Help:DNA Features

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Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? WikiTree's DNA features help you get more out of the tests for your own genealogy, and help our shared mission to connect the human family on one free, genealogically-correct tree.

Although some of the features described below are for advanced genetic genealogists, don't be intimidated! All you have to do to get started is select the test you have taken here. Many of the benefits will then happen automatically.

For users' perspectives on these features, you might want to see Peter Roberts' "WikiTree and DNA" post on Roberta Estes' DNAeXplained blog and Kitty Cooper's "Organizing DNA results with your Genealogy."



Recording DNA-Confirmed Relationships

Parent-child relationships on WikiTree can be marked as "Confirmed with DNA." Our dream is to confirm them all!

Look for indicators like this in trees and the Relationship Finder: DNA-confirmed.gif

See Confirmed with DNA for instructions.

Recording Tests

WikiTree doesn't need your test results. We just need to know which test you have taken. Select from the list here.

You will get the DNA Tested badge and the fact that you've taken the test will be linked from your profile.

A special test details page will be created within 24 hours. Test detail pages for Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests show the earliest-known direct-line paternal or maternal ancestor. They also show the living people who share the same Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA, link to DNA Ancestors and DNA Descendants views for each individual, and include direct Relationship Finder links to show the relationship between the test-taker and the listed person.


These test detail pages are rebuilt every day. They are updated as new discoveries are made by you or others, as privacy preferences change, etc.

DNA Test Connections on Relevant Profiles

When you record that you've taken a test, within 24 hours we automatically connect this fact to profiles on WikiTree where your test may be useful for confirming or rejecting relationships. This encourages others — including distant cousins who find the profiles through Google searches — to compare results or get tested.

For Y-chromosome tests, a test connection means the test-taker is on the same paternal line. For mitochondrial tests it means the test-taker is on the same maternal line. For autosomal tests it means that the test-taker is within eight degrees and is therefore likely to share significant segments of DNA. See DNA Test Connections for more details.

DNA Test Connections for Surnames

We create an index for everyone who shares a given last name at birth and is connected to any DNA test on WikiTree.

Example: Smith DNA Connections

These are most directly helpful for Y-chromosome tests. You can limit the display to just yDNA.

Surname project administrators can use these as recruiting tools. If someone has taken a mitochondrial or autosomal test but has the surname in their family, they may well be interested in participating or finding someone in their family who can take a Y-chromosome test.

To access all the DNA Surname Connections pages for the eight surnames of your great-grandparents, click the Surnames link in your "My WikiTree" pull-down menu.

Illustrations of DNA Inheritance (DNA Ancestors Pages)

Every person on WikiTree has a DNA Ancestors page that you can see if their tree is public or if you're on the Trusted List. They are accessible through the DNA link on the pull-down menu for the person.

These pages show the ancestors from whom a person has inherited their mitochondrial DNA and their Y chromosome, if they're male. It also shows the percentage, on average, of a person's X-chromosome inherited from specific ancestors.[1]


If you're an experienced genetic genealogist, you know the pattern of Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA inheritance. But the visualization can be helpful for newbies.

The pattern of X-chromosome inheritance can be a little confusing for anyone!

WikiTree's charts don't just show you the positions of ancestors on a generic tree, like you can find elsewhere. These pages show you the actual ancestors' names and connect to everything that is known about the ancestors.

DNA Inheritance Widgets for Bloggers and Webmasters

WikiTree has special "widgets" that can be embedded in any blog or website. They parallel the DNA Ancestors views. Since they pull data directly from WikiTree they always reflect the most current information and privacy preferences, and you don't need to worry about keeping an old blog post or web page current.


The widgets can be accessed through the "Other Apps" option on the Tree Apps page.

Lists of Potential Test-Takers

DNA Descendants Pages

Every person on WikiTree has a DNA Descendants page. These are accessible from the DNA page on the pull-down menu for the person.


These display the descendants who have inherited an ancestor's Y-chromosome, mitochondrial DNA, and X chromosome. They can be handy when you're trying to find a living descendant who could be tested to confirm or reject the validity of a relationship.


Every member has Special:MyCousins: a list of their closest living relatives on WikiTree. This includes the first common ancestor for each cousin, and whether or not they have already taken an autosomal, Y-chromosome, and/or mitochondrial DNA test.

Privacy-Controlled Trees and Lists to Share with DNA Matches

WikiTree is perfect for sharing and collaborating with DNA test matches.

First, your genealogy here is already available to everyone on the Internet for free, with privacy controls. So it's easy to show your matches your tree and ask if they recognize any names or locations.

Second, everything on WikiTree is centered on genealogy collaboration. It's what we do here.

See DNA Matches for more.

Enhanced Relationship Finder for Matches including Triangulation

If your match is already using WikiTree, you don't need to manually compare genealogies. Finding your relationship might just be one click away.

The Relationship Finder (example) is a powerful tool for discovering common ancestors. Links to this feature are available through icons relationship.gif that appear on test details pages and elsewhere.

Experienced genetic genealogists learn that a shared segment of autosomal DNA may not come from your most recent common ancestor. It may have come from one or more other ancestors you share in common. For this reason, WikiTree's Relationship Finder enables you to explore all your common ancestors.

If you share a segment of autosomal DNA with two or more other people who also match each other on that segment, you can "triangulate." If the Relationship Finder finds more than one common ancestor for two people, you can filter the common ancestors by adding a third, fourth, or even fifth person.

See Relationship Finder for Genetic Genealogy for more information.

DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid

The holy grail for our community is to scientifically confirm each and every parent-child relationship on WikiTree. It is our mission to connect the world on one accurate family tree.

Even confirming relatively recent ancestors is not practical for most people right now, but to help move toward that goal we have DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aids.

To access yours, click the DNA Confirmation link in your "My WikiTree" pull-down menu.

Example: DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid for Peter Roberts

See DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid and Confirmed with DNA for more information.

DNA Categorization for Projects

On WikiTree there is a relatively simple way to accomplish a very important task for surname DNA projects and geographic DNA projects. Many project admins have matching direct lines with unidentified shared ancestors. Now we can connect those ancestors and all known information in one place.


See DNA Categorization for Projects for more information.

Q&A and Community

This is a rapidly-evolving area. Almost all genealogists are at different levels when it comes to understanding and applying DNA testing. That's intimidating. And exciting.

Anytime you have a question, at whatever level, ask it in G2G and use the tag dna.

If you want to help push the envelope on the practical application of DNA for growing a single worldwide family tree — which we are committed to doing here at WikiTree — join our DNA Project.

  1. For an individual the actual percentage of DNA inheritance from specific ancestors (beyond a parent or grandparent) is rarely close to the average.

This page was last modified 17:07, 26 January 2023. This page has been accessed 40,456 times.