Friday, January 1, 2021

The Story of Bernadette - Part 8: Color Coding DNA Results

Color coding DNA results

For the time being, let’s put aside the NPE problem of identifying unknown maternal or paternal matches in DNA results and assume we are sure of the lineage for our closest cousins. Now that you have tentatively assigned your top 30 matches to either your mother or your father’s side, it’s time to break it down further by creating color coded groups for each grandparent line. If you are lucky enough to identify a specific surname within the matches that belongs to a known grandparent line, make a color group for that grandparent and add it to the existing Pink or Blue code already checked for that listing.

For example: My known maternal second cousins will be assigned to the Pink group, but they will also be assigned to another color group, let’s say either “Light Pink” representing my maternal grandmother’s line or “Purple” representing my maternal grandfather’s line. Remember full 2nd cousins share a set of great-grandparents with you and usually will only be related to one of your grandparent lines. So your maternal second cousins will now be part of a Pink color group and either a Light Pink group if they are related through your maternal grandmother’s line or a Purple group if they are related through your maternal grandfather’s line.

Your maternal first cousins share both of your maternal grandparents with you. Therefore they will be assigned to three color groups: the Pink group, Light Pink Group and Purple Group.

Full siblings and their descendants will be related to all four grandparent lines, as well as the Pink and Blue groups. Half-siblings and their descendants will share one set of grandparents, therefore they will be categorized into three color groups on either the maternal or paternal side.

This may sound complicated, but once you designate the color groups for each of your four grandparents plus Pink and Blue for maternal or paternal, the task of color coding each cousin match becomes easier.

You might be asking why we even bother to use Pink and Blue groups if eventually we are going to subdivide each match into one or more of the four grandparent lines anyway. A very good question! Here’s why: the general maternal (Pink) and paternal (Blue) color code groupings help when I come across a match that belongs to one parent’s side but can’t be positively designated into a specific grandparent line. And sometimes you will have overlaps and a cousin match may need to be categorized into both Pink and Blue groups. This often happens when you have intermarriage between families, with cousins marrying cousins.

Color coding DNA results


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