When to say, "confirmed with DNA"

+6 votes

If I get an autosomal match at Ancestry confirming 4 fourth great grandparents (both sets of parents of 2 third great grandparents, do we mark all the parents in the line as "confirmed with DNA"  ??? or how does this work?  The link below is to part of a screenshot (cropped) showing an Ancestry DNA match between me and a 5th cousin which I uploaded to Google Drive.  I hope the link works.  If it does not, I'll try to figure something else out:


Thanks all.

I just checked the link and it works.  The other match does not show in this image, but it is for the other set of parents, Jasper Hallenbeck and Rachel Van Wormer.

Here is a link to the other set of parents in this match:


In this example, Rolland Hollenbeck and Charles Francis Hollenbeck are double cousins because both of their parents are siblings of the other cousin's parents.

As a followup to this question, do I mark them all the way back from me to the matching ancestors?  Or just the matching ancestors?


WikiTree profile: Richard Hollenbeck
in Genealogy Help by Richard Hollenbeck G2G6 (9.3k points)
edited by Richard Hollenbeck
Peter answered; I just want to put our help page on the topic here for future reference: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/DNA_Confirmation

1 Answer

+9 votes
Best answer
Hello Richard,

For 5th cousins AncestryDNA is only calling it a hint. To use auDNA to confirm a relationship as distant as 5th couisins you need to have a triangulated group.  Invite each of your AncestryDNA matches to upload to GEDmatch and add their GEDmatch ID and ancestry to WikiTree.

by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (605k points)
selected by Richard Hollenbeck
Thank you Peter.  Okay, but what about the double set of fourth great grandparents?  They are not confirmed either without a third triangulating match?  It was SO hard to only find one match!  O huge bummer!

I am majorly out of luck.. After all these years I finally get a clue and then... nothing.  :-( disappointment.

Okay, thank you.  I'm not happy, but thanks.
Peter is unfortunately right. See it this way Richard, you're most likely correct but like Peter said AncestryDNA doesn't provide us with the tools to verify it properly. Gedmatch on the other does it.

If you have paper trail connecting both then I would go all out until I have the triangulation. Even though at 5th cousin level it can happen that the ancestral DNA segment has vanished at all. But in these cases it helps to lower the criteria and prove that they still triangulate, though below the standard criteria.

You will do someone a big favour if he/she matches into these two people. They have a proven (if triangulation works out) MRCA to start with, much easier to then attach their family tree to it.

I only have one case as such and I'm still trying to figure who of the ancestors is the right one but we're getting closer as we have lots of other matches that don't triangulate with me and are obviously a match to those two on another ancestor of the MRCA.

It's like a giant puzzle piece, so much fun when one difficult piece fits finally in. Keep on going!
It really is sad that Ancestry does not provide for a big price what GEDmatch does for free (or for $10/month for more tools).  It is tough to get people to sign up for GEDmatch.  They think it is too much trouble.  I have walked a few people through it, but I have promoted the site for many more people who just cannot be bothered with it.  If I had access to their files, I would gladly do it for them, but that's a security issue.

I have read it argued that the reason Ancestry does not provide these tools is that it would expose their many errors.  I don't know.  I do know they are offline way too much for the price I am paying, but I have to pay it because there is no other place I can go that has the good things that I want.  So I stay there and grumble. :-\

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