AncestryDNA Adds Shared Matches Tool

By Diane Haddad

AncestryDNA has released a new match-viewing tool called Shared Matches. When you look at a match, you can click on the Shared Matches tab to see the other matches (if any) you have in common with that person. It looks like this (I’ve blurred names and other potential identifying info):

The name of the match I’m viewing is at the top. Below that are the people this person and I both match.

This helps alleviate some of the frustration that comes when your matches have few people in their trees, or don’t have public trees linked to their test results. Either situation makes it harder to determine your relationship, and could keep you from being put into a “DNA Circle” with those matches.

But if you can see a list of folks who all genetically match each other, even if your trees don’t name the same people, you can look for commonalities in any or all of their trees and begin to narrow down where the match might be.

I’m not in any ancestor circles, but Shared Matches have helped me notice an interesting connection:

I have a match (call her cousin A) whom I already knew is a cousin on my mom’s paternal side. But cousin A and I both match a person (cousin B) whose tree has a surname that also belongs to my great-great-grandmother on my dad’s maternal line.

Furthermore, cousin B and I both match a cousin C, who’s a third cousin on my dad’s side through this same great-great-grandmother. But cousin C doesn’t appear to match cousin A.

So it looks like cousin B could be related to cousin A through cousin B’s other parent (the one not descended from our common ancestor) and cousin A’s father’s side (cousin A’s mom is the one she and I are related through). Can you think of any other scenarios that would explain this?

One quibble with the Shared Matches tool is that it looks like you have to click on each match individually and then click the Shared Matches tab to see if anyone’s listed there. I have 28 pages of matches. I can’t find a way to filter matches so I see only the ones with shared matches. has a video about Shared Matches here.