You don’t know what you’re missing, sometimes, until you see that someone else has one. Isn’t that how the seeds of discontent are often sewed?
It was in my case. Blaine Bettinger also wrote about Genetic Communities, here, and in his article, he had connecting lines and pins. I experienced difficulty during the BETA with the maps (which continues), so I never saw pins and I only saw connecting lines flash one time, then disappear. I did report this to Ancestry, but never heard back before launch. However, just now, my contact did provide this link for suggestions about how to resolve issues with displaying their maps as related to browsers.
I asked the genetic community about lines and pins, and thankfully, someone else had figured this out. Hat tip to Sue and Traci! I was trying my iPAD and laptop, thinking somehow it was a browser issue. It wasn’t.
It’s a “hidden” feature that’s not at all intuitive, combined with display issues, so let me share what I’ve discovered with you. If you haven’t read my first article about Genetic Communities yet, you might want to read it now so that you’ll be familiar with how to navigate the features to this point.
When you first click on Genetic Communities, you’ll see the screen above. Click on the Genetic Community you want to view, at left. If your maps don’t load, try it again, or try clicking on the community or go back to the DNA home page and try again. Mine load sporadically, about every third time, using Internet Explorer, Chrome and Edge. I have not tried Firefox.
Clicking on the Settlers of the Alleghenies and Northeast Indiana Community, I see this screen which defines the locations of the Community, along with the boundaries.
In order to make the connecting lines and pins appear, click on the various date ranges in the stories to the left. Yes, this was the hidden piece. Not very hidden if you know what to do, but not intuitive either.
In this case, I clicked on “Religious Mecca of the New World,” which then listed the ancestors in my tree that fell into this category, below the text.
First, I was very excited, then I realized that we have a bit of an, ahem, problem.
You’ll notice that the community, as defined by Ancestry, does not include New Jersey. In fact, the eastern-most portion only includes southern Pennsylvania and Maryland not further east than the Hagerstown region.
However, if I look at the pin showing my ancestors included in this group, I see Susannah Anderson born in Hunterdon Co., NJ and died in Wilkes County, NC. That’s a bit of a fly in the ointment, because she clearly does not belong in this red group.
However, expanding the screen shows something different.
The people showing aren’t just in the Community, but seems to be all of my ancestors in the tree born in this general area during this timeframe. The red circles show where other people who match me have ancestors born during this timeframe too. Had I not expanded this map, I would have thought that I was only seeing people from the Settlers of Alleghenies Community, not a more general view, based on both the context and the coloration.
I hope that users don’t interpret this to mean that these ancestors showing on their map were all part of the Alleghenies and Northeast Indiana community, because they clearly aren’t. In my opinion, the red circles that aren’t part of this Community should not be colored the same color as the circles that are part of the community – red in this case.
This extends across the pond too, with Johann Michael Miller’s pin, who does belong to the community, settling in Hagerstown, Maryland, being located right beside Jacob Kobel and Isaac DeTurk who do not belong in the Community, settling in Schoharie County, NY and then in Berks County, PA, both of which are outside of the defined Genetic Community – but shown on top of or with red circles.
Hopefully display issues are a short term problem and Ancestry can get them resolved quickly. I really don’t think they are all browser related, but some probably are.
But more important long term, I hope Ancestry will consider making some changes in the coloration and display that will not confuse newbies. The confusing coloration is probably less important to seasoned genealogists, because we can look at the display and quickly surmise that what we are seeing is not quite as it would initially appear – but new people are much more likely just to take information at face value and run with it.
In the mean time, I hope you can find a new hint or clue that will be helpful to your search!