Monday, January 4, 2021

The Story of Bernadette - Part 9: Using the Shared Matches Tool

Graphic of DNA double helix
Now let’s use the “Shared Matches” function in Ancestry to identify other cousin matches related to an exact grandparent line. Click on a known match that has been assigned to a color coded group. Next click on the link “Shared Matches” found at the top of the page. This will bring up a list of cousins you have in common with this match and with whom you share a portion of DNA. If you’re not using AncestryDNA, you can still make use of a shared match function, as all testing companies offer this option. Matter of fact, I consider this filtering tool to be the most important component of any DNA testing result!

If the match is a close family member or a first cousin, you may share hundreds of matches through various family lines. This initial sort will allow you to designate matches as either maternal or paternal – but it may not offer enough information yet to sort into a specific grandparent line. This is only possible if you can identify a specific surname or a known family relationship that can with certainty be associated with a particular grandparent lineage.

But what happens when you either don’t know or aren’t sure of either paternal or maternal lineage? This was Bernadette’s predicament – all of her grandparent lines were in question.

DNA double helix graphic


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