How we can improve WikiTree for genetic genealogy?

+14 votes


I really like WikiTree's icon links for descendant charts and ancestral trees.  What I see as powerful tools for genetic genealogy would be the ability to generate maternal line only descendant charts for mtDNA and paternal line only descendant charts for Y chromosome.  That is, for the maternal line chart to include all siblings but only maternal line descendants of sisters.  And same idea for paternal line descendant charts (only paternal line descendants of brothers).
Ideally there should be a way to note/tag that a most recent direct p/maternal  line ancestor for two or more cousins is confirmed via the Y-DNA  or mtDNA matching of those cousins.
It would also be most helpful to be able to generate ancestral charts for X chromosome inheritance (only those ancestors who could have contributed to a person's X chromosome).
Sincerely, Peter  
in Genealogy Help by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (584k points)
edited by Chris Whitten
Great post, Peter!

I'm posting my response as a comment instead of an answer, so the question is more inviting to others who might post their ideas as answers.

Your first suggestion, about DNA descendant lists, is definitely something we can do. We might even have this ready within a couple days!

I also appreciate your comment about noting confirmed connections. I'm not quite sure how we should do this. I want to keep talking and thinking about it.

Regarding ancestral charts for X chromosome inheritance, I have to admit my ignorance and ask for more explanation. Are some companies offering X chromosome testing?
Hello Chris,

23andMe is currently reporting X chromosome matching.  Family Tree DNA's Family Finder will "soon" be reporting X chromosome matching - I suspect they will do so before their November 2013 project admin conference.   If you upload your Family Finder results to you can see your X chromsome matching.  AncestryDNA downloads include X chromosome results (which they label chromosome 23).  GEDmatch should be able to report X chromosome results from AncestryDNA.

The following includes charts which show which ancestors can contribute to a person's X chromosome.  It also provides a good intro to using X chromosome results for genealogy:

Sincerely, Peter
I should add is also reporting X chromosome matching for those tested any of the three companies (Family Tree DNA's Family Finder, 23andMe,
Hello Chris,  Regarding your comment that you may have DNA descendant lists in a couple of days....  It would be most helpful if a distinction could be made between DNA confirmed lines ("trangulated") and descendants who would be suspected to have the  Y-DNA (or mtDNA) of the DNA descendant list.  For example a different font color for the DNA confirmed lines within the DNA descendant list.  Sincerely, Peter
The descendants page is now live. Click to any DNA ancestors view and then look for the link to the descendants view.

This is just Y and mt. We can add X later.

As for trinangulation, I need to understand more what you mean. Where and how is the DNA confirmed? We should move this to a new thread. I know that you did mention it in a reply to another question but we should give it its own to have a proper discussion.
Is there anything in the works to place a "Haplogroup field" in profiles?

It is nice to see that my profiles show all of the DNA tests that others can compare with HOWEVER I would also like to see Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups connected with those ancestors.

This would be a quick way to alert someone of erroneous information if two testers with different halpogroups connected to the same ancestor.

There is some value in being able to include Y haplogroup, but the big problem is the labels being out of date as reported by the different testing companies.

When I first tested I was labeled "I" then "I1a"  then "I1"  The recommended format is now Major Y chromosome Branch Label followed by the most downstream SNP that you have been tested with.  In my case it is I-Z59  which translates to "I" haplogroup and testing positive for the Z59 SNP.  When it is discovered I belong to a downstream sub group of I-Z59 then I could  be something like Y haplogroup I-P1339 .

It is similar with mtDNA hapolgoups. Some people only tested HVR1.  Others HVR1&2 and others the full mtDNA sequence.  People who belong the same haplogroup will likely have label variations given the level of testing and the company they tested with.

I believe it should be recommended that everyone who has a Y chromosome result should enter their results in  Everyone with mtDNA results should enter their results in and everyone with auDNA results upload them to  Their WikiTree DNA results page should include the ids for YSearch, MitoSearch, and/or GEDmatch to make it possible to better evaluate if two people are a match.


For DNA results in WikiTree, here is how I currently describe my Y chromosome results:
67 markers; Haplogroup I-Z59 (aka I1a2a per ISOGG 25 June 2013); YSearch id 97ZDB
..... my mtDNA results:
Haplogroup I3; MitoSearch id 97ZDB
..... my auDNA results:
GEDmatch id F008867
Sincerely, Peter



Having tested with FTDNA, 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Geno2, I understand the confusion that comes from each testing company using a different version of the ISOGG halplogroup tree. I think 23andMe is still using the 2009 or 10 tree.

At least consider allowing a field for the most basic haplogroup. ie. E, R1b, A, etc...

This at least gives you reassurance to a certain extent that the profile you are connecting to is part of the same group. Especially with older ancestors where the paper trails run thin. If you noticed that the profile you were going to merge/connect to was E, and not R1b, that would give you a heads up that your paper trail may be incorrect, or a possible NPE.  
If I saw that, I would definitely re-check my paper trail and do a little more research before I connected the two.

I am into genetic genealogy and I would really like to see more of a DNA connection to family trees for those who have tested. It makes it more interesting and exciting. There are so few sites that offer it and wikitree has the capabilities.

Although I have profiles on YSearch, MitoSearch, and, I don’t think I would want to log into them each time just to see what the haplogroup was for each particular profile.

Thanks, Just trying to make things easier for all.

Hello Darin,

I see your point and I agree that at least the root haplogroup should be included since it is clear that "I1a" does not share a direct paternal line ancestor with an "R1b"

I want to try avoid some people thinking various "R1b's" with the same surname should link simply because they are "R1b's"   or avoid some people thinking that some lines can't link when in fact they are an STR match but simply have different subhaplogroup reporting (between companies, or over time, or one person has had more extensive SNP testing than the other).  I would recommend that WikiTree include some standard wording with the haplogroup information that helps explain this.

Sincerely, Peter

Darin, thanks for your input on all this. I'm very interested in integrating more DNA information into WikiTree.

Besides what Peter mentioned, another issue with attaching a haplogroup to an ancestor record is that the ancestor records are dynamic. Relationships can change. You might discover, perhaps after comparing DNA tests with a cousin, that your ancestor isn't who you thought they were.

Therefore, I think it makes sense to connect test-specific information to the individual who took the test, or to a record about the test itself, instead of to ancestors. When it comes to connecting it to ancestors, I think it makes sense to do it programmatically so it can be updated easily.

This is how we're doing the test connections, e.g.

I see that you did include haplogroup in your test comment. So, if someone is on they're only one click away from seeing your haplogroup.

Confirmed/triangulated connections might be a different story, and perhaps that's what you're talking about. I know it's what Peter would like to see. I'm not sure of that path forward on that.

Hello Chris,

It would be best if the some DNA information for each individual in a tested line was displayed in the top level page(s) (individual Profile public view page and charts/trees) and not one click down. At least have a DNA icon display under each person's name _of tested lines_  for trees (and other places the clickable icons are displayed for a person). If there is not enough space, the DNA  icon could be in place of the Wikid Shareable Tree icon which could be one click futher away.

For autosomal DNA, the Relationship Finder tool needs to be designed so two or more Wikitree IDs can be entered and have the shared ancestry displayed if is any ancestry shared.

When you say "When it comes to connecting it to ancestors, I think it makes sense to do it programmatically so it can be updated easily." does that mean what we enter for the person tested will automatically show up in relatives impacted by that type of DNA test along the ancestral line?  For example if a person had an mtDNA test and that person noted their haplogroup was H5a then their maternal grandmother's information would automatically show that her mtDNA haplgroup was H5a ?  This would be helpful.

Thanks for your willingness for DNA improvements and the direction you are going in.

Most sincerely, Peter




Hi Chris

Not to drag this issue on but... it seem so easy to add a haplogroup field that is "programmatically" connected to the test connections.

Currently if someone alters a profile to make someone else the father, the test connections move to the new father and no longer show on the previous father's profile. The haplogroup would do the same.

When someone selects the types of DNA tests they have taken, If they select the Y or mtDNA test, could we put a "pull down menu" of the basic halpogroups for that individual to select? This field could then appear in the profile along side the current test connections. This would solve the problem you brought up if a relationship changes.

The pull down menu would prevent someone from typing in something other than a basic haplogoup and also keep everything consistent.

BTW... I love the test connections showing up in the profile, that was the big sale for me to get invovled with wikitree.

Thank you Peter and Chris for the work you put into this site!
It is Chris' good work and a host of volunteers.  I'm a newbie.  Sincerely, Peter
The watchlist should show the Surname first to follow the DNA. Each surname to have a color code/ logo so that the bloodline can clearly be identified. HeilaM
Re: Noting DNA confirmations - I've been noting confirmation in my Ancesty tree by inserting DNA+ in  the "suffix" section after moving any suffixes in the "Suffix" box to  after the given name. With 20/20 hindsight, I should probably change those confirmations to use either YDNA+, AtDNA+ or MtDNA+.

Jack R. Templeton

1 Answer

+6 votes
I like that approach as I presently try to motivate some members of a noble family branch to learn more about the DNA of their early ancestors. Such  charts would make it much easier to find and convince the right candidate to test for this ancestor's Y-DNA.
by Andreas Köhler G2G2 (2.3k points)

Related questions

+19 votes
3 answers
594 views asked Mar 14, 2016 in Genealogy Help by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (584k points)
+12 votes
2 answers
293 views asked May 7 in The Tree House by Sheri Richard G2G Crew (530 points)
+10 votes
2 answers
+10 votes
1 answer
+11 votes
3 answers
309 views asked Oct 22, 2020 in The Tree House by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (204k points)
+5 votes
1 answer
+7 votes
3 answers
278 views asked May 16, 2020 in The Tree House by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (229k points)
+8 votes
0 answers
762 views asked Jun 6, 2019 in The Tree House by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (206k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright