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woodsman

Ancestry, message replies

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Tried unsuccesfully to contact a first cousin via the message system on ancestry two and a half months ago. Got a reply last Thursday he had missed the messages. His sister emailed me Friday, both of them pleased to be in contact.  He was my most important lead so it was disappointing not to raise him initially. So hang on in there, one never knows.....

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I contacted someone a few months ago and didn't receive a reply, even though I could see that she was very active on there, so I messaged again and got an instant reply,  so yes I agree. To be honest I don't even think about messages on Ancestry and I can imagine it's easy to miss the notification way over there in the corner

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It was a bit of luck in a way as the cousin attended a funeral and one of the other relatives mentioned I was trying to get hold of him and thats when he went and looked at his messages. Just as an aside, those two relatives had not spoken for  years since a big family bust up, aren't coincidences a strange thing. If people have busy lives and don't look to closely  then maybe Amazon should rethink how prominent the notification should be.

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At the moment am a bit fed up with lack of replies re Ancestry and other sites but I am looking a lot farther away than first cousins as I know all mine and think most of my second cousins too, needs to be 3-4th cousins to give me the information i need regarding my mysterious gt gt grandfathers.

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TJ, this was a totally new line so it was fascinating to say the least to find a cousin and other relatives.   Take it you are on Gedmatch and Family tree dna, all the results I get on those t wo sites are 3rd cousins and beyond. Maybe the Xmas push of DNA pressies will bring a few up for you.

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To be honest I get more wound up by the no replies on this site. They ask a question and you do the damn research then they don't even bother to reply, not even a thanks.

Image result for gif rihanna

Edited by RATTY
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I'm told all manner of things about messages going astray or being hidden in cyberspace for months and even years on Ancestry. But a big problem I've found is that people just don't respond to requests for information. I've sent maybe 20 mails to people and received only 3 replies to date. Part of the frustration of family searching I suppose...I did get what I'd hoped for from Ancestry though, so I shan't moan too much :)

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It just needs a timestamp of when a message was viewed (a bit like with PMs on here, or like on Facebook messenger). There are email notifications from most messages that include the full content of the message. They could drop that and just make the notification say "Suchabody has sent you a message" - with a link to the message. Otherwise, you just don't know if a message has been read at all. So if it hasn't been opened the timestamp would remain as the time that you sent the enquiry, or it would change and you'd know that it'd been read and you're being ignored.

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It was up the wall last night.

I was manically searching and transcribing and it kept giving me wrong info, as in random answers to searches, wrong names. It kept crossing me over to .com and refusing to give me info because I didn't have a sub. Strange thing though, I did one search which I knew the name was one of two spellings, it showed me exactly the right item  on  .com as an index item but wouldn't find it  when I did same search in .co.uk... it couldn't find the record.....anyway I later got flagged to say site was under maintenance so maybe that was why

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On 27/11/2018 at 22:35, woodsman said:

Take it you are on Gedmatch and Family tree dna, all the results I get on those t wo sites are 3rd cousins and beyond

@woodsman Yes I am on those sites and Gedmatch in particular is good at finding shared matches which do not show up on Ancestry. What I am short of at the moment is a few closer matches to help tie in the more distant ones.

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TJ, I would imagine with your experience you have put questions onto the likes of roots chat and other forums and some of the  local history forums on facebook.

Dave, have you suggested the idea of a time stamp on Ancestry to them. It would certainly stop a lot of the frustration experienced in the message system.  I find it really galling when you keep seeing that someone has logged in and visited their site but you still get no reply.

 

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No, they'd probably have an off-the-peg excuse in a similar way to the one that they give about a not having a Chromosome browser. They claim that the 'DNA Circles' are superior to the browser idea and that they respect privacy. I have access to 13 people's DNA and less than half have any circles (including myself  (I did have some 'emerging' and then they disappeared)) and that must mean that all the other sites: FT-DNA,  My Heritage, Gedmatch, et al, are disrespectful of privacy.  Well, no not really, because if Ancestry did have a browser then you'd only be able to compare yourself with actual matches. It isn't as if someone could nip in and copy everyone's data because they'd only be able to see the few segments of the people they were matching. I suppose that it'd take a drop in sales before they'd put anything radically advantageous on. They're selling memberships and kits and making the money without having to bother changing anything.

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@woodsman Yes I have tried and particularly with regard to my gt gt grandfather John Donlan who vanished from St Helens in the mid 1890's have found other second and third cousins all asking the same questions. I suspect my aunt who died in 2005 knew a bit bit chose not to tell. The family story had always been that the Donlan's came from Blackburn, I checked this with another younger aunt in Australia. Not long before my aunt in St Helens died I asked her once again about the Donlan's coming from Blackburn, but she said no, she though they came from Parr or Sutton, I just put it down to the illness at the time, but eventually realised she knew with the research I was doing I would find out about this lie which had been kept up for over 100 years. it is all to do with him being twice my gt gt grans age and getting her pregnant at 16 and them being forced by her employer where she was in service to marry in a register office in 1878 and him just generally being a drunkard etc.

My gt gt grandfather Thomas Hignett in Liverpool also seemed to disappear, he isn't on the census in 1861 when my gt grandfather was one but I haven't found anyone connected so far, but am not giving up hope.

The third mystery is my gt grandfather Stephen Prescott, in the last few years I found out he was adopted and was down in 1871 as Stephen Barker, but they just changes his name to Prescott by 1881.

Anyway, might make a breakthrough soon as more and more is coming online!

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TJ, Strange, in a way they are distinctive names, not Smith or Jones you would imagine one would turn up.  It would be understandble that the name HIGNETT could easily be misunderstood when entering onto the census, bu tthe other names you would imagine would be straightforward.  I would think you have now piqued the interest of the FH wizards on here and it would be really great if at least one turned up. Found in the past the family story turned out to be a real load of rubbish, think sometimes someone says it and others embellish a little and away it goes and everyone ends up thinking it the truth lol.............lot to be said for DNA testing.  Lets hope you get a breakthrough, it will probably come from a totally unexpected quarter.

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Message I sent last week to a person who might have given me a clue as to the Donlan line and could see all my family names on my tree.

Hi,

You have come up as a good match and I wondered who you are and how we are connected, also do the shared matches mean anything to you?

Reply I got

sorry it's all lost on me,as understand very little of it all.. cheers Steve

It makes you wonder why they bother joining genealogy sites and paying for DNA tests

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Some peple get the kit as presents etc so they don't have a clue, was there any way you could have asked him/her if you could help to unravel it for them or even do they have a relative who is into family history, shame to let a good lead go, but I can understand your frustration. Alternatively tell the person that a multi millioniare has left some money, that might help lol

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I did write again but he didn't even answer the second message, as a new kit probably sick of being contacted by folks. Plan B is working through other shared matches but the disappointment is that this person has twice the matching DNA of any of the other shared matches but I ain't giving up!

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When I first got on Ancestry with the DNA I found a massive cluster of relatives in the US, all seemingly matching each other (via shared) with a good few of the kits being managed by one woman. So I thought that she must be keen and I contacted her. She came back with:

"Hello Dave, I'm really not very good with the ancestry thing. I have relatives that have researched into the family tree. I'll have to start getting into it if life slows down. I live in Utah and have never been to Europe. Would love to visit someday!"

Utah - the mecca of genealogy. None of her relatives had trees of any useful size, but I later discovered that they're from somewhere back in time on my dad's side. So even if you do get a reply you can be disappointed. :)

added 34 minutes later

----

Another anecdote is about a faulty tree that I found with some of my ancestors in it. Well, it wasn't just one tree, it was about half a dozen trees where they assumed that a brother of my ancestor married twice and had some kids leading down to their people. The only trouble was that this particular Daniel had a very short life. Born about 1776 and probably died before 1781. His baptism was in 1776 but then he was missing from the family in 1781 when the family were listed in one of those poor law removal orders, where they were turfed out of one village and back to where the dad was born - and Daniel was missing - dead, I thought (whatever the trouble was, the order was reversed the following week). So I thought that these people must've known something I didn't, but I went back and looked and they all have his lifespan as being 1776 to 1781. Two wives and quite a few kids before he was five...

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You get this lots, I was looking at something similar the other day. A man who married twice, with one lot of kids but who's wife died and he married again between censuses, they didn't have a clue, had the child down as the second wifes even though the marriage was 3 years later than the birth and the woman's name changed from Martha to Jane, look up the birth of the daughter and you get a different maiden name. I suppose it just stands out to me because I'm stickler for trying for  3 points of evidence that match but some of them just use census info and nothing else. It's infuriating. I always wonder what's going to happen in the future with all these crappy trees and then I think ........well who cares really G take a chill pill ;)

You can not take anything seriously on Ancestry and should always do the legwork yourself. I'm almost surprised now when I find one that's been done well.

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My gt grandmother Kelly was married twice, her fist husband died aged 46 leaving her and 6 children. She then married a bloke called Peter Rigby, according to my gt aunts, the wicked stepfather who never stopped drinking. Anyway when gt gran died the inscription on the gravestone read, Timothy Kelly  died......... then Ellen, the wife of Peter Rigby died ..... My gt aunt got some compensation when her house was demolished and though i had asked her not to, spent half of it on a new gravestone which now reads Timothy Kelly and his beloved wife Ellen, Peter Rigby being obliterated from history.

On various family certificates and censuses gt gt grandfather John Donlan is alternatively dead then alive, people don't always tell the truth which makes it even harder for us researching.

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Truth almost always comes out in the end though ;) 

 

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19 hours ago, RATTY said:

Truth almost always comes out in the end though ;) 

 

Haha, well we will see, though i think a couple of relatives who might have known the full story about my Donlan's are now dead. Fingers crossed someone gets a a DNA kit for Christmas who is connected and interested in helping put it all together.

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