Monday, January 18, 2016

Sharing Your AncestryDNA Matches List with Other Members

If you're an AncestryDNA (from member, did you know that you can share your DNA MATCHES list (and full Ethnicity Estimate results) with other AncestryDNA members? And you can do it without giving up your log-in information? Chances are you didn't know, but that's cool. It's a real simple process and I'm going to show you how to do it.


  • Deciding to share your AncestryDNA matches with another Ancestry member either means you're a serious genealogist, very liberal-minded, have nothing to hide, or just wants someone else to do all the work for you (which case can be a blessing to some of us). In any case you must be comfortable with sharing your DNA MATCHES list. 
  •  If you share your DNA MATCHES list with another AncestryDNA member, it means this AncestryDNA member can see your list of DNA matches. 
  • You must receive a sharing invite from an AncestryDNA member in order to see that person's results. You don't automatically see their results when you share with them.
  • None of your personal or account information will be shared with the AncestryDNA member(s) viewing your results.
  • Nor will the AncestryDNA member be able to make changes to or hostilely take over your account, raw data, ethnicity estimate, family trees or DNA MATCHES list.
  • You can stop sharing your DNA MATCHES with other members at any time.
  • Relax. If you've uploaded your DNA results to then you can see the DNA matches of any kit on your own list. Nothing has happened, right?
  • Sharing your DNA MATCHES works the same way as inviting someone to view your's Family Trees -- you invite AncestryDNA members to view your list by sending them a request by username or e-mail address
  • You are the Administrator of your AncestryDNA account. You can ONLY invite another member in the role of "Guest" (invitee limited to viewing your DNA matches list) OR "Editor" (invitee can write/edit notes and "star" your DNA matches) as explained in this screen-shot:
Source: AncestryDNA


(1) On your AncestryDNA Home page go to "SETTINGS" icon as seen here:

(2) Toward the bottom of your "Test Setting for..." page, you will see an "Invite others to access DNA results" button as shown here:  

(3) Once the "Invite others to access DNA results" page opens, you must: 
  • put invitee's username or e-mail address in the "Email or Ancesty username" field;
  • decide which role you want the invitee to have by choosing "Guest" (invitee can view your list only) or "Editor" (invitee can write/edit notes and star your matches) as shown here:

(4) After you've invited the member to view your DNA matches, AncestryDNA will send the member an e-mail to view your results. Once the Ancestry member accepts your invite he or she will be able to see your DNA MATCHES list (and full Ethnicity Estimate). 

  • NOTE: If you're the recipient of an invite to share DNA matches (and you accept), then the AncestryDNA member's  kit name will appear in your "VIEW ANOTHER TEST" drop-down menu. To demonstrate, in the screen-shot below I [prevously] invited my [twin kit] KingGenome to share so the kit name appears on the drop-down list:

  • If I click on my "KingGenome" kit, then it takes me to [my twin kit] King Genome's list of DNA matches, which I can happily explore: 
Good will hunting!

The Stories I Tell: Finding Your Roots Review Special (Episode 3:1)

Welcome to the ROOTS section of my blog where I focus on general and personal genealogical subjects of my interest. Most of the time these blogs will be short digs where only limited research is performed. Last year I promised to join fellow bloggers covering the sensational "PBS Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." In order to fulfill my covenant I'm using the next few "ROOTS" blogs to review this award-winning TV series in my creative way. Please join me, and enjoy: 
PBS Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr, Episode 1, Season 3 screenshot. Source:
SEASON THREE'S premier of PBS Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. (FYR) launched on January 5, 2016 (8pm EST) with outstanding success. After a harrowing delay due to Affleck-gate, FYR did not skip (no pun intended Dr. Skip Gates) a heartbeat with fantastic genealogical journeys into the pasts of political strategist Donna Brazile, actor Ty Burrel and artist Kara Walker. This particular FYR episode (view here) focused on each guest's "deep" family mysteries and discussed how slavery may have influenced their identities. Curiously FYR investigations utilized Autosomal DNA testing as in past seasons but opted NOT to include admixture analysis for its guests (perhaps forbidden fruit now because many of us (ab)use it to define our identities). Instead FYR turned to the more reliable DNA relative matching (DNA is not supposed to lie). However this minor shift in programming was majorly compensated by the illustrious stories we learned about Donna's unusual surname Brazile; Ty's free Black great-great-grandmother Susannah Weeks, who became a homesteader in Oregon, and Kara's emancipated great-great-great-grandfather Henry Fordham, a free man of color working for the Confederates during the US Civil War. Of course I've always longed to become famous or successful enough to be featured on FYR and handed a Book of Life. While I'm waiting my turn to sit across from Dr. Gates, I'll pacify the time by finding something on FYR that connects to one my relatives. 

Immediately after FYR's season opener aired I logged on AncestryDNA to research my family tree and to check for new genetic matches for myself and DNA-tested relatives with whom I'm sharing my DNA match list. Pay dirt...sort of. I discovered that Donna Brazile has something in common with one of my relatives -- the surname Brazil(e) and Braswell. It turns out that my relative's granduncle had a daughter whose maiden name was Brazil (variation of Brazile) by a woman with last name Braswell. To rewind, Donna discovered that her last name had originally been Braswell and earlier Bracewell.  FYR showed Donna's family living in Louisiana by way of her ancestor Della Braswell, who was born in North Carolina. Her Brazile ancestors were enslaved by a large slave-owning Brawell family that migrated from Virginia colony to the Tar Heel State; Dr. Gates says they all "descended from one man" Richard Bracewell of England. So I wanted to see if my relative's cousin with the Brazil surname underwent a similar transformation, and if there was evidence my relative cousin's Brazil ancestors enslaved by the same Braswell family that enslaved Donna's ancestors. Here's what I found out: