Connecting with a genetic relative is only the first step in the DNA Relatives feature. Once you've found a genetic relative, a little detective work might let you pinpoint who the common ancestor is. The DNA Relatives feature includes a couple of features that will help you explore your genetic relationship with another 23andMe user. You can also communicate with your genetic relative from within the DNA Relatives feature. As with the sharing of any information, we urge customers to be thoughtful about information they share; please see our Privacy Statement for more information.
In this article, we will discuss a few tips that might help you pinpoint your shared common ancestor:
Determine how many generations ago your common ancestor (with your genetic relative) lived
The DNA Relatives feature estimates a predicted relationship to help you locate your likely recent common ancestor. The predicted relationship is listed above the percentage of DNA shared and again in the "Your genetic relationship" section (when you click on your genetic relative). By translating the predicted relationship to the likely number of generations ago your common ancestor lived, you might be able to identify which of your ancestors you share with your genetic relative. In general, for an "nth" cousin (e.g. n=5 is a fifth cousin), your common ancestors go back n+1 generations; so for a 5th cousin, you share great-great-great-great grandparents.
You share great-grandparents with a 2nd cousin.
Compare family information (surnames and locations)
All humans have ancestors in common. You and your genetic relative share a somewhat recent common ancestor - that is, a relative who likely lived within the last 10 or 20 generations. Sharing all known family surnames, birthplaces of ancestors, a link to your family tree, noteworthy family stories, and other information may help you come across a name that you both recognize, and can therefore identify that recent common ancestor.
|Tip: Click on your genetic relative to send him or her a message or easily compare (self-reported) surnames in the Ancestry section.|
Use the mother’s side or father’s side filter (if a parent is also a 23andMe user)
If one or both of your biological parents is a 23andMe customer and you are sharing with them, DNA Relatives can determine whether a match is likely to be on your mother's side or your father's side. You can then filter your matches by which side of the family they’re on. This can help narrow your search if you’re looking for a common ancestor with one of your matches or surface certain matches.
Connecting with a parent isn’t an option for everyone. While a parent is needed in order to display which relatives share DNA with which parent, there are some things that you might be able to infer based on the location of the DNA segment, family surnames, or other genetic relatives you share with a match in DNA Relatives.
- Privacy and display settings in DNA Relatives
- How DNA Relatives detects and determines a genetic relationship
- Sorting and filtering your matches in DNA Relatives
- Take me to the DNA Relatives feature