DNA – By Parent

I know. This post is being published on Sunday morning when I typically answer Randy Seaver’s “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” challenge. However, I will not be home this Saturday to write the Sunday blog. Instead, I will be spending the weekend with my family. While we won’t be making any trips to swim this year, it’s looking like it will be a fantastic weekend to spend in the cabins and around a campfire. Afterall, we have proven that we can endure a rainy, pink boots, weekend together.

Since the new DNA ‘by parent’ feature was recently released by Ancestry, I thought I’d share my findings, which are impacted by the following:

  • I was able to test my mother, along with my two brothers
  • My tree is a U.S. tree. All of my ancestors in the 6th generation have been identified. With the exception of my Harding line, who were Loyalists and left for New Brunswick, all of the rest of my 6th generation was born in the United States.
  • I have quite a few close relatives that have tested, which helps identify my mother’s maternal/paternal parents.

Below is a table showing the number of matches.

TesterTotal MatchesClose MatchesDistant Matches

Below is a table showing our ‘By Parent’ data:


When looking at this ‘by parent’ data, my first question was why my brothers had more than 2 matches in the ‘both’ category. When I looked at those questionable matches assigned to both, I discovered that they each had shared matches who descend from Simon Van Arsdale and Rachel Banta (my paternal side). When I looked at some of their trees, I found several common surnames, including some that appear in my mom’s side of the tree.

However, the 8 matches in the ‘both’ category for my mom are all close relatives. Besides my two brothers and myself, one is a first cousin, three are 1st cousins once removed and one is a first cousin twice removed. We would all have both sides of my mother’s tree in common.

When I looked at the ‘unassigned’ matches, I was surprised to discover matches with an identified ‘common ancestor’ in the list. A few are even in my tree. And some of them had tested their DNA prior to my testing.

When I clicked on Common Ancestor to narrow the list of ‘Unassigned’ down, I found quite a few matches who have an identified common ancestor on my list of unassigned.

In Ancestry’s defense, it does say, “Pending Update” on the By Parent page above the word Unassigned. Since this is also in BETA and just rolling out, I expect that my numbers will change. While I could (and have) manually change these ‘unassigned’ with a common ancestor, I’m going to give Ancestry some time to run some more updates.

For more information on this new DNA tool see the following: