Ancestry . com Shaky Leaf Algorithm & the Suffix

In can we use the name suffix to display DNA haplogroup values (like for Y-DNA or Mitochondrial) without upsetting the Shaky Leaf or Manual Searching software?
Is the name Suffix used by for anything?

A member of our DNA Interest Group told me how she displays haplogroups for people in her tree at ==> she puts the haplogroup code into the suffix of the person’s name!

You know, the suffix is where things like Jr. or Sr. or Dr. are put. Instead of something like George Robeson, Jr. she would have George Robeson, I1a-A13294.

You can always document the “suffix” elsewhere as alternate names.

Given how Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA is inherited, I could see how this would add value to the tree when displayed. It is easier to see the person’s code than putting it into the NOTE field or the DNA Marker. (She suggested that perhaps this was used in her private trees, not certain here.)

But, I have to admit that it makes me nervous to do this. The reason is that I do not know if Ancestry uses the suffix in their Shaky Leaf or Searching algorithms. The Hint feature in Ancestry, called the Shaky Leaf, is one of the most powerful tools within Ancestry. The computer is constantly look for “source” records for your people. And “source” records are most important for proof and validation that your person is legitimate.  Sure, sometimes the system gets it wrong, but hey, it has found lots of good things for me, and I would hate to break the Hint functionality.

So my question for the group is: Is the name Suffix used by for anything? I can’t find where the Shaky Leaf or Manual Searching are documented. Does anyone know? If you do know, for sure, please contact me, and I will update this post. Thanks

1 thought on “Ancestry . com Shaky Leaf Algorithm & the Suffix

  1. Dayna Jacobs - "On Granny's Trail"

    I attended a class given by Crista Cowan a couple of weeks ago. She is the one known as the “Barefoot Genealogist” and is employed by Ancestry to represent them and get people interested in their product. Anyway, she was teaching us how to use Ancestry DNA and she showed us how she uses the suffix field to identify her ancestral lines after finding cousin matches on Ancestry DNA. She uses a colored heart icon in the suffix field. She has eight colors, representing each of her great-grandparent lines. She did not mention any possible problems with the shaky leaf hints resulting from this, and I am assuming it is not a factor since she is the Ancestry guru and pretty much knows everything about it.


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