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Old 09-24-2017, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
That's amazing. I'm your typical white American as well and I've got 143 pages of matches that adds up to 7150. Of that 7150 only 4 are greater than 4th cousin.
Those listed as fourth cousins are often much more distant than that. You may match through more than one line, especially if your ancestors came to the early colonies. I have one match at FTDNA where we have fairly distant common ancestors in separate lines to three of her four grandparents.

In fact, I am finding most of my "fourth" cousins with identifiable common ancestors are more distant than that.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:59 PM
Status: "Practice random acts of kindness and goodwill." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
That's amazing. I'm your typical white American as well and I've got 143 pages of matches that adds up to 7150. Of that 7150 only 4 are greater than 4th cousin.
I am curious - do they reveal the names of all of these "cousins"? Wouldn't this be a privacy issue?

Would all of these distant relatives have to have had their DNA tested also? By the same company?
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Old 09-24-2017, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am curious - do they reveal the names of all of these "cousins"? Wouldn't this be a privacy issue?

Would all of these distant relatives have to have had their DNA tested also? By the same company?
When you take the DNA test it gives you the option of whether you want to make your profile public to anyone who gets a genetic match with you. You get to also choose if you display your full name.
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:01 PM
 
877 posts, read 894,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
That's amazing. I'm your typical white American as well and I've got 143 pages of matches that adds up to 7150. Of that 7150 only 4 are greater than 4th cousin.
I have been tested for quite a while now, that might play a part into it, slowly doing further and more distant comparisons adding more results.

Additionally as for my large results (and my close relatives) I suspect it's partially due to the fact that people test far more in the US and all but one of my lines leads to colonial America (one line leads to German immigrants in the 1840s). Most of my ancestry is Southern though I have a couple colonial Northern lines as well. So I'm probably distantly related to a huge portion of the US.
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,263 posts, read 14,323,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fvncresident04 View Post
My roots are- my moms parents -one is Irish, immigrated from Ireland in the 1940's as a teenager. The other grandparent was born here, but both parents immigrated from the same town in Italy in the 1920's(married before they left and had kids there) . My fathers parents...The dad was Mostly of German decent, and also Dutch. the mom was Irish and French Canadian. ....My DNA came back as 39% Ireland, 27% "Europe west" (Germany, France, and the Netherlands in my case) 21% Italy, 6% West Asia, 3% Iberian peninsula, 3% Europe East, 1% Great Britain. No surprises in the findings. I have been fortunate enough to have done my maternal grandmothers DNA, and my maternal great aunt (grandfathers sister).
It's probably because at least half of your ancestry weren't in America before the 1920's. While the test is available in other countries, the majority of testers are American, which means if half your family has only been here for a few generations, there aren't many descendants of them to have taken the test. Of course, you probably have distant cousins who are likely descendants of cousins of your immigrant ancestors too, but they will be fewer.

That said, make sure you're considering how many matches you have in total - not how many 4th cousins or closer you have, or how many pages of matches you have. I've seen people confuse both of those with the total number of their matches.

I have 369 4th cousins or closer. I have 338 pages of matches - with 50 matches per page, that's 16,900 matches in total.

My mom has 410 4th cousins or closer. 324 pages and 16,200 matches.

My dad has 365 4th cousins or closer. 202 pages and 10,100 matches.

My dad is half Italian - his Italian ancestors arrived in between the 1880s and 1914, whereas my mom's ancestry is almost entirely colonial apart from two branches who arrived in the 1840s and 1850s. So that explains why my dad has much fewer matches than my mom.
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Old 09-24-2017, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,263 posts, read 14,323,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgerFilms View Post
When you take the DNA test it gives you the option of whether you want to make your profile public to anyone who gets a genetic match with you. You get to also choose if you display your full name.
That's not really true if you test with AncestryDNA. At 23andMe and FTDNA, you have the option to opt out of matching altogether - so you won't have a match list at all. 23andMe allow you to make your profile "anonymous", FTDNA and Ancestry do not. At Ancestry, if you match someone, they will be able to see your profile, there is no way to hide it. You can make your username anything you'd like though, if you don't want to use your full name, you don't have to.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:47 PM
 
3,203 posts, read 1,950,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
That's amazing. I'm your typical white American as well and I've got 143 pages of matches that adds up to 7150. Of that 7150 only 4 are greater than 4th cousin.
I'm trying to wrap my head around this concept.

Somehow, this single company has gotten 7,150 of your living cousins to PAY to have this test done?

How many 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins must you have that HAVE NOT had their DNA checked by this company? 100,000? 1,000,000? Is that even possible? The vast majority of people have NOT had this test.

Is there contact or genealogical information given for these cousins? I mean, what would be the point of anonymous matches? Or information on HOW they are a cousin other than 'we say so'?

Of these cousins, how many did you know about through previous genealogical research or just plain personal knowledge?

Last edited by rugrats2001; 09-24-2017 at 04:56 PM..
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Old 09-24-2017, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fvncresident04 View Post
My wife did her DNA through Ancestry. There were no surprises, other than the massive amount of cousins, most of them 4th or more distant. I did mine (not Puerto Rican) and only got 200. Does anyone know why this is? The only thing I could think of is the diversity of the Puerto Rican ancestors, due to the location of the Island for ship coming to the "new world".
I'm half Puerto Rican and I, too, have a massive amount of Puerto Rican distant cousins. I found one of them (a 4th-6th cousin) to be enormously helpful as she had a well filled out tree. She helped me figure out my paternal grandmother's line.

ETA: Looking through the matches, I see very, very few who could be connected to me via my maternal side. That said, I did get contacted by an 8th cousin who was looking for her bio family. From what she said, it appears to be on my mother's side. However, I was of little help to the 8th cousin.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:40 PM
 
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The answer for large numbers of Puerto Rican matches is simple: endogamy. There is an "island effect" in genetics noticed on every island not located close to mainland, where populations have been historically restricted in movement because of geography. The population largely descends from the original native inhabitants of the island, and later the European colonizers. It is similar to the results of Jewish customers, descendants of a population that was socially isolated for centuries and married within the group. They too find thousands of DNA matches in their DNA tests.

Americans with a small number of matches means something too, that your recent ancestors were immigrants. I work with lot of adoptees who know nothing about their origins, and when someone has a low number of matches it's a dead giveaway that they had recent immigrant ancestors, which is a disadvantage when trying to identify biological family. We had a joke not long ago when DNA testing was still new: "There's good news and bad news about your DNA test: the good news is that your'e Italian! The bad news is that you have only 5 matches." Italians turn out to be an ethnicity that is one of the least likely to take DNA tests.
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:02 PM
 
3,490 posts, read 5,151,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
I'm trying to wrap my head around this concept.

Somehow, this single company has gotten 7,150 of your living cousins to PAY to have this test done?

How many 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins must you have that HAVE NOT had their DNA checked by this company? 100,000? 1,000,000? Is that even possible? The vast majority of people have NOT had this test.

Is there contact or genealogical information given for these cousins? I mean, what would be the point of anonymous matches? Or information on HOW they are a cousin other than 'we say so'?

Of these cousins, how many did you know about through previous genealogical research or just plain personal knowledge?
We all have millions of distant cousins.

Yes, you get to message these cousins through Ancestry's messaging system. Many never reply though. Matches can attach a family tree to their DNA results for their matches to see. Others have trees you can reach through their profiles that were not attached to their DNA results.

"Information on HOW they are a cousin" is mostly limited to whether they have a tree. If their tree includes an ancestor that is a match to an ancestor in your tree, you will see a leaf symbol next to their listing in your match list. And when you open your profile it will show the relationship chart between the two of you (or more than one if you have multiple ancestor connections). But that is not a guarantee that the actual genetic connection is through those ancestors and not some other ancestors you don't have in your tree. You can also use the "common matches" tool with each match to see what matches you both have in common. So when I have a new match with no tree, sometimes I can tell how they are related when I use this tool and find that they are related to several other people I've already identified as descendants of one of my ancestors.

Most of the "cousins" in the list are really distant ones where no relationship will ever be found. Most people know very few or none of their matches before taking the test. But there are lots of people too who test multiple family members.
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