Did you see that over three million WikiTree profiles have DNA test connections?!

+63 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

We are now calculating and displaying a new statistic on the home page: The number of profiles on WikiTree with DNA test connections.

Today that number is 3,027,628.

I had no idea what the count would be before today, and I'm shocked and amazed by it. I think it's awesome. It's a number that really says something impressive about our commitment and progress toward growing an accurate shared family tree -- a tree with relationships that can be confirmed with DNA.

What exactly is a DNA test connection? It's where we post a notice on a WikiTree profile that says there is a DNA test that might be useful for confirming or rejecting relationships to that person. For Y-chromosome tests it means the test-taker is on the same paternal line. For mitochondrial tests it means the test-taker is on the same maternal line. For autosomal tests (the most popular these days, e.g. AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA Family Finder, 23andMe) it means that the test-taker is within eight degrees and is therefore likely to share significant segments of DNA.

The bottom line: A DNA test connection is an opportunity to try to scientifically prove what's been established through traditional genealogy.

Every time I see a new one on a profile that I care about I get a little rush of excitement. Knowing there are three million of these around our shared tree puts a big smile on my face.

Three million is a much larger number than I expected. Mind you, this is unique profiles. There are many profiles with more than one DNA test connection; we're not double/triple/quadruple counting profiles with two/three/four test connections. A profile such as Roberts-7102 with a dozen test connections is just one of the three million.

With 15 million profiles on our tree, that 20%. One in five.

The number will be updated every day, when the test connections are refreshed.

Some days the count could go down, as tests are removed, or relationships are disproven and disconnected. It will be interesting to watch.

Onward and upward, for our shared family tree,


P.S. A big thank-you to Peter Roberts for asking about this number here a few weeks ago. And, more fundamentally, for suggesting DNA test connections in the first place, and helping to develop almost every one of our DNA features.

asked in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
That is just staggering.
Really cool and thanks for this. I know you have been exceptionally busy doing other important things.

Peter is my hero too.

Do we have any statistics for DNA confirmed?

I am excited by it.  When I went to a profile that my DNA was connected to five other people's DNA also matched the profile.  That was so exciting to see!  I keep waiting to see a name I recognize.


Hey Linda,

The DNA project is working on this one. Since many people struggle with what it means to be DNA confirmed, or the proper usage of the DNA confirmed Status, any numbers for this would be out of whack until the overall usage falls in line with the guidelines.

We are working as a project to try to communicate and educate on the how's and why's of the DNA confirmed status here on WikiTree.

Here is a link to the DNA confirmed help page for anyone who wants to run over and take a look.


and the figure is now up to 3,040,616 already.
3,073,583 today. Up about 33,000 in just 10 days.
3,082,082 today. Up about 8,500 in 24 hours.
We are now at 3,119,143. In 4 days time on October 6th there is every possibility that the number of profiles linked to DNA will have grown 100,000 in just a month. We need about 8,000 more in the next 4 days.
So it's exactly a month since wikitree started to track these stats and we are at 3,133,147. That's a growth of about 103,000 in 1 month!

6 Answers

+18 votes
Quite amazing. Congratulations to all involved!

My new FamilyTreeDNA test has been received at the lab and I am looking forward to the results.
answered by I O G2G6 Pilot (217k points)
+17 votes
Wow, that's much higher than I would have expected too! Amazing!  Thanks to everyone who's been involved in all this. :-)
answered by Susie MacLeod G2G6 Pilot (146k points)
+22 votes
Wowsers!  That is far larger than I expected.  And the exciting thing is, even though I have DNA tests in four different places and am on Gedmatch, I have made several new DNA connections here.  For those looking for new DNA connections in order to solve a problem, we are a big contender--another very large pond to fish in, as they say!

Thank you Peter for suggesting DNA be added to WikiTree's already amazing list of features!
answered by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (521k points)
+13 votes
Well, I've got my share of DNA connections and have entered (with permission) tests of those relatives where we're 3rd cousins or closer.  I'm still looking for my first triangulation connection though.  Is there any way triangulations can be recognized by the system?  It's a lot of work since you have to find two or more relatives, all three matching on the same segment of the same chromosome and from different lines and the other two giving permission to post the information on WikiTree.  Maybe there should be a triangulation badge for those who have had their work checked and approved.
answered by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (367k points)

A "triangulator" badge is an interesting idea, Dave.

We have the DNA-confirmed indicators for relationships. The DNA Project has recently made it a priority to help verify their usage. Naturally, many people don't use the indicator properly. Some Newgs actually assume that if they have taken a DNA test, all their family members are DNA-confirmed. Ales is helping by checking if profiles that have a DNA-confirmed parent also have a source citation that looks like the one that's recommended.

Anyway, using the DNA-confirmed indicator is one thing. Having an independent genetic genealogist say that the confirmation was done correctly is another. I wonder what the project members will think of this. It would be a lot of work on their shoulders.  I suppose there would need to be a committee that consider applications, like how Pre-1500 certification works.

I also like the idea of a "triangulator" badge.  Those who earn it would need to demonstrate that they have correctly followed the guidelines.
I second Peters first of the triangulator badge. Mags
+11 votes
How exciting!  I echo Emma's comment - I had no idea we had that many profiles connected to DNA tests.  I sent in my first DNA test kit a couple of weeks ago, so I can't wait to join my WikiTree cousins in this new (for me) adventure.  

Many thanks to Peter for so greatly expanding WikiTree's capabilities!
answered by Star Kline G2G6 Pilot (496k points)
+6 votes

It's actually not staggering at all. It shows just how many WikiTree profiles are being connected.

Because 8 degrees is basically everyone in the world, as we know 6 degrees is the limit where already everyone is connected.

I did a test at GEDmatch and I'm connected to 82% of all GEDmatch profiles (based on the latest number of profiles that GEDmatch has acknowledged) within 1 degree of separation.

Meaning that my matches are connected to 82% of all profiles directly!


It just shows that amongst the community of people that have taken a dna test we are actually a high density of related people. It also shows that those who have taken a DNA test are most likely white and descendants of Europeans, like me.

answered by

"Because 8 degrees is basically everyone in the world, as we know 6 degrees is the limit where already everyone is connected."


It is my understanding that everyone in the world is connected by at least 50 degrees.  Perhaps everyone knows someone withing 6 or 8 degrees of connection but your average Lars in Norway is not 6 degrees from an Aboriginal in Australia.

SJ, you're much closer with the 50-degree estimate, but it's actually more diverse than even that. This is a PLOS article (by popular population geneticist--say that 10 times fast--Graham Coop and cohort Peter Ralph) that's five years old, but it's pretty indicative: http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001555. This study dealt with European ancestry only. "Southeastern Europeans, for example, share large numbers of common ancestors that date roughly to the era of the Slavic and Hunnic expansions around 1,500 years ago, while most common ancestors that Italians share with other populations lived longer than 2,500 years ago."

From this graph, you can see that the first estimated dates of biological relationship among some European areas don't appear until over 2,000 years ago. Of course, the biological relationship between, say, Western Europeans and Southeast Asians is likely to be significantly older than that.

So, no. Six degrees of separation deals with people you know or with whom you've come into contact...not DNA ancestors.

Edison, thanks for the reply, looking forward to reading those articles tomorrow.

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