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 What is a *branch*

Smithsworldwide is one big tree. Just like an actual tree, there can be branches from this one big tree, some that connect and some that don't. When a person sends in his or her Smith descent line, we look to see if 1. The ancestor is already listed or the person in the descent line can fit into an existing part of the tree. 2. If YDNA and there is already a YDNA tester for this line, do the two testers match on haplogroup and markers 3. If YDNA and there is not a YDNA tester 4. If there is a tree conflict, we look to see if we can find where the conflict lies. 5. if autosomal (FamilyFinder/Ancestry), does the person know for sure from DNA matching that they match another person 6. If autosomal, does the tree line match with another one. 

One we have sorted this out, we assign a given descent line, which starts with the most recently born person and ends with the early ancestor, a *branch*. The branch is usually unique as it represents a particular descent line, but if two people have the same descent line (usually a brother/sister/father/mother), there can be multiple people with the same branch. At the top level, the early ancestor, you may see a lot of branches. That indicates that there are a lot of people who descend or believe they descend, from that ancestor.

A branch has permissions only for the people in that descent line, plus sometimes one generation and level away (for additional children, for example). A person logged on assigned to a branch can only edit information in that branch and has no permissions to edit any other information for any other person.  (You can't, for example, be assigned to a branch for one ancestor and randomly jump on and edit another main ancestor branch you have no rights to); Because there can be more than one person that shares the same ancestor (isn't that what we're all hoping for?), there can be more than one person that has permisions to edit a branch that includes people from another related branch. We ask that you be considerate and if you find that there is a change that should be made to a branch that you run it past other people who share the branch first, includes sources, and confirm the information. In other words, this brings in the collaborative part of working on trees. 

Also on the branch description is a way to tell what type of DNA test, if any, was taken. For example, there may be "John Smith b X date X location m So and So" and then YDNA or FF/AUT (autosomal type test), mtDNA, or Tree Only. Obviously, a person who has Tree Only has not done any type of DNA testing, but we hope that others that see the line will join the Smith Official DNA Project at FamilyTreeDNA and test. 

For privacy reasons, the kit # is listed with some masking.

If there is a matched grouping made by YDNA testing on a male Smith (or someone that matches with another existing Smith on YDNA), there may be a Group, shown by Smith DNA GRP (Haplogroup) -Number of Group, ie, GRP-R-M269-4. Clicking on that group link will take you to all those who match into that group. The grouping will also show those who, by dint of the tree, match into the group with an autosomal, mtDNA test, or tree only. 

Once a branch is assigned, if the person has also registered on smithsworldwide, he or she will be tied to that branch. That allows for editing changes as well as for others who are logged on to be able to contact the person.

Clicking on the branch line will bring you to more information such as the line of descent, the top ancestor, if registered, a way to contact him or her, and also possibly some photos. 

We use YDNA as the primary way to match. If you are a male Smith and have done an autosomal test, please consider doing a YDNA test. YDNA goes male to male to male, so it is easier to trace DNA relationships going back, IF POSSIBLE. Accurate trees essential. Autosomal, mtDNA and tree only are assumed to be accurate but they may not be. If there is a question, if possible, find a male Smith of that descent line to do a YDNA test. 

Have added Autosomal matching group as of 10/2018. If you have done autosomal and know you have a match, you can ask to have you and your match added. This requires that you have 1. done all the checking to be sure it's a match for Smith, etc 2. are a registered member of the smithsworldwide.org tree site 3. you and your match(es) are members of the FamilyTreeDNA Smith DNA Project 4. Your match is a member of the smithsworldwide.org site. 

smithsworldwide
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Posted: September 18, 2018
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