Posted by Ancestry Team on April 9, 2019 in AncestryDNA, Website

Last month at RootsTech our CEO Margo Georgiadis revealed three game changing innovations to give you a clearer and richer view of your history—helping you make more personal discoveries, faster.

  • ThruLines™ illustrates how you may be connected to your DNA matches through a common ancestor — and gives you a clear view of how you’re likely related
  • MyTreeTags™ provides 20 universal options and the ability to create your own custom tags to highlight personal details or research status for individuals in your family tree
  • New & Improved DNA Matches enables you to easily sort, group, and view your DNA Matches any way you’d like

We launched these features in beta so you could explore them and send us feedback to make your Ancestry® experience even better. Our teams received unprecedented engagement and feedback from all of you, and for that we’re so very grateful. We’re fulfilling our commitment to continuous innovation and improvement by thoughtfully reviewing your feedback and making requested updates.

Here’s what we’re working on:

ThruLines

In just a few short weeks, we’ve already heard stories from many of you who have smashed through brick walls or connected with separated family members as a result of this launch–thank you for letting us be a part of your success.

We’ve heard your requests for this feature and are prioritizing the following updates over the next few months:

  • An updated algorithm that only suggests new potential ancestors not already in your family tree
  • “Smart suggestions” for how to get discoveries from ThruLines™ even if you already have a large tree linked to an AncestryDNA test
  • Providing relationship records and DNA evidence details to help you better understand why potential ancestors are being suggested
  • Flexibility to keep or remove suggested potential ancestors from ThruLines™ discoveries

MyTreeTags

Over 400K members have joined the MyTreeTags™ beta and users love that they can expertly keep track of the details and research status of their ancestors. A few users have asked if the relationship calculator is still accessible in the beta experience and we’re happy to report that it is still available. If you have any feedback regarding this feature, please let us know via this link.

To keep innovating this feature, the MyTreeTags™ team is making the following updates, based on your suggestions:

  • An autosave feature in MyTreeTags™ that will replace the manual “save” button
  • A new feature guidance tool to help you know how to effectively use MyTreeTags™
  • Improved scrolling that is more compatible for members using a FireFox browser
  • Making MyTreeTags™ available in mobile app

New & Improved DNA Matches

Thank you for telling us about how you’ve been using color coding, custom labeling, and our other new features to better visualize your DNA connections. Through your feedback, we’ve learned what helps you make meaningful discoveries and in the coming months we will continue refining this feature by:

  • Making extra information, such as shared surnames, available on the match profile page
  • Moving “add a note” feature and “add a match to a group” feature to the match profile page
  • Adding the ability to bulk-add a match’s shared matches to a custom match group
  • Showing the number of matches in each match group next to the group name in the match filter
  • Moving the search button to a more visible location (next to the match group filters)

Thank you again for all of your suggestions. We’re committed to ongoing iterations to deliver the best possible discovery journeys for our dedicated community, so please continue to tell us about your experience. If you would like to learn more or opt into any of these public betas, please visit our new release page.

96 Comments

  1. James Shannon

    The New & Improved DNA Matches needs to include search by User ID as that is how most of the DNA Matches are listed.

    • Alan

      I agree we need to be able to search matches by User ID. Scrolling through 50 pages of matches trying to spot an ID is really a drag.

      • Barbara

        Definitely need to be able to search by User ID and list all their matches in one list, not like they are now only via a person’s profile page. Also, changes need to be compatible with the AncestryDNA Helper extension for the Chrome browser that so many people use.

      • Joyce

        I totally agree…we need to be able to search under match name.

        We must also have pages, not one long list. It is impossible to keep track of where you left off in viewing matches and sorting.

        • Just use the centimorgan count at the bottom of each match to keep track of where you left off. All of my matches are sorted in descending count.

      • Michele

        I asked for the same user ID search field to return too. I keep paper and digital files with the user ID. This field needs to return!!

      • Larry Van Horn

        Mega Ditto. Please get rid of the scroll roll and give us pages. Another dumb idea by people who apparently do not do genealogy on a daily basis.

        • Brandy Johnson

          This feature is why I do not like Myheritage. I agree!! Please bring back the pages!! and if you could include distant matches on the shared matches feature, my life would be complete. Thanks!

    • nmolina153

      I strongly agree. Especially now that through Beta ThruLines there are no page numbers, although if there were page numbers, we still have to scroll through everyone; like search for the needle in the haystack. If we know the user name, we currently can only search by surname which doesn’t function if none available.
      I like that Family Tree DNA has options to see matches by date, generation, alphabetical order, and more. That would be ideal if Ancestry were able to provide the options as well.

    • Nancy Thomas

      I agree. The ability to see if one username matches another is so fundamental and is especially needed when researching smaller matches under the 20 cm. threshold for shared matches. My research would be greatly facilitated by this basic addition.

    • Louise

      I so agree. I can’t understand why Ancestry doesn’t see the need for a basic match name search function. How are we supposed to find anything? I have been reliant on the AncestryDNA Helper extension to find particular matches and to search within my notes, but this doesn’t work with the ‘New & Improved DNA Matches’ beta. So much effort has been put into new and exciting tools like ‘Thulines'(which are wonderful), but the basics are still missing.

      • Elizabeth Davidson

        Yep. The search function is absolutely appalling. I mean, truly, horrifically appalling. It literally will not come up with results for names you can see directly in your list.

    • Kim H

      DNA circles and New Ancestor Discoveries have been in Beta for YEARS!! Makes you wonder if any of them ever will leave that phase.

      • I keep forgetting that DNA circles is beta. But I was under the impression that ThruLines was not available to everyone. So I guess my questions really is when will it be released to the public?

      • Lisa B

        Hi Kim. I’m assuming I haven’t had any New Ancestor Discoveries, but if I did get them do you know where/how they show up? Thanks!

  2. Kim H

    What is going to happen with the DNA circles? I like this feature and it has not worked in months so I’m not sure why it’s just sitting there.

  3. Gerrye Fielden

    at my age, I’m having trouble figuring out how to try even one of these ideas! Sound great, if I only knew how to start….. also interested in the “color coding”. What is that?

    • Joyce

      Gerry you can now sort your matches using names and a color code. This helps you separate DNA lines and really helps w/ research.

      I found one group of people that I started seeing the same surname over and over and I identified a couple who is probably my 2nd great grandfather’s grandparents–although I still can’t figure out my 2nd GGF’s parents, it’s a start 🙂

      • Barbara Hulsizer

        I have a maternal 2nd ggf, William Newton Blanchard. For decades researchers have been trying to figure out who his parents were. I used the “genetic genealogy” method to figure it out. It’s a tedious, frustrating process. This is the short version — it took me about 5 months working for a few hours every day. The process was used on 7 immediate family members that we tested plus 3 more who are my Blanchard cousins and related only to my mom.
        1. I searched for the surname Blanchard in everyone’s matches, along with all the variations. (Blansett, Blanchett, misspellings, etc.)
        2. I made manual notes of the user names for each cousin match along with their Blanchard ancestor’s name, birth place or state of residence. I also noted who they married and the surnames of their descendants.
        3. Pretty soon, I found a name: Thomas L. Blanchard. He was in the 1850 Census along with a wife and some children. He and his descendants appeared consistently in the matches of my 10 tested family members.
        4. I added him as a 3rd ggf and researched the heck out of his descendants carefully linking each to a DNA graphic so I could see the line of descendancy.
        5. Our shared ancestors hints lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July! (Before the thru-lines were released.) By the time I was done, between the 10 tested, I found over 250 Blanchard DNA cousin matches to the descendants of Thomas L Blanchard who had been tested. (Each of us had matches, some shared, some unique.) The sheer volume of matches happens only with grandparents. The aunts/uncles/cousins have maybe 4-8 matches and it’s not consistent across my 10 people.

        Thomas L Blanchard is my 4th GGF. I’m not so certain about his wife since I don’t have a maiden name for her and some of the matches are weaker than they should be. So I’m guessing 2 marriages. I started doing the same to find Thomas’s father and have identified two good targets. Then Ancestry released the thru lines and I have clues to other brick walls. So many ancestors, so little time.

  4. Andrea

    A “new and improved game changing innovation” would be a chromosome browser that can analyze X-DNA as well.

    I’m grateful for the MyTree tags, but the rest is just flash with very little substance. It’s an insult to our intelligence that Ancestry continues to treat us this way.

    Please ancestry, treat your customers that send you 100’s and thousands of dollars each year like we are intelligent enough to use tools to analyze our DNA and those of our DNA matches.
    Even a 10 year old knows to “show their work”.
    Less flash, more substance please.

    • Bonnie Schrack

      Echoing others here — Ancestry does not really listen to their customers; we have very little influence. Although I suppose some organized effort might get their attention. If they actually had a spirit of service to the community, they would have agreed to our urgent pleas and demands for a chromosome browser long ago.

      Tadhere is some element there that is fear-based, rather than inspired by love. They are afraid of chromosome browsers for some reason, though these haven’t been known to cause any problems for any of the other companies that do offer them.

      There are so many things you could do that would make a dramatic difference for your customers. Real genetic genealogy requires a chromosome browser, but even without that feature which frightens you, Ancestry could do this one, little thing: tell us whether each Shared Match matches us *on the same segment*.

      If I match Joe and Linda, but Joe and Linda match eachother on another line, and thus on a different segment, that’s not at all the same situation as having three people who all share at least some of the same segment, and thus, a common ancestor. How easy it would be for you to tell us that little fact, without having to reveal specific DNA locations! As it stands now, we are operating in the dark. As others have said, giving us genuine access to information is what matters to us, NOT flashy graphics.

      Another next step would be to identify the chromosome number where the matching segment(s) arelocated. This is also far short of revealing anything sensitive.

      Finally, one request I’ve been making for quite a while, which would be an immense benefit at virtually no cost to you: allow us to filter matches not only to see all who match our tested parent, but also, to be able to see all matches who DON’T match that parent. I have no way to see just my non-paternal matches! This is such a big pain, and would be ridiculously easy to fix.

      Thank you!

      Bonnie

      • Bonnie Schrack

        I’m sorry for the typo in my post. It’s unfortunate that there seems to be no way to edit or even delete one’s comments.

      • John

        Bonnie makes some good suggestions. 23andme, FTDNA, MyHeritage, and others offer their users a chromosome browser. With the information we gain using DNA matches on these sites, DNA researchers can use DNA Painter to map their chromosomes to their ancestors. If ancestry would just tell us the chromosome where we match without the specific segment data, then in most cases, we would be able to predict the common ancestors for our ancestry DNA match.

    • Michael Pierce

      Absolutely agree. The lack of any chromosome data, with everyone else providing it, is starting to feel almost obstinate on Ancestry’s part. Imagine being able to couple ThruLines functionality with the ability to inspect, triangulate and paint segments. That would leapfrog the competition…and keep me coming back to Ancestry instead of seeking solutions elsewhere.

  5. Barbara

    Definitely need to be able to search by User ID and list all their matches in one list, not like they are now only via a person’s profile page. Also, changes need to be compatible with the AncestryDNA Helper extension for the Chrome browser that so many people use.

    • Elizabeth Davidson

      Yeah, except Ancestry have now rendered that really useful tool redundant by removing the ‘scan list’ feature.

  6. Mike

    “ThruLines
    An updated algorithm that only suggests new potential ancestors not already in your family tree”

    I hope you make this an option (perhaps the default) but don’t remove the ability to find ancestors already in the tree. If you have hundreds and 3rd and 4th cousins and people have a username attached to their DNA that doesn’t match their actual name (lots of people use pseudonyms) then you may not have found all the DNA matches that are actually in your tree. I’ve already found several cousins using ThruLines who are DNA matches this way, and they were happy to be contacted thru Ancestry. I never could have found them without using ThruLines.

  7. peggy

    I’d prefer you fix problems that have been going on for years, before you tackle new items!! I’ve been writing in for years requesting a fix to this issue: I get frequent emails telling ‘new content has been added to your tree’ and I excitedly click on ‘view all new people’ only to be taken to the index of ALL people in the tree!!! Nowhere can I find a way to search that tree for NEW people. This is such a time waster. Can’t you make it that I can actaully view new people added and to select to search for people added in e.g. the past month, or ‘since I last viewed this tree’, etc.?? Why send these email notifications when they don’t actually DO anything!?!

    • Madeleine

      Peggy, you are so lucky to even get emails form Ancestry. I am not getting any that relate to my trees, i only get these emails that advise me of a new blog item and of course, when my sub is due. I have repeatedly asked Ancestry customer help to investigate and my ISP has asked them to do so . Neither of us is getting anywhere near satisfactory answers. As you point out Ancestry is too focused on new stuff to find time to fix existing problems.

    • Joyce

      Wholeheartedly agree Peggy…there was a time when you went straight to the person on tree you wanted to see…that has been broken for quite a while and needs to be fixed.

      I have about 15 trees for various brick walls I am trying to break through, I have invites and am editor on many trees (my cousins want me to update their trees LOL –I do it for one elderly 2nd cousin who is a peach and we’ve become attached -but I can’t update all these folks trees-can barely keep up with the 15 I have LOL)

      ANC needs to realize that some of their customers are serious researchers, and are helping others get decent trees…

      If it wasn’t for serious researchers, ANC would not be able to generate so many hints. WE are creating their tree databases, WE are guiding others and helping them with their trees.

      ANC needs to make it easier for those of us who do that…

  8. MKath

    I have done extensive research to prove that my 3rd great-grandfather, Thomas C. Wood 1825-1899, Bedford Co., VA, was NOT the son of John B. Wood and Catherine Citty. They had a son with the same name, but his verified dates were 1822-1908. ThruLines has connected my relative with John B. and Catherine and now the names are all mixed up on a million other trees. Please do something about this. I don’t care for ThruLines.

    • Joyce

      MKath…I have had one or 2 people like that…who other trees had lots of misinformation.

      The solution I can up with that actually works is to do a story, and attach to all involved parties in your tree.

      Explain why other trees are incorrect. That way folks can easily find it on a search and the story usually shows up in hints.

      You’ll never totally resolve all the incorrect files, as many folks no longer have membership, but little by little folks will get on the right path.

      I hope that helps

      J

      • Susan

        Good idea about the story. Finding more incorrect ancestors and little interest in people correcting them even though I have proof.

  9. M E Hall

    Thank you for the update(s) and communicating that the “feedback” has been heard. Very much appreciated from this 18+ year Ancestry.com subscriber/customer

  10. Jojo

    1. Would be nice if Ancestry would add a timeline as to when they will apply these fix-up’s!

    2. I never get emails for new DNA matches (3rd cousin or better) from Ancestry. Why not?

    3. Many people have multiple trees. There needs to be a way to sync a tree from someone else you are collaborating with and merge updated trees into a master tree.

  11. Christopher Schuetz

    Since there is no response panel on your Profile Beta, I will comment here.
    The right hand side concentrates all the stuff that I try to avoid at AncestryDNA because it makes my time with this material unpleasant.
    Ethnicity that cannot even specify which continent my paternal grandmother came from.
    And says my Cornish are all Irish.
    But at least you didn’t locate them in the Caribbean as your upload often mangles my Cornish locations.
    New matches – who have no trees – without any filter to exclude all those without a tree.
    And those helpful big images, so I can’t take in all of my matches ethnicity to make some sense of it.
    You have taken MyHeritage’s approach but made it 100 times worse.
    I would blame the intern for these ideas, but they have all the hallmarks of a shared, committee decision. Try again.
    And this time, try working with a real user, not just a web person, or someone caught in the corporate culture.

  12. ThruLines has been nothing but problematic for me. Issues like step parents being represented in ThruLines as bio-parents (and yes, the people are connected correctly in my trees), ThruLines ignoring properly attached ancestors, even if on the original rollout day the ancestors were in ThruLines, they later disappear, etc.

    And because the match list leaf hints are now on “Common Ancestors” found in ThruLines, if ThruLines doesn’t want to add a (correctly attached) ancestors in a ThruLine then too bad, one doesn’t get those little shaky green leaf hints.

    On a more fundamental problem, ThruLines tries to resell so many dodgy old family trees, like those used to erroneously connect people via the Ancestry app “We’re Related”, that false ancestors will now continue to be promulgated with the imprimatur of “DNA”.

  13. Bill Greggs

    I’m finding the ThruLines feature very helpful for providing hints for matches with common ancestors. A few comments: Some ThruLine Ancestors are not the already well-researched ancestors I already have on my Tree, but what someone else’s tree indicates — “Potential Ancestors” are indicated where I have the actual ancestor in my tree. From ThruLines there is not a way back to the main DNA home page. It would be nice from a specific ThruLine ancestor landing page to be able to go back one generation, e.g. from the 2nd ggf or ggm to the 3rd ggf/ggm in that line. I am taking a lot of time to go through each of the ancestors to confirm and document matches. It would be nice to have some way of checking a box for each of those so that Ancestry could signal when there are new matches for that common ancestor since the last time I reviewed them.

  14. MKath

    Joyce, I posted my ancestor’s obituary a few years ago but removed it because too many users didn’t bother to read it and just posted it automatically to the wrong person. I’ve put together a decent summary of the two (possibly related) families. I don’t dare post it because of how it could be handled. I put too much work into it for someone else to take credit. I don’t want to see it posted all over the internet. And for people asking for a search by username feature, I’ve been asking for many years. It would really help, especially when you’re working with common surnames. There’s no way to find anything. I was a Beta DNA tester and the only “new” feature that has helped me over the years is the “Shared Ancestors” list.

  15. Terry

    Please make searching by ethnicity, which was previously available. a part of the New and Improved DNA Matches. Currently, I have to opt out of the new features to use this tool It should be integrated with the new matching system.

  16. Rick

    Great improvements! Now, if you could just get people to use tags and delete a zillion images!
    I am spending more and more time deleting pictures.

  17. Larry Van Horn

    Honestly, I have not been impressed with most of what you have done. You continue to rely on heavy graphic-laden pages and then watch your website crash to its knees during peak prime time periods. You have rolled out major beta features with zero whitepapers to explain what we are looking at or to help us make educated estimates about the validity of the information being presented. Your lack of understanding of the value of DNA segments and chromosome browsers is an embarrassment. You see “we asked,” since the very beginning of your atDNA offering, we have asked for a chromosome browser but you have artfully dodged the issue. Even at Rootstech in Feb your spokesman artfully avoided answering the question by telling us to look at the shiny new tools we just gave you in beta which were buggy at best and you will like them but no chromosome browser to see here. Not sure who in your company is against providing your customers’ segment data, but it is obvious you and they are afraid to confront your customers with reasons why you won’t provide us with what all your competitor have — a chromosome browser. Shame on you Ancestry. I agree with Christopher Schuetz, “I would blame the intern for these ideas, but they have all the hallmarks of a shared, committee decision . . . try working with a real user, not just a web person, or someone caught in the corporate culture.”

  18. Doris Pyle Haynes

    I wish Ancestry could find a way to use only the newest versions of our trees with Thurlines.
    I made mistakes in earlier trees that I now have corrected. Also, when needing to do a backup, I’ve been advised to rename a tree. Going by the number on a tree does not tell which is most current.
    I’m with others that we need pages. Also a way to see new matches that you don’t have to go through the hundreds of persons to find them.
    I have been advised by Ancestry not to delete the okd trees.

  19. Steve Moray

    I’m seconding and thirding others in this thread, and will forever continue to be a broken record regarding a CHROMOSOME BROWSER. This is an essential tool if we are to properly follow the GPS. Everything else is secondary to that.

  20. Elizabeth Korf

    I really enjoy these features. The tags are an awesome addition. Great features. More searching options and maybe statistical elements. The ability to use both the tradition and the new is good. Not exactly sure how to explain it all. But I like everything so far. Some way more than others. I am weeding through some of my tree and tagging stuff that need heavy research. I like the hypothesis tag as sometimes there is no real source to go with. And the adopted tags and the relationship drop down menus a great helpful feature too. I have found long lost relatives due to it.

  21. Martin

    Hi

    I have been using Thrulines and find it can be very misleading. It is making incorrect suggestions for my 2x great grandfather when I have him in my tree with multiple documents and media to back it up. I’ve taken the time when on holiday to visit churches and libraries and get copies of original documents so some of my work is traditional rather than online to ensure my tree is correct as it’s considered a reference tree for my wider family.

    There are a few items I would like from Ancestry.

    1. A way to designate a tree or part of a tree as verified and correct. There are so many trees out there that are incorrect. On Twitter some users are verified with a blue tick. Maybe trees need a blue tick after certain strict criteria are met do that they can be trusted. I think DNA circles went some way to doing this and would prefer if they were retained as complementary to Thrulines and not abandoned.

    2. Like everybody else we need a chromosome browser.

    3. A way to upload mtDNA fasta files and yDNA files and then display the haplogroup on the matches index page. This is needed as a Ancestry will eventually run out of market to sell DNA due to atDNA being good for 150 years. We need the ability to verify remote matches with other DNA methods. It’s not atDNA is best. It’s they all have their place in research and Ancestry needs to cater for advanced researchers in addition to
    hobbyists.

    4. Consider introducing Projects so people can join and collaborate like Family Tree DNA.

    5. Please Ancestry, start considering serious researchers and the tools needed to make research possible.

    With nearly 15 million samples you could really start to move towards helping serious research. Please make it happen.

    Many thanks
    Martin

  22. Mal Mace

    1. As many have said, a chromosome browser is IMPERATIVE. There are serious genealogists on this site and you continue to do all of us and Ancestry a disservice by not providing one.

    2. Surnames automatically listed on the profile page from member trees is needed.

    3. Need a way to search unlinked trees for surnames. A wealth of information is in unlinked trees.

    4. The large graphics on the profile pages are distracting and unnecessary. People aren’t interested in pictures of the Alps to indicate Swiss ancestry. Having a clear, concise and easily viewed format is what people want. Less flash and more substance, please.

    5. Merging trees or deleting whole branches of trees needs to be easier. Having to delete entries one at a time or, worse, having floating disconnected people in tree because you thought deleting the top person would delete all.

    6. Having an interactive site format similar to Facebook where people can create and join groups, communicate in real time and not have to rely as heavily on other sites to collaborate. As it stands, I can never be sure if I will ever hear from anyone on this site for all of the unanswered emails.

    Thanks for the improvements and consideration.

    Mal Mace

  23. Linda Rothchild

    I have been waiting for information to come in the mail. Does your company send mail? Written documentation is preferred.

  24. Robert LaRock

    I’m really happy to see the match list and filtering options on the DNA Matches page. However, I have been experiencing a curious problem which greatly reduces the overall utility.
    The problem occurs when I select the “common ancestor” filter option. There is a very large gap of common ancestors missing in the range of 61cM to 11cM. I know there are many common ancestors in this range (in excess of 30, since I don’t have the patience to page down any further than 25cM) but can find no way to isolate them for easy viewing.

  25. Mike Daigle

    I, in particular, like the “color coding”. I have used up all the color codes however. Please make sure to add in new ones, as I can’t add in new understandings on grouping people without more colors. Thank you. (Ps. I am REALLY liking all the additional work that is being taken to improving the site. Things are being tackled that haven’t been really looked into for years. Thank you.) Mike

  26. Carmelita Boivin-Cole

    Just received a new discoveries for you message. Checked with several of those listed. There is a problem with those of descended from the first 200 families who came from france to quebec in the 1600s. There are 10-12 generations of large families with crisscrossing DNà, The first close relatives & first cousins worked. After that, your discoveries do not really work if we check (as two of us –shown to be unrelated did) when compared with the comprehensive family histories (m and f ) many of us have. You may need a new methodology to deal with this genetic group. C. Boivin

  27. Mariyah Israel

    I am EXTREMELY offended by your racist commercial that romanticizes slavery with a white man and a black slave. The white man could have any black man, boy, girl, or woman to do whatever they wanted to do with them! For you to romanticize this is demonic and portrays an unrealistic view of our trauma! Did you make a commercial similar to this for Jews and their little holocaust? Would you? I will ask you again on Twitter until I receive an answer to how you would craft this commercial for Jews. I am advocating that ALL black people in America should DEMAND that you destroy their DNA sample, then close their accounts and NOT ALLOW any other family members to use your company!

    • Scott Welch

      Just as an alternative point of view — My great-great-great-grandmother was a free black woman living in Charleston SC and working as a seamstress, who was married to a white man.

      She escaped north, settling in Boston and passing as White.

      To put this more clearly, the ad almost perfectly parallels my family situation.

      (I say “almost” because when she was 23, with three young children, her husband died and she remarried a mixed-race man born in Jamaica. So when they went north, she was married to a non-White man.)

  28. Scott Welch

    Hi there, these new features are great.

    A few suggestions:

    1) The ThruLines does not appear to pick up all of the information which DNA Circles did. For example, I have a person with 15 matches in DNA Circles, but only 1 match in ThruLines.

    2) You really need to show and allow the additions of tags/groups in all places in the product, particularly in the main person detail page.

    3) It would be very helpful to integrate tags/groups with Circles and ThruLines, so you could tag all people in a Circle with the same tag.

    4) Need the ability to search for *untagged* matches.

  29. Robert LaRock

    Further info on the “missing common ancestors” when the common ancestor filter is used. The problem occurs when I select the “common ancestor” filter option. There is a very large gap of common ancestors missing in the range of 61cM to 11cM. I know there are at least 130 more common ancestors in this range, since took the time to page down to 11 cM and count them. This is a time consuming process. I have also checked with another subscriber and found that she had a similar problem. WHAT GIVES? (sorry, didn’t mean to shout)

  30. Sandra

    Unfortunately, the usefulness of the new features is too limited by ancestry policies designed to hamper users. Since ancestry doesn’t allow the family genealogist to “own” multiple profiles, we were all set back to “manager” status. Now that the person testing has died, ancestry still wants you to submit POA. POAs expire at death. Apparently ancestry’s legal team hasn’t figured that out. This problem will only grow over time since death awaits us all. But ancestry stubbornly refuses to allow the person who controls the results “own” them, even after the person who tested has died. Ancestry instead claims it is the owner, which is clearly false.

    This leads to the situation that ancestry only allows one “manager.” This means no other family members can see your notes, grouping…nothing. To do that, you have to share your pw, which is a really bad policy. I put extensive notes on all the profiles I manage, and it’s annoying not to be able to share them unless I hand out my pw. It defeats the purpose of being able to make a note, if I have to rewrite the same thing to everyone I want to see it.

    Further, with respect to POAs, POAs vary by state. Even banks and financial institutions have trouble navigating all the state nuances. Ancestry has a much lower tier of people evaluating these, who frankly aren’t very knowledgeable or qualified. Nor has ancestry contemplated that the person testing may have included all their personal property, including DNA test results in a trust. Trusts survive death and can have multiple trustees. But ancestry has doesn’t have this level of understanding. More than anything though, I resent that ancestry has essentially claimed ownership of our results. They do NOT own them, but they act like they do. They set themselves up as gatekeeper, without so much as asking for permission to name themselves as owner. This a serious problem, because someday I do NOT want ancestry claiming they own my results rather than my designee. I’d rather gift my results to the general population, rather than have ancestry own them.

    If one can look beyond these issues, ancestry still does not provide a chromosome browser, still doesn’t page results, still refuses to allow managers to list the NAME of the person, still has too many graphics, still won’t even allow the basic function of identifying the match or being able to link DNA results to multiple trees (both your own and others). Plus, the new features such as color coding do not always work; the colors disappear and reappear without rhyme or reason. I was excited when I first saw the features, but I generally log into more than one DNA site at a time when I do this work, and I find myself only using ancestry to search for certain historical records, ignoring the DNA match list altogether because it’s so amazingly hard to work with.

    In the end, while all the “beta” features are designed to improve the interface, the interface is permanently damaged by ancestry decisions and policies. I’ve quit recommending ancestry. I have older relatives who want to test, but who have no email address and at 90+ are not getting one. And I am too busy to create and manage another 5 email addresses. We’ve chosen another testing site and should be receiving the extra kits in a few days. Ancestry has just become too tone deaf to how family genealogists work, both in terms of handling the actual test results and of the tools we need.

  31. Jamie O'Brien

    I manage other profiles besides mine and am a guest for some other profiles. Besides doing a “shared match search” I used to be able to see if, individually, the other profiles matched certain specific individuals. Now I can’t do this.

    • David Chamberlain

      For me, all of the other complaints (most of which I agree with) pale in comparison to the loss of this function, Jamie. I was using it daily, and it has been very helpful! For the first time, I am seriously considering abandoning Ancestry.com and trying another service.

  32. Joselito Mendoza

    Hi, I am a son of an American air force officer, I been searching for him my entire life. I was told he might be born late 20’s or early 30’s. My mom and my biological father (James Hoffman)met at a bar in Cavite City, Philippines about last quarter of 1969. Near Sangley Point Airbase in Cavite City, Philippines, when the base was still an American air force base during that time. They had a short relationship and he promised my mom that he will come back for her since he was assigned in another base for a short period of time. My mom Without knowing that she was pregnant and did not expect that James will come back for her, she accepted her friends offer of to marry him so that I will not be born illegitimate. All I know is his name is James Hoffman and he served the United States Air force during the Vietnam war. I found some 2nd cousins through AncestryDNA and emailed them but no answers. I hope anybody can help me.

    Joselito Mendoza

  33. Vicki Roberts

    The new matches may have some benefits. You lose the ability to look at a new match again. This option needs to be reinstated. The little bar that represented how many shared cms is sorely missed-it’s great to have the numbers. Visuals make it quicker. For those of us interested in descendancy work, those 5th to 8th cousins are often the piece that helps the brick wall to come down. The ability to see our notes while searching that the chrome extensions is lost. This takes a lot more time to analyze data. The new profiles are problematic. If you have a number of kits that you manage or have access to, they are no longer alphabetized when comparing them on a particular persons profile. It is like trying to find phone numbers in a shredded phone book.

    Please bring back the information like list of interests, experience, member board posts on the profiles. The current format is “new and improved” just like you did to Find a Grave (decreased the usability.
    Please remember, there are those of us who aren’t looking for a blue eyed fisherman in Donnegal Ireland or have no need to buy a kilt-we want to do genealogy and take full advantage of the REAL SCIENCE-As and Ts and Cs and Gs that would benefit from a chromosome browser .

  34. Vicki Roberts

    Please do not get rid of the Circles. They are not perfect. The Thru Lines are not a replacement. With the Circles you get a look at other branches of the bigger tree and sometimes part of your own branch that you do not directly match. For descendancy work, the Circles, imperfect as they are are very helpful.
    Please do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  35. Marilyn Buxton

    I have been working with computers since the first one came on the home market-TRS I in 1979. I am truly frustrated with this site. Many times the information is not correct! You don’t show DNA, which you surely must have. I cannot get my past conversations. Your ancient history is wrong. The list goes on and on, more than I want to write. I keep it because you have some cousins and second cousins with whom I would like to get in contact. Your unique list is all you have going for you. We PAID $60,000 for ancestry work which stunk!!! We had one good trip to Slovenia where Lidja, who was great, joined us. We are very angry!

  36. Mardi

    The new profile format and functions are a poor design and functionality. I hope that Ancestry will hire or use their senior designers and developers to fix the mess that has been made of this function. The old design and functionality is miuch preferred over the haphazard so called redesign.

  37. Yvonne

    I’m a Newbie to your DNA and found no results for Indian heritage in my results. It was said that my great grandmother was a quarter Cherokee. Could that be so even if I posted none of that DNA? Also, I have verified many ancestors who arrived in the 1600 – 1700 period. I wish you went further back than 1700 in showing my ancestral arrivals.

  38. Tyler

    In the last several days, I have a new problem where matches I have viewed I still showing up on the “matches not viewed” filter. I have used this to keep track of new 4th cousins or closer and it’s becoming less and less useful each day that old matches remain on the list. Can you please fix this? (And seconding/thirding/fourthing a request for a chromosome browser! Or at the very least if there is an X-chromosome match or even just a list of which chromosomes shared segments are located). Also, a filter for group not assigned would be very helpful. Thank you!

  39. Anna

    Hi. i have only distant matches…but some of them have come up with a “common ancestor”..when I click on how to see the relationship…it just goes to a blank page …says its loading…then stops. Could you please tell me what the problem is…I’m really keen to see how these people are related to me as I have next to no information about my ancestors as they were dispersed far and wide around the world before during and after the Armenian genocide and the world wars. Thanks

  40. Liam

    You should make it so you can search DNA matches by ethnicity regions. For example, you can’t search for European Jewish. I would love to have a filter which would show my DNA matches that only have European Jewish in them. Please include this in a future update. It’s a simple matching filter, so it wouldn’t be too much hassle to add to the site 🙂

  41. Paula Smith

    ThruLines has been amazing for me. I’m actually a little overwhelmed at how many new clues I have to follow. I’ve had the most success with my branches that go back to colonial America.
    Two major successes: On the first one Thrulines suggested I didn’t have any matches to a 3x great grandfather in my tree. So I deleted him and researched some more. I found another likely candidate and entered him into my tree. The next day after Thrulines had refreshed, to my delight, I found that I had numerous DNA matches to my corrected 3x great grandfather. I’ve been able to add a couple more generations beyond that as well.
    The second success has helped me with a brickwall. I had a 3x great grandmother Ruth that I had very little information on. I found a large tree of another researcher who managed the DNA of someone who matched my mother and I on this line. I knew the tree had to have information on Ruth’s ancestors but she didn’t have Ruth. I wasn’t quite sure where she might fit. I got the idea that ThruLines might be able to help. I wanted to test the most likely couple who could have been her parents. Ruth’s birthdate really only fit with two couples. I tentatively added them to my tree as parents to Ruth. I also followed a couple of hints to add the next generation as well. I planned to delete them out if there were no matches. I waited a day or so for Thrulines to refresh and was so surprised to find that I had matches to siblings of BOTH the mother and the father that I had added her parents. I also had matches to the generation beyond. I know it’s not proof, but it is a strong indicator of where I need to focus my search. Thanks Ancestry.
    BTW – how often do you refresh Thrulines and DNA Circles?

  42. Vicki Roberts

    Please do not force us to use the “New” matches until it can be used with DNA helper and Med Better and you figure out a way to keep née matches from disappearing into the depths of Ancestry after looking at them only once. This is so important to descendancy wotk. A match may seem irrelevant for months to years and then AHA!

  43. Arbie

    The beta functionality of ‘New & Improved DNA Matches’ is a big step forward for filtering the list page, but a big step backwards in terms of the (arguably more important) Matches Compare pages.

    The old section for birth locations used to be better: there’s now no expandable list of all the locations anymore (which used to be the third tab along), which was a feature I used a lot—and it’s really odd that the new map has option for (a) locations that appear in just one tree, or (b) both of the trees, but no longer (c) a complete map with ALL the locations (colour-coded) that feature in either OR both trees (which was useful for assessing patterns and concentrations across both trees). Also, the new map only seems to feature very recent ancestors, so it’s unnecessarily sparse, making the new clustering of points into vaguer regions when zoomed-out (which would be useful if the maps contained more information) kind of pointless.

    The surnames section is also less useful than it used to be. Having the complete list of the other user’s ancestors’ surnames in the left-hand column was great—I don’t know why that was removed. Plus, now surnames are only shown going back five generations?? Pretty much all of my matches are linked by MRCAs from much more than five generations ago!! Also, the little preview of the family tree is essentially functionless now—why remove the old pop-up profiles of their individual ancestors? That was really convenient for sifting through matches’ pedigrees. Only having a link to the ‘full tree’ is not as helpful.

    Please, please consider bringing back some of the old functionality!

    • Arbie

      Reading this back, I focused too much on the negatives. MyTreeTags is a great new addition that I’ve only just started using, but I think it’ll be very helpful for integrating DNA-related research into family trees. I also like the Workspace sidebar that makes Notes & Comments accessible from the tree view. Nice features!

      I think it would be good, with the increasing amount of features being added, if you were able to provide customisable privacy settings sometime in the future—for example, being able to choose which MyTreeTags are public or private.

  44. Steve

    When I click on the DNA tab I get told I have 2 shared ancestor hints. When I click on that I get this long long list of everyone connected to me.

    I’d love for this to work such that it shows me just the latest matches.

  45. Steve

    Reading over the complaints and looking at my list of “cousins” most have no trees whatsoever, or even if they have one they never bothered to connect them.

    It certainly appears that Ancestry has discovered the route to making money is selling DNA kits to people so they can learn what countries their ancestors came from.

    The rest is just not that big a deal because that’s not where the money is.

  46. Mike Daigle

    I have been using the “DNA matches” in Beta form. One major thing that needs to be added right away is MORE COLORED CIRCLES. I have an extremely large tree and I would suggest instead of having the current 24 colored circles you make 48 available. That should be enough to cover even a large tree like mine. Otherwise, I like the new system. Thank you for your consideration. Mike

  47. Dan Durham

    I have, once again, received an e-mail from Ancestry with the subject line: “We found new discoveries for Dan Durham.” Inside the text it reads: “See what we’ve found in AncestryDNA results for you.” and then it reads: “You and another member share DNA. Find out more about this new connection.” This is followed by the button labeled: “View this DNA match.” So I expect to click on the button and be taken to a page that shows the DNA match. Instead, once again, I am taken to a page of advertisements for Ancestry products/services. Regardless of what I do, I cannot find a means to see this supposedly new DNA match from that page. Is this just a “bait and switch” e-mail? If not, how can I get to details about this “new” match?

  48. Sauda

    Using the Beta for Improved DNA matches. Wanting to put my issues in one place so that I can keep track of what I like and don’t like. I spend a lot of time in research on family tree so it is very helpful to easily see my common matches. This of course works for those people who share a common match to a direct (parent, grandparent+) level. Most of my matches however were made with people who didn’t have that direct line relation. Being able to color code is wonderful and the addition of new filters is great as well. Some of the challenges I have with the new version of the DNA match page are: 1) I have a need to be able to locate specific matches by page numbers (which don’t exist in the beta); 2) I can’t see how to unhide previous hidden matches; 3)I am missing the list of names that pops up with each DNA match that has a tree (and therefore the feature that tells me which core surnames we have in common; 4) where can I filter for regions?; 5)If I am rolling through my matches and click on one to investigate further, the new version doesn’t seem to hold my place. Therefore I could have been far into my matches and can’t easily get back to where I left off; 6) I’m waiting for the feature that will allow me to search my DNA matches by username!!!; 7) Waiting on the feature that allows me to toggle back and forth between those people who are most dna related to me and those who are least; 8) Waiting on the feature that brings up shared matches for more distant cousins beyond my 4th cousin; 9) Would be a game changer if their was a chromosome browser as a feature. That’s it for now.

  49. Scott Long

    Love ThruLines – it may have knocked down an elusive brick wall. However, it looks like the ability to filter by region has been removed and this is disappointing. In my case, I have a very specific region “West Dingle Peninsula” – a region with perhaps a 10 mile radius . I used to be able to “Click here to see the X DNA matches which also have this region” . This was helpful – anybody in that group was almost certainly on a specific branch of the tree and it made it easier to tag them. The feature is gone now, and I fear privacy concerns were the reason for removing it. Like many of the posters above , I would also love to see a chromosome browser, but I’m guessing privacy concerns are also barring the implementation of that feature . I just hope that, behind the scenes, Ancestry is working towards using those shared DNA segments to help us group DNA matches together .

  50. Jeffrey Wall

    I really like the ability to add DNA matches to groups but wish you could use the same colors more than once, or that there were more colors available. Most of my matches are farther away so it would be helpful for me if I could get 4 more shades of the same 8 colors so I could get another generation of clusters.

  51. Roger

    Observations and suggestions…
    1) VERY disappointed to find out this morning that DNA Circles will no longer exist! This has been a very useful tool in identifying cousins and family lines that aren’t DNA based, but are definitely tree related, and in many cases have provided valuable documentation that wasn’t available among the DNA based cousins’ lines. Once DNA Circles go away, there will be no way to identify these potential proof sources among the millions of profiles.
    2) While I do find ThruLines to add some useful tools in identifying “hidden cousins” (those without extensive trees, who I wouldn’t be able to figure out a relationship to by any other means), it suffers greatly from the age-old “garbage in, garbage out” problem. I have several examples where it seems that Potential Ancestors are based more on the average of what the majority of trees contain (most undocumented by the way), than on any real science or documentation. Quality of information should be the priority here, not 50 competing copy/paste trees with no documentation and suggested parents who are only 5 years older than my already documented descendants of that line. Many of the Potential Ancestors currently appearing on ThruLines, are people that I already disproved 20-30 years ago. Many of these Potential Ancestors are also generationally incorrect or flawed.
    3) The other forgotten aspect of DNA Circles is that I and my close relatives form Family Groups that often fill in the gaps in DNA matching (my mother is related to cousins within the Circle that I am not, and vice versa). ThruLines doesn’t have that capability.
    4) In light of all this, is there any good justification for doing away with DNA Circles? I would like to know the answer to that.
    5) What are TreeTags? I’ve never even heard of that…was it a Beta only offered to select customers?
    6) The Shared Ancestors list of potential surname matches is extremely useful, but doesn’t appear on the new profiles. Please tell me that it’s not disappearing, too! I, like most of the people who have extensive trees and years of research invested in this “hobby”, am related to people in multiple ways. Only the closest DNA matches appear clearly, so the only way to sort out these relationships is to be able to identify other potential matching points and places where the paternal and maternal lines cross, as they do in several places in my tree.
    7) The new profiles and fancy graphics are completely off track and unneccessary. I don’t give a hoot about seeing a side-by-side comparison of smiles and ethnic background at the expense of research and organizational tools that would help me confirm my ancestors. If I wanted that, I could waste my time on Facebook!
    8) On a good note, color coding organization is a welcome addition after asking for it for several years now. One step in the right direction.
    9) While I realize this is a business, and you have to make money to stay in business, I can’t help but feel that things are getting off track. I understand the fancy graphics to attract new, younger customers, but it seems that you are getting away from the sources and open collaboration that made Ancestry a good fit years ago. I am disappointed that you torpedoed RootsWeb and effectively made GenWeb obsolete…many of the skills necessary to doing good research were learned there and merely enhanced by your cache of documents. Honestly, I get that feeling that those of us who are a little more serious about genealogy are only still here because of the convenience of all the proof sources in one place.

  52. Anne

    I would be a lot more impressed with the Thrulines if you offered a chromosome browser so I could tell if the guesswork is true. I do not expect trees to be perfect but I expect proper tools. Ancestry has the largest database of tests and yet I find myself spending way more time at the other DNA sites because everyone else recognizes the importance of chromosome browsers.

  53. Robyn Sears

    While I do understand the point of the Thrulines, unfortunately there are so so so many errors that they have put in my Thrulines that make absolutely no sense. They have wrong people in there whom I have deleted from my trees, and put in the errors of others who have not corrected their trees. I do not understand how Thrulines is a “replacement” for the circles, as they do different things in general. Sigh. Just like you messed up my ethnicity with the “update” — compared to every other test I have taken (4 others) you messed this one up also.

  54. Pam

    Where do I find the longest segment of shared DNA that I have with a match? I can find total CMs and number of segments, but can’t find the third vital piece of information? Without this, the rest is not really useful.

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