ThruLines® is a tool from AncestryDNA that shows you how you might be related to people with whom you share DNA.

A ThruLine is a hypothetical connection based on information from your family tree that supports a link between your tree and the family tree of the person you match (a match is someone who shares some DNA with you).

For a ThruLine to exist both you and your match need to have a family tree linked to your DNA test. AncestryDNA uses the family tree linked to your test to find people who are in your tree and also in the
trees of your matches.

You can find ThruLines from any page on Ancestry®. Click the DNA tab to start. ThruLines are available for ancestors through to 5th great-grandparents.

Here is a screenshot of my husband Greg’s ThruLines.

We know all of Greg’s great great grandparents, but when it comes to earlier generations there are gaps. ThruLines, using a combination of DNA and family trees, has the potential to help identify some of the ancestors whose name we don’t know. These suggestions are identified in green.

Thomas Harvey, born 1739, has been identified as possibly one of Greg’s fifth great grandfathers.

I select Thomas from the grid on ThruLines. While hovering it shows me there are two DNA matches who are also descended from Thomas. I am invited to evaluate the relationship paths.

One of the matches is a second cousin descended from Greg’s great grandmother Edith Caroline Edwards. The other match is identified as possibly a sixth cousin.

If I click on the green ‘Evaluate’ button beside the name of Thomas Harvey, I see two different sorts of trees to review. One tree is created by the DNA match, but it is a private tree with apparently no records. However, clicking on the private tree I can see that there are in fact 13 records attached. So I can evaluate the possible shared ancestry I have written to the match requesting access to the tree.

There are also 3 other trees with Thomas Harvey, with up to 3 records attached. The researchers have no DNA connection but are researching the same ancestors. Selecting one of the other trees I can see the three attached records and I can review these further. I am also invited to add Thomas to my tree on the basis of the research done by the Ancestry member. I prefer to progress more slowly and to evaluate the records to see if Thomas Harvey is indeed the father of Jane.

ThruLines has given me some hints to work on to go further back on the Harvey line and review the records to see if I can link Greg’s 4th great grandmother Jane Harvey to Thomas and Patience Harvey. The difficulty is that Harvey is not an uncommon surname and Jane is a common forename. It is hard to be certain that Jane Harvey is linked to this family. Parish records in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries are less useful in making connections between the generations. I do not think there are wills available for this family which would help to link the generations.

ThruLines® is a useful tool for suggesting connections between DNA matches and providing hints about possible relationships. However, as with all such hints and clues, the written records must also be assessed to determine if the relationship suggested by the DNA evidence actually holds

WikiTree link for Jane Harvey: Jane (Harvey) Edwards (abt. 1766 – 1842)