With the introduction of Ancestry’s new ThruLines, after signing on and clicking on DNA Results Summary, Ancestry asks if you still want to use Circles. The answer is a very definitive yes, although I don’t think my circles have expanded in some time.
One of my accounts does not have Thrulines, and that account sees the placard below.
Regarding people who don’t have ThruLines on your account yet, ThruLines are free for everyone for now, so currently no subscription is required. However, to receive ThruLines, you must assure the following:
- Your tree is connected to your DNA.
- Your tree is either public or a private searchable tree. Unsearchable trees won’t have ThruLines.
- Your tree is at least 3 or 4 generations deep.
- You only have one kit for any individual person connected to that person in the same tree. If you have multiple kits for the same person connected to one tree, only one kit will have ThruLines. If this is your situation, you can create a “twin” to yourself in your tree and attach the second kit to that person and both kits should get ThruLines. There aren’t many people like me who have tested twice with AncestryDNA, so this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
You can have multiple kits attached to the same tree, but each kit must be connected to a different person in the tree.
Or, the placard below for those who do have ThruLines.
This question suggests (but I can’t confirm) that Ancestry is no longer adding to Circles.
Why Archive Circles?
What Circles provides that ThruLines doesn’t is a nice neat concise place where you can view the descendants of an ancestor, those that match you and those that don’t match you but do match each other. In other words, a genetic network.
Using ThruLines, you won’t see the ones that don’t match you any longer. In the graphic below of the Nancy Mann Circle, I match the gold lines and the grey lines match other people in the Circle including people that I match, but don’t match me.
I have no idea if Ancestry plans to obsolete and remove either Circles or their New Ancestor Discoveries (NADs), but if so, I’d rather be prepared.
I would suggest that you copy your circles and the information to the right that lists the Circle members.
Each Circle includes links to the trees and information of the people in the circle.
Click on that link and then copy/paste the url.
You might want to do this in a spreadsheet for ease of use where you record the Circle name, a screen shot of the Circle, along with the name of each member and the associated url.
Yea, I know it’s a pain, but better safe than sorry.
Archive New Ancestor Discoveries Too
New Ancestor Discoveries NADs (which weren’t ancestor discoveries at all, but hints) were rolled out years ago, and haven’t been updated in many months, pending the new ThruLines.
NADs were hints that many people mistook for actual ancestors based on the name. They were comprised of people in trees based on matching DNA. For example, one of the NADs I received was the sister of my ancestor and another entirely separate NAD was the husband of an ancestor’s sister. Clearly the reason was that the descendants of the ancestor’s sister and the ancestor’s sister’s husband carried some of the same DNA as me and therefore my ancestor.
Eventually, I solved for nearly all of the NADs.
NADs are similar to Circles and may prove useful in the future.
Take everything in NADs with the entire lick of salt, but archive them, because you never know if the grain you need is held there.
The difference between a NAD and a Circle is that you are inside a Circle, because you and all of the people in the Circle share the same identified ancestor but may not all DNA match to each other. You are outside of a NAD circle.
A NAD circle, shown above means that you don’t have that ancestor, Mary Polly McKee, in your tree, but you do share DNA with several people in the circle who do have her in their trees. That could be a really important hint!
Better safe than sorry. I would recommend archiving both Circles and NAD information now, just in case.
I’ll be writing about Ancestry’s new ThruLines and other new features very shortly.