Family Finder – Family Matching Tool: how does it work?

+2 votes

My mom's DNA is on FTDNA.  This is a question about FTDNA family tree functionality.  I know that WikiTree is not in any way responsible for FTDNA functionality, but i've goggled around and can't find an answer to my question, so i thought i would ask the good folks here.

Here's the situation: I noticed a while ago that suddenly on my mom's list of matches, her Paternal tab was activated and she had 78 matches in a list, all of whom had a blue square with a white figure like a 'men's washroom' indicator.

I had linked into her tree the following cousins: a 3rd cousin on her dad's mom's side and a 2nd cousin 1R on her dad's dad's side.  They have the paternal indicator and they are on the list of 78 paternal matches.

I had also linked a 5th cousin and a 6th cousin on her dad's dad's side, and they don't have the paternal indicator and they aren't in the list of 78.

A few days ago, i linked a 5th cousin on my mom's mom's side, expecting that action to create something other than a 0 on the maternal tab.  It didn't.  I waited 48 hours in case it needed a server update. but still nothing.

Then i read the instructions here: As far as i can tell, i did it right, except getting that cousin into the tree was a little odd because after i did it, i noticed that the connecting individuals were not right at all.  The cousin had shown up as a hint, and i had accepted the hint, but the ancestors he thus was given weren't actually people in his line in his tree.  So i manually corrected that. He shows in my tree, the relationship was calculated, he got the email that i had linked him, so i thought it was all okay --  but no Maternal indicator, and that tab still says 0.

So i began to wonder what factors gave my mother her 78 paternal matches and what was different about this new cousin that he didn't trigger a maternal match.

That's when i noticed that the 5th and 6th cousins who are linked in her tree aren't part of the Paternal 78.  I began to look more closely at the rest of the Paternal 78, and except for descendants of my mother and the two closer cousins mentioned far above, i don't see why they are considered to match on my mother's Paternal side.  Most of them don't have family trees, and when they do, i see no common ancestors.  The genetically closest one has a match on Chromosome 3 that is in a similar location to my mom's 2C1R, but my mom doesn't match her 2C1R at that location, so i guess those two cousins match each other by a different lineage.

So, is a 5th cousin too distant to trigger a Maternal/Paternal category sort? Is that why the two Paternal 5th/6th cousins aren't listed in the 78, and why the new Maternal cousin didn't trigger anything?

How did most of the 78 end up on the Paternal list?

What do i have to do to trigger a Maternal list, or do i even want to, based on the seeming uselessness of the Paternal list i do have?

Any ideas?

PS: my mom is still alive so her profile is private but i think you can see her tree.  Let me know if you can't.

In case it helps: a lot of my mom's Paternal side has been in North America for over 250 years, some of them for over 350 years.  My mom's mom was born in England.

WikiTree profile: Claire Smith
in The Tree House by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (148k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

This says:

The Family Matching tool is not limited to Parents and uses anyone currently linked to your tree between Parent to 3rd cousin.

So a 5th cousin is too distant for now. 

by Jamie Nelson G2G6 Pilot (332k points)
selected by Shirlea Smith
Thanks Jamie; that is helpful.  I understand that until my mom gets a 3rd cousin or closer match at FTDNA and i link that DNA cousin in my mom's tree, there will be no maternal sorting in my mom's tree.  That part is understood now.

Any idea how the remainder of the 78 Paternal matches were determined?
And that answers MY question (stated below) as well. Thanks Jamie!!
+1 vote
I also did my DNA test through FT DNA and my matches all show the maternal link and not my paternal link.

I'm not sure why but my mother did her DNA test through a different company and I have NOT uploaded her DNA results to FT DNA at all.

My father passed away in 2016, so there are no DNA results from him at all.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (885k points)
Robynne, you have to have linked a tested maternal cousin, probably less than 3rd, into your tree and FTDNA will be using their DNA and matches to add to your Maternal phased results,.
That is curious, Robynne! Did you build a family tree for yourself at FTDNA, and link any of your DNA cousins to your tree?
Yes I did do a family tree at FT DNA and yes I have several second cousins on my maternal side (DNA matches) who are linked to my tree!!

So far I dont appear to have any DNA matches from my fathers side on FT DNA yet!!

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