Friday, July 19, 2019
DNA Without a Family Tree
Failure to have a family tree on a DNA matching website makes determining relationships extremely difficult. From my Ancestry.com DNA test, I have over 1000 matches (no, I haven't counted them all) and it appears about 8 out of ten of the proposed matches do not have a family tree on Ancestry.com that supports finding the actual relationship. Of course, all of the people who have DNA matches with me are living and so their information and possibly the information for their living parents or grandparents is not displayed even with a family tree. Likewise, I have over 8,500 DNA matches on MyHeritage.com and the percentages of matches that also have a family tree is similar to that with Ancestry.
Because of privacy concerns, information about the identity of living people is not displayed in online family trees. But DNA matches are presently considered an exception as long as the person has designated his or her name and contact information as public. I have quite a number of people who are identified as matches who have no public contact information.
It would appear that the increase in DNA matching technology is going to eventually become more and more limited by privacy concerns. There is really no ready solution to this issue and since the decision to make contact information or a family tree "private" is a personal decision, the DNA companies are presently powerless to do anything that would further identify the people. In effect, the huge numbers of "DNA Matches" are an illusion.