Is it acceptable to confirm a DNA relationship given substantial evidence from ancestrydna matches?

+6 votes
I have read the DNA confirmation help pages and understand that, because AncestryDNA does not have a chromosome browser it is not possible to triangulate matches greater than 3C leading to the stated policy that the matches cannot be used to confirm a relationship.

I'm wondering, however, if exception to the policy is possible given significant evidence that the matches correlate to a given ancestor. For example, I have 28 separate matches with descendants of my 4th great grandfather which span 6 of his children (including my 3rd great grandfather). I have researched each of the connections suggested by the matches and have correlated to census records, vital records, and other records to assure their validity. None of these matches (so far) can be triangulated to chromosomal matches.

I have written DNA match statements suggesting the paternal and maternal relationships (see and am wondering if I can consider the relationships confirmed. In other words, is there any wiggle room in the confirmation policy?

in Policy and Style by Jana Ulrich G2G5 (5.9k points)
retagged by Jana Ulrich

Hi Jana,

I'd suggest adding the dna, dna_confirmation, and triangulation tags to your post. That may help to get the attention of folks who may be able to answer your question.

I'm not a member of the DNA Project (the members of which I believe have worked with members of the WikiTree Team to develop the DNA confirmation guidelines and the associated help pages), but I believe the current WikiTree DNA confirmation guidelines are pretty clear regarding >3C matches. As you've indicated, per the help pages, segment triangulation is required, and AncestryDNA does not currently provide tools to facilitate segment triangulation. So I don't believe that you can mark as "confirmed with DNA" relationships based on >3C matches there.

It appears that you've already uploaded your AncestryDNA results to GEDmatch and not yet found triangulation scenarios for the MRCA(s) in question. If you've not already done so, you may also want to consider uploading your results to FTDNA and MyHeritage to take advantage of matching against DNA testers at those sites. Those sites also have tools that can facilitate segment triangulation (fees may apply to use some of the tools at those sites).

And (as it appears that you've also already done) you can document the evidence that you do currently have, even though (it's my belief that) you can't mark as "confirmed with DNA" the associated relationships at this time.

Hopefully adding to your post the tags that I suggested above will get the attention of the right folks.

Thanks! I added the tags. Yes, my kit is on gedmatch and has also been added to ftDNA. Have not done MyHeritage yet, but probably will. Thanks again for your helpful response.

3 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
That's a lot of matches. Some of them probably already have a kit on MyHeritage, FTDNA, or GEDmatch. If you haven't uploaded to those sites, then you should, if only to get that triangulation.

If you can't find any of these matches in those places, then you can message them and try to convince some of them to upload to the same place. Especially with a certain, fairly recent set of ancestors, I have had a lot of luck connecting with cousins and even getting them to go to GEDmatch. I don't doubt that a lot of your matches triangulate on the same segment, so even if you can convince just two of them to be on the same site, you have a good shot at getting that triangulation. IMO, that is a greater goal than marking a few extra relationships as "confirmed with DNA" on Wikitree.

I have purposefully worked within WikiTrees strictures, vieiwing it as a reward for my hard work any time I get to mark an additional confirmation with DNA using triangulation. But the main reward has always been having that triangulation.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (282k points)
selected by Jana Ulrich
This is great advice. Yes, I have uploaded to ftDNA and gedmatch and work, as you say, "purposefully" toward that triangulation goal. Not having a whole lot of luck yet and find the lack of family trees and gedcoms to be a roadblock, but of course will keep trying. I just hated to see all those lovely 5th cousins on Ancestry ignored here. :-)

Thanks again for your reply.
+5 votes
I beleive that you do need to have a DNA match with someone who has a profile on Wikitree in order to confirm a match.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

You can use a DNA match that's not a member of WikiTree for DNA confirmation here, but the confirmation statement requirements are different since the privacy of living non-members needs to be protected.

+4 votes
I understand your point, and it does seem to make sense, particularly in specific cases. Unfortunately the problem goes back to Ancestry failing to provide a chromosome browser as they rightfully should. Were they to do so, I have little doubt that you could find an acceptable DNA triangulation among all those cousins. Any discussion of which laboratory to use for DNA testing should strongly emphasize the absence of a chromosome browser on Ancestry. Until they view this as a liability, Ancestry will have no incentive to provide one.
by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (170k points)

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