Reminder: Ancestry’s DNA Circles Will Vanish July 1 – Act Now to Preserve

Ancestry circle example

This is reminder that Ancestry is permanently removing DNA Circles from customer accounts on July 1st. If you have not recorded the information held in your Circles and New Ancestor Discoveries, if you had any, do that NOW.

There is a misconception that ThruLines, introduced earlier in 2019, is the same thing as Circles, just in a different format. That is NOT accurate. ThruLines is a different tool and provides some of the same information as Circles (and NADs), but not all and the part that’s missing isn’t available elsewhere.

Circles provide you with information about people who match you that share a common ancestor, but they ALSO show you who else has tested and matches the people you match, but not you. That’s valuable information for numerous reasons. It verifies multiple children of that ancestor genetically and provides you with a genetic network to validate the ancestral connection for all of those people.

ThruLines only shows you who you match in the context of an ancestral family, not who else has tested that you don’t match.

In the article, Archive Ancestry DNA Circles and New Ancestor Discoveries Now, I walk you through how to save your information step by step.

If you haven’t preserved your information, do so now before it’s too late.



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35 thoughts on “Reminder: Ancestry’s DNA Circles Will Vanish July 1 – Act Now to Preserve

  1. How do we preserve that info. Circles were previously available to me, but ceased being so about a month ago.

    • You may have to toggle beta off or on. If they are already permanently gone for you, not anything you can do.

  2. Done and done. I did a few screen caps here and there. I didn’t have many circles to begin with. I had 11 circles. My parent have a few each.

    I also did something else to preserve the data. Using the DNA match sorting dots, I created custom groups for my 2x great-grandparents. I know I mentioned a different strategy before but it was just so confusing. I decided to scrap it and try something else. I did the same for my parents and my great-aunt.

    This managed to collect everyone who was in the circles, too. In fact, it added MORE people than were in the circles to begin with. Thought that was weird.

    Either way, I got it sorted (hehe.)

  3. Thanks for the helpful and timely warning! Do you know if there is any magic way to get ThruLines? I’ve linked myself as the only linked person to a searchable tree in Ancestry that has 4-7 generations (depending on the lines) but ThruLines never appears. I have 12 Circles that are about to disappear and another 3 Circles that have already disappeared along the way for some reason – I appreciate the warning to save what I can!

  4. The only reason I tested with Ancestry was for the Circles. I have tested 3 other places. I don’t like Thru Lines. I’ve purchased many tests for others but will do no more testing with Ancestry once they stop the Circles. Years ago they dumped the Y DNA of my family members I’d paid for. What will they dump next? I am not at all happy with them,

  5. Roberta .. do you have suggestions on how to save the info? I took screenshots both of list view and circle view in Evernote. This was a tedious process.

  6. You said: ThruLines only shows you who you match in the context of an ancestral family, not who else has tested that you don’t match.

    I want to add that DNA doesn’t play a significant part in thru lines. thru lines are matches to people with trees with similar names, not necessarily your blood line.

  7. Hey Roberta, I want to ask you something I have noticed since I have been trying to work the thrulines. I am finding some members who are taking dna tests of various family members and using the names of ancestors in sizable public trees and then linking the dna to that family member. Usually a parent, grandparent or great grandparent of the same gender who is deceased. I am puzzled. Is this ethical? Couldn’t you just use a pseudonym or make your tree private? It has created conflicts in dna relatives for me until one day I saw that a member who called their skills advanced were doing this all over their tree! I think it is deliberate not accidental. Just wanted your thoughts.

    • Yes, I know some people are doing this. In part they are often trying to force Ancestry to reach back further generations since they have an artificial limit. It plays havoc with trees and ThruLines.

  8. If your information is still there, you can print your circles. I printed the circles and then hit the list and printed them. They came out really nice.

  9. I really enjoyed the DNA Circles. I found the interesting and helpful. About a year ago, I Privatized my main Tree in order to do some “pruning”, make corrections, add new info, etc. When I did that, my DNA Circles disappeared. When I again made my Tree Public, the Circles did not return. I miss them. I never found a way to get them back but, as I was still doing some overhauling to that tree I did not contact Ancestry about the Circles. I figured they would return “soon”. They still have not returned and now, they will not be back. I have not found Thrulines as interesting or helpful and would rather have the Circles back. Sadly, they will not be back.

  10. I have copied and printed a few of the circles but find it a laborious process and I have many. Is there any information in the actual circles that is not on the LIST? It seems to me that there is more useful information on the LISTs than in the Circles since we will no longer be able to click. I am liking the ThruLines although one has to be very careful as with all things Ancestry. I am able to go down the tree to my DNA match picking up descendants that I did not have.

  11. Is there anything one can do if we don’t have a current ancestry subscription? Can I access my account from a library and save?

    • I don’t know if you can see your Circles or not without a subscription and I can’t test it because I have one. Maybe someone else will answer.

  12. I check every DNA Circle I get and it comes in hand many times to see where we might be connected thru. I also then use the sharred match box to help them as well when they are new. I would like to see closer DNA circles also most of mine are 5th-8th but once in awhile I do get 4th which is great. Please leave them….

  13. I save and eventually read all your emails. Unfortunately I missed this one until now, and it’s too late to save my DNA Circles information. I’m very disappointed since I found them quite helpful. I suppose I should call ancestry and voice my concerns. I didn’t receive any kind of warning emails from them that they were going to do this.
    Thanks for trying to give a heads-up anyway.

    • Each site that their own benefits, but at Ancestry, ThruLines is what replaced Circles, at least somewhat. I’ve written about that if you enter ThruLines in the search box on this blog.

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