Monday, October 24, 2016

When DNA is not what you expected

DNA has added a whole new dimension to genealogy. It can help open doors that have been closed for years. It can connect you with members of your family both close and distant. But, it can also open some doors that have not opened in many years. 

It just happened to me recently and I wanted to share this possibility. Another ancestry member asked why I had searched and added a fact to my genealogy. I responded that it was a relative. This led to extensive communication. We are second cousins once removed. This is very exciting especially since this is a branch of the family I have had limited experience with. 

Of course, we shared our kit numbers so we could see our relationship on Gedmatch. No close connection. Now, what? According to our DNA results, we are not cousins. Where does that leave us?  

We did try some adjustments to the test results and did show a relationship. But I also was able to see a relationship with Al,  so this doesn't prove anything except that we are both of European descent. 

Just a few years ago, we would have gone on in ignorant bliss and exchanged family information. I have decided to ignore the DNA, We are still part of the same family and we have a lot of information to share and I am thinking that what if the DNA is wrong? Autosomal DNA is not foolproof. After a generation or two, it is very fickle. 

Someone contacted me from Gedmatch last year because they matched Kasey, well if you match Kasey you should match me (it was my side of the family) but no, they didn't match me. 

I also recently corresponded again with someone whose Mitochondrial DNA is an identical match for mine. We know where we connect, it is our Native American ancestry. We also share an early Bernier. However, again, no relationship according to Gedmatch. Again, we know this is wrong, the Mito proved that but it also proves that DNA comes down to us in ways we are only starting to understand and it is not always the same.  

I would rather enjoy these cousins than be silly and say we have no relationship based on a DNA test that may or may not be correct. DNA may not have all the answers. There is much more to genealogy than just DNA, there is family. 

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