Remember, right after April Fool’s Day, when Ancestry gave me two ancestors who weren’t? I check my account every day, and every day for the past two months, they have been there, looking back at me, making me wonder if somehow I’ve missed something – but with no tools to figure out what, where or how.
Diedamia Lyon and John David Curnutte.
Yes, I was getting fond of John and Diedamia who I was beginning to refer to as my adopted NADs.
But today, today is different. Yep, I have the same number of matches, the same number of hints, the same Circles….but my bad NADs are gone. Bye bye John and Diedamia!
So my New Ancestor Discoveries (NADs) have apparently been undiscovered and have disappeared, or maybe got reburied, just like they never existed. Poof. Gone. Never happened!
Of course, these ancestors didn’t exist in reality, but according to Ancestry they did. But not anymore. No explanation. Just got up one morning and they were gone…slunk off in the night. Not even a goodbye note. After two months together. I’m crushed.
And look what else I found today. Why, Ancestry reinvented my family story it seems. The timing of this announcement is extremely ironic. But maybe it’s the explanation I was looking for. Reinvented. That must be it.
Is this a joke?
So, Ancestry….which time were you wrong? Two months ago or now? Were John and Diedamia ancestors, or not? Just how, exactly, is one supposed to know?
Which “story” is the true one? Were you “just kidding” when you gave me those ancestors, or now that you’ve taken them away? Not funny.
You said DNA would confuse people…and by golly…you’re right. Only it’s not the DNA itself that’s confusing, it’s your conferring and then unconferring of ancestors – with no documentation or tools. Without tools, we’re forced to believe you…but which version do we believe?
How are we supposed to have any confidence in these hide-and-seek, peek-a-boo, now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t ancestor discoveries? Did I somehow miraculously stop matching all 5 of the people who descended from John and Diedamia? Did you, ahem, make a mistake? Crystal ball broken maybe? If so, an explanation and maybe an apology would be nice. You can’t just rip my purported ancestors away from me like that with no explanation. What if I had really believed you in the first place…that John and Diedamia were my ancestors?
Thankfully, I didn’t believe you because based on 30+ years of genealogy research and chromosome browsers and similar tools provided by other vendors, I’ve confirmed my tree. But a lot of people will believe you….what about them?
And that lovely story that came along with John and Diedamia. You mean that story you told me about my ancestors wasn’t true? But it was MY story…you said so. It has all those names and dates and places and pictures. How could it be wrong? It seemed so real. What happened? Oh yea, I forgot, you reinvented it.
You know, I’d check on the solidity of those matches myself, but I can’t because, well, you don’t give me any tools…you know….like a chromosome browser…because you’ve implemented a superior methodology for matching. Instead, you’d much prefer, in fact, you require that I simply trust you based upon the excellent track record and credibility you’ve established. You’ve suggested that I might not understand how a chromosome browser works and I might make mistakes, and that, of course, would be just awful. Why, I might even give myself incorrect ancestors. Thank you so much for protecting me from those grievous errors.
But hey, maybe I’ll get a new NAD soon and we can do this all over again. Won’t that be fun! Or maybe John and Diedemia will be back to visit. One never knows!
Say what Ancestry….how about you don’t give me any more bad NADs or any more NADs at all, because there appears to be no way to tell the difference between authentic ancestor discoveries and bogus ones. For that matter, don’t gift me with any more re-reinvented stories either based on cumulative bad trees. I’ll just settle for a chromosome browser instead. What do you think? I don’t much care for this new methodology of incorrect ancestor gifting, retracting and reinventing. I’d prefer to make my own mistakes…thank you.
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ROFLMAO! You tell em girl! Maybe SOMEDAY they will all get the hint and give us ALL the TOOLS we need!
Will never happen. I hope I’m wrong:)
In the meantime, they should be shamed.
Ancestry is “not to reason why (or how or where or who or…well, you know) but to do or die” whether it is right or wrong. They seemingly have to maintain the upper hand in all situations, and if you argue or complain or even comment, they strike you down in one heavy blow. And then they raise their rates. They have ruined the census at the library. I’ll simply not be able to ever forgive these people for all the “slings and arrows signifying nothing” all these years.
Another good reason not to subscribe to Ancestry.
I subscribe to Ancestry, but not for the DNA
They gave me two NADs, then two more. The second pair only stayed around for 6 days and they were gone. The original two are still there. I wish they would go away too because I do not believe they belong to me.
I knew it was too good to be true.
Oh good grief!!! Will I go to hedoublehockeysticks if I say I hate AncestryDNA now more than ever? Can we organize a class action lawsuit? Does this mean Kenny heard me but just wasn’t listening??
Great post. BTW, the surprise worked. This is what I was really doing while I was dead last night: disproving your bad NADs.
Girlfriend, you are hilarious….
I’ve got that going for me!
My mother still has her NADS. Some indeed are related but no ancestors. Since yesterday, they removed 2 circles who were indeed ancestors from Mom and me.
I started with 2 NADs then 3, 4, now 5. Oh how I wish they would go away. They are spouses or tangential relatives not my Ancestors….and one of them has a photo that I do not like at all. Just and unpleasant reminder….thanks for the laugh Roberta!
I have no NAD’s but my grandmother has 1. I’m not sure why this woman is a NAD though. True, my grandmother matches 2 of 12 in the DNA group for this woman. However, Ancestry already has *hints* for both of them through different lines (both are about 3rd-4th cousins). So why NAD this other woman to my grandmother? Also, as it happens, I also match these same 2 people. Oddly I was never gifted with the same NAD.
My NADs (one of which is most definitely not mine) didn’t change today, but for each of the 4 kits I manage there was one more match with hint for each of us than there were yesterday. However, when I checked there wasn’t any new matches at all, only the ones I’ve already reviewed. A while back we each lost a match with hint, so I’m guessing the one we lost is back.
Ancestry is making fool out of themselves. Ancestors come and go after a person spends hours checking them out. In my case, Ancestry reinvents the story I had carefully researched and confirmed by combining trees that erroneously had my 3rd great grandfather marrying his step-grandmother. They also have him moving around the state of Maine when it was the country name that changed. There is no way to correct this story. They are contaminating genealogy forever.
Your statement that Ancestry is contaminating genealogy is an apt turn of phrase. I am so fed up with the stories that show up in the circles…made up from inaccurate trees and contaminating my carefully researched profile ofor that ancestor.
you go girl!!!!
At this point I mostly use AncestryDNA to find matches who look like they have people I’m suspecting may be my ancestors (but for whom I would like confirmation). That involves searching all my matches for people with trees that contain a surname associated with a county and state. Once I find an interesting match, I talk them into loading to GEDMATCH and I’m done with Ancestry for that one. DNA circles, NADs and all the other froo-froo is just so much “cocktail party” entertainment as far as I’m concerned. The only reason to test at Ancestry is to leverage the public trees there (such as they are) which could lead me to an interesting triangulated group in GEDMATCH and FTDNA.
Yes. AncestryDNA is nearly useless without GEDmatch or FTDNA. What a shame. I have some fantastic matches at AncestryDNA that are going to waste.
Right on, Roberta! Now lets hope somebody at Ancestry reads it. I don’t think anybody reads my pleas to give us chromosome info. Maybe a well-respected blogger like you can make a difference.
What I find interesting about NAD is they say “… just through your DNA.” However their info page explain how NAD is related to DNA Circles, and of course the info page on DNA Circles says the circle is based on DNA and the people in the trees. So, “just DNA” becomes DNA, Circles, and trees.
For those of us who don’t have circles, they hold out hope … then they snatch it away.
Does this mean ALL those celebs that have had their ancestry “built” at Ancestry will have to redo their “story” for TV ??? …….. 🙂
Fantastic article, right on the money!!! Now, if only Ancestry will read it and heed your advice.
I don’t hold my breath for anything, though
Or they give you a NAD with DNA matches who have no tree associated with them. I have two circles and our trees match, but the owners don’t respond. The NAD is like showing you then end of a path, but a huge chasm in between you and it-with now where to turn for tools. As a new Ancestery and FamilyTreeDna user, I am so confused as to what to do with my results let alone throwing this “magical” marketing trip on me! Thanks for your help on better understanding the tools.
At least you had some treasured NADs, even if only for one brief moment. For me, nothing. For a while they had a banner proclaiming how great it was going to be, but now, even this is gone. Nada. If I got any, relatives or not, I’m sure I would hold them to my chest, and hug them and squeeze them and call them George.
They -do- have three Circles, with what may be interesting additions of a couple of people, but I haven’t followed them up. There are enough other actual matches to generate three or four more circles, but that hasn’t happened, either.
I cycle between being angry at Ancestry for having such a half-useless product and thanking them for providing the information that they do supply. Why do they resolutely refuse to put in any analysis tools? My theory is that the Gnomes of Europe are trying to avoid the slightest privacy foofaraw until they can sell the company to someone else. Of course, the privacy thing is already out of the hat, once they allowed us to put our data on GEDmatch.
Now, if I could just some of my third cousins to respond to my emails…
My mother was a ward! I have no idea if you are in my list of potential matches because I’m not paid up. Daniel D. Ward b. PEI 1804 m. Harriet Newell Cooke (Mayflower) Daniel’s parents MIGHT have been Ebenezer Ward & Margaret Clark/e.
I love your sense of humor. We must be related.
Ancestry doesn’t care what you think. Take a look at the new reinvented web site. Looks a lot like familysearch. The thing is, they’ve gone backwards in function and made it all graphics and games. Kids won’t do research. Kids won’t subscribe more than once. Kids don’t have the patience or time or even care about research. Now! Give it to me NOW! And that’s what ancestry advertises. No work, we’ll do it all for you. The DNA matches are a joke. I had planned to do the world premium and buy more DNA kits. After spending an hour trying to work on my tree at the “new and improved” site, I am neither going to subscribe or buy kits. I’m in the process of getting my tree saved elsewhere and deleting it from ancestry. I’m not interested in video games or graphics all over the page. I want to work. Ancestry want to make more money. Maybe they have to in order to get their asking price of 3 BILLION DOLLARS.
I use Ancestry.com to look for people whose names I already know. I use FTDNA exclusively for DNA issues. Even FTDNA is somewhat aggravating. They report 12 marker Y-DNA matches of testers whose surname is not mine. This is ridiculous IMO.
I still have no NADs. I don’t know where those come from but if they find them in trees, there are plenty of trees for my families so I am surprised that I have no NADs. There are also numerous DNA matches with me but most are “Private” so I can’t see if there are matches in their trees without writing endless notes to strangers. Also, what’s the deal with adding the surname of husbands to searches for women? When I removed the husband’s surname from my search, it was automatically re-added. I cannot, therefore, actually search for the maiden name of a married woman. If there were another similar site without the nonsense and as many Sources or more, I’d move. I actually loved Genealogy.com. It had Heritage Quest which had some fantastic sources for my ancestors but it’s gone. Ancestry bought and killed it.
If only we could find somewhere, I’d go with you. I’m looking.
Almost every NAD that I have had show up on my Mom’s or my kit(none on my daughter’s kit so far) has been the result of one of my ancestor’s siblings marrying the sibling of that ancestor’s spouse with one exception. I had an unknown couple pop up last week on Mom’s : Benjamin John Thomas Carter and Sarah Suzanne Meador(both born in 1830s). I have started taking screenshots and including them in my DNA mystery folder. The answer to who the Carter/Meador couple is is likely through of sibling of my direct who has a cousin marriage since I don’t recognize the names and given the time period.
I have a David Cornutt who marries into my Hatfield line but no Lyon. 🙂
Thank you Roberta for saying it so well.
Shame no one has yet come up with a “sarcasm” font. It’s sorely needed.
Love your blog Roberta. I have finally been able to order a test at ancestry, being in Australia we were one of the last to get access to it. Can’t wait to see what ancestors I inherit!
Just one day after getting my results, I received two NADs who are no relation to me, so I will watch what happens to them. One a more general note about Ancestry, I really do NOT like their new look. In the previous iteration, one could see all the citations and references, but now they are buried behind mounds of Fluff: history facts woven into a story line, flashy colors and so on. Too bad they do not offer two formats: their previous look and the new storybook version.
What does everyone think about MyHeritage? I have a trial membership but haven’t dropped the coin for the full load. Do they have access to all the files that Anc. has bought up? Or do you still need the Anc. membership to get a look at the assets grabbed up by Ancestry? I have maintained the Anc. connection to get access to the records.
I had nothing but problems at My Heritage. These people do NOT understand English. I think though that English may be a second language for them (?). My time there started with an invite from a descendant of an adopted daughter of a grt-aunt of mine. The descendant invited me to her page at MH and I liked it and saw possibilities. I created a FREE tree there, tried the site and decided to get a Prime Subscription. About a week later I returned to do some searches and was surprised to be denied access to the sources. I was told that I needed to subscribe. Huh? After some back and forth with their CS (the worst I have ever encountered), I discovered that they had credited the person who invited me with that Prime sub!! It was like pulling teeth to get what I had paid for. I have never even met the lady who invited me though she is very nice and shared some great photos and info about my grt-aunt. Anyway, I found little in their databases. Today they have more information. My page was started several years ago while they were still fairly new. Since that time, I have always had trouble accessing my own page. MH seems to consider my friend’s site as mine. I tried to delete my tree recently but I could NOT access it yet, I get notices from them regarding “Your Tree” which is NOT mine but the one I was invited to. Now they have finally deleted my own information but I still get notices about “Your Tree” which has nothing to do with me other than what my friend has regarding my grt-aunt. None of their replies to my queries to CS make any sense whatsoever which is why I suspect the people at CS are not English speakers. Others do NOT have these problems. I will NOT take advantage of the offeres by 23&Me and FTDNA to have a tree at MH. Meanwhile I constantly get update notices regarding “Your Tree” which is NOT mine.
Robert, I don’t like the new Ancestry either, too many computer-generated events; hard to find the forest for the trees. However, I discovered that you can toggle between New Ancestry and Classic Ancestry by clicking on your user name in the top right corner. I’ll continue to use Classic until they take it away from us.
And then I will take my information and my $$$ away from them.
Hi Rosemary, the website said it was taking comments until June 15; at another place they say that Classic will disappear. My guess that will happen shortly after June 15…… I found the place on my profile to switch between the two and I’ll carry on with the old format. I made a suggestion that they keep the old format for those who are serious researchers and provide the new one for those who want to show pretty pictures on their iPad at grandma’s 90th birthday party! Doubt if anyone at A. will even notice….
During a presentation today at DNA day at Jamboree in CA, an explanation was given for why they disappear. Ancestry uses others family trees in making these NADs. When someone takes their family tree private which is used in your match, your NADs can disappear.
If you’ve paid for Ancestry and want out, realize right now that you have to do this by PHONE (you know that thing invented a million years ago by Alexander Graham Bell (sorry to my IPhone, I DO love you) and it will probably take multiple calls. One thing you can do though, is pay through a gift card that only has so many months’ worth of dollars on it. They will try to continue to bill you automatically, but guess what??!! They CAN’T!!!! Bwhahahahahahahah!!!!
Great article Roberta , I was wondering where mine went. Belinda
This was just a genealogical fling, Roberta. Not all relationships are guaranteed to last—especially when Ancestry anagrams DNA into NAD. Your Diemadia disappeared around the same time Finis Kirkpatrick vanished from my list. Maybe they are together?
Sorry You had a bad experience. I got a few new ancestors, too. While they weren’t my direct line, they are certainly related to me. I am grateful for all the hints I get, right or wrong. Makes the hunting all that much more fun, and sometimes I find an oddity in the mix. Which is not unusual for my family!
Thank you so much for continuing to point out the crying need for a chromosome browser at Ancestry. It’s enough to make anyone sit down and cry to look at all those lovely matches and then realize that they’re mostly useless! Some of our most valuable matches are elderly, or rarely log in, or distrust third party sites. They will never upload their data to GEDmatch or transfer to FTDNA; in fact, they are likely to die or let their subscriptions lapse without ever sharing their raw data with anyone. Ancestry must provide the tools we need, and provide them on site. We need the critical mass of testers, the trees and the matching data IN ONE PLACE.
Let’s continue to get in their faces about this. I for one believe that continued pressure and adverse publicity will win out in the end.
Wackiness! If only Ancestry would stick with their core business and stop with efforts to confuse the genetic genealogy newbies of the world, life would be so much better.
ArrogancyDNA….what a joke!
I won’t subscribe without a chromosome browser.
If you can go to your LDS library you can see your matches trees for FREE!
Oh, and by the way, I really don’t subscribe to any of the collections. Our local library (not LD S) has ancestry.com Library addition for no charge!
Another great post. I never had any NADs to begin with but I am sorry you lost yours – incorrect as they were.
I have a suggestion for Ancestry. Why not provide a hidden chromosome browser, findable only by die-hards who bother to learn and read about genetic genealogy? Kind of like the RAW data is now. They needn’t show the chromosome browser to their great unwashed customer base so no frustrated calls to their Help Desk. Just give a few of us access to a very basic browser that showed length and location of say everything over 5 cMs. We already have our own spreadsheets – no need to bother them. Just a thought.
Exactly! This is all we need. Are you listening, Ancestry?
No, in a word, they don’t care what we want. Why should they invest money in such a technical thing that would require many people to man the help desk and many more to build the browser. As you may have found out already, the people who man the help desk for the site are not much help. And trying to get help from their “Community” ………well, what can I say? If I didn’t care when my question got answered I’d just ask friends if they knew. Can you imagine if they gave us a browser??
There are 3rd parties to give us what we want, they don’t need to do anything for us. They can devote resources to gathering your health information and selling it to the highest bidders, selling DNA kits and subscriptions. Sit back and take the money. Wasn’t there a lawsuit against them over those kits?
I love Ancestry but it still requires critical thinking on part of the subscriber. Like all genetic services you should check and recheck and confirm with documentary evidence. I do this with FTDNA as well. And I do need to become more familiar with raw data – I would welcome it.
My Ancestry DNA circles are right on the money and for the most part have targeted individuals I have documented. The NAD individuals make no sense at all and I disregard them – at least at this time. They are targets for investigation only nothing more. Ancestry needs to do better.
The Ancestry autosomal matches with supplied probability levels of a cousin relationship has been very useful and have turned up relatives with documented relationships of whom I was never aware. I have been able to correspond and/or meet some of these individuals and swap real evidence establishing the relationship. I do not accept a relationship unless I have confirming documents (although I may list a putative relative on an Ancestry tree to attract further evidence or lack thereof). My ancestry tree is identified as tentative on line. My FTDNA family finder has been less successful – perhaps because they have fewer participants from people of my particular heritage or because of related reasons or its focus on Y/X relationships. Ancestry does focus more on documentary evidence and and identifying trees. “This is both a blessing and a curse.” Their public trees often contain serious errors and need to be viewed skeptically. The availability to get digital versions of real documents is outstanding. But users still need to use there brains and evaluate the probative value of every items.
I agree with Roberta Estes that Ancestry needs to provide more tools to enable users regardless of their level of expertise in science to verify verify verify.
“Their public trees often contain serious errors and need to be viewed skeptically.” Thomas, that’s because they publish whatever anybody gives them, and they don’t have staff members who check out all the trees to see if they’re accurate and documented. They don’t care whether they are or not. The average family researcher is more likely to be inaccurate on at least 50% (my estimate) of their findings. …And THAT’S the reason I never rely on somebody’s family tree anywhere.
Many Trees, mine included, are Working Trees. They are NOT finalized. This goes for Private trees as well. Nothing should automatically be taken as “Fact”. I have many things in my trees that I am trying to prove. If my Tree contained only “Facts”, I probably would not be at Ancestry or any other online site. I enjoy comparing information and sharing items with others. I especially like to find documented information. Despite the many records that I have found in more than 20 years of research, there are still many unproven items in my trees. When I can, I often upload documents to my Ancestry trees. I also do look at other trees to get ideas and sometimes I find the proofs for some information. I think that a number of Private trees are Private because they contain information on living persons or because the information in them is unproven or because they are new and very sparse, etc. There are many reasons that a Tree is Private and I doubt that the reason for most of them is because the are complete and contain Proofs. All of my Trees at Ancestry are Public because I want feedback, I want documentation. I want PROOFs! They are NOT Public because they are especially accurate or proved.
If one doesn’t want living people found then that’s perfectly all right; however, dead people are another thing altogether. Why publish a totally “private” tree…what good will that do ANYBODY? If you are looking for information only then you have to provide information in return. I think it’s foolish to publish a “private” tree, an undocumented tree, and/or a tree founded on poor and weak research.
My Serious Error Tree is at ancestry for cousin bait. I have many documents there as sources for my conclusions. If it weren’t for others uploading bits of books, family lore, Bible pages and the like, I would still be stuck on several of my people. But reading everything someone puts on their person at ancestry often gives me an idea of where/who to look for. And it’s a bonus if they reply to my query. I have new cousin friends because they have a tree at ancestry, I found it, found some bit of information and contacted them.
If we only publish our trees when they are complete and error free…………when might that be?
Someone told me that even if one removes the private tree from ANCESTRY, it is really not removed. Ancestry just puts it into their system as an anonymous tree. Can anyone comment on the accuracy of this ??????
Like so many of you here, I have private trees as “working” trees . I do have a few public trees, not so much for cousin bait, but in attempt to get CORRECT information out there ……even then I find the “correct info” mutilated in other trees ….. I see this as a matter of honor to our ancestors ….No most folks are not serious about this endeavor …they just want to have a “good” story to share, true or not, proof or not !!!
YES, Ancestry needs to provide tools …real tools for their DNA comparisons… I cannot tell you how many cousins, have jumped on the Ancestry DNA bandwagon & “think” they know how they match another person, put it out on the ‘trees” as DNA proven, only to have it debunked later at Gedmatch or FTDNA … Ancestry has created an irresponsible NIGHTMARE for all serious researchers in my opinion … Let’s hope they will take Roberta advice at some point …….
After being a member since 1997, minus a year in the middle, frankly I am personally ready for a NEW product with a NEW company …….
I have deleted trees and reuploaded GEDs to replace my public trees. The deleted trees kind of persist over a period of about a month in that searches bring up hits in the deleted tree until Ancestry gets around to reindexing all the trees again. But once those search hits are gone (after about a month), I don’t see any vestige of the earlier tree when I search for someone who was in that tree. So if it’s still around as an “anonymous tree” it’s pretty well hidden!
My trees are ALL private. Most of the time, I am not looking for information from other trees. I am looking for concrete documentation. I have 2 distant cousins who used private information I had, in the form of a letter from my gg-grandfather to my g-grandfather, that I asked them not to publish, and they published it. Plus they made speculations and published those, too, with absolutely no documentation.And now people copy their trees, that I think are incorrect.
If a cousin contacts me and wants to see my trees, I will grant them access, if they are willing to work with me on keeping some things private. I do not use my trees to help others…I use them as a repository for all my information gathered over the years. I do like to help others, but I’m not putting everything out there publicly. There is so much garbage out there in the form of trees. When someone copies that garbage, it’s more hurtful than helpful.
Just as others have said, mine are working trees.
I assume ALL trees are “working” trees, mine included, unless the source is documented. Even someone’s published book isn’t always a valid document but simply another place for me to study. When those sources ARE documented, I still want to see it with my own eyes and get a copy for my file before I claim it as true. I use our library’s “free library ancestry.com edition”to go into their collections to make my copies if I find them still valid. Only after that is done do I claim it good. I have found my electronic working tree much easier to manage on the fly, so to speak. Maybe I am wrong to have my working tree out there but if someone takes something that is undocumented and not correct, that’s their problem. I have my own personal notes added to each person’s file as to what I am still looking for and check them off as I find them. Am I wrong to do this? I get so frustrated when I find a private tree with a supposed DNA match with absolutely no response to my email.
There are advantages to not publishing a tree on Ancestry nor anywhere else. I have my tree; if you want to see it, I’ll send you a gedcom from my computer…not from a company. Publishing a tree without documentation; a work in progress so to speak; is non-productive for you was well as others.
I have had that same problem with no reply to questions of cousinship, but it is from Family Tree DNA. It’s frustrating. My husband was adopted, and FTDNA shows a 2nd cousin, but she will not reply to me.
My Working Tree is public because I believe in Genealogy Karma. I share my tree, warts and all, because I have so much detail that has come from working with distant cousins. I don’t look at it as MY tree – it belongs to all of us. I am merely a custodian.
Uh, 12,000 pages of ATCG sequences are pretty unexciting. That’s what your “raw data” files looks like as a text file. Just so you know.
I agree with Nancy…..
NAD given to me also. BUT, BUT….I finally figured out they were ancestors of my brother in law !! I had done deep and long time research for him, using Ancestry of course. SO…they decided to give them to me as my own ancestors! Dang……….Incest ???
Thank you for a great laugh on a dreary Monday morning. It’s bad enough when we have to admit to a bad marriage but now we’re in danger of non-ancestors who tag along for the ride into the future.
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