DNA Matches

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Charting Companion features a new tool to help you manage and organize the people who match your DNA.

(See also DNA Matrix, DNA Simulation).

DNA Matches provides you with a way of organizing your Matches or Contacts.

There are two types of matches:

1. Both members of the match are in your family tree. Their common DNA is displayed in the DNA Matrix chart.

2. One side of the match is in your family tree, but the other person’s link is unknown. It could be a distant cousin whose common ancestor you have not identified yet.

To organize these “one-sided” matches, Charting Companion creates a spreadsheet with members of your family in the first column, and all the matches spread across the first row.

The matches are sorted in decreasing number of family members that they match, and the cM (centiMorgans).

By examining the clusters of matches, you can tell which branch of the family they probably connect to.

Here’s an example. Suppose John Adam marries Mary Brown, and they have children Chuck, David, Ellen and Faye, who marry a Carson, Dow, Ernst and Firth respectively. Their four children have children in turn, who obtain DNA tests. By grouping the matches in columns that correspond to which members of the family the children match, you will see matches who cluster around the grandchildren of all four families. These are likely from the Adam or Brown lines. On the other hand, if a person only matches Chuck’s child, this is likely a Carson match. Similarly, any person that only matches Fays’ child is from the Firth line.

Here is the family tree


Here is the spreadsheet generated by Charting Companion when the “DNA Matches” options is checked:

Kit A123456 (col. B) matches all four of John Adam’s grandchildren, they likely connect on the Adam or Brown lines.

Kit A987654 (col. C) only matches Collin Adam, probably a Carson connection. Similarly, the next three matches are probably Dow, Ernst and Firth family connections respectively.

The last Kit A000217 (col. G) matches Adam/Carson and Adam/Ernst, so is likely an Adam/Brown connection.

When viewed this way, the DNA Matches report helps in your research by narrowing down the common ground you will be seeking to establish with other people who match your family’s DNA.

Here is another example:

In the above spreadsheet, the people in the left column are in your genealogy database. The people in the top row are your DNA matches (highlighted in yellow). At the intersection are the degree of match (centiMorgans or cM).

The two contacts highlighted in pink are the closest match (400 to 600 cM). The contacts highlighted in blue only match the elusive Flurgis family, because they don’t tie into any other branch. Clearly these are the matches to contact first if you have a brick wall in that part of your family tree.