(Get $10 off the AncestryDNA test! Link is below.)
Thanks to many modern advances, such as the internet and genetic testing, we can now break through genealogy barriers that have stumped our forebears for generations.
In the past, East Carolina Roots has recommended using FamilyTreeDNA for autosomal DNA testing, but now, based on my own experience, it seems like AncestryDNA is the way to go, for a few reasons.
First of all, most folks using AncestryDNA are likely going to already have a tree (or they plan to create a tree) on Ancestry.com, whereas if you’ve done testing through FTDNA, you know that a ton of people who test there haven’t bothered to put up a tree, and if they have, it’s hard to connect the dots between shared matches. Ancestry has put into place a feature that crawls your own tree and the trees of your matches and looks for common ancestors.
This is HUGE. If you’ve used FTDNA, then you already know how clunky it is to navigate the family trees of your matches — if they’ve even bothered to post them. If someone has a sprawling tree, it can be next to impossible to figure out what ancestors you might have in common without manually clicking back on each ancestor once you’ve gotten to the edges of the screen.
AncestryDNA, on the other hand, does the work for you. Whenever you click on any of your matches, it will show you clearly who your common ancestors are (if they can be identified) and it will give you a list of surnames you have in common. Upon clicking on any of those surnames, it gives you a clear comparison of the individuals each of you have in your trees with that surname. In addition, they give you the option of browsing through your match’s tree by looking at the locations where their ancestors lived.
This is WAY better than FTDNA, which forces you to, again, either click through a tree manually or if you search, you just better hope the way you’re spelling a last name is the same way that your potential match is spelling that surname.
I can think of a few additional features that I wish they would enable that would make it even easier to search, but for now, I’m just thankful to have a much better resource for studying our family’s autosomal DNA matches.
That said, I’m getting key members of my own family to test through Ancestry and I hope if you have roots in eastern North Carolina (especially Craven, Pitt, Beaufort, Pamlico, Hyde, Lenoir, Greene, Carteret, Onslow, Jones, Chowan, Bertie, and the surrounding counties) that you will, too.
If you use the link below, you’ll get $10 off!
To access information or results from the old FTDNA East Carolina Roots group, go here.