AncestryDNA has recently announced a change coming to how your matches are determined. Will this affect you and your ability to trace your family history connections? Read below to learn more.
Changes to AncestryDNA’s Match List
Last week, AncestryDNA made two big announcements. The first was to announce they now have 18 million test takers in their database! The second announcement was the change to their match list beginning in August. The popular DNA testing company will no longer include DNA matches below 8 cM to appear on your match list. Currently, matches include persons sharing 6 cM or more.
AncestryDNA says the outcome of the change will “increase the likelihood you are actually related to your very distant matches.” The genetic community has known for awhile now that the smaller the matching segment is the greater the likelihood of a false match. Of course, this is not always the case. Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, explains it like this:
… it is estimated that as much as 50% of our matches at AncestryDNA are in the 6-7.9 cM range. I have 83,108 matches in the range of 6 to 20 cM. Even conservatively taking 25% of those matches as being in the 6-7.9 cM range means 20,777 matches. And if half of those are based on false segments, that would be about 10,000 matches.”
So the good news is, this change will remove up to two thirds of false matches.
Maybe you are thinking, “Now wait a minute, Amie. I have found legitimate connections to persons with shared cM of 6 or 7. I don’t want to lose those!” AncestryDNA says that if you have attempted to communicate with these matches, have added notes to them, or add them to a custom group using the color coding system, they will remain on your match list, but you need to do this by the end of July!
DNA testing is a marvelous tool for learning more about your family stories and for breaking down brick walls. If you are ready to take a DNA test yourself or need a family member to test, consider AncestryDNA! Purchase your kit by clicking on the button below.
The Genealogy Reporter has entered into an affiliate relationship with AncestryDNA. Clicking on links provided in this article may result in The Genealogy Reporter receiving a commission at no additional cost to you.