DNA Genealogy Collaboration, sharing and group methods on Ancestry and online

I know what back pain feels like for extended periods, so I have a bit of understanding and empathy for your pain. Physical therapy is a good idea.

Yes, you can share your DNA results with others. I have helped about 200 others with their DNA, for adoptions. missing parents, brick walls and just to be sure the tree is correct.

The term that applies is “DNA Collaboration”.

In your DNA Setting page, about halfway down is a place to share your DNA results. This is NOT raw DNA data but for looking at Thrulines.

At the top of the page is should say “DNA”, when you click that it shows the words “Your Results Summary”. Click that. In the upper right corner, it says “Settings”. Click that.

Down the page is will say “DNA test sharing”. Click that.

There should be a blue button saying “Invite”. Click that.

Type in the email address or username of the person. Your username is celiayates56 and my username is RichardKCollins for instance.

Select role “Collaborator” and click “invite”.

That will send an email to the person. When they receive the email it will have a link to let them access the DNA results – the Matches, the ThruLines, and it lets the person link a Persons DNA to themself in your tree, and to make notes, and to send messages to the DNA match.

I always used “Collaborator” because I was help to solve problems, identify and add DNA matches to the tree. To just “see” ThruLines maybe “viewer” role would be sufficient. “Manager” role is like owning the DNA, it is not a good idea to use that except with close family you trust who know what they are doing.

Now ThruLines is mostly only useful if the person has access to see living people in the tree. ThruLines only really makes sense interactively for someone who has access to the DNA results and the full tree (living people because the DNA matches and their living family in your tree would be private, unless you give them permission.

I always used “DNA Collaborator” and “Tree Editor” permissions when helping others. Because I was helping to find and solve problems.

The lowest level would be “DNA viewer” and “Tree sharing, with Can See Living People allowed” But if another person is trying to help, they might well need to change the tree if they see things that need doing.

On many of the DNA tests and trees I helped with, I was sometimes studying a branch that was in my tree, or in the tree of someone else, and using another tree and DNA to help sort things out. Some “brick walls” required using many different DNA tests and many trees to trace out problems. Ancestry is not really designed or user friendly to deep problems, nor collaboration. It is possible, but Ancestry is not really going out of their way to help.

A “DNA Collaborator” has the ability to move a DNA test to a new tree. Do NOT let that happen. It might completely wipe out what you have invested into your DNA links to your tree. Since you are asking about sharing DNA results and ThruLines, just be aware.

I hope that explains it clearly enough.


I will explain another way you can let others see the ThruLines. Actually two ways that I have worked that are safe and reliable.

There are programs called “Screen Recorders” I use APowerSoft Screen Recorder Pro” but there are others. I would work on my tree and my DNA, or someone else’s tree and their DNA, then record everything in a video. The “screen video” captures the screen and it records my voice. I would normally record for 60 to 120 minutes, after that I get tired. I made about 800 to 1000 such hour long (or longer) videos as I was working on problems in trees. A good way to show new people how to use the DNA on specific examples in their tree. With the recorded screens and voice commentary, there is a permanent record of what was done, and why, and why important.

Another way you might want to try nowadays. Invite the other person (or many others) to an online video sharing session like Google Meet. That just requires sending them an email invitation from Google Calendar for “Google Meet” It is free for an hour session. When everyone is logged into the meeting, they each can have a microphone and camera and speakers to hear, or you as presenter can have a microphone to speak and then share your screen as you visit your tree and look at ThruLines. With patience, a groups of people (one other or many others) could then discuss and examine a tree, or a set of related trees.

I have been in Meetings often with my family and organizations on the Internet, I recommend using Google Meet (Maybe Ancestry has a way to do that kind of group meeting now) so friends and people working and collaborating and just sharing life with others can meet and work together on common things.

I do NOT know if a person in a Google Meet can be given permission to control the other computer. So, for instance, I could use the keyboard and mouse on my computer to navigate and do things on your computer as others watch.

I hope that is clear. It could be a good way to work on something together and visit and share at the same time.

I recommend meet online with the “others” to discuss and see people face to face. Sharing the screens of each person in the Meeting, you could all look at views from different tree and DNA perspectives.

It would not be fast or easy the first tiimes. It could take years to become really optimal and ultimately the really hard problems sometime take methos where all the data is in one database and can be seen and studied by one person. It is hard to work in groups. But I think online sharing like that is a good investment, and could be a great way to teach groups of any size.

I have been in meetings and online presentations where hundreds are watching and listening. Usually there are introduction, a fairly formal presentation(s) by a few, then formal question and answer, and then summary and future actions.

The sessions themselves can be recorded and shared to the group. For permanent records of the lessons, discussions and particular changes and assumptions (in the context of making decisions and actions for a tree).

I think it would be useful.

Many of the hundreds of screen video lessons and case analyses I make for people, now could be done online as they watch and interact. But it would be hard on the presenters doing it the few few hundred times.

In groups who help with DNA genealogy problems (or many things), they can meet online with the people and families and DNA matches they help. Since it is remote, the costs are low. I often had to give DNA tests, Ancestry subscriptions, my own time and sometimes computers, cameras and microphones to people. But it always seemed to work out.


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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