Ask Ancestry Anne: How is Confidence Computed In AncestryDNA?

Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on August 3, 2015 in Ask Ancestry Anne

Question: As I look at possible cousins, I see “Confidence…moderate, good” etc… What exactly is the difference? Are these matches created by DNA or similarities in family names, profiles?

Kathleen

Answer: When we compare your DNA to the DNA of one of your matches, we calculate a confidence score for you based on the amount and location of the DNA that you share. This score lets you know how much DNA evidence there is for you and your match actually being related. A high confidence score means that we are pretty sure that the DNA you share with your match is identical because it was inherited from a recent common ancestor.

It’s important to note that the confidence score is related only to your match and not to the relationship range we’ve assigned. In other words, the confidence score should not be interpreted as our confidence that you are specifically 4th cousins, for example. Instead, it lets you know how confident you can be that you and your DNA match are related through a recent common ancestor.

On your DNA page you will see a question mark icon that will take you to our Help screen:

2015-07-31-help

There are two articles that might help you understand confidence better if you would like more information:

2015-07-31-help2

I would also recommend checking out Ancestry Academy. Anna Swayne has created a DNA 101: An Insider’s Scoop on AncestryDNA Testing course that you might find helpful.

Happy searching!

Ancestry Anne

 

1 comment

Past Articles

The New Ancestry: July 31st Feature Update

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 31, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that introduced exciting enhancements on Person Media Gallery, Research Tools, and Family Card in Hints. Here is this week’s update on our progress. We have also included links to articles and videos at the end of this post that will… Read more

Sisters Separated in Childhood Reunited with AncestryDNA

Posted by Jessica Murray on July 28, 2015 in AncestryDNA

Long-lost sisters, Connie and Delores were separated at a young age with Delores being adopted by their birth mother’s parents and Connie being adopted by an unknown family. Delores was introduced to the truth of a sister existing at a young age when she discovered a baby photo and birth certificate. After years, Delores thought… Read more

Dating Family Photographs Using Historical Fashion Clues

Posted by Betty Shubert on July 27, 2015 in Research

The women in this photo are wearing soft, formal gowns of the early 1930s. Their short hairstyles and coronet-shaped headpieces are of the era except for the bridesmaid on the right who is somewhat fashion forward, her hair is longer as worn in 1935. The men are so classic and well tailored it is hard to specifically date… Read more

Who Do You Think You Are? Recap: Following the Clues with Ginnifer Goodwin

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 26, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site, Who Do You Think You Are?

You see it all the time in movie mysteries: the genius detective trying to solve a case that seems to have no answer. As the story progresses, however, we are transported into the detective’s mind. Random clues appear to glow in the detective’s vision, flashbacks to telling circumstances pop on the screen, and the audience… Read more

SSDI’s New Companion: U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

Posted by Juliana Szucs on July 24, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) was among the first collections posted on Ancestry when the website first began adding content back in 1996. Since then, it has been a boon to researchers looking for 20th-century ancestors and those doing descendancy, heirship, and other types of forensic genealogical research. Once you locate an ancestor in the… Read more

The New Ancestry: July 22nd Feature Update

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 23, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site

Welcome to our weekly update on the new Ancestry website. Last week we posted an article that called out upcoming enhancements that we had planned. Here is this week’s update on our progress. We have also included links to articles and videos at the end of this post that will help answer your questions and provide… Read more

Over 100 Years of Canadian Yearbook Records are Now Online

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 21, 2015 in Canada, Content, Research

As kids across the country enjoy their break from the books this summer, we just released a collection of more than one million historical yearbook records (featuring more than 100,000 pages), helping shed light on Canadian high school and university attendees from years past. The Canada, Selected School Yearbooks, 1908-2010 collection contains 1,355,141 Canadian middle school,… Read more