Help:DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid

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The DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid (ACA) shows you if any of your ancestors have other descendants who have taken DNA tests for genealogy that may be useful for confirming your family tree.


What Does It Do?


Your ACA [example] shows you five generations of your tree: up to 62 ancestors. (To see more, click to an ACA that starts further up your tree.)

Each of the 62 ancestors on the ACA has a section that displays all the existing Y-chromosome, mitochondrial, and autosomal DNA tests that are likely to be relevant for confirming the father and mother of each specific individual.

Tests are connected using the methods explained here.

Scientifically confirming relationships is not easy, especially for autosomal tests. (See the section below and DNA Confirmation.) The ACA makes it a little bit easier by showing you the tests that may be useful and by:

  • Providing direct comparison links to GEDmatch.
  • Showing you which relationships have already been confirmed.
  • Guiding you in finding additional test-takers.
  • Linking to relevant resources and ways to get personal help. (This is confusing stuff for everyone!)

It is recommended that you check your ACA periodically, even if you haven't taken a test yourself. You never know when a distant cousin will enter a test that helps confirm one of your ancestors. Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests can attach to very distant cousins — especially when ancestry is deep and well-connected — so the connections can be completely unexpected.

These same test connections are shown on the ancestors' profiles, but the ACA saves you from having to periodically check each one of your ancestors' profiles to see if new tests have been added. Since DNA test connections aren't tracked in activity feeds there is no other way to be alerted when someone adds a test or edits a relationship that ends up connecting to an ancestor.


Scan down the page looking for multiple tests for the same ancestor. If there are multiple tests there may be an opportunity to confirm part of your family tree.

Note that having two tests connected to a person does not necessarily mean their father or mother can be confirmed.

Y-chromosome and mitochondrial tests are connected to profiles all the way up to the test-taker's earliest-known ancestor (EKA) but confirmation is only relevant to the most-recent common ancestor (MRCA) of the test-takers. For example, if two brothers have taken yDNA tests, both tests will appear on their father's profile, their paternal grandfather's profile, their great-grandfather's profile, etc. But comparing these two tests will only confirm the father, not the grandfather, great-grandfather, etc.

Confirmation with autosomal tests

Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests are easier to use for confirmation than autosomal tests, such as the 23andMe test, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA's Family Finder.

Autosomal DNA testing can be really exciting and useful for genealogists. A test is likely to provide you with leads to connect with hundreds of living cousins. However, confirming a relationship to common ancestors with these cousins is not simple, unless it's a third cousin or closer.

Confirming family relationships beyond third cousins through autosomal DNA testing requires many people with known relationships to be tested. The results of all these tests can be analyzed to see where segments of DNA came from. Through a careful process of triangulation, people with matching segments can then be fitted onto a family tree. See DNA Confirmation and Triangulation for more on this.

Moreover, comparing autosomal results cannot even be used to reject family relationships unless the family member is closer than a second cousin. Because of the random nature of autosomal DNA inheritance — every child inherits a random mix of DNA from their father and mother — 10% of third cousins don't share any segments. Sometimes, very rarely, even second cousins don't share any segments. (Thank you, Dr. Tim Janzen, for help on this section.)

See DNA Confirmation for detailed explanations and help.

Finding ACAs

Your ACA is accessible through the "DNA Confirmation" link in the "My WikiTree" pull-down menu near the top of this page.

The ACA works for any WikiTree profile with a public family tree. To access someone else's ACA, click to their DNA Tests page ("DNA" in the pull-down menu that starts with their ID at the top of their profile) and look for the "DNA Confirmation" button.

To return to your own ACA, click the "my ACA" link near the top of the page.

This page was last modified 20:08, 8 October 2021. This page has been accessed 52,378 times.