Saturday, July 3, 2021

Taking a Genealogy Break


Sometimes, the people most devoted to genealogy end up being the ones so busy helping everyone else do their family tree that they don't have time to work on their own. Have you ever found yourself in that situation?

After spending days trying to figure out just how to outmaneuver Google and provide a decent subscription service for A Family Tapestry, I guess I got burned out on not being able to work on my own genealogy. So I took a tech break and caught up on some DNA duties.

I don't know about you, but I've had to catch up on one routine DNA task. Do you remember when Ancestry launched their "Do you recognize them?" tag on their DNA match page?


Right when that launched, I jumped on it and completed the information sequence on several of my matches. It's been helpful to see each updated match appropriately labeled with a specific relationship level, not just a vague range of possible relationships.

That was over a month ago, and apparently much has happened since then. When I took a look at the listings last night, there were several more DNA entries which needed updating—so, rather than continue to wrestle with tech issues, that's what I did: work on my own family history tools. It was a nice break.

I can't help but wonder whether that new tool was simply a device for subscribers to use for their own benefit, or whether the information gleaned from subscribers' input will go towards further honing the relationship estimates. While yes, the information we input will help us immediately through tallies, such as mother's side versus father's side, I'm thinking of something a bit more detailed.

Here's what I'm seeing: once you answer the initial question about which side of the family a given match belongs to, a second window pops up with a long list of possible relationships. The list even goes to such distant levels as half third cousin twice removed—I know this, because I have several DNA matches in that category. Once that relationship chart opens up, I noticed one other detail: percentages posted next to each specific relationship choice.

This may come as no surprise to you, but my reputation as an outlier holds strong in those percentages, apparently. Mine are usually on the low end.

What I am wondering: what is Ancestry going to do with all that crowdsourced information they gather from this latest addition to the DNA services? Will they use the data input by subscribers to re-calibrate their estimates? I certainly hope, in the aggregate, such data will help hone their future predictions, at the least. Even better, perhaps the information gleaned might lead to further observations useful for genetic genealogy.

In the meantime, it was nice to take some time to simply work on those routine genealogy tasks that sometimes get pushed to the back burner when pressing matters pop up.




  1. The subscription service that I installed on my blog is through My tech skills were just barely good enough to add it. You would have no problems. On the plus side, it is free with no limit on subscribers. On the minus side, you can only import 100 subscribers yourself without asking for help from I must admit that I threw up my hands on that point and have just asked my subscribers to enroll themselves in the new service. That has not been a roaring success. Oh, well. I wish Google had come up with a user friendly replacement for us.

    1. Well, at least you got it installed, Kathy. That is perseverance!

      In the meantime, though we've crossed over into July, I've noticed that I am still getting my emailed copy of posts from other bloggers via Google, making my pie-in-the-sky self hope, like you, that Google will come up with a replacement for us.


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