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Interpreting Connections in my Family Tree

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Interpreting Connections in my Family Tree

Postby Jeremy Gadd » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:37 pm

I’ve been researching my tree for years now and as I have found new information it has grown. I am mostly using the LDS Family Search website (FS for short), plus Ancestry. I have only recently started using FS and am a little confused by the different way that each site displays the relationship I have with each ancestor. For example, Ancestry calls one person in my tree the sister in law of my 2nd great grandmother and FS just says “No Relationship Found. You have no direct relationship to this person in Family Tree, or your common ancestor is beyond 15 generations”. Clearly it’s not the latter. I’m aware that this person is not a direct relation, but they are a part of the tree in a wider sense and so could have had some sort of influence or role in how the wider family developed over the centuries.

How do others see this? An irrelevant relationship? An interesting fact?
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Re: Interpreting Connections in my Family Tree

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:03 pm

If Ancestry is talking about a match exceeding 15 generations, it sounds suspiciously like a DNA match result. Obviously, as a sister-in-law, she would of course have no genetic link, hence the response from Ancestry.
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Re: Interpreting Connections in my Family Tree

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:01 am

Who you put in your tree is entirely up to you, based on all sorts of things, including interest in their unusual story. The "No relationship found" is simply saying that there is no blood relationship, no common ancestor, that appears in the search results. They have to put something in that slot, so that's what goes in.

I have might add that I'm currently working on a first cousin of my 2G GM - I decided to add his wife as background but the background is so interesting and challenging that I went to her children and their spouses, plus her previous husband ( not that they appear to be married) and his previous wife (who he was married to).

While the above might seem a scatter gun approach, it can be justified through bits of data appearing on family, friends and associates that don't appear on records directly about the person that they refer to.

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Re: Interpreting Connections in my Family Tree

Postby JaneyH » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:52 pm

It’s very much your own choice.

After years of focusing primarily on going up as many lines as possible I’m now researching back down different lines. This is because I’ve done a DNA test and it helps with identifying the matches that come up. Therefore my tree now includes most of my 2nd cousins, along with a few 3rd and 4th cousins and the odd 2C1R etc. I don’t have any particular inclination to meet distant cousins, but having established how I’m related to DNA matches it’s nice to place them into my tree.

In a few cases I’ve been able to exchange photos and copies of certificates with distant cousins which has proved useful. On one occasion a distant cousin sent me a 20-page story of his emigrant ancestors from the time they arrived in the USA, including some fascinating photos. I’ve been able to add some details of their lives in England before they emigrated, so he’s now adding the ‘prequel’ to his story!

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Re: Interpreting Connections in my Family Tree

Postby Mick Loney » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:34 pm

Re AdrianB38 and JaneyH’ comments.
I too added any ‘relative’ that I came across, no matter how distant. But when the size of my tree grew too large (20,000+), I started imposing restrictions, and as time went on, added more and more restrictions, because I found I wasn’t adding any true value to my tree.
My current tree is restricted to direct Ancestors only, but even this is growing and is now approaching 1200!
I do find that concentrating on direct ancestors only, allows me to concentrate on accuracy, and am currently reviewing how well I’ve done so far. (Not as well as I’d previously thought!) :cry:
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