AutoClustering My Daughter’s DNA

In my previous post, I took an initial look at Heather’s DNA. In this Blog, I’d like to look at AutoClustering Heather’s DNA. AutoClustering puts Heather’s AncestryDNA matches into groups or clusters. Then those clusters are grouped together. This makes it easy to see which matches go where.

Heather’s AutoCluster

Based on Heather’s number of 4th cousin matches or closer at Ancestry, I chose a lower limit of 20 cM and an upper limit of 600 cM. 20 cM is the limit AncestryDNA uses for 4th cousin matches.  Currently, Heather has 297 in that category.

Here are Heather’s 41 Clusters:

Some of these Clusters will be on her maternal side and some on Heather’s paternal side. The clusters with gray dots between them mean that these groups of matches match each other.

Heather has 283 matches in these clusters minus 22 that didn’t fit into any cluster.

Let’s Identify Some of Heather’s Clusters: Her Highest Matches

AutoCluster puts Heather’s clusters in the order of the match level. So the highest match in a cluster shows first. I’ll creat a spreadsheet for Heather:

This mimics the way AutoCluster lists its clusters with the highest match in the cluster listed first. I can recognize some of these names right away.

D.J. is a close relation to Heather on her mother’s side. I have not yet identified anyone on Heather’s maternal grandmother Cavanaugh side.

Next, I’ll sort by cluster, to get a skeleton for Heather’s clusters:

This brings me down to Cluster 21 or 22. I only identified one Jarek Cluster, but based on the gray dots between clusters, the Jarek or Polish relatives appear to go down as far as Cluster 14. I should have included Wozniak in those clusters.

The Bigger Picture

This shows that we have some gaps to fill in between clusters 23 and 39. I’m looking to locate some Cavanaugh ancestors. Clusters 23-39 would be one place to find them.

Cluster 32 – Cavanaugh Side?

I will be happy to find someone from Heather’s Cavanaugh grandmother side. Glenn from Cluster 32 has a tree:

I’d like to match Glenn’s tree above to Heather’s tree:

Ancestry puts Glenn and Heather at estimated 4th cousins. That means that if Heather and Glenn are in the same generation, then they will need to go back to Heather’s column starting with Jeremiah Warren and one row past where Glenn has gone.

I tried building out Glenn’s tree, but couldn’t find a connection to Heather’s tree. I think that I was on the right track as another person in the Cluster has a common ancestor with Julius Lafantasie and Emma Chamberland. So, no luck right now with Cluster 32.

Cluster 35

As I go down the clusters, I notice some match me or my siblings, so they are likely Hartley Clusters:

Donna has a 10 person tree in Cluster 35. Let’s see if that tree leads anywhere familiar.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Using Clusters, I was able to identify specific regions for three out of four of Heather’s grandparents
  • I had trouble pinning down Heather’s Cavanaugh grandmother side.
  • Once Ancestry has a chance to analyze Heather’s tree, it may make it’s own suggestions as to her Cavanaugh side.
  • One issue with the AutoClustering is that it requires you to build out a lot of trees to try to find connections. Then once the trees are built out it is very rare that a connection is made.




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