe that entering information, even if it is just copying it from Ancestry or Find A Grave is beneficial, so I am have become unfettered by some people's resistance...I, like my ancestors , were pioneers and don't always follow the same path as others.

When I go to my "Shared Ancestor" I generally enter the path to the tester from the shared ancestor in a direct route on Wikitree. Then, when I reach the tester I enter the information and add their test. (This is only for public trees, do not do this for personal trees shared with you.) In a day or so, if I return to the Shared Ancestor, the system will have propagated the information up the tree to the shared ancestor and the new test(s) you entered will now show up.

If it is an Ancestry Circle that I do not have in my tree, I will take a little different route. First I enter the Ancestry Circle relative, then fill in the paths to each of the members that I have access to. I will create a ANCESTRYDNA circle (you can do a search of that) for the ancestor and the testers, then I will add the individuals (and myself) to it. There is a recommendation only people with an unknown link to the circle enter themselves into the circle, however, I enter everyone because I like to check my circles and keep them updated. For me it is much easier to do that from inside the circle because at the profile level you have other tests showing up in the DNA connections section.

If I am closely related to someone and I do not know how we are related, I look at our shared matches and see if between their profiles I can establish their link. If I discover how they are related, it might give me insight into how all three of us are related.  I will choose the ancestor they are related to, and treat it like it is my shared ancestor and build the tree as above.  I will also add routes to any surnames that I recognize.

Once I have completed all of this data entry, with little or no sourcing, I go back and run "FIND FAMILYSEARCH matches" from the pull down menu at wikitree.

What this does, is it goes to Family Search and compares its database to the profiles you administer. If it finds possible matches, it alerts you and you can create a link to the profiles. Then, the next time you return to the profile, or when a Sourcerer visits, they will have an immediate and easy link to get actual census, birth and marriage records to fully source the entries by clicking on the link at the RESEARCH section of the profile.

It is a long process, and if, like me, you have a lot of cousins to enter, you will get a few complaints. However, in the long run, it is very rewarding and the thanks and clues you get will make it all worth it.
by Lance Martin G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
selected by Terri Rene DaVar

Hello Martin,

You said "I will choose the ancestor they are related to, and treat it like it is my shared ancestor and build the tree as above.  I will also add routes to any surnames that I recognize."

You are building ancestral trees based on only the evidence AncestryDNA hints?

Sincerely, Peter



I wouldn't know how to do that Peter.
+4 votes
Are the "Shared Ancestors" linked to you in any way? I was thinking that I would have a section of your bio (or even a free space page) with a list of these profiles on WikiTree followed by your research notes. They're not relatives, yet, but may turn out to be in which case you would connect them to you in the proper manner.

As for source: Something simple along the lines of: Shared Ancestor from AncestryDNA accessed on such and such a date, with the Ancestry tree name and owner. The date is important because these change depending on the Ancestry algorithms.

I'm a firm believer in the KISS principle - Keep it Simple S...

I'ld be interested in other people's thoughts on this.
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (249k points)
It is a small world. The descendants of, for example: David Marian Smith, are the in-laws of my fifth cousins brother-in-laws half brother or some such link. For most, it's a DNA result.


I like the rest of your note - good suggestions. Thank you.
You're welcome Terri. I hadn't thought about what you're doing but having thought about it it seems to be eminently doable with the added advantage of being open and searchable by Google and the like.

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