The Ones Who Moved Away

My family tree is more accurately a family web. I have numerous cousins who are related to me in more than one way because we share two or three sets of ancestors. I have just as many more sets of individuals where I am related to person A and to person B, person A is related to person B as well, but the three of us do not share a common ancestor.

All of which makes analyzing DNA matches more of a challenge than usual.

So when deciding with DNA match’s shared matches with me that I should analyze first, I pick the one who moved away.

  • The descendants of my uncle whose only child moved 500 miles away to a completely different rural area.
  • The descendants of an ancestral first cousin who moved 50 miles away to the “big city” and married outside the immediate area.
  • And so on.

The matches who descend through these individuals are much less likely to have the multiple relationships from my family web and more likely to have just one relationship to me and each other. This makes the match analysis easier.