This week Ancestry.com released a new update that I had fun exploring: ThruLines. Like DNA Circles (which I am still unsure as to whether it is being replaced by Thrulines or not), ThruLines is a tool that shows how you may be connected to a specific DNA match through a common ancestor. It gives you a general page of each of your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, up to your 5th great grandparent, that you can click on to see how many other users using public and private (searchable) trees have matching connections to that person.

I looked it up on my phone initially and was unimpressed; visually it appeared confusing. Later, when I checked in on my computer, I realized my error. ThruLines is a really fun feature that expands on DNA Circles and appeals to a visual learner like myself, though it really does make a difference if you are viewing it on your phone or computer. I spent my whole lunch hour one day and several hours afterwards clicking on connections. It has given me some food for thought about some potential great-grandparents that I will need to do some more research on. Overall, I think it is a really great addition to Ancestry’s already DNA-match-friendly platform.

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Also this week I researched my connections to some of my favorite classic celebrities. One of my favorite things is when “my powers combined” a la Captain Planet and there is a crossover between family history and Old Hollywood. This week, I discovered that Fay Wray is a 19th cousin 5x removed and that, through another line, sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine are actually my 13th cousins 5x removed (the line I originally found that connected me to them made us 15th cousins or so), making them my closest A-list Old Hollywood relations.

If you haven’t checked out this website yet, try FamousKin.com. It is a fun site that links notable public figures to one another. In addition to royalty, it includes Mayflower passengers, athletes, American presidents (and their wives), musicians, etc. If you know of your connection to one of these people, it’s a good start to getting connected with others. I typically start with the information on here then research it myself for accuracy (I have found that it is generally supported by outside sources; some sources are also included on the Famous Kin site, as well).

It’s my niece’s 3 year birthday today and I’m worn out from the epic kid party we threw yesterday at our house (after hosting a baby shower just hours before) so I must go and inspect the aftermath of 3 year old havoc. Until next week, may your DNA matches be many and your hunting be happy!

zoesig