My Beginnings with AncestryDNA Circles: Part II

Ancestry DNA “Circle” for descendants of Hinrich Jansen Ufkes as of 2 August 2017

The circles AncestryDNA at are still in beta stage (part I on the “circles” appeared here earlier).

The content in this post is current as of 2 August 2017. These comments reflect my own experience with the circles. That experience is largely based upon the amount of research I’ve already done, what families I’ve concentrated on, and my own ancestry.

There are six of us in the AncestryDNA circle for Hinrich Jansen Ufkes. While we are all descendants of Hinrich, we all do not have “matching DNA” for each other. Given that Hinrich was born in 1797 and is my third-great-grandfather (and the second great-grandfather for MJN Match 1 with whom I have communicated) that’s not surprising. We all cannot contain all the DNA of all of our ancestors.

The circle shows which of us share matches. I only match three of the others in the circle. The diagram indicates which individuals match each other. Everyone matches at least two others in the circle and we all have Hinrich in our tree.

Some comments about DNA Match 1:

  • we are both actually descendants of Hinrich’s son Johann–my great-grandfather and DNA Match 1’s grandfather were brothers. Our Ufkes connection therefore is closer than Hinrich.
  • we are related in more than one way besides being Ufkes descendants. DNA Match 1 and I are actually triple cousins:
    • My great-great-grandfather Goldenstein and DNA Match 1’s great-grandmother Garrelts were brother and sister.
    • My great-great-great-grandmother Fecht and DNA Match 1’s great-great-grandmother Bruns were sister and brother.
  • based on how far back AncestryDNA goes to put people in circles, we’ll be in several together.

I have similar multiple “reasonably close” descents with several of my maternal relatives all of whom hailed from Ostfriesland, Germany (That’s what happens when small villages from Europe essentially migrate to form new small villages in the United States). How that will impact my circles I don’t know. At this writing, AncestryDNA only has a circle for one other set of my Ostfriesen ancestors. DNA Match 1 is in it as it is for the Johann Luken Jurgens Ehmen Goldenstein, father of the two siblings from which we descend.

I’m waiting for AncestryDNA to put people in the circles who do not have “trees” associated with their account. As of this writing I’m not seeing any individuals of that type in any of my circles.

While the circles are interesting, at this point I’m not making any great discoveries from them.  I will continue to look at the circles and write about them as warranted. I’m waiting for them to get out of beta stage as there are several couples from whom I descend where I am in the circle for one but not a circle for their spouse.

At this time I am not certain if that is because the circles are incomplete or if there are surprises in my tree. Based upon sharing DNA with relatives that I know, but who have not submitted trees, I’m leaning towards the conclusion that the circles are incomplete.

Your mileage may vary.

My mother-in-law’s maternal grandfather was adopted and “ran off” when the youngest child was under the age of 10. He was never to be heard from again. Her DNA test results will be very interesting because he could have both sibling and children of which we are not aware.




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