Sunday, January 29, 2017

Genealogy goals for the new year

Given the way that autosomal DNA tests for genealogy work, there are two things that are important for success in using that DNA data to find matches: finding your ancestors back to ten generations, and finding all possible descendants from them.

I came to this conclusion after reading the excellent blog post, How Much of Your Family Tree Do You Know? And Why Does That Matter? where the author says,
whenever we make a conclusion about a particular ancestor or ancestral couple based on segments of DNA shared with a relative, we absolutely must address whether we do, or could, share other ancestors with that relative.

The author made a nice little chart summarizing how much he knew, so I did the same thing. Mine is not as pretty, but here it is anyway:

Key:  Generation: from me; Relationship: to me; Date of Birth: roughly averaged; Matches: description; # Poss. Anc.: total number of possible ancestors in each generation; # Identified: number of ancestors identified by name in each generation; % Identified: percent of generation identified
Totals - Total Poss: total possible ancestors; Total # Indent: total number identified of total possible additively; Total % Ident: Total number of ancestors identified of total number possible additively in each generation
As you can see, I'm missing a lot of information! So I will prioritize finding more of those ancestors, even as MyHeritage continues to make it easy to find their descendants. And I will continue to add that information to Wikitree as I find the time. I really love having all the information open to everybody. That said, if you are a cousin, and want to see what I've got on MyHeritage, just ask to join the tree. Occasionally I also download a gedcom from there and upload that to Rootsweb as well.

MyHeritage: https://www.myheritage.com/site-family-tree-263769091/cowan-mcbee
Wikitree: https://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Cowan-1504/5
Rootsweb: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=cowan-zimmerman&id=I500003
Gedmatch: M186808

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