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Ancestry DNA – Compiled Family Trees

Michael John Neil had posted a photo on Facebook about the new DNA circle feature that he calls ‘compiled trees’. When I first read Michael’s post, I was reminded of Ancestry’s One World Tree project. Fortunately, there is a major difference between these two projects: DNA.  So, I decided to investigate and see what I could learn about these compiled trees and my research.

When I clicked on my Ozias Wells circle, there was a button to learn more about Ozias Wells.


Clicking on that button took me to what appeared to be a profile page for Ozias Wells. However, this profile page was not from my tree but compiled from 99 family trees.


Clicking on the ? reveals more information about the compiling of this tree data.


Unfortunately, the only link to further information that worked was the one, “How can I  use a compiled view to enhance my research?” Not being able to find out how the compiled view was created is particularly troubling to me since my Ozias Wells circle only has 6 family groups and 99 trees were compiled to create the compiled view. This brings back memories from 2004 and the One World Tree project. As I remember it, that project was an attempt to merge family trees into one big tree using the power of computers.

I was hoping that DNA matches would prevent the merging of people with the same name for these compiled views. Since 99 trees were compiled for Ozias Wells and I only have 6 family groups in my DNA circle, I am going to be very cautious when looking at these views.

After looking at a few of my circles and the associated compiled tree, I have to say, this feature has some merit. When I switch to the FACTS view of the compiled view, there is a button to toggle on/off comparison with my tree.


With comparison turned on, the compiled view will place a check mark next to sources I already have associated with the person in my tree. There is a green plus sign next to sources others have attached to this person.


On the surface, I like this feature! However, I will have to be cautious when using these suggested sources to make sure they are about this particular individual and not some other person of the same name.

Besides the uncertainty as to how this information was compiled, I have another issue with these views: a child can appear multiple times.


I have Thurston Kennedy Wells as the son of Ozias Wells. Others must agree since the compiled tree shows him as a son — but there are several of him. I found this duplication of the children to be true on several different compiled views. However, I did not click thru to the trees to try and determine any differences.

At this time, I think these compiled views have potential — particularly if the DNA data is a primary factor in the process.

However, I wish there were additional features to go with these compiled trees: a chromosome browser and the ability to message all of the members of a DNA circle as a group.


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