DNA confirmations: What more can I do?

+5 votes

Here's a quick question. I did a lot of DNA confirmation on my tree as seen here: https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Ferraiolo-Family-Tree-2

That was quick, easy and actually kind of fun. I was wondering if there was a way I can get more confirmations without people registering. For example, I would basically use the DNA confirmations I already have to confirm others.

The DNA section says "Potentially helpful tests" for people I want to DNA confirm. How would I use those tests that I have here to confirm people? Like say I want to DNA confirm Clementina Forgione's parents Felice Forgione and Maria Luigia Penta.

The easy way to go about it would be to have my cousin Trisha Forgione build up a tree and I would DNA confirm. She's a second cousin once removed and she has an account here. She is also DNA tested.

BUT! When I go to DNA ancestor confirmation on the site it says these three tests would be helpful to DNA confirm both:

Me, my dad and my dad's cousin Dennis.  The site calls them potentially useful tests. How would I use those tests to confirm those two and really anyone else in the first 30 people in the tree?

I have a ton of  potentially helpful tests. How would they work to DNA confirm? Thanks in advance!

It also says this under Lucie Cadran (And a few others):

Since 2 family members in the same direct maternal line have taken mitochondrial DNA tests it may be possible to confirm Lucie's mother, if the test-takers' MRCA is above her. See the instructions on DNA confirmations for more information.

The tests listed are:

Me, My mother, my cousin, My mom's cousin, my 4th cousin and another cousin. Luckily those are at GEDmatch. I can compare there. Not sure how to read it though.

Some, however, don't have GEDmatch. How would I go about confirming those, too?
in Genealogy Help by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (803k points)
edited by Chris Ferraiolo

1 Answer

+7 votes


I think if you re-read Help:DNA Confirmation it will help clarify some things for you.

"Potentially helpful tests" is just showing your Wikitree-connected relatives (within eight generations) who have taken a DNA test.  You have to check each one to see if they are a match, which can only be done if each test taker pair have a test done by the same company or GEDmatch.

It takes two test takers to confirm a DNA match for 3rd cousins or less, and a triangulated match between three test takers who are distant cousins for greater than 3rd cousins.  Triangulation can only be done on GEDmatch, MyHeritage, and sometimes 23andMe, NOT on Ancestry or FTDNA.

"Like say I want to DNA confirm Clementina Forgione's parents Felice Forgione and Maria Luigia Penta."  You would need a descendant of a sibling of Clementina to have tested where you can compare your results (assuming < 3rd cousins).

"I was wondering if there was a way I can get more confirmations without people registering."  As a result of GDPR changes, it is no longer required to have each test taker be a member of Wikitree.  The confirmation guidance now says "If a match does not have a WikiTree account and is living, only include their initials with no other identifying information or ID number."  As I understand it, there is no longer a requirement to build the tree to the non-Wikitreer test taker.  However, I still do it to make sure that the genealogy is correct.  I suspect that the guidance will be changed or clarified as the DNA working groups sort through new procedures.

MtDNA?  The guidance says, "If two persons are an exact mtDNA match on HVR1 and HVR2 (not counting minor mismatches) then their direct maternal lines back to their most recent direct maternal line ancestor is confirmed."  So, for two test takers with the same MtDNA, go back through each tester's mother's, mother's, mother's...mother until you get to the same female common ancestor.

by Kerry Larson G2G6 Pilot (240k points)

I don't know why you'd need 'a three way match'.  I would think you would just use your mother as a match with the other person since they're <3rd cousins.  You would then be able to confirm up through your great-great grandparents (your mom's great grandparents).  Hopefully I didn't misinterpret again.

I thought of that the second I added the comment. I was like "I can do what I did with Emma's test".

You didn't misinterpret again. Thanks! I just need to check my mom's test to see what the cMs are for her and the match. Thanks again!
I'm not really sure of Wikitree's vision here anymore, or if the tools here are even useful. I turned off all my confirmed and removed all my citations until it all gets figured out.

OK, I looked at DNA Confirmation "Help" again, and the part I had a problem with - within "One-to-One AncestryDNA Confirmation" - hasn't changed any. Basically, they seem to be conflating a match that is actually a 3rd cousin with one that is in the "3RD COUSIN" group.

Now, I can see that maybe you want to only do this with matches that are of a certain quality, but then at the end it says that if your match is not 3C or closer, you do Triangulation.

That's a false dichotomy, so it leaves out instructions on what you if you have a 3C match AND they are NOT in the "3RD COUSIN" group or closer. The overwhelming majority of 3C matches are generally going to be in the "4TH COUSIN" or "DISTANT COUSIN" group, so this is not a trivial point.

So what's the deal? If you have a 2C1R in the "4th COUSINS" group (which can happen), do you need to triangulate?

Is it about being 3Cs, or is it really about having at least 90cM (the cutoff for being in "3RD COUSIN" group)?

On a side note, why do we care about this "predicted relationship" and "confidence level" stuff anyway? Those are both based entirely on the centimorgans, so why not just put the centimorgans down? The "predicted relationship" is often wrong, and the "confidence level" basically means nothing this level, so how does that add any confidence to the confirmation?

Your points are valid Frank.  You'll just need some patience.  I have it on good authority that the DNA confirmation guidance will be reviewed, updated, and revised.
Whatever happens, I am sure everyone will be notified. I've just been going with the flow. Shouldn't be TOO hard to update everyone when the time comes.

Sometimes I get that conflation, too. So in that case it might be best to go by the relationship finder or from when you bring the tree down to you. My third cousins seem to stay third cousins except one guy. It changes when I bring the tree down to him. It is after all an estimate.
The new DNA Confirmation page will be posted in the next day or two. You should be able to find answers to most of your questions there. We're still working on the triangulation page (for when the relationship of the test takers is further back than third cousin). After you review the new page, please let me know if you still have questions.
Hi, Kay!

Thanks! =D  I'll be sure to check out the new page when I can.
Yes, thanks Kay!

And thanks to the crew working on this (whoever they are!) Finding things to complain about is easy - writing policy that is readable, and takes practically everything into account, is anything but, and usually a thankless job too.
Usually making rules anywhere on the Internet is a thankless job. Personal experience tells me this.

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