Monday, May 29, 2017

A Puerto Rican Look at: DNA Circles

DNA Circles [Ancestry]

Fairly recently (in the genealogical world), has been working on a DNA matching portion of their website called "DNA Circles". I've been waiting to write a post about DNA Circles until I got my first match, and very recently this occurred (this post has been sitting in "drafts" for a while now haha). Here is the definition of how DNA circles works below straight from Ancestry:

DNA Circles Description [Ancestry]

Initially I wasn't in any DNA Circle and that is mainly due to the fact that my tree had been set to private and couldn't be connected to anyone. I am very, very hesitant about setting my full tree to public because of people creating false connections and just taking entire branches off your tree and transplanting it onto theirs, so I decided to create a simpler public tree for DNA circles.

DNA Circles is supposed to find connections to other members who have tested and create a place where you can connect with these matches, see how you match them, and hopefully extend your family trees. AncestryDNA has been hard to manage as a Puerto Rican for various reasons, the main one being that it constantly creates false connections to people and I do not necessarily understand why. Under my "hints" tab, I rarely match anyone correctly. For example, one hint says I have a cousin matching my 3rd great grandmother Antonia González Padilla but it's connected to their ancestor who's last names were "Nieves González". I'm guessing the system is confused by the use of two last names and doesn't know how to properly connect cousins.

So my one circle is to "Estebania Rivera Rodríguez" but as you can see the connection is labeled as weak and there were 831 - now 952 - connections listed.

DNA Circles - Estebania Rivera Rodríguez [Personal Photo]

Entering my DNA circle, more information is given about what this Beta program does:

DNA Circles - Estebania Rivera Rodríguez [Personal Photo]

Within the circle, you can see a relationship lists of those who are believed to be attached to Estebania Rivera Rodríguez. The "strongest" match listed has a public tree but when you check out how we are connect, it doesn't really add up.

DNA Circle Match [Personal Photo]

Notice how my tree goes up from my 2nd great grandmother Ramona Rivera Rivera to my 3rd great grandmother Estebania Rivera Rodríguez and on the other tree it ends with an unknown González. It is very likely that I share with this cousin DNA but I'm not quite sure that it's through Estebania especially when you compare it down the line and the other descendants.

Ironically I DO match with others through paper trail and have figured out where they match me through my family tree but no DNA circles have populated for them. Some of their trees have been set to private while it also might not have enough "connections" for the DNA circle to be created.

Nonetheless, I am excited for the day that I can get a DNA circle and have it match correctly to my DNA cousin and use it for further my genealogical research. Until then, I patiently wait and continue to try and match and confirm through paper trail. :) 

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