Thursday, March 16, 2017

Working AncestryDNA circles and a few observations

My sister and I have both tested at AncestryDNA.  When I am working on a segment and it is pointing in the direction of a specific ancestor, I always check my AncestryDNA circles to see if I have a Circle for that particular ancestor or ancestor couple.  I work the circles.  What do I mean by work?  I have a spreadsheet template I use.  I begin by adding the Ancestor's name at the top.  The spreadsheet has columns for:
  • Ancestry User Name
  • Match or Match to Circle
  • Estimated cMs/segments
  • Group(Child thru which they descend)
  • GEDmatch #(known and added as they upload)
I add the info for each circle I work and this helps me to track not only who matches me but the descendant pathways.  Also and probably the most important thing for me is that I can see at a glance which tester would be the most valuable to have their info at GEDmatch.   I generally write those who Ancestry estimates match me on multiple segments or at amounts greater than 15 cMs.  I ask them to consider uploading to GEDmatch if they are not already there and if they have uploaded, how to identify them among my many matches.  I want to focus on these larger matches for a number of reasons. The circle membership gives me a pretty good idea of where they could match me. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the matches but I feel if you focus on the larger ones, those will help in identifying others.   I also like to look at the smaller matches and see how their estimated segment matches are in comparison with my sister's results.  If they match her at amounts over 15cMs I also message them. 

Stay focused on the larger matches when trying to get folks to GEDmatch.  However do not forget the randomness of DNA.  Siblings can vary greatly in what matches they have.
My sister and I are a great example of that.

Since Mom tested I was able to make phased kits(thanks to GEDmatch tools) which show the matches that each of us got from Dad(who passed before we began DNA testing.)  I have compared my Paternal Phased Kit to my sister, Becca's Paternal Phased Kit and also compared each of our Maternal Phased Kits.   Below are the results

Comparing Paternal Phased for Marie and Paternal Phased for Becca(Full siblings)
(Chr 1-22, X not included)
Largest segment = 134.6 cM
Total of segments > 7 cM = 1,526.2 cM
33 matching segments
Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 1.6

Comparing Maternal Phased for Marie and Maternal Phased for Becca(Full siblings)
(Chr 1-22, X not included)
Largest segment = 145.6 cM
Total of segments > 7 cM = 2,513.8 cM
50 matching segments
Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 1.3

So you can see that on our Paternal lines we appear to have gotten a greater variety, while Mom seems to have given us more of the same.  

Table below shows another example of the randomness. The amounts shown are those estimated by Ancestry and they tend to be slightly higher at GEDmatch.

Comparing segment matches we have to
members of a Paternal Ancestor Circle.  

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