This subject has been written on by genealogists around the globe, and many who are far more qualified than I. But I was wondering how many people have downloaded the app for this program, and have actually been using it to locate ancestors?
At first I was skeptical of this program. I could imagine a large input of "You're related to..." and having no real basis for this.
But having used it now for a few months, I am finding more and more honest to goodness ancestors than I ever would have found on my own!
First, don't let me mislead you into saying that just because the app pairs you up with a celebrity or a friend and can "show you" your common ancestor, don't believe for an instant that it is correct! I have come across some "connections" that were totally bogus.
First, let me start by saying this, years ago I put my family tree on Ancestry, and I was quite naïve. I gave permission to family members to add what they knew to it. Suddenly, it grew and grew to such a proportion I couldn't believe my luck! That is, until I started trying to find proof of certain individuals being in our family tree. At least after the first 6 or 8 months, I stopped having anything to do with the tree on Ancestry, except to make myself and my husband the only ones who could add to it. I have never gone in to clean it up. I wouldn't even begin to know where to start! The best that I could do is to delete it completely, and put the present tree there, with myself as sole administrator. However, I am so lazy these days, that I would rather family simply contact me and let me send them a copy of the researched tree.
With all of that being said, there are some matches with the app that simply aren't real. But of the over 150 people in the app, I have found less than a dozen that I have been able to disprove. And the rest, I have been able to PROVE. So, I would count that as a pretty good record!
Those that are proven, I was able to prove my lineage back to the common ancestor, and then follow that ancestor's descendants forward to the person to whom I am allegedly related, according to the app.
So, is the app worth the effort? Amazingly, I have to say yes! But, with the caveat that you don't take the app's word for the connection. Do the research to prove or disprove the common ancestor. And the same to prove that common ancestor's descendant's to the person you are supposed to be related to.
I've found it a wonderful fun way to add more depth to my family tree. And I have been able to go back far, far beyond where I ever dreamed of! (Thankfully for some wonderful records and books that are now found online!)
A few that I found I was supposed to be descended from: Adam (as in Adam and Eve). If the Scripture is correct, and I do believe it is, I'm pretty certain I am related to Adam, as are you, and you, and you, and well you get it. But proving that lineage? Well, where some people get this information is beyond me. I mean do stupid people just sit around and play with genealogy like it's a game and think we are as stupid as they are? Okay, so I'll admit Adam is my ancestor, as is Eve. But the descendant's that run from Adam to me? I'm pretty sure we'll never get those birth and death records to prove or disprove that relationship!
Moses: see Adam above.
Joan of Arc: okay, yes, there is some French ancestry (a very little). However, as I recall Joan of Arc was 14 when she began her crusade, and died a virgin. And so, how is it she is my ancestor exactly? I don't think cloning was available then. (Is it now, for humans?) I think we can discount little Joan as being my ancestor.
Cardinal Wolsey: Yes, as in Cardinal Wolsey who advised dear old Henry VIII, (who is not a legitimate ancestor, but to whom I am related). Okay, whoever chose old Wolsey for an ancestor, just didn't do any homework at all on the man, as they had him living in the wrong century! I discredited that one without evening doing a look-see. (Henry VIII has always fascinated me, I think it's the macabre, but I do know my dates! And if I had put a grain of truth into the connection, Wolsey lived and died about 140 years after his real execution. Not worth a look.)
Alan Bean (yes, the astronaut). As much as I'd like to say we were related, well, DNA has proven otherwise. My particular Bean DNA is considered "orphan" Bean family. We simply don't match up with any of the tested Bean lines thusfar, except within our own little circle of first and second cousins. (Evidently all of the Bean women in our line were faithful and the Bean men couldn't accuse their children of belonging to the milk man. Please, it's a joke! Don't take me seriously and email me about my poor taste in humor. I know how bad it is already!)
Queen Elizabeth I: Really? I mean, who on earth thought I was descended from Queen Elizabeth I? Related to, yes. Very distantly. (I mean very distant.) As in, if I was not descended from her father, how did they think I was descended from a Queen who supposedly never gave birth?
So, you get the idea. There are going to be some real quackers in the mix. But for the most part, using the app can lead you into a whole new arena of searching for ancestors! And if you want to know if you're related to Brad Pitt, simply because your app says so, well, put some time, effort and research into finding out first if you are related to the common ancestor it names. And then, put a little more into finding out if you can follow that ancestors descendant line to Brad Pitt. Or Bill Gates. Or John F. Kennedy. Or Elvis Presley. Or even Donald Trump.
It's worth the effort if you want a fuller, and more interesting tree. And it's been a blast so far. I look forward to the days when my iPhone does it's little "bing!" and let's me know another person I am related to. That means, I need to get done with my work (job) in a hurry that day, cause baby, I'm heading home to do some genealogy!