Page 1 of 1

ThruLines on Ancestry

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 16:50
by gwilym'smum
Ancestry have got a new feature on their DNA pages. On the page where it says view all your matches on the right is a box which leads you to ThruLines. It uses DNA results and member trees to lead you to your actual ancestor match. Yes, sounds good but there are caveats. The ancestors appear in date order from present to furthest back and when you click on it you are taken to the matches but unless you understand how they are showing this information you can be lulled into a false sense of security that this is a concrete match. There are dotted lines which indicate that the link is only via a member tree, only the solid lines are DNA matches. It can be confusing and does have to be unravelled.
Being cynical I think it is a way that Ancestry wants to get people to put their trees on the site and keep renewing. It is a good idea but mixing with member trees, of which I take with a pinch of salt until I have proved it, can lead to many errors being perpetuated. It took me several goes at sorting it out and probably am still missing things

Re: ThruLines on Ancestry

Posted: 03 Mar 2019 17:29
by ColeValleyGirl
Garbage in garbage out.

As you say it depends on the quality of the trees other people publish.

So far, all the Thrulines I have got are rubbish (they relate to supposed ancestors that can be eliminated with some 'real but hard' investigation, not 'clickology'.

The same applies to myHeritage's Theories of Relativity.

I shall keep checking at intervals in case a shining gem appears... But mostly I will stick to tried and tested genealogical and DNA techniques.

Re: ThruLines on Ancestry

Posted: 04 Mar 2019 07:32
by gwilym'smum
Helen, as you say even basic research can give you the same results. I think the main thing is that if you don't understand what Ancestry is doing you could think that this is the easy way to "proved" results and will lead to even more trees with errors. I didn't follow at first I was taken in and it was only when I realized that a false link was included that I took another good look.

Re: ThruLines on Ancestry

Posted: 04 Apr 2019 08:51
by E Wilcock
It is correct that the through lines links - or some of them, rely on users trees.
I do not think ancestry ideal and have already complained to them about the lack of a place search on DNA matches' and other members' trees. However I went thro all my thru lines and found the combination of trees useful in entering people using Jane's system. And the lines are presumably enlightening for people who (unlike me) only knew one or two generations of their family history.

I have not been able to use Thru lines with my husband's results. In order to see Thru lines at all one may need ancestry tree going back a fair way. My husband's tree does not produce any thro lines screen at all, even tho we have found matches of two or three people descended from sisters of his ancestors.

One needs to realise too that thru lines are not complete. Ancestry doesnt necessarily show any DNA match at all to a person to whom one knows for certain one is related, in my case a leading genealogist of our family, descended from a sister of my gt grandfather.

If there is a well researched tree on ancestry, it is a wonderful aid. There is a very large and very well researched ancestry tree for part of my family, created by an Australian researcher. Some of my direct line matches have been on the outskirts of or one generation down from people on his tree and it will be of great benefit to those people to find their families on his tree.

And it may improve the quality of trees too. Due to DNA matching, I was asked to check the date sources for part of my own tree which is on ancestry only because filched by another person. I removed all day and month dates from the early generations on my (inherited) German tree and replaced them only when I could locate an archival source. And on trees belonging to matches, I have found sources we did not yet have.

DNA matches are not an alternative to archival sources, but a means of contact and sharing information, much like this forum. And in my experience (like this forum) that usually means people who know stuff and have researched their tree helping people who have not. I can understand people being stuck when their earliest known ancestor has moved to the USA in 1700 and something. But I dont understand why so many people have failed to identify their ancestors up the female line. May be ancestry is just helping them out?

Re: ThruLines on Ancestry

Posted: 04 Apr 2019 14:31
by E Wilcock
It is the purpose of computers to extract information one might not otherwise notice.
Thanks to Jane's adapting her Gedmatch event and query to show the amount of match, I can now see that the DNA matches I discovered via Thrulines are with relatively small overlap -
The common link is near the top of the tree. So may well divert one's attention from more useful matches.