DNA Connections - Definitive explanation please

+7 votes
I've trawled through various answers to questions regarding how far Autosomal DNA Connections propagate in WikiTree, but the answers seem conflicting and don't match what I see in my tree.

One answer says auDNA goes back to 6th Great Grandfather/mother, i.e. 8 degrees of separation, but in my tree it only goes back to 4th Great Grandfather/mother. Crawford-14686 & Gilchrist-1118. All siblings of my 4th Great Grandfather show auDNA connections, but siblings of my 4th Great Grandmother don't. This doesn't make sense as both sets of siblings are the same distance from me.

This seems to indicate that auDNA only goes to 6 degrees of separation.

Since this topic seems to create a lot of confusion, it would be helpful to have a definitive answer in the Help section, rather than trying to sift through a load of conflicting posts.
WikiTree profile: Jean Crawford
in WikiTree Tech by Chris Macneill G2G4 (4.3k points)
recategorized by Ellen Smith
As Rick says below... it takes time for changes in the tree to propagate throughout the listed connections.

I just rely on the Surname list for my autosomal DNA cousin connections.  Here's yours.  https://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Sharp-7578/10

How much time? Many of the affected connections have been in place for weeks with no sign of anything happening.

HHmmm.  What are you looking for or expecting to see?  All of the profiles that I clicked on here showed your auDNA test on the right side of the screen:  https://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Sharp-7578/10

Are you expecting to see matching tests?  Your genetic cousins will only appear when they enter their own auDNA test and connect their family twig to a common ancestor that you share.  For instance, this is my dad's profile. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cooper-5039  The two auDNA tests that are displayed are mine and my 1st cousin once removed.  We both entered our DNA test info and we connected our family twigs back to my grandparents, his great-grandparents. 

Not expecting to see matching tests as no cousins I am aware of have done any DNA testing. I'm expecting to see auDNA connection to me for all siblings, not just one. Note, I have removed all children from parents at 4th Great Grandparents level and re-added only my direct ancestor. I'm now going to wait 24 hours to see if 5th Great Grandparents now correctly show auDNA, then I'll start adding the other siblings back to parents.It seems there is something badly wrong with the mechanism and arbitrarily breaks with no guidance on how to fix.

1 Answer

+8 votes

The DNA Test Connections help page indicates that for autosomal tests "we connect this fact to all your blood relatives out to eight degrees of separation — up to sixth great grandparents and out to third cousins". My auDNA test reflects this as it shows up on my 6g grandparent but not on my 7g grandparent.

It appears that you recently removed your 5g grandfather as father for your 4g grandmother (which would have removed the DNA test indication) and then later reconnected (DNA test indication should reappear within 24 hours).

by Rick Peterson G2G6 Pilot (174k points)
I removed and re-added the connection as I had previously been told that this sometimes "fixes" the problem. There were no DNA connections before, so now waiting to see if the magically appear.

Other previous advice given is that you have to remove ALL affected children from the parents and re-add, but this can be a real pain where there are more than one or two.
So "magically" all my DNA Connections have appeared in the last few hours!! So either some Techie has seen this post and run some kind of batch process to fix the problem and said nothing or the removal and re-adding of 5th Great Grandfather from daughter has kick started things.

UPDATE: Actually this didn't fix the problem, so now removed all children from parents at affected level, so will now have to wait for some indeterminate time to see if this fixes things.
The link Rick provides to the DNA Test Connections page is useful and the help page is almost a definitive answer, so if there is no better answer within a day or two I'll vote this top answer.

The help page says "it can take up to 24 hours" this is a bit of a fudge. Computers don't randomly do things, they do batch processes normally on a timed basis, so would be better to change this to "the process of finding DNA Connections runs every X hours". X may very well be 24, but it seems to me it's somewhat more frequent than that.

The help page could also be updated to give some clues as to how to kick start the process if it is seemingly "stuck", i.e. which profile to delete and re-add. Since the process isn't immediate, it's useful to have some clues rather than, poke, hope and wait, then poke, hope and wait again until resolved.

If I try to find that page from the Help menus it's exceedingly hard to find unless you already know the page title, so maybe could be made more obvious..

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