A little over 6 months ago, AncestryDNA introduced their new Genetic Communities feature. Genetic Communities are groups of people who have taken the DNA test and who descend from the same historical population. They’re bigger than just your group of DNA matches but more narrowly focused than ethnicity estimates. You can read my original review of the Genetic Communities here and learn more about the science behind them here.
At the time, I was certain that Genetic Communities—with their historical overviews, maps, lists of relevant ancestors, and filtering—would encourage more new DNA testers to link trees to their results.
To test my idea, I posed a challenge to the genetic genealogy world: tell me how many of your top 100 matches at AncestryDNA had trees linked to their DNA tests in April and again 6 months later. I offered a free DNA test to one lucky contributor of data. Well, 6 months later is now! Many of you submitted “before” statistics back in April as comments to my earlier blog post. Consider this your reminder to go back to that post to add your “after” numbers in the comments.
The easiest way to tally how many of your top 100 matches do not have trees is to load the first page of your matches and use the search feature of your internet browser to find the text string “No family tree”. On the Chrome browser, the search field will pop up at the top-right of your window when you click control-f (on a PC) or command-f (on a Mac). Type in the words “No family tree”, and you should see grey numbers telling you how many times that text was found on the page. In the example below, the grey text says 1/17, because the browser found 17 such occurrences and is highlighting the first one (#1 of 17). Because each page of matches has 50 people, that means 17 of my top 50 matches do not have trees.
Write that number (the denominator) down. Now, go to the second page of your matches, put your cursor into the search field and hit return to repeat the search. Write down the second tally and add it to the first one.
In my case, I had 17 matches without trees on the first page and 30 on the second, for a total of 47 in my top 100 matches, or 47%. Back in April, 43% of my matches did not have trees, so that doesn’t bode well for my hypothesis. However, we can’t solid draw conclusions from a single datapoint. That’s why I posed the challenge in the first place: to get community involvement and more individual data points.
If you contributed data back in April and want to enter the drawing for a free AncestryDNA test, please go back to that earlier post, find your original comment with your “before” numbers, and enter the new ones as a reply to your original comment. I will draw a name from a hat on November 1 and notify the winner by email. With their consent, I will announce the name in the post where I summarize the before and after statistics.
Thanks! And good luck!