Ancestry DNA will be changing the way the determine your DNA matches again. Last time they did this, everyone had a lot of matches removed. For most people, having only the closest matches isn’t a big deal, but for adopted people looking for any clue and following up on every lead this could be huge. The good news is that you can download your list of matches now and save them. Then after the change you may have new matches that you didn’t have before to work with.
There are several good articles talking about the upcoming change and what you need to do immediately. One article bu Roberta Estes on DNA eXplained.com gives pros and cons of the change and a
Ancestry DNA Change – To Do List
“Your Immediate To Do List
Star or note every DNA/Tree match, meaning those with leaf hints.
Screen shot every Circle and NAD if you care about NADs, and record who is in the Circle or NAD.
Record all of your matches with matches information for 4th cousins or closer. I would begin with 4th cousins because those are the most likely to disappear. Those with tree hints are the most valuable to you, so I would start with those.
DO THIS NOW!! We can’t provide you with any release dates because Ancestry will launch when they are ready, and they don’t exactly know what day that will be. So, if you do this today, the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll have all your data. If you wait, the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll lose valuable information.”
Another post discussing the change is at The Genetic Genealogist Some of the expected changes are listed here as:
“Phasing Improvement – AncestryDNA has significantly increased the reference haplotype set used for phasing prior to cousin matching, meaning that the quality of AncestryDNA’s phasing will increase. This should result in fewer phasing errors, and thus fewer lost matches and false positives.
Matching Improvement – AncestryDNA is changing how they identify matches between individuals. Previously, AncestryDNA was using “windows” or blocks of DNA to compare two individuals. They will now be used a SNP-based method to compare people. The problem with the previous method is that if the windows didn’t overlap a segment properly, they could either miss the segment entirely or shorten the segment. The SNP-based method will no longer miss or shorten these segments. As a result of this switch, it is expected that many matching segments will increase in size. The total shared cM with many, and possibly most, matches will increase.”
If you are looking for family members using Ancestry DNA, download your list of matches today. You can use the Chrome extension, Ancestry DNA tool, that will put a downloadable list of your matches on the screen.