26 July 2020

AncestryDNA's Coming Changes and What You Can Do - Especially if you have MedBetter


This email is only for those who have tests at AncestyDNA. Also, if you have Chrome and MedBetter, you REALLY need to read this!!!

Many of you already know about AncestryDNA’s coming update where they will remove all your matches from 6-8cMs unless they are in a group, have a note or you have emailed the match.

To clarify, not all the 8cMs will be removed. Because Ancestry is removing 6-7cMs for sure and because they round up the cMs, some of your 8cMs will be gone, if they are really 7.99 and below. You won’t know which ones.

I have spent many, many hours for over a week trying to save my 6-8cMs.  After a week’s work on them I thought I was done as Ancestry indicated I was at the bottom of each list (6cM, 7cM and 8 cMs.  Note that I had also checked the ThruLines and put them in groups as well as the New Matches. BUT, not so….

I’m writing this in the case you have the same situation and may not know it.

After spending a week on doing the above, I returned to the 8cMs and noticed a huge percentage did not have groups.  WHAT!

I also had a recent half-first cousin test at Ancestry. She was not showing up in my matches and I wasn’t in hers.  We share the same grandmother.  I called Ancestry and they told me we were on each other and what group we were in for each other.  The woman at Ancestry suggested I clean my cache and try another browser.  I did both of those.  Chrome, my favorite, constantly updates the site so I wasn’t worried that I didn’t have the current version.

Then I posted to a DNA Facebook group and someone suggested there could be an extension, such as MedBetter.  Well, I do use MedBetter.

See more about MedBetter at https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/medbetterdna/gnbpjempamffbpppblmabeeimkppenla?hl=en-US

I removed MedBetter, and there was not only my currently tested cousin but another cousin that I used to have in my list, but I thought she had removed her kit. AND... there were some others that I had not remembered seeing until they reappeared.  I am talking recent matches here…2nd to 3rd cousins.

SO, to prove to myself that MedBetter was the reason my groups I had formed for a week was the culprit, I spent the last three days (except for cooking, eating, sleeping for only 5-6 hrs, and watering my garden) redoing all my 8cMs matches. I just finished a few minutes ago (Today is 26 Jul 2020 1:20 pm).  I have 17, 733 8cMs. I now have to redo all the 7cMs and 6cMs.

Here are some tips I learned along the way. Maybe they will work for you…

Grouping a cM list: (NOTE:  There is no limit to the number of people in a group.)

1.      Work on one set of cMs at a time (6, 7, or 8). I personally suggest starting with 8cMs as there is a slightly better chance of finding a common ancestor, but do as you wish.
2.      Create a group and label it so it will appear just after the star.  (The groups are in alphabetical order.) (I’m beginning to HATE yellow after using that dot! LOL)
3.      Reduce the size of the font on the page. This makes for less scrolling and the ability to see more matches on a page.
4.      Once you decide which cM list you are doing, use your FIND link (see the three dots in the upper right of Chrome.) and enter a name. Chrome highlights that name in orange. This makes it easy to spot where you started. (I cannot help you if you have another browser or MAC.)
5.      Scroll down a bit from your highlighted name (as far as you wish to work for a time period). Then, work from the bottom of that group upward to the name you highlighted. Why?  Because you only have to do two clicks to get someone in a group by going from bottom to top. Otherwise, you do three clicks. When you are talking about thousands of names that is a big difference! 
6.      Once you have worked your way back to the top where your name is highlighted, you can quickly scroll down to where you began adding people to a group to make sure you did not skip anyone or that you clicked too quickly and the dot did not register. This gives you two opportunities to hit everyone. You can very quickly scroll down to where you started in this group, so that goes quickly. Just focus on the dot to see where there is not one.
7.      Continue this until you have reached the bottom of the list you started. Then begin a new section, and repeat from number 4.

Other tips if you do not have time to do the above or run out of time
after working on one cM group

Check your ThruLines and add them to an appropriate group.

You can use two or three filters located at the top of your matches page. To these add your 6cM, 7cM and/or 8cM matches list.

1.      Check your Unviewed Matches by the various 6 to 8cM categories.
2.      Check your Newest Matches. See SORT and choose DATE which gives you the newest to the most distant. Again, you only need to group 6-8cMs so add those to your filtered search. This you will want to do several times before Ancestry dumps everything which, in theory is the end of August. Of course, they are not clear on what “the end of August” means, so complete all this the week before the end of August to be safe.
3.      Filter by trees and by the 6, 7 and 8cMs and group those matches.
4.      Search for your surnames and if 8cMs or less, group them. You can actually search for a surname within a cM section. (REMEMBER: you can use multiple filters)

Know that if you have not completed a cM section and you exit it, then you may have to spend a lot of time scrolling down to where you left working. I have had to scroll for 50 minutes to get back to where I was, and I still had a good day’s work to complete the section. For this reason, I left my computer as its for three days!

ALSO, be prepared to deal with a page locking up, dumping you, etc.

I wish you the best.
If you do not hear from me in a timely manner, just write again...I was buried in email.  LOL
Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond by E. Aulicino. Order online at AuthorHouse, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

22 July 2020

AncestryDNA Update on 6-7cM Removal

I just received this today after writing with my concerns that this removal is happening too quickly, and that one of my tester's result was due July 31.

The email stated: 
Hello Emily,

Thank you for contacting Ancestry in regard to AncestryDNA matches. We apologize for the delayed response, and are happy to help.

We have reviewed your inquiry, and feel that this information may help.As Ancestry continues to improve the accuracy of our DNA matching algorithms, we’ll be changing the way we calculate the amount of DNA that members share with their matches. Here’s what these changes will mean for our members:

More Accurate number of shared segments (Goes live early August)
The DNA you share with a match is distributed across short segments, long segments, or some combination of both. Our updated matching algorithm may reduce the estimated number of segments you share with some of your DNA matches. This doesn’t change the estimated total amount of shared DNA (measured in centimorgans/cM) or the predicted relationship to your matches.

Ability to see the length of the longest shared segment (Goes live Mid-August)
The length of the longest segment you and a DNA match have in common can help determine if you’re actually related. The longer the segment, the more likely you’re related. Segment length is also the easiest way to evaluate the difference between multiple matches that all show the same estimated relationship. Our updated matching algorithm can show you the length of the longest segment you share with your matches.

Distant DNA matches must share 8 cM or higher (Goes live late August)
Our updated matching algorithm will increase the likelihood you’re actually related to very distant matches. As a result, you’ll no longer see matches or be matched to people who share 7.9 cM or less DNA with you unless you’ve messaged them and/or included them in a note, or added them to a group (including your starred group). This means you will have fewer DNA matches and ThruLines™.

Based on customer feedback, we are delaying this change until late August so you have time to review and determine if you want to save any very distant matches by adding them to a group, starring them, adding a note, or sending them a message.

We hope this helps. Thank you for contacting Ancestry. Have a nice day!

If you need additional assistance, please feel free to reply to this message or call us at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787) between the hours of 9am to 11pm EST, seven days a week.


Customer Solutions Associate

17 July 2020

Ancestry removes more matches...it's not the first time.

By now, most of you know that starting around August 1 (no definate time has been given), Ancestry will change their algorithm and removed all matches at 6 and 7cM unless you have a note on them or have them in a catagory or have emailed them.

I've been working hours on just getting my 7cMs in a group.  I have run into issues with the site stopping before it allows me to download all the matches in their running page.  If we had page numbers as I mentioned to them when they decided to drop those, this would be easier and go faster.  For example after working HOURs yesterday just on 7cMs, I think I only had a couple of hundred to go.  It took me 50 minutes of continually using the down arrow to get back to where I stopped.  After that the site froze again.

I also had a call last night from a friend who was VERY upset as she had 42 tests she manages ...AND as she is African American she needs thos lower centiMorgans for her research.  AND, she hasn't even begun with the matches who are in African.  Although this may seem too small, it has lead her to answers using theses centiMorgans form 6-7.

AND, I have found at least two-dozen matche at the 7cM range that appear not to match me any other way since I have Colonial Ancestors and a pedigree chart that is robust, using GPS (Genealogy Proof Standards).

So...why am I whining about all this?  I need you to know that you have a short amount of time to do a big job, along with thousands of other testers.

At least we have a couple of weeks.  In the past we didn't know how much time for some of their chantges.

SO...as I need to return to my matches list, I'm just going to post these blogs where you can read about what to do.

Have fun!  (I'm not!)