Oct4

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If you are like me you probably say “Harumph!” alot when you check for new genetic matches to your AncestryDNA test. Scrolling through 83 pages of matches, it gets a little depressing seeing the many, many, many “No family tree” next to the matches. And the many more with only token trees containing a small number of people in them.

Three of my grandparents were immigrants to the United States, and my fourth grandparent was the son of immigrants. So, unless a lot more Czech and Irish citizens start testing, I don’t think I’ll be seeing any AncestryDNA circles* on my profile. But, I am still hoping that a reasonably close cousin or three from a few of my Irish lines show up to help me figure out where in Ireland they came from. (*waving to Tierney and McDonald folk*)

Anyway, I know that sometimes things feel worse than they are, so I decided to crunch some numbers and see how bad (or good) I really have it. Using the handy dandy AncestryDNA Helper Chrome Extension, I scanned and downloaded a data file of my matches.

I found that I have 4,230 matches in the database.
Of those matches, 2,194 do not have a family tree attached to the DNA profile. BOO.
But, that leaves 2,036 matches that do have family trees. YAY!

About a 50/50 split. “But, Wait!”, I said to myself. (I’m an awesome conversationalist.)
What are the size of these trees? Well I charted it out.

Number of People in My Matches' Trees

Chart of Number of People in my AncestryDNA matches’ family trees that also kinda looks like a kitty cat.

Could be worse. Could be better. About 300 of the matches have less than 10 people in their tree, and 480 have less than 25 people. That’s likely not enough to help figure out 4th and 5th cousin level matches. (Yes, I know some people only put small subsets of their full tree on a profile, but still.)

However, flipping that around in my brain, about 1,400 people have trees with 50 or more people – that might get us somewhere.
(And I can’t imagine *ever* my own tree catching up to the one tree with 139,000 people in it. Wow.)

I think the long term outlook here, is it’s only going to get better, keep your fingers crossed, and rub some rabbits’ feet. (If you can catch them. I never can.)
Or, for a more succinct statement, as my dear old father would have said, “It’s better than a stick in the eye!”**

*For more information on AncestryDNA circles, you might want to watch their video Cousin Matches and DNA Circles over on The YouTube.
**AncestryDNA representatives: you can use “It’s better than a stick in the eye!” in your next ad campaign, but I’d appreciate a few gratis test kits for my trouble.

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