Project: DNA

Categories: DNA Project

WikiTree founder Chris Whitten (R) strategizing with Dr. Tim Janzen
on how to further integrate DNA into WikiTree.



The DNA Project is a simple way to organize those of us who are interested in how WikiTree can integrate DNA test results with our trees, as well as finding ways to expand the usage of genealogical DNA on WikiTree.

For an intro to DNA on WikiTree, see DNA Features.

Are you interested in genetic genealogy? Join us! dna.gif

For the full list of current participants, see the badge report.

The project leaders are Kitty Smith and Kay Wilson.

If you'd like to participate in this project, please:

  1. add yourself to the Google+ group
  2. Ask Kitty for a badge
  3. Click here for G2G conversations tagged "DNA" and follow the tag.
Two leading WikiTreers in DNA-related projects:
Lisa Franklin and Kitty Smith. RootsTech 2016.

DNA tests dna_tested.gif

Have you taken an autosomal, Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA test for genealogy? Please select the test at DNA Tests.

Note that BritainsDNA and the Genographic Project are not included in our database because they do not allow direct comparisons or matching for genealogy.

Ordering or recommending a test

If you plan to order a test for yourself, or would like to recommend that a family member or friend be tested, please use one of these URLs. This way WikiTree gets the referral credit.


Choosing a test

Before you order a DNA test, it is important to know what you want to learn. Different tests will supply different genetic information.

  • Y-Chromosome (yDNA) tests for men will give information about the paternal genetic line for a man. That is, his father, then his father, then his father on back through the generations for millennia to his earliest, ancient forefather. This may help you learn about your paternal surname.
  • Mitochondrial (mtDNA) tests are for everyone and will give information about the maternal genetic line. That is, his/her mother, then her mother, then her mother on back through the generations for millennia to his/her earliest, ancient foremother. This is harder to use in genealogy research because each mother in the mtDNA line has a different surname, but it often reveals interesting information about deep genealogy, and it can be used to confirm or reject family connections.
  • Autosomal (auDNA) or Family Finder tests show our cousin connections for the past six generations or so. This little picture gives you an idea of these tests. The auDNA test would cover all of these ancestors: The DNA Family Tree Chart

Another good link to this information is on "4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy."

After receiving your test results

We now have our own DNA Group Project on the website. The new FTDNA public webpage displays the database information for FTDNA test kits and is more detailed than the information in this in-house DNA Project.

With your FTDNA kit number, you can belong to as many projects as you think will be helpful to your research. For each FTDNA test kit that you own, to join the new FTDNA WikiTree project:

  • Click here and then click on the "Join", or click this direct Join link. This will prompt you to log in with your kit number and password.

While you are in your Account page, please update your Most Distant Ancestors:

  • On the blue bar at the top of the Account page, click My Account.
  • On the drop-down menu, click Most Distant Ancestors.
  • Enter descriptive information about the test participant's most distant ancestors.

As an example, my test participants' Direct Paternal Name (yDNA forefather) is entered as Joseph Smith, NH see or Bro Joseph Smith, see but these will not be active, click-able links on the FTDNA page. Readers will have to copy and paste the URL into their browser.

And my Direct Maternal Name (mtDNA foremother) is entered as Susanna Miller see or Sarah Ashley Wilkins If your ancestor doesn't have a WikiTree ID number, that's OK, just enter what you do know such as birth year, death year and place, and who the ancestor married. If you are adopted or your lineage is not known, you might just say adopted or unknown.

I am the FTDNA administrator for this project, so I will receive an email from them as soon as you join the project. Kitty Cooper-1 Smith

How to Participate

After your DNA is analyzed, you will want to increase your opportunities for making matches. The first step is to complete as much of your WikiTree family tree as possible.

As you fill in your family tree, the various surnames are added to your list of family surnames, e.g. Kitty's List of Surnames. This is helpful when trying to make connections with cousins based on your auDNA test. You can easily point your matches to your current research on WikiTree.

Next, consider posting your results on one of the DNA matching websites. This will help you make matches across the different testing companies.

Tools useful for analyzing auDNA

You may also want to highlight your matching, triangulated DNA test lines. Please use our wonderful templates to post on the profiles of our matching test ancestors.

WikiTree Features and Test Extensions

When you post a DNA test on a WikiTree profile, WikiTree needs to be able to see the profile Family Tree tab to make DNA connections down the ancestral lines. Please be sure that the Privacy level on the profile and all of the ancestors are at a level that allows everyone to see the Family Tree tab. That is either:

  • Pale Yellow - Private with Public Biography and Family Tree. This is the same as Private but anyone can view the biography and family tree.
  • Pale Peach - Private with Public Family Tree. Same as Private but anyone can view the family tree. Other individuals in the tree can still be private.
  • Green - Public. Anyone can view the full profile but only the Trusted List can edit it. The default for non-living people under 200 years old except when added as nuclear relatives of living people. Not an option for living people.
  • White - Open. Anyone can view the full profile and any member who has signed the Wiki Genealogist Honor Code can edit it. Required for people over 200. Not an option for living people.

We are now adding the ability to include all of the following (depending on test type) with your test information on WikiTree.

We need help writing the help pages above. Can you add to them?

Useful Links

  • Peter Roberts helped Roberta Estes put together this excellent introduction to WikiTree for genetic genealogy on her DNAeXplained blog: WikiTree and DNA. This is a good one to share with friends who have taken a DNA test but haven't tried WikiTree yet.
  • International Society of Genetic Genealogy. This independent, noncommercial organization offers a DNA Newbies mailing list, comparisons of DNA tests in the marketplace, educational resources, and a wiki that is a valuable source of information.
  • DNA 101 this is a very good explanation about DNA testing.

This page was last modified 23:54, 18 February 2016. This page has been accessed 32,868 times.