Shared Ancestor Hints
Recently, I linked my mom’s DNA profile to someone in a mirror tree and I got more shared ancestor hints than what I was expecting. I had already confirmed this person’s maternal family is related to my mom but I was trying to see if her dad’s side was also related.
I was expecting at least 19 shared ancestor hints since that’s how many I already had from her mom’s side. When I checked the AncestryDNA page, I saw there were 24 shared ancestor hints. That’s not a huge increase but it’s an increase.
I went through and found the new shared ancestor hints and marked off the ancestors… And I found a pattern. Not the pattern I was looking for. But a pattern nonetheless.
Every single new shared ancestor hint had John Austin or John Austin and Hannah Love. I believe John Austin had another wife so that’s why I believe some of them only had John Austin.
This confused me at first. Why would I have shared ancestor hints ONLY on this line for the father’s side but none of the other lines? Because my mom was only related to that line – through her confirmed maternal family. As I was checking the matches, I came across one I had studied before and previously found a MRCA.
Our MRCA was Archibald Lamb and Elizabeth Austin. I haven’t been able to confirm the lineage from John Austin and Hannah Love to Elizabeth Austin but with 5 shared ancestor hints, I think it’s probably a safe assumption. Also, 2 of those shared ancestor hints have connections to Archibald Lamb & Elizabeth Austin – although not confirmed with records.
Why do I even mention this?
You need to be aware that families can cross paths and your 5th cousin on your maternal side could also be a 3rd cousin on your paternal side.
I’m using the mirror tree method to try and find my mom’s biological father. Finding shared ancestor hints plays a crucial role in this method. So, what would I have done if I didn’t know this was actually a maternal shared ancestor hint?
Since the hints only showed for one line, I would have probably worked out the other lines a bit further back just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything. But, ultimately, I would move one. You HAVE to have shared ancestor hints on all family lines to confirm a biological connection.
If you want to understand the mirror tree method I mentioned earlier, check out these articles and videos.
A Quicker Video Tutorial – Mirror Trees