Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More Family Finder Matches? Now FTDNA is Making Changes!

I haven't even begun to recover for the AncestryDNA v3 Update and now FTDNA is doing their own Family Finder autosomal algorithm update. My head is spinning for sure. Who's next? GEDMatch? DNA Land?
Thanks to Dr D Digs Up Ancestors blog at http://blog.ddowell.com/2016/05/more-family-finder-matches.html for the info below.
FTDNA project administrators will be getting notices soon that announce the following changes in the threshold Family Finder customers must meet in order to be matched with each other.
You asked for it - we listened!

For several years the genetic genealogy community has asked for adjustments to the matching thresholds in the Family Finder autosomal test. After months of research and testing, we have implemented some exciting changes effective very soon.
Currently, the current matching thresholds - the minimum amount of shared DNA required for two people to show as a match are:
     ● Minimum longest block of at least 7.69 cM for 99% of testers, 5.5 cM for the other one percent
     ● Minimum 20 total shared centiMorgans 

Some people believed those thresholds to be too restrictive, and through the years requested changes that would loosen those restrictions.

Soon, the following changes will have been implemented to the matching program.

     ● No minimum shared centiMorgans, but if the cM total is less than 20, at least one segment must be 9 cM or longer.

     ● If the longest block of shared DNA is greater than 9 cM, the match will show regardless of total shared cM or the number of matching segments.
The entire existing database has been rerun using the new matching criteria, and all new matches have been calculated with the new thresholds. 
Most people will see only minor changes in their matches, mostly in the speculative range. They may lose some matches but gain others.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

NADs and NADs and yes, even more NADs! But some of them aren't real?

AncestryDNA has gone nuts with NADs. The sad part is they just can't be trusted for anything useful in some cases aka false NAD matches.

So Larry you ask how do you know this outrageous fact. Hint here dear reader, I've tested both my parents and if they do not have those NADs that I have they can't be real right? Remember that Ancestry made a big deal about the fact that those of us who also tested our parents have had our results phased with their test to produce more accurate results and get rid of false positives - right!

So let me illustrate dear reader. Here are the current crop of NADs (they put a whole bunch on the street earlier this week).

Larry Van Horn 17 NADs (the son)

Elisabeth Defeld  (1819-1901)* Maternal
Virginie Devillier  (1821-1878)
Jane Dunlap   (1811-1873)* Paternal
Elinor Henson   (1787-1873)* Paternal
Faustin Hollier   (1812-1876)
Berryman Isom Jones  (1820-1896)* Paternal
John Doyle Lee   (1812-1877)
John Lynch   (1778-1863)* Paternal
Warren Lafayette Lynch  (1839-1916)
Jeremiah Meek   (1806-1856)* Paternal
Jeremiah V Meek   (1818-1893)
Johann Peter Meuth  (1809-1857)
Margaretha Meuth  (1843-1910)* Maternal
Frank Seidel   (1827-1893)* Maternal
Elizabeth Vest   (1820-1897)
Lueticia Ward   (1845-1883)
Licenia Watkins   (1824-1909)* Paternal

My Father 35 NADs

Henry C Begley   (1792-1854)
Levi Brookshire   (1830-1916)
John Laddie Bullock  (1844-1926)
Peter Richard Clement  (1840-1914)
Henry Heslip Davis  (1849-1931)
Emma D. Dixon   (1839-1909)
Jane Dunlap   (1811-1873)
Alfred Dye   (1842-1918)
Francis Kincannon Elliott (1813-1884)
James Millard Gilliland  (1856-1939)
Laura Emma Hall   (1860-1932)
Elinor Henson   (1787-1873)
Adah Belle Higby  (1853-1925)
Berryman Isom Jones  (1820-1896)
Nicie Elizabeth Kinnaird (1859-1925)
Anne Friedericke Kock  (1827-1894)
Reuben Layton   (1836-1892)
Louisa Jane Long  (1840-1933)
Eliza Clementine Lynch  (Born 1873)
John Lynch   (1778-1863)
Jonathan Brooks May  (1857-1923)
Jessie Alexander Mayhall (1835-1912)
Lucy Jane McAleer  (1856-1933)
Jeremiah Meek   (1806-1856)
Mary Cordelia Meek  (1847-1928)
Eliza Ann Plaster  (1839-1915)
Elizabeth Roberts  (1792-1837)
Mary Elizabeth Selvage  (1859-1947)
Morgan Joseph Smith  (1834-1911)
Johann Heinrich Staack  (1817-1894)
Licenia Watkins   (1824-1909)
Elisabeth "Lizzie" Yeilding (1852-1884)

My Mother 14 NADs

Elisabeth Defeld  (1819-1901)
Ruben Theodore "Fred" Farthing (1854-1932)
Faithia Futrell   (1808-1887)
Green Berry McCormick  (1848-1930)
Johann Peter Meuth  (1809-1857)
Margaretha Meuth  (1843-1910)
Levi William Pitts  (1838-1880)
Martha Jane Prater  (1837-1930)
Frank Seidel   (1827-1893)
Rebecca Singleton  (1850-1912)
James Storm   (1786-1863)
Telitha Surginer  (1842-1912)
James Vaughn   (1804-1857)
James Vinson   (1804-1884)

And the results? Eight of the NADs I have nearly 50% are not shared with either of my parents.

Not good for someone's test that has been supposedly phased with his parents AncestryDNA tests.

BTW I am also working up a list of false matches that I still have even after AncestryDNA's new phasing algorithm. That isn't looking so good either.

AncestryDNA is not having a good week in my eyes for sure.

More AncestryDNA Wierdness - Check Your Removed Matches

Well this is really weird. This morning while cleaning up my 4th Cousin AncestryDNA matches and above, I opened my Removed Matches folder. I carefully manage this folder only placing those matches that do not have any tree linked to it in this folder.

Now imagine my surprise this morning when I open up removed matches and discovered this:

If you click on that graphic you will see blue dot matches, bunches of them. What appears to have happened is all the matches that I placed in the removed folder had its status changed by Ancestry's computers to not viewed (blue dot on). And to add insult to injury all those matches in that folder that had notes . . . the notes are gone.

OK Ancestry, what gives with this glitch. Now I have my test eight pages of matches to sort through again and make notes on matches that I have already looked at and made notes on. I haven't checked my five other testers but no doubt I will be slugging through them as well. Thanks Ancestry but no thanks. And then there are the NADs, but that is the next post.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Customer Testing Begins on New AncestryDNA Chip

And now the second of what I expect are three shoes to drop re: AncestryDNA testing. Rumor has it that the third shoe still hanging out there might be an ethnic mix update.

Post from the Ancestry blog on 12 May 2016:

The science and technology powering the AncestryDNA test, which helps people better understand themselves and where they come from, is always evolving. We are constantly seeking new and better ways to provide insights into your past and to help you uncover the stories and relationships that have come together to make you who you are. As part of that focus on continual improvement, starting next week, we will begin to use a new DNA test chip for the AncestryDNA test.

The new chip, with approximately 700,000 DNA markers, has been designed to help us refine our ability to provide insight into your ethnic and geographic origins and your family’s genetic history. In the four years since we launched AncestryDNA, we have learned that some markers, also known as SNPs, in DNA are better indicators of ethnic and geographic origins than others, so we have created this new chip to focus on those signals and enable further refinements to the results. This will provide further improvements to the ethnicity results we provide. For example, many of the markers that were picked for the new chip were selected because they provide greater insight into non-European populations. In addition, they strengthen our ability to provide matches to cousins who have also taken an AncestryDNA test. Altogether, the changes we have made to the new chip will enable us to provide more of the ethnicity and family story insights you have come to expect from us.

The new chip also includes some markers associated with health. Although we don’t currently offer health or diagnostic products to our customers, DNA data is used to improve our products and develop new ones, and for customers who have explicitly agreed, in external research to further understand human history and improve human health. We continue to explore the possibility of developing health products in the future, and may do so with proper regulatory and legal approval.

The data derived from this new chip is backward compatible with the tests that were done on the prior chip. This means that features like DNA cousin matching will work seamlessly for all our customers. It also means that if you’ve already taken an AncestryDNA test, you don’t need to take a new test for the existing features of our service to continue to work.

We are excited to be taking this step with AncestryDNA. We are confident that it will help us continue to refine the value we provide to our customers, offering more insights into the history of your families and connecting you with relatives you never knew before. We’re also excited by the possibilities it opens up for new products in the future.

Roberta Estes at DNAeXplained elaborates on all this at https://dna-explained.com/2016/05/15/ancestry-modifies-their-autosomal-dna-chip/

Saturday, May 7, 2016

AncestryDNA's updated matching algorithms - Some before and after analysis

Found this interesting article on the Cruwys news blog. It has some analysis of their results from the AncestryDNA algorithm update at

I am about half way through updating my personal test results after the v3 update. I can definitely see some change and some improvement in IBD matching. I am one of those who probably benefited the most with this update thanks to have tested both my parents and the implementation of their new phasing algorithm instituted with this update.

Having said that I still have false matches including a close in 4th cousin, good confidence, 29.5 cM/2 segment match that neither of my parents has.

Right now I have two support tickets into AncestryDNA Tech Support for matching issues that defy all logic. Sometimes that computer most be drinking heavily! ;-)

In case you haven't seen the new matching criteria, here is what Ancestry has posted in their help files for this v3 update.

And here are the shared cM levels for various relationships now.

I will be doing some additional updates here on the FRB Blog as I complete the updates for my testing. But in the meantime, here are some initial statistics before and after AncestryDNA v3 application.

Larry Van Horn (this is me)
Before Update: 82 Leaf Matches, 124 4th Cousins, 18 DNA Circles, 5 NADs, 111 Pages
After Update: 93 Leaf matches (+11), 146 4th Cousins (+22), 16 DNA Circles (-2), 5 NADs, 138 Pages

My Father Warner Lee
Before Update: 138 Leaf Matches, 213 4th Cousins, 10 DNA Circles, 10 NADs, 160 Pages
After Update: 128 Leaf Matches (-10), 220 4th Cousins (+7), 12 DNA Circles (-2), 10 NADs, 170 Pages

My Mother Gloria Ann
Before Update: 24 Leaf Matches, 165 4th Cousins, 8 DNA Circles, 4 NADs, 107 Pages
After Update: 22 Leaf Matches (-2), 201 4th Cousins (+36), 4 DNA Circles (-4), 4 NADS, 134 Pages

My 2nd Cousin Jerilyn
Before Update: 76 Leaf Matches, 249 4th Cousins, 4 DNA Circles, 9 NADs, 205 Pages
After Update: 83 Leaf Matches (+7), 373 4th Cousins (+124), 4 DNA Circles (n/c), 9 NADs, 252 Pages

My Wife Gayle
Before Update: 269 Leaf Matches, 512 4th Cousins, 24 DNA Circles, 17 NADs, 217 Pages
After Update: 280 Leaf Matches (+11), 549 4th Cousins (+37), 21 DNA Circles (-3), 17 NADS, 238 Pages

Gayle's 2nd Cousin Bryan
Before Update: 166 Leaf Matches, 598 4th Cousins, 14 DNA Circles, 18 NADs, 232 Pages
After Update: 165 Leaf Matches (-1), 621 4th Cousins (+23), 15 DNA Circles (+1), 18 NADS, 258 Pages

Some of these numbers continue to fluctuate. Two days ago I watch the number of 4th cousins on my test page change several times during the day from 149 to 147 and back up to 149. It changed like this back and forth all day long. This morning it is back down to 147 for now.

I did lose five MRCA matches, but most were down there a bit in the weeds so to speak. Here are the casualties of the v3 update.

Moderate 5.1cM/1 8GGP Cornelius Dabney-Susannah Swann
Moderate 5.5cM/1 7GGF Heinrich Furrer-Russena Rosser
Moderate 5.7cM/1 7GGP John Chalfant-Dorothy Adams
Moderate 6cM/1    5GGM Margaret McCarter-1st husband William Motley
Good       8.8cM/1 7GGP William Hurt-Anne Stennard

Also if you have not done so be sure as soon as possible download your deleted v2 matches from Ancestry. Roberta Estes on her blog at https://dna-explained.com/2016/05/03/ancestry-update-downloading-v2-deleted-matches/ has all the instructions to perform this function so I won't repeat it here. Remember in order to have this v2 deleted file prior to the update if you starred or noted matches, and if those matches got deleted during the Ancestry update, Ancestry created that spreadsheet file for you to download.  It’s located under your setting gear wheel, to the right of your name.

More to follow, the analysis continues . . .

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New AncestryDNA Matching Update Now Online

We have been waiting for a couple of weeks now and as of minutes ago, all my testers pages and those of my cousins who have shared their pages with me have been updated.  I will have more on all this very soon.

Here is the accompanying supporting text:
AncestryDNA’s Cutting-Edge Science Gets Even Sharper

  We’re excited to share some of the advancements we’ve made to the science of finding your relatives through DNA, commonly referred to as DNA matching.
 Today, we’re rolling out an update to AncestryDNA that improves the precision of our DNA matching. And the good news for our AncestryDNA customers is, this update is free and has already been applied to your results.
 With the world’s largest consumer DNA database—1.5 million people and growing—plus the millions of family trees contributed by Ancestry members, we have been able to significantly improve the accuracy and quality of your DNA matching results.

What’s New?

- More precise matching—We can identify DNA connections with a better level of precision and accuracy than was possible before.
- More DNA matches—With this update, we have added more than 900 million cousin connections for DNA customers. And, you’ll continually get new connections since we have the largest consumer DNA database that is growing all the time.
- More time saved—We are providing an email notification for new 4th cousins or closer DNA matches so you won’t miss a thing.
 What to Expect

We’ve improved the confidence levels in estimating relationships by extending the comparison methods to potentially find longer segments of DNA shared between individuals. Individual results will vary, but because of this, you may see some DNA matches that were previously predicted to be more closely related to you at a higher confidence drop down in your list or no longer appear. Also, you may have new DNA matches that you haven’t seen before. If you have taken notes or "starred" a DNA match that no longer appears on your new list, you can download information about that previous match for a limited time from the DNA test settings page.
 To learn more about the confidence score for your DNA matches, check out our updated DNA Help article, "What does the match confidence score mean?" You can find this Help article on your DNA matches page by clicking on the question mark in the right-hand corner of the page.
 Have more questions? Read the frequently asked questions on this update.

Don’t Miss a New Discovery

With this update, we have also added a new weekly email that will notify you of 4th cousin matches (or closer). So, as new people take the AncestryDNA test, you can find out if a new close cousin is found.  
 If you haven’t opted in for notifications, it’s easy to do through the settings for your DNA test. Get the step-by-step instructions on how to do this here. If you manage multiple AncestyDNA tests in your account, you can set your preferences for each test.

  Advances in the Science
Phasing, trios, haplotypes, oh my. The AncestryDNA science team continues to make advances in the complex science of genetic genealogy. With this update, we’ve extended the areas in the genome that we analyze, so we can find larger areas of matching DNA. The new algorithm includes more diverse DNA than ever before, including many populations outside the U.S. In addition to that, we have now added more known DNA-tested parent and child (duo sets) and known DNA-tested parents (both Mom and Dad) and child (trio sets) to the process to make our phasing even more accurate. A big thanks to the AncestryDNA customers who are not just taking the test themselves but also encouraging parents and other close family members to take the AncestryDNA test.

What Makes These Advances Possible?

The short answer is that the 1.5-million people taking the DNA test plus the family trees they share are enabling new findings in the science of how we’re all related. Each person who takes the DNA test is connected into the vast family network of people using AncestryDNA. With each observation of relatedness in that DNA network, along with the confirmation of the family connections, our scientists are finding new methods to better predict who and how we’re related.
 We only know what we know with current data and research. As the database grows, what we know about our genetics and relationships grows with it.
 To learn more about the science behind this exciting update, our team has shared more of the technical details on our Tech Roots blog. Read it all here.