Can I confirm DNA for my dead mother with her living brother's test?

+4 votes
185 views
My uncle did all three FTDNA tests. He's living, so he isn't in Wikitree, but he confirms relationships for all of his siblings, doesn't he (he matches me, so an NPE isn't a question)? Or do I have no way to confirm DNA for my deceased mom, his sister? I've done a Lazarus kit at GEDmatch using my dad and uncle, can that be used?

What do you recommend to show this indirect DNA connection involving living people?
WikiTree profile: Betty Stewart
in Genealogy Help by Barbara Zanzig G2G Crew (950 points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
DNA confirmations on WikiTree are always between an individual and their parent. That being said, you don't necessarily have to have a DNA test for either parent or child, if it is a link in a chain of people between one person who has tested and another who has also tested.

By way of example, ideally it's best if you have a DNA match to a 3rd cousin (it's best of both tests are on GEDmatch, but neither has to be). Every child-parent link leading up to the common ancestors (a pair of your great-great grandparents), up from both people who tested, can be marked as "Confirmed with DNA". In this case, the links from your great-grandparent to both of the great-great grandparents are also both marked (as well as from the great-grandparent of the other test taker).

So you don't really even need your uncle's test, if you've been tested yourself.

That being said, your uncle's test can, nonetheless, be useful. As somebody who's a generation back, his test can be used - along with HIS 3rd cousins - to do the easy kind of DNA confirmation I described back an additional generation. In other words, if the right matches exist for him, his test can be used to DNA confirm your tree (on your mom's side) back to your great-great-great grandparents.

It's not just a matter of matching, by the way. To confirm those close relationships to your uncle are what they're supposed to be, the centimorgans of his matches to his close relatives should be within certain ranges (which they probably are).

Your connection to your uncle is confirmed by confirming your ancestry up through your maternal grandparents, and by confirming his ancestry, up through his parents.

I can't comment on how a Lazarus kit might be used for confirmation because I don't know. I don't remember anything about it in the stated policy, but if it's not there then maybe it will be someday.

Good luck!
by Frank Stanley G2G6 Mach 6 (64.3k points)
Doesn't a DNA confirmation have to be between two TESTS? I don't understand how "I don't even need my uncle's test", when that's the only other test I have.
I see what you're saying!

The thing is, a test result also gives you a list of other people who have tested with the same company whose DNA you match. So YOUR test (or yor uncle's test) is the first test, and the match on your DNA match list is the second test.

I guess we say you "have" that second test, because you HAVE it on your DNA match list. You don't own that test, and you have no control over it, but you HAVE it on that match list, so that's the way we talk about it.

Hopefully, you're not saying that your uncle is the only person on your DNA match list. I guess that's theoretically possible (and I'd kind of like to hear about it, if that's the case), but that seems unlikely.

If your uncle is truly your biological relation (and he probably is) he would definitely be on your DNA match list (right at the top, if no other close relatives have tested). You could use his test to do a DNA confirmation back to your common ancestors (his parents, and your grandparents on that side), but hopefully you have 2nd or 3rd cousins you could use instead, because they would confirm your more immediate ancestors at the same time that you confirm your great-grandparents and great-great grandparents.

If you can identify a 3rd cousin corresponding to all 8 of your great-grandparents, that's ideal, because you can use them to confirm all your ancestors back to your great-great grandparents. With your uncle's test, you could confirm HIS great-great grandparents if you can find 8 such 3rd cousins for him, and that would confirm half of your great-great-great grandparents. For confirmations beyond that, you need to do something called triangulation, which is more advanced.

It might be a challenge to find all those 3rd cousins, and those matches might not even exist, if you don't have 3rd cousins on that side, or they haven't tested, so you just useas distant a relation (out to 3rd cousin) as you can find to confirm as much as you can.

Good luck!
+3 votes
Barbara, if you can get your uncle to join WikiTree as a family member, where he doesn't ever have to do anything at all beyond clicking the "accept" link in an email invitation that WikiTree will automatically send him if you add his profile (not to worry - it will be unlisted until he joins) and enter his email address in the data section.

As a member, you'll want to have him add his DNA test and (if he doesn't ever want to do anything here) make you manager of his profile.  Then you can change his privacy from unlisted to private with public family tree (so DNA can propagate) and confirm away up and down the relationship path between you and him, plus his DNA test will show up on pages for all his relatives whose profiles are here.
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (836k points)
That won't be happening. The man can barely read his email.
+1 vote

Hi Barbara,

It appears that your uncle and you have both auDNA tested at FTDNA and match each other. Just to clarify, your uncle doesn't necessarily confirm relationships for all his siblings. He would need to have auDNA matches with each sibling (or a descendant of each sibling) to confirm each sibling's relationships to their parents.

Since your known/paper trail relationship with him is 3rd cousins or closer, you can use the DNA confirmation instructions here. If your known relationship (niece/uncle) is within the FTDNA-predicted relationship range, you should be able to mark each child-parent relationship from you to your Most Recent Common Ancestors (the parents of your mother and uncle) as "confirmed with DNA" and add a corresponding DNA confirmation source statement to the "Sources" section of the profile of each child for which you're marking the relationship as confirmed.

So on your profile, you could mark the relationship to your mother as "confirmed with DNA" and include a DNA confirmation source statement similar to the following (hopefully, I got the profiles/names correct):

* Maternal relationship is confirmed by a {{Family Tree DNA}} Family Finder test match between [[Zanzig-1|Barbara Zanzig]] and her maternal uncle [his initials]. Their most-recent common ancestors are [[Stewart-14658|Clarence Lee Stewart Jr]] and [[Henden-87|Alma Odrun Henden]], grandparents of Barbara and parents of [your uncle's initials]. Predicted relationship from FTDNA: ????, based on sharing ??? cM across ?? segments.

And on your mother's profile, you could mark the relationship to each of her parents as "confirmed with DNA" and include DNA confirmation source statements similar to the following:

* Paternal relationship is confirmed by a {{Family Tree DNA}} Family Finder test match between [[Zanzig-1|Barbara Zanzig]] and her maternal uncle [his initials]. Their most-recent common ancestors are [[Stewart-14658|Clarence Lee Stewart Jr]] and [[Henden-87|Alma Odrun Henden]], grandparents of Barbara and parents of [your uncle's initials]. Predicted relationship from FTDNA: ????, based on sharing ??? cM across ?? segments.

* Maternal relationship is confirmed by a {{Family Tree DNA}} Family Finder test match between [[Zanzig-1|Barbara Zanzig]] and her maternal uncle [his initials]. Their most-recent common ancestors are [[Stewart-14658|Clarence Lee Stewart Jr]] and [[Henden-87|Alma Odrun Henden]], grandparents of Barbara and parents of [your uncle's initials]. Predicted relationship from FTDNA: ????, based on sharing ??? cM across ?? segments.

If there is a profile for your uncle, you could similarly mark his parental relationships as "confirmed with DNA" and include similar parental DNA confirmation source statements there. But since he is a living non-member of WikiTree, no one else would be able to see his profile.

If you are interested in connecting with other potential matches/relatives on WikiTree, you may want to change the privacy setting on your profile from Private to Private with Public Family Tree. That will allow others to view your deceased ancestors in a family tree from your profile, while still keeping the rest of your profile info private.

Hope this helps! Reply back here if you have further questions.

by Rick Peterson G2G6 Pilot (147k points)
I've done pretty much exactly this for my uncle, who isn't on WikiTree.  Confirmed my relationship with my father, his with his parents, and my uncle's (unlisted profile; doubt he'll get around to joining) with his parents.

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