Quick Tip: Sifting Through DNA Matches

Quick Tip: Sifting Through DNA Matches

If you’ve taken an autosomal DNA test at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA, you likely have a long list of genetic cousins. After sequencing portions of your DNA, the testing company compares your results to the results of other test-takers in its database. If you share enough DNA...

If you’ve taken an autosomal DNA test at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA, you likely have a long list of genetic cousins. After sequencing portions of your DNA, the testing company compares your results to the results of other test-takers in its database. If you share enough DNA with another test-taker in the database, you’ll see that person in your list of matches.

The company evaluates how close you might be to another test-taker based on the amount of shared DNA. See the image for a sample list of AncestryDNA matches (with usernames blurred for privacy).

In this guest post, Blaine Bettinger, DNA expert and author of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, shares a quick tip for identifying your DNA matches with the best chance of aiding your research.

For test-takers with ancestry in well-represented areas (such as Europe), the list of genetic matches may be thousands of people long. A few of those matches might be close, but most will be distant matches who share just a small segment of DNA. How should you process all those matches? Which ones should you focus on to attempt to find your common ancestry?

Focus on your closest matches first to increase your chances of finding family members and learning more about your family tree. If you’re lucky enough to have a predicted second cousin or closer, review that match’s family tree (if the match has provided one) for familiar names or places from your own family tree. Since the relationship is so close, you may only need to build his or her tree out for a couple of generations.

If the match doesn’t have a family tree, you might be able to build one for them or contact the match and ask for one.

What do I mean by your “closest” matches? Simple: The ones with whom you have an estimated relationship of fourth cousins or closer. You have a pretty good chance of finding common ancestry (such as a great-grandparent) with second cousins or closer, and a decent chance of doing the same (i.e., finding a shared second or third great-grandparent) with predicted third and fourth cousins. Beyond predicted fourth cousins, however, you’ll have difficulty finding a common ancestor. In most cases, you’ll only want to pursue these more distant matches if you have additional concrete evidence that you share ancestors.

Learn more about analyzing DNA matches and using test results in your research in The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, available in both print and e-book versions at Family Tree Shop.

Pin this article for later!


Related Products

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

ALL COMMENTS

  1. "It chose that one of christian louboutin outlet uk us is excel yes to his own field, there are many women than decision-making. We are looking for a strong personal style of women that have been submitted to the society. One In other is in the five women, 3baguetteauction. these qualities embodied. handbags is subjected to online auction, with all proceeds will be donated to their favorite charity. " Both of charity and from fashion aspect of Sarah Jessica Parker passion, shows the approval. Parker proceeds from the bag to go TBI Foundation. "I when those non-profit organizations have the opportunity to raise money and awareness in order to provide the important cultural and life to save the work, I tried to help," Parker said. "This is my This particular is an honor to be able to back up that’s why I like the partnership. FENDI and so much relevance luxury brands like, therefore, that such brand is other people benefit from is a fantastic idea There in order to ensure that it is possible someone I, when this project is that it is asked is that "yes", which is the fastest, I’ve been a part of ralph lauren outlet for a long time given! " Rachel Feinstein we are pleased to have the opportunity to work FENDI hanbags, and of support Columbia Presbyterian Hospital of Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. "Centuries European design and technology FENDI symbol of with the old tradition of Rome originated the highest level," high level of. Kraft, "Feinstein is that told is, in most of the other regions, now dead there. problem is now, was found in almost only in the art, our contemporary of, is the skill and design of nice craftsman .FENDI hanbags is the last remaining, it is considered to be attached to the superior artistry and are works of leather, one of the brand of cheap football shirts beads and fine thread work is no longer away it is a skill that especially learned from the old European companies such as "FENDI hanbags, not used in their best form. Fashion from the full force of Hollywood out bold name, Sofia Coppola, Haley FumiTan Wales, such as Linda Fargo, flagship Madison Avenue, Carl in order to celebrate the move from the fifth Lagerfeld, Naomi Campbell and Coco Rocha,. "We are working to enhance the range of the image and the product, it is located in Madison Avenue and 57th Street to our customers, we are trying to capture the kind of mind," Beccari he said was. "This is not only a New York boutique and American public, as an important gateway to the world on a global scale, we will strengthen the roots of Rome, not only is expanding its customer base. Our goal is to capture the brand, while maintaining is exclusivity and desirability deeply Going to young audiences, young and cool, fresh. Woman FENDI hanbags is a powerful independent brave was. She wanted all of pandora outlet the best thing.