DNAnigma: Autosomalgeddon; or, “Them’s that got shall have. Them’s that not shall lose.”

Day 2. Ancestry DNA has rolled out its better “mousetrap.” A new and “improved” way of identifying genetic relationships. I dropped from 80 pages of matches to 17. I lost a known 4th cousin (whom I match at 23andme, FTDNA and Gedmatch). I’ve lost nearly all the distant Euro-descended matches that lent credence to speculation about some of my white ancestors. I’ve lost all but three “shaky leaf” shared ancestor hints. I have no Circles. I’ve gained some new matches. Most have private trees or no tree at all. None have shaky leaves. None share my surnames.

This is not a win.

I knew the new analysis would disproportionately negatively impact non-whites, adoptees or those who otherwise have limited information about their ancestry, and I’m waiting vainly for an authoritative acknowledgment of that fact. All I’m seeing are cheery reassurances that this really is for the greater good, you’ll see. These comments seem blind to the realness of the loss of so-called “false negatives.”  This is privilege on display. For people whose genealogies descend in orderly, documented ranks, free from slavemaster paternity or undocumented marginalized others — onward and upward.

For the rest of us?  This is not a win.



4 thoughts on “DNAnigma: Autosomalgeddon; or, “Them’s that got shall have. Them’s that not shall lose.”

  1. Lisa, who speaks for us in this, the AncestryDNA white papers seemed to reference how the changes would impact Europeans, Jewish and Hispanic populations because of the pile-ups but it has negatively affected those of us with primarily more African genetics and those distant European matches are major indications of our historical American ancestral homelands?

  2. I also went from 82 oages (50 per page) to 22 pages, a net lost of 60 pages of “cousins” (3,000 people), so does this mean I spent a year researching those who were not related to me? Ancestry owes us more than what they gave us, more transparency on what they did prior to this and what they are doing now, including our chromosomal data so we can make the decision to accept or reject those sharing with us. I do not accept that FTDNA and 23andme just got it wrong, after all while I might have some issues with both companies, neither has withdrawn 3,000 matches from me and expected I would trust them this time 🙂

  3. Pingback: DNA Definites, no. 18: Neill. | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

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