ThruLines is not “Proof”

ThruLines left out a generation on my relative’s relationship to me.

DNA does not lie.

Other records are open to debate.

I see postings online where individuals refer to ThruLines as “proof.” No. That is not what ThruLines is. It is a way to help those who use AncestryDNA to analyze their results faster since it shows the probable connection to a DNA match using user-submitted trees that have been algorithimically stitched together. The genealogical connection suggested is merely that: a suggestion.

One more time: the genealogical connection is a suggestion.

I’ve privatized this screenshot, but the DNA connection referred to as “DT” is someone who I was aware of before I saw him on my list of DNA matches. George H. Trautvetter (died in 1944–a date that is well-established) is his grandfather. DT was born in the 1950s. He’s not my second twice removed. He’s my third cousin once removed.

The amount of shared autosomal DNA (which is what AncestryDNA measures) is consistent with that relationship–actually it’s consistent with both relationships. But the amount of shared autosomal DNA between two individuals at this distant of a relationship cannot be used to predict that relationship exactly.

The DNA shows there is a relationship.

The genealogical research will need to confirm what that is.

ThruLines gives the researcher a clue as to the genealogical relationship. It does “prove” the specific relationship. That proof comes from actual genealogical research.

Not from an automatic tree generated from a tree compiled from user-submitted family trees.

That’s not how research works.


One thought on “ThruLines is not “Proof”

  1. Virginia S Brizendine says:

    A close relative has ThruLines showing she is related to several people by way of her stepfather. We know who her birth father was and DNA has proved it. It may well be that the birth father and stepfather are related – they came from the same town. I cringe every time I see the stepfather listed in the ThruLines. She has asked me not to divulge her birth father until she dies (she is 92) and I am honoring that request. But there will be many trees in error using the stepfather in the future and I won’t be able to kill that bit of misinformation.

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