Can we increase relationship finders capability to search additional generations?

+6 votes
I've read multiple times the relationship finder tool is limited to current generational level because of server limitations. Is that true? What can we do to facilitate this needed increase, especially now that so many people are having their DNA tested? Any ideas or can we brainstorm?
in WikiTree Tech by Cynthia Rushing G2G6 Mach 3 (33.0k points)
recategorized by Chris Whitten

1 Answer

+3 votes
The Relationship Finder is limited to 25 generations.  The vast majority of autosomal DNA testers (AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Finder) who match each other share an ancestor within 8 generations.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (548k points)
edited by Peter Roberts
Good to know about the autosomal. My curiosity was if we could figure out as a group how to go past the 25 generations. Of course we all want wikitree to be free forever, but maybe we could follow the example of other wiki sites.  They once a year have a pop up asking for donations. I'm guessing If we did this possibly we could increase to 30 or 35 generations. Just a thought? Any other ideas?
Thank you for asking about donations, but that's not necessary. WikiTree is funded by advertisements. Many members don't know this because members don't usually see them. Non-members and members who don't sign the Honor Code see them.

Looking at more generations isn't so much an issue of cost as it is about the speed of the results and the burden on the server.

I think Peter didn't like this idea when it came up before, but I'm thinking that it might be best to have the Relationship Finder search 15 generations by default. That would be much faster than it is now, and as Peter says, more than enough for autosomal DNA comparisons. With another click you could search deeper, perhaps to 30.
Hello Chris,

Strange how my memory or preferences can change ;-)  I recall being concerned auDNA testers would consider their distant "17"th cousin as a source for their shared segment when in fact it is a more recent ancestor in an incomplete branch of one or both of their trees.

I like your suggestion of 15 being a default and having the option of going to 30 (so long as there is a url which can be copied to show the relationship path between two cousins who share an ancestor 30 generations ago).

Chris thank you very much for jumping into the conversation. I am very grateful that wikitree exists and that the relationship tools are available, and for free. By nature I'm a problem solver and always looking to unite people with others in a positive way- just what wikitree offers.

Thank you for keeping these questions about speed and depth in the forefront of your efforts, we all appreciate it. Btw, and completely unrelated, is a mobile version in the works? I do all of my wikitree work on my smart phone (brain injury issue) and there's a number of quirks. Finally, just checked and we're 13th cousins, once removed but "uncertain" (one relationship in your line is uncertain.) Nice to say "hello cousin."
Hello Cousin Cynthia. :-) I'm glad you're a part of the WikiTree community.

We have been slowly making WikiTree more mobile-friendly. A major change to the surname index pages released just yesterday is part of it. We have a couple other things in the works, but nothing transformational. I'd rather avoid a completely separate version of WikiTree if possible.
Look forward to checking out the surname index changes, thank you all.  And how thrilled I was a few minutes ago....went on wikitree using a laptop for the first time, and WOW, its wonderful. It feels like I'm using a different website and I will definitely have to use it more often.

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