Posted By RichC on February 12, 2019
Having worked on my family tree with Ancestry.com back in 2010 and then ignored returning 9 years later, it has been interesting to look into it again now that DNA testing has grown in popularity. My results came back a few days ago and they were “as expected” (although the map a bit deceiving). From our family history, and the previous researched immigration documentation (ship logs), I was pretty sure most of my DNA would show Welsh and Germanic ancestry; it did and totaled 87%.
The centimorgans numbers worked out well too (unlike a recent WSJ horror story) and matched my DNA closest to my daughter Katelyn (Taylor’s results aren’t back yet) and my brother Ron. I knew both recently did their DNA tests, but seeing so many other matches from my uncle Sonny (my dad’s brother) and several cousins was interesting too. The other 2nd, 3rd and 4th DNA matches were much lower in the centimorgans amount but was still interesting to see a few names I knew, and many that I did not.
The amount of centimorgans you share with this match can help you understand the relationship, but may range from 2 to 4 degrees of separation. For example, 3rd cousins usually share about 120 centimorgans, but could share as few as 90 or as many as 200.
One of the more interesting areas to read is the “DNA Story” pull down (see tips) which offers a generic read regarding when and why most in my family emigrated. The timeline was able to track the earliest currently in my family tree and where they were from. My earliest “listed” was a 3rd Great-Grandfather in 1815 from Württemberg, Germany. Clicking the “LifeStory” from each of the oldest relatives, like 3rd/2nd grandparents, was really interesting too as the timeline items such as birth of siblings and children … and map that pinned their city of death really highlights where my family settled as well (2nd Great-Grandmother below). The mental following involved and give one a headache, so my recommendation is to space it out and not try to figure it all out in one sitting – yes I have a headache now. 🙂