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Categories: DNA

DNA Help pages are currently being revised. Information currently here may not be the most up-to-date. Check back shortly for improvements following the recent changes related to the European Union's new GDPR legislation. Thanks! The DNA Educators Project Leaders

Here are questions and answers related to genetic genealogy on WikiTree. You can ask your own question in G2G using the tag dna.


How can an adoptee use WikiTree's DNA features?

WikiTree is valuable for seeking your biological roots. If you want to maintain a profile that connects you to your adoptive parents, you will need to create a second profile for growing your biological tree. See Adoptions and multiple parents.

Ask in G2G using the tag Adoption. Our Adoption Angels can help.

What are the privacy considerations for DNA on WikiTree?

WikiTree is not storing DNA or raw DNA test results. However, there are always privacy considerations.

First, we display the fact that a member has taken a test. The member will have the "DNA Tested" badge and will appear on lists of members who have taken a test. This is public regardless of the member's Privacy Level.

Second, we indicate on the profiles of the member's relatives that the member has taken a test. We call these "test connections."

Autosomal test connections

For Autosomal DNA Tests we make connections regardless of the Privacy Level of the member who took the test. This means that if the profile of a family member of the test-taker is public, the test connection will be public.

YDNA and mtDNA test connections

For Y-Chromosome DNA Tests and Mitochondrial DNA Tests we only make connections if Privacy Level of the member is Private with a Public Family Tree or higher.

Optional test information

There are additional considerations related to the optional test information you can enter. For example, you can include your ID at the testing company or a matching service such as Ysearch, Mitosearch, and GEDmatch.

Even though your profile at that other website may be public, it may or may not be connected with your real name or personally-identifiable information. Linking it to your WikiTree account will add to what's publicly available.

If you are uncertain about whether to add something, do not add it. Our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Acceptable Use Policy represent the entire agreement between users and WikiTree.

There are additional considerations when entering a test for someone else. See below.

Can you enter a test for someone else?

You can indicate that someone else has taken a DNA test if you have full access to their DNA test information and their explicit permission to discuss it.

Click the "DNA" button near the top of their profile and follow the link from there. You will need to be on the person's Trusted List to do this.

Special guidelines for FamilyTreeDNA surname project administrators

Surname project leaders may have access to kit information for those in their project. These tests can be added to WikiTree but it must be done carefully in order to protect privacy.

Per FamilyTreeDNA's Janine Cloud, on March 19, 2014, in an e-mail to Kitty Smith: "As long as you have written consent, whether on paper or in an email, to use that information on WikiTree, then you may do so. Without permission, you can't."

You may enter the tester's name, genealogy, kit number, and basic test result information only if you have their written consent to do so. If you have the tester's written consent, but the tester does not want their name used then here is the recommend method:

  1. Create a new profile. Enter the Last Name at Birth and the gender. Don't enter any other personal information. Use "Anonymous" for the First Name and don't enter any dates.
  2. Add their father and grandfather in the same way. These profiles are placeholders on our worldwide tree.
  3. Continue back until you can connect the direct DNA line to a named ancestor where privacy is not an issue.
  4. Be sure the branch is a continuous, unbroken line back to the Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA).
  5. Enter the DNA tests as you would anyone else, by clicking the DNA button from their profile and then following the link from there.

If the test-taker ever wants to participate on WikiTree add their e-mail address to their profile so they can take possession of it. They can then decide how much personal information they want to add and share.

If the test-taker does not want their test mentioned on WikiTree or does not want a placeholder profile, it must be removed.

Note: These recommendations are still experimental. Thank you to Kitty Smith and Peter Roberts for helping in the development.

Why can't you enter a National Geographic or BritainsDNA test?

We want to include all tests from all companies on the test entry page — if they enable genealogical matching and comparison.

Some companies offer DNA information on ancestry, but not matching for genealogy.

This includes National Geographic's Genographic Project. This test only gives you deep (ancient) ancestral information. Even their autosomal test doesn't allow direct matching.

BritainsDNA is similar. It only gives you information on deep ancestry. They wrote in an e-mail to Kitty Smith: "Our tests are really intended for deep ancestry research rather than genealogy, and as such, we do not run a database or a matching service allowing people to find possible relatives."

The same is true for DNATribes. These tests can't be used to confirm or reject genealogical relationships so they should not be added to WikiTree.

Why don't your 23andMe-reported haplogroups appear on your direct line maternal and paternal ancestors?

23andMe reports your maternal and paternal haplogroups. However, these cannot be used for genealogical comparison.

Their Y-chromosome test checks SNP markers, not STR markers. Their mitochondrial haplogroup prediction is based on your match with differences which define the major mtDNA haplogroups. It does not include your personal mutations (extra differences) which are most useful in a genealogical timeframe.

Therefore, the haplogroups can be included on your test details but WikiTree treats the test only as an autosomal DNA test, not as a Y-chromosome test or a mitochondrial DNA test that attaches to profiles up and down the maternal and paternal lines.

If you haven't taken a test yet, which one should you take?

By far the most popular DNA tests for genealogy are the "autosomal" tests offered by 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and Family Tree DNA for $99 or less.

See DNA Tests for help choosing a test.

How can you order or recommend a test and give WikiTree credit for the referral?

If you plan to order a test for yourself, or would like to recommend that a family member or friend be tested, please use one of the links or URLs at the bottom of the DNA Tests page. This way WikiTree gets the referral credit.

Thank you! This helps WikiTree fulfill its pledge to always remain free for everyone.

Why do you need to cite a source when using "Confirmed with DNA"?

If you mark a relationship as Confirmed with DNA you need to include a source that details how DNA was used to make this confirmation.

See DNA Confirmation for instructions on how to:

  1. make the Confirmed with DNA determination for a father or mother, and then
  2. format a source citation that summarizes how you made the confirmation.

The purpose of all source citations is the same: To enable others to judge the accuracy of information. DNA may be an unusual source in some ways — for example, the raw data may not be available to third parties for privacy reasons — but this just makes careful source citations all the more important.

Why is triangulation necessary for confirmation with matches beyond third cousins?

Parent-child relationships can be labeled Confirmed with DNA when there is a sufficient amount of shared autosomal DNA between two relatives who are third cousins and closer. It is necessary to use triangulated groups — three or more matches on the same DNA segment — when the testers are greater than third cousins.

A sufficient amount of auDNA is determined by the total number of cMs of several segments normally shared specific relatives. See Mathematical Average for auDNA Sharing and Are There Any Absolutes in Genetic Genealogy?

See DNA Confirmation for instructions.

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This page was last modified 19:09, 1 June 2018. This page has been accessed 12,296 times.