AncestryDNA – Slippery Slope into Genealogical Mush

DNA is what it is – it is the genes of your ancestors that are passed down to you.

The science CANNOT be denied. However, too many people are jumping on the DNA bandwagon without realizing that things are not what they seem – especially at Ancestry.Com.

Rita had an AncestryDNA test done on Oscar Gravitt the son of her great-grandfather Mack Gravitt. Here is a notice we got from Ancestry.Com today:

GRAVITT-oscars-lousialong-match01Now I knew I had a Louisa Jane Long in my tree. Would this be the same person?

We have done extensive research on Rita’s Gravitt family. We knew Louisa Jane Long is not an ancestor of Oscar or Rita – so what gives?

It took me a while but I figured it out. Here are my results:

GRAVITT-oscars-lousialong-matchTrue, AncestryDNA does not say Louisa Jane Long is an “ancestor” — it says she is an “ancestor or relative.” But I don’t know if the mother of the spouse of a 5th cousin twice removed (or something like that) can be considered a relative.

My question is this – how many people (who have not done the research we have) will assume that Louisa Jane Long was an ancestor? I assure you, a lot would. And it would then become part of their Ancestry.Com member tree. Because it would be documented as being proved by DNA many people in the future will blindly accept it.

Ancestry in their self-serving attempt to make genealogy a turn-key operation for people too lazy to do research is doing us a tremendous disservice. But they are making millions of dollars. And making money is their main interest, not genealogy.

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