If you have taken a DNA test, you have seen that AncestryDNA gives you Hints to where you and your DNA match may share a common ancestor. DNA Hints aren’t influenced by Tree Hints—DNA Hints combine the power of genetics and family history to show where an ancestor is shared among your DNA match.
Many of us are very familiar with the Tree Hints or the Shaky Leaf Hints that are calculated for us when we begin a tree on Ancestry.com. If any of you are like me, then you always check your number of Hints, which are shown after login at the top right hand corner. You can see that I five waiting for me now.
Tree Hints help me identify what other records Ancestry has found based on the information I have entered into my tree and even looks at other member trees. It’s reassuring to know Ancestry is constantly doing work in the background to help me discover more about my family, but remember, these are just hints. You still need to verify the research to make sure the match Ancestry has identified is accurate.
DNA Hints are similar to tree Hints but work in a different way. After you take a DNA test, AncestryDNA compares your DNA to everyone in the AncestryDNA database and depending on how much DNA you share with another individual, Ancestry estimates a relationship and gives you a list of matches. If you have linked your tree to your DNA results, AncestryDNA can now look through your and your DNA match’s trees and search for common names. If Ancestry finds the same person in your tree and your DNA match’s tree then it will indicate with a DNA Hint on the match page. A leaf is displayed next to the number of people in your match’s tree used to indicate that AncestryDNA has found where the possible connection is.
When you click “review match” you will be able to see where the possible connection is. Again, this information is based on the tree you linked to your results. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you link the correct tree to the right DNA results.
Because this match and I both share DNA and had Samuel Plummer and Sarah Miles in our trees – AncestryDNA gave me a DNA Hint and now I can see where the possible connection is.
I still need to go in and verify the connection, but descendancy research is something I would like to get better at and my DNA matches will help me discover more. Go to the DNA homepage, click see matches and then you can filter all your DNA matches by Hints. See example below.
Next week I will share with you how I found my great grandfather’s picture through a DNA hint. In the meantime go search all your matches by hints. Good Luck!
About Anna Swayne
Anna Swayne has 9 years of experience in the DNA genealogy world. At Ancestry, she leads efforts in developing education to help our community maximize their experience with AncestryDNA. She believes there is real power behind DNA and the story it can unlock for each of us. When she is not talking DNA you can find her hiking or cycling in the mountains or cooking at home.