It should be easier than this!
I recently wrote about the ‘Messy Family‘ of James Evans where I referenced my Ancestry DNA ThruLines for James Evans. While these DNA ThruLines matches support our being related it does not prove that our relationship is thru James Evans.
This inability to use ThruLines to prove a relationship was pointed out by Family History Fanatics in their video: Stop Ignoring Chromosome Browsers if You Are a Serious Genealogist.
Unfortunately, my heavily colonial tree has the most matches on Ancestry where I don’t have access to a chromosome browser. Knowing that My Heritage offers a chromosome browser, I switched to that account to see what I could find. Even though My Heritage offers a browser, I found it frustrating to use My Heritage for my EVANS family issue.
- I couldn’t find a way to find DNA matches that have James Evans as a common ancestor. When I searched my Theories of Relativity for Evans, I came up with two results. The first has BRILES as the common ancestor while the second has CURREY as the common ancestor. Neither had EVANS as a common ancestor.
- I couldn’t find an easy way to find matches that have James Evans in their tree. Yes, I could search my match list for EVANS but I could not figure out a way to limit that search to James or the state, Indiana. Thus, I got results that had EVANS in their tree somewhere but also had FOSTER, SMITH, and many other surnames from my tree.
- I couldn’t figure out a way to see whether owners of trees containing the James Evans family were a DNA match to me.
Yes, My Heritage offers a chromosome browser, but they are missing some of these key search features that make it easier to work with a match list.
I did download my match list. By opening this list and sorting by name, I was able to check the names of tree owners to see if they were a DNA match. Unfortunately, none of them were.
So, I turned to GedMatch. When I ran the one to many tool, I found one of my Ancestry matches. I then ran the one to one autosomal match tool and discovered that we match on chromosome 12.
While this proves we share part of chromosome 12, it does not prove that this segment comes from an EVANS ancestor. Thus, I need to find others who share this segment on chromosome 12 to help figure out whether this is EVANS DNA. The first time I ran the SEGMENT SEARCH tool using my DNA, I discovered known matches on my dad’s side of the tree. Since Evans is on my mom’s side of the tree, I reran the tool using my mother’s DNA.
When I painted those matches, there were several that shared the same segment on chromosome 12.
Hoping that they not only had a DNA test on Ancestry but that they also used the same (or very similar) name on Ancestry, I searched my mom’s matches and found 2 of these other matches. Unfortunately, they not only did not have EVANS as a direct ancestor, but I also could not figure out our relationship.
I then painted the chromosome 12 matches for me from My Heritage and added my one known EVANS match from GedMatch.
By looking at each of the My Heritage matches sharing the same area of chromosome 12 with my GedMatch Evans match, I was able to find several matches managed by the same person that had an EVANS ancestor.
Unfortunately, their EVANS line is further back than my James EVANS of Warrick County, Indiana. Since I don’t know the identity of James Evans’ parents or siblings, proving that we are related thru Thomas Evans (1700-1765) will be difficult.
I then turned to the matches I share with this My Heritage Evans match. When I used My Heritage’s Chromosome Browser One to Many tool to map these shared matches, I found that they DON’T all share the same DNA with me. In fact, only two of them share DNA with me on chromosome 12.
Fortunately, the shared segment overlaps the segment shared with my EVANS match from GedMatch. Thus, this DNA segment may be EVANS DNA.
This was a LOT OF WORK to find 2 matches out of over 18,000 on My Heritage that might be EVANS matches. And I still have no DNA data to verify that my ThruLines matches share EVANS DNA.
Yes, My Heritage needs to improve their search tools. But Ancestry also needs to step up and add a chromosome browser. With four tests and over 100,000 matches each on Ancestry, a chromosome browser is needed to verify ThruLines relationships.