I found an autosomal match on GEDmatch. How should I proceed?

+5 votes

The person I match to on GEDmatch has uploaded a GEDcom file, and I have linked my GEDmatch account to WikiTree.

The person I match to is not on WikiTree nor is this person’s direct line to our common ancestor on WikiTree. The person I match with is a ggg grand descendant.

We match on 4 shared segments (3 different chromosomes) with the largest segment being 16.6 cM. The total half-match segments (HIR) = 50.0 cM.  The estimated number of generations to MRCA = 4.1 (*).

Our common ancestor is [Quigley-1442 | Samuel Houston Quigley] and his wife.  Also, the common ancestor has 10 children.  The person and I match thru two different daughters.

How should I proceed at this point?

* Edited to add GEDmatch comparison details.
WikiTree profile: Samuel Quigley
in Genealogy Help by Tommy Buch G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
edited by Tommy Buch
Have you successfully made contact with this newly found relative?
Not yet.  I just found the match.
So, do I contact the person thru a personal e-mail or is there a way to contact the person thru GEDmatch or WikiTree?
Gedmatch provides an email address for the person who manages that kit. You can send them an email. If they’re not on WikiTree (yet) you can’t contact them here. Good luck!
So, personal e-mail is the way to proceed.

5 Answers

+4 votes
A single match on GEDmatch is insufficient for DNA verification of a line that far back; it requires triangulation, which means you need three different people who descend from the common ancestor on different lines and match you and each other on the same segment. See here: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Triangulation
by C Handy G2G6 Pilot (103k points)
So, would this exclude first cousins?

Also, my match is based on two daughters of the common ancestor.
Are you first cousins with your match on GEDmatch? Samuel Houston Quigley-1442 is your great grandfather. You didn't indicate the total amount of DNA you share with your match on GEDmatch. It looks to me like the person's GEDmatch ID is A725568. If that's correct you share 50 cM. That means you're very likely to be 3rd cousins or closer. If you are 3C or closer, then triangulation isn't needed, and you can follow these directions for using DNA on WikiTree to confirm relationships back to your Most Recent Common Ancestors: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:DNA_Confirmation

You have correctly identified the GEDmatch ID.

I believe I am second cousins twice removed:

Hidden Hidden (male - ggg grandson) (match on GEDmatch)

Hidden Hidden (female - gg granddaughter))

Hidden Hidden (femaie - great granddaughter)

Eloise Rankin (granddaughter)

Alice Quigley (daughter)

Samuel Quigley/Nancy Garver (common ancestor)

Lulu Quigley (daughter)

Herbert Buch (grandson)

Me (great grandson)

If you're 2nd cousins twice removed, you can use this format for the DNA confirmation statement: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:DNA_Confirmation#GEDmatch

Here are the profiles, and the parental relationships that can be marked 'confirmed with DNA':

On your own profile you can confirm your relationship to your father, so the statement begins "Paternal relationship is confirmed by ..."

On your father's profile you can confirm his relationship to his mother, so the statement begins "Maternal relationship is confirmed by ...."

On the profile of Lula Mae Quiqley you can confirm her relationship to both of her parents (the MRCAs), so the statement begins "Paternal and maternal relationships are confirmed by ...."

Please send me a private message if you have any concerns about the wording of the DNA confirmation statements, or need any other help with this. I'd be glad to help.
The "third cousin or closer" thing is NOT actually the requirement for marking relationships as "confirmed with DNA"; it is a requirement for marking relationships as confirmed with DNA using a match on Ancestry. Third cousins may share no DNA at all; Ancestry's threshold for a third cousin match is significantly higher than the average amount most third cousins share (the average is 53cM, Ancestry only reports a predicted "third cousin" for a relationship of between I think 100-170cM). Since this match is on GEDmatch and not Ancestry it requires triangulation (and second cousin 2x removed is a more distant relationship than 3rd cousin).

Where are you seeing that the "third cousin or closer" thing is only for Ancestry tests? The DNA Confirmation page clearly states that the third cousin requirement can be used with a test from any autosomal testing company, NOT just tests from Ancestry. Am I missing something?

Well, this match just so happens to be on Ancestry as a 2C2R with 44 cM along with his first cousin with 76 cM.

This match on Ancestry:  Predicted relationship: 4th–6th Cousin

Shared DNA: 

 His first cousin on Ancestry:  Predicted relationship: 4th–6th Cousin

Shared DNA: 

Both of them are linked to their own tree on Ancestry.  Both of them are listed as “common ancestors” under my DNA matches on Ancestry.  Both of them are linked to our common ancestor under ThruLines on Ancestry.

So now, what does this prove or disprove as far as marking relationships? And what else do I need to know, that I don’t know that I need to know it, at this point (smile)?

No, Bennet, you're not missing anything. On WikiTree, when you're trying to determine if triangulation is required, the relationship that matters is the actual relationship, not the relationship predicted by the testing company. For this purpose a match of 2nd cousins once removed is equivalent to third cousins, so does not require triangulation. 

Tommy, because the two test takers are on GEDmatch, go ahead and use the wording in the instructions for a GEDmatch match. Adding the information from Ancestry to your statement (or trying to include information about a different match on the same statement) will just tend to add confusion rather to help clarify the situation. As I mentioned before, please contact me directly if I can help you with the wording.

Kay is correct!

There's a bit of a problem with the rules for an AncestryDNA match, requiring a "predicted" relation of 3rd cousin, when AncestryDNA doesn't give you THAT unless you're over 90cM (because of their own problems). It's best if you can find a match like this one, on GEDmatch or elsewhere, and avoid that mess.
And, as has been pointed out before in other G2G threads, the WikiTree rule is actually misworded in that second cousin twice removed is the relationship equivalent to third cousin.
+3 votes

A private e-mail to the person is the place to start, based on my experience you have less than a 25% chance of getting a response.

While you are waiting I suggest you look at the seven matches you have with individuals who are already on Wikitree - you can find them by using the Tier 1 matches.  If you have not used tier-1, it costs $10 per month, it might be worth it for a month or two, you can always cancel it.
by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (275k points)
My own advice regarding contacting people is NEVER "wait for a response". It may take weeks or months (I've literally heard from people after a year or more!), and often you never hear back at all. I look at them as "messages in a bottle". Maybe someone will eventually respond, maybe they won't. Throw a bunch out there, and plan on "making do" with no replies whatsoever. Avoid frustration!
+4 votes
Tommy, what is your goal?  If it is to validate and/or extend your tree through DNA (and in my own opinion, whether or not a match qualifies as sufficient for DNA confirmation on WikiTree really is a secondary issue), you might start by adding the other nine children to Samuel's profile.  You could build the line down to the person you match on GEDmatch.  You could invite him or her to join WikiTree.

By the way, your match really does not "confirm" your descent from Samuel.  Samuel or his wife, or both since you share four segments, is the source of the shared DNA.  Conceivably, it could all come from the wife.
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (320k points)
Not sure I explained completely above.  

If your match has already uploaded a gedcom to GEDmatch, you may have already learned everything that the person could tell you even if you corresponded personally.  It might be fun to say hello to a relative, though.

Does the match have any additional generations of ancestors beyond what you have already added to WikiTree?  One way DNA can help us is when our matches know things we don't know.

To take advantage of that match you can look for your shared matches, and review their information too.  

By the way, I encourage you to add sources to your ancestor profiles.  The research process can also bring you new information.

Good luck!

I was a little puzzled by what seemed like sort of a "knee-jerk" reaction to try to contact the other person. I'm not saying I'm against that, but normally when I want to contact somebody in a situation like this it's to try to find out how they're related, and maybe to invite them onto GEDmatch. Both those goals are already met, and it's quite a blessing!

Certainly there are things he could talk about with this match - collaboration on common research, an invite to WikiTree, etc - but this seemed like a DNA discussion, and he already has all the essentials without this person being involved any further. His time might be better spent trying to identify OTHER matches, for example. Maybe find a 3C on this or another line, for example.
+2 votes
On GedMatch run the report  People Who Match 1 or 2 Kits.

Put in your Gedmatch ID and that of the person you match.

This will bring back all of the people in GedMatch that both of you match.   

Then run the one on one reports for them until you find 3  you match to... Now you have triangulation.  

Hope that helps
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (651k points)
+1 vote
Hi Tommy! How can you tell who your common ancestor is on GEDmatch?
by Greta Moody G2G6 Pilot (180k points)
Greta, On GEDmatch when people upload their DNA test results  they have the option of also uploading a gedcom with their family tree. On the one-to-many match list, if there's a GED (or Wiki) in the "GED WikiTree" column, that is a hot link that will take you to their GEDmatch gedcom, or to their WikiTree compact tree.
Hi Kay! I've noticed that but some WikiTreers have no GED.
If you have a link on GEDmatch to your WikiTree tree, then you don't need to upload a gedcom to GEDmatch. People can just click on "Wiki" to see your tree.
Some of the people I have matches with on Wikitree, I see no common surnames.
Greta, Do you mean that you don't have common surnames with people you match on GEDmatch, rather than on WikiTree? We don't have "matches" on WikiTree, just information about DNA tests taken by people related to us, who are related by the way we're connected to them on WikiTree.
I meant that I don't have common surnames with people I match on GEDmatch

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