Family Finder Help

Adoption, Brick Wall, DNA Genealogy, and Family Tree Building Help


DNA Resources - How to Make Sense of a Match

You've taken the DNA test through one of the big companies.  

You've got "matches," and now you're trying to make sense of it.  Ancestry lumps everyone outside of close family in the "cousin" levels, but there are so many more relationships than cousins. 

Use these two amazing tools as resources. 

Have a look at this chart:

Look at column B. Find where your match is. Let's say you share 661 cms, or centimorgans, with someone. They are on the cusp of what is Group D and Group E. So they could really be in either group. You need to find out as much as you can about their tree and age in order to help you start eliminating all the relationships in the Relationship column. 

Then look at DNA Painter Tool. The most basic way to use this is to put in the cms you share with your match. 

This does the same job as the "green chart," but it takes some confusion out of it. 

Bottom line: you still need to DIG. Find out the match's info - anything you can will get your started. Initials. Location. Then your work begins. Do they have a tree? Linked or unlinked? Click on everyone on there tree. Look at profiles, galleries, comments...everything. One by one, you'll start finding family members (most likely the deceased ones) who you will start getting info on. 

Then you build a tree for that person (make it "private" and unsearchable!). Do this for each match until you find the overlap - the family member that shows up on another's tree. Then merge their trees to one tree. Keep adding other matches once you have names that bridge more than one tree. 

Use the # of cms shared as their profile picture. Doing this will start giving you an indication of their relationships to each other - and yours to them. 

This is what I do.  Want me to help you? I can consult and guide you or do it for you. 

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If you are frustrated with trying to figure out your DNA results, finding adoptive family, brick walls in your family tree, or building a tree, ask for help.