Tuesday, July 19, 2016

One Reason to Do Cluster Research

Our work on the Avery side has revealed that my 3rd great grandfather, John Warren Avery, had numerous siblings, including Sarah Avery who married Joshua Whitehead.  I'm a Facebook friend with a cousin who is a direct descendant of Sarah and Joshua, which is so cool considering I'd never known anything about the Averys until about 2010!

My mom and I have both done our DNA on Ancestry, and we each have our own tree.  My tree is ridiculously large (55,437 people as of today), since it includes all of our cluster research, while Mom's tree only includes her direct ancestors.  The smaller tree with just direct ancestors is easier to download, and it helps focus attention ON the direct ancestors (and not on interesting collateral relatives LOL).

The decision to include, or leave out, non-direct ancestors can definitely affect how Ancestry displays its AncestryDNA Insights:

Mom's "New Ancestor Discoveries" recently began displaying Joshua White and Sarah Avery.  Ancestry categorizes them as "potential new ancestors or relatives who are not already in your family tree".  Since Mom's tree only has direct ancestors the program doesn't know exactly where to place Sarah in relation to Mom, only that descendants of Joshua and Sarah share DNA with her.

My "DNA Circles" includes Joshua Whitehead and Sarah Avery, and correctly gives their relation to me.  Notice Samuel Avery and Mary Thornton, parents of Sarah Avery, on this page as well.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.


  1. This morning I decided to see what would happen if I attach my DNA to your tree.

    1. You lost some matches and got some new ones (mostly the Davis upline of Shepard/Porter). I thought that was odd.

      It didn't appear to move the status of Avery/Whitehead from Discovery to Ancestor Circles. Maybe at some point it will change over?

    2. So far it appears that existing relationships are now categorized as "emerging."

  2. Christine,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2016/07/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-july-22-2016.html

    Have a great weekend!