DNA genealogy statistics and comments

You are working with people who are already likely to have NPEs. You can look at birth statistics for children where no father is listed. In Texas that is about 2%. I calculated the number of official adoptions and that is about 1% but it varies by group. When I tell people, I usually say 2% over all people will be adopted or have a missing father or NPE. You are a small group. You could, however, ask for all DNA groups to help gather anonymized statistics. And that would mean using birth data, adoption data, and looking at the trees of shared matches for people. Random samples of the trees of matches there are clues when people need help – no tree, no father shown but full mother, no mother shown but full father.

About half of DNA matches have no tree, 10% still lock their tree. and of the ones with any tree, most do not go far enough to test DNA using DNA genealogy — without a lot more work. A person who knows their parents names and has no tree at all, is probably more sad than someone who does not know the names of their parents but has identified and actively working with dozens of hundreds of their DNA matches.

I did try to automate tree building with DNA. Most of the work, about 95% of the time to solve cases is just moving stuff around in the clumsy Ancestry system – no standardized dates and place names, clumsy click click click and search search search. Maybe the good AIs will help. But Ancestry has never invested in making things easier, helping families, helping DNA groups. I felt they simply had no clue what DNA was really about except – “Wow, we can sell all these kits and do not have to do any work at all”. That is not completely true, but so much so that I just gave it up as a lost cause.

Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation

Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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