Of my zillions of matches at Ancestry DNA, to date I’ve able to document 13 of them. Four were cousins I already knew; one was a cousin I conjectured, but couldn’t prove; and two others are from family lines I knew, though I did not know the match. I am related to the remaining six — the most distant matches — via late colonial or early antebellum-era white ancestors previously identified but unproven.
The chart below shows Ancestry DNA’s estimates of my kinship to these 13, as well as our actual relationship. Ancestry tends to underestimate relationship slightly in matches closer than five degrees, and I try to keep this in mind when speculating about my mystery matches.
|Match||Ancestry Estimate||Actual Relationship|
|W.H.||3rd-4th cousin||2nd cousin, once removed|
|G.J.||4th-6th cousin||2nd cousin, once removed|
|H.B.||4th-6th cousin||3rd cousin, once removed|
|S.D.||4th-6th cousin||3rd cousin|
|G.P.||5th-8th cousin||3rd cousin, 3x removed|
|E.G.||5th-8th cousin||4th cousin|
|B.J.||5th-8th cousin||4th cousin|
|G.L.||5th-8th cousin||5th cousin, once removed|
|J.W.||5th-8th cousin||5th cousin, once removed|
|D.M.||5th-8th cousin||5th cousin, once removed|
|J.B.||5th-8th cousin||5th cousin, twice removed|
|E.D||5th-8th cousin||6th cousin, twice removed|
|L.B.||5th-8th cousin||7th cousin|