Is there any way that FamilySearch can use DNA analysis without violating privacy standards?
There is a reason why I’m asking that particular question.
I often hear users say that DNA isn’t a valuable source on FamilySearch and they seem to trust traditional research documents as primary sources more than other forms of information. I also use Ancestry for research.
A relative of mine has been tested using AncestryDNA. On Ancestry, there is a feature where users can combine their DNA and their family tree together to discover how their DNA matches fit within the lines of their family. It’s called Thurlines. Although it’s not perfect, it actually gives you a diagram of what family lines your matches come from. The more you research to find ancestors, you will also get more information about how your matches are related to you down the line. This tool has really helped me find more ancestors as I Incorporated DNA with traditional research. I’m discovering that researching with DNA can be beneficial because it can provide additional information and insights that was impossible to find. There are some unique situations of research that people have to consider with working with traditional research.
At times, documents and records may contain errors within information that could lead to mistakes in judgment to determine the identity of relatives. For example, there are several instances of when I had to correct my family lines to show what I had discovered through DNA analysis. Sometimes, there are no records to identify relatives but if you use DNA analysis, you can find the missing links that you were looking for.
This is very true when it comes to minority people especially African Americans and our complicated history due to difficult history in which some ancestral records are non existent up to a certain point due to the slavery era. During that time, our ancestors were viewed as property more than human beings. So in knowing about that aspect in history, DNA can be most useful in determining certain connections between family members especially if people have Caucasian ancestors as well. A lot of times in the era, slave holders were intermingling with their slaves and produced children.
That was the case within both sides of my family. Oftentimes, there are no written records of that because of the situation unless an ancestor fully acknowledged that particular situation in a document. That is very rare to find that type of information on paper. There are other circumstances as well.
I did most of my traditional research on FS but when I had hit a brick wall, I decided to do additional research on Ancestry and used their DNA analysis to obtain information. Some of my traditional research did not match the DNA data. However, I ran into problems when I was trying to transfer information to FS. When I attempted to add new information to the community tree, certain users who are “connected” with my family disagreed with my additions.
And now, I’m opting out of using the community family tree because of the multiple changes that users have done to family lines. I could have went through the motions of going back and forth with the changes to revert them and collaborate with other family members who share my information but it’s too frustrating and time consuming. Instead of doing that, I’m just using genealogy software that I connect FamilySearch to obtain information. Because of the multiple changes on family lines I cannot use the relative finder website anymore. But I’m fine with that.
I just find it’s very interesting that I’m starting to deal with certain changes that I didn’t have before for quite awhile. But as soon as I tried adding on my family lines to new connections, multiple lines are being disconnected or disorganized
It’s like this.. I totally understand FS standards with DNA due to privacy reasons, but besides that I really don’t understand why people don’t value actual DNA evidence as a primary source when it’s authentic versus some of the traditional sources of information? A user that I was having a conversation with basically had the perspective that DNA isn’t as valuable as traditional research. I was taken aback by that. If someone tells another person that, it’s like them saying that the evidence that you have is not as accurate as the evidence that they may have on paper.
Genealogy can be complex and not as cut and dry as most people think. People have to take that in account.
I think collaboration with others is a wonderful thing especially when you need help putting connections together. However, it appears as though some people have difficulty with the collaboration concept and they don’t see eye to eye with others even though the evidence is there.
Researching is like going on a journey with a lot of different twists and turns and unexpected outcomes.