Recently, I read a note in one of the genetic genealogy groups that I follow from a person who uses special picture icons to identify persons in their Ancestry.com tree that they are triangulated with or have received an Ancestry DNA Leaf. The special pictures show in their tree view and then they consider it a confirmation if the tree branches continue to show that picture. If a given branch only shows one special picture and no more, then they begin to question the branch.
That idea triggered an idea in me: I decided to plug a special picture icon for the full path to the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) for my various Ancestry DNA Leaf matches in my own tree. By doing this for most of my matches, I can begin to see the parts of the tree that I can really trust, and conversely, I can see those parts of the tree where I have little DNA proof of validity. I may have paper proof, but if the DNA isn’t following, perhaps there is a non-paternity event (NPE) going on. It can just as easily mean that a family line has died out, or that a given line just prefer golfing to DNA testing. (I hate to think that perhaps my sources are wrong.)
Likewise, if a branch fills out with many DNA pictures and my paper sources are minimal, I can feel it isn’t a waste of time doing deeper source searching.
I leave the real photos for recent ancestors, letting them remain primary. I figure I don’t need DNA “proof” for them, I probably knew them! Here is a snap shot of how a branch of my Ancestry.com tree looks with my special “DNA Icon Picture”.
Note the Jacob Fetters in the upper right. He is the MRCA between another person and myself within Ancestry DNA. I can see the flow through to my great grandfather Daniel Robeson.