The long-anticipated Ancestry matching update occurred sometime late this morning.
Ancestry provides links in their announcement blurb, shown above, for “learn more.” Be sure to click on that link, but perhaps more important is the “tell us what you think link.” Don’t miss that opportunity to ask for a chromosome browser. Take some time to evaluate their update, and do tell them what you think.
I’ll be downloading my matches later for a more precise analysis, but here’s what has happened at first glance.
At First Glance
Previously, I had 226 leaf hints. Leaf hints are people whose DNA you match and who have a common ancestor in their tree with you. Now I have 254, a gain of 28 new matches. As far as I’m concerned, these matches are the most useful part of the Ancestry product. So I’m very pleased. In addition, some of the old matches may be gone and some new ones may take their place. So I may actually have more new matches than 28.
My closest “new match” as a result of the rerun is in the 4th to 6th cousin range. Please note that your matches that are new because of this change are NOT noted with a blue dot as normal “new matches.” So I hope you starred or noted your old matches, because that is the only way you can tell who is a new match as a result of the rerun.
Previously I had 436 4th cousins or closer. Now I have 487. I expected this to drop as their algorithm became more restrictive, but it didn’t. I’ll be anxious to see who remained at a 4th cousin and who got shifted or added, and if their estimates are more or less accurate.
Lastly, I previously had 191 pages of matches, at 50 matches a page, for about 9550 total matches. Today, I have 221 pages of matches, at 50 matches a page, for about 11,050 total matches.
Working With Ancestry Matches
Truthfully, the only Ancestry matches I really work with are three kinds of matches:
- leaf matches because we share DNA and a common ancestor is our tree
- close matches because I can often figure out our link, even with a small amount of information
- shared matches – because when you know who else you and your match share DNA with, you can sometimes figure out the connection through that information
Leaf matches and close matches are on your main match page of course, but the shared matches are on the page after you click on “View Match” with an individual. Ancestry only shows shared matches for high confidence matches, so you won’t have them for everyone.
I find this to be the most productive strategy for working with Ancestry matches for me, given that they don’t have a chromosome browser. I always hope my matches will download to GedMatch, of course, or to Family Tree DNA, or better yet, both.
Personally, I’m excited to have more leaf matches. I’m disappointed about losing 4 circles. We knew it would be a mixed bag. In this case, I think I’m more excited than disappointed because I recorded the circles, but I don’t know who resides in the new leaf matches and I can’t wait to find out. That’s all new information!!! And 28 new leaf matches in one day is a bonanza!
Please share your experience in the comments!