Help:How to Get Started with DNA

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Here's how to unlock the combined power of DNA testing and WikiTree.


Have You Taken a DNA Test?


See DNA Tests for:

  1. Why to take a DNA test.
  2. Types of DNA testing for genealogy.
  3. Which test to choose.


Great! Select the test you have taken here.

This two-minute step gets our DNA features working, even if you don't do anything else.

After Receiving Your Test Results

Here's what to do next.

Make sure your test appears on ancestor profiles

Within 24 hours of entering which test you have taken an indicator will appear in the right column of all your ancestors' and relatives' profiles where your test may be useful for confirming relationships.

If your test does not appear, first check your profile's privacy setting. Click the Privacy tab on your profile. Make sure you are set as Private with a Public Family Tree. If you change the setting, wait another day for the test to appear.

Note: You only enter a DNA test for the person who took the test. You do not need to enter test information for anyone but yourself.

Consider using a third-party comparison and matching website

Your DNA testing company will compare your test results with those of its other customers to give you matches. To get matches from other testing companies, consider using a third-party comparison website.

Considering using GEDmatch if you have taken an autosomal DNA test (the most common type) from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritageDNA, Living DNA or Family Tree DNA.

Consider using mitoYDNA if If you've taken a mitochondrial or Y-chromosome test.

After doing so, add your GEDmatch ID or mitoYDNA ID to your test information here. Click the "edit" button next to the appropriate test. Within a day of entering your GEDmatch ID here, our friends at GEDmatch will connect your test so that other GEDmatch users can click over to see your genealogy on WikiTree.

See if You Can Confirm Any Ancestors

Wouldn't it be great to be able to mark some of the ancestors on your family tree as DNA-confirmed.gif Confirmed with DNA?!

Low-hanging fruit

If any of your second or third cousins have also taken DNA tests you're in luck. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Confirmation can also be relatively easy if you've taken a Y-chromosome DNA test and you know your relationship with one of your matches. See DNA Confirmation.


If an autosomal DNA test match is beyond a third cousin, confirmation gets complicated. You need at least one more match and all three of you need to match on the exact same segment of DNA.

If you're just getting started, you might not want to attempt this. But when you're ready to dive in deep, see Autosomal Triangulation. Our Relationship Finder does make it easier with special features for genetic genealogy.

Approach confirmation from the opposite direction

One of the cool things about WikiTree is that you can approach DNA confirmation from the opposite direction.

Usually, you have a DNA match and you're trying to figure out how you're related to them. On WikiTree, you can see that you're related to a person and then figure out if your DNA matches as you'd expect.

Check your DNA Ancestor Confirmation Aid periodically. Click the "DNA Confirmation" link on the My WikiTree menu. This enables you to easily see if there are other descendants of your ancestors who have taken relevant DNA tests without needing to go to each individual ancestors' profile.

How to confirm more

Is there a particular line that you'd really love to see confirmed?

One of WikiTree's valuable DNA features is the ability to see who has inherited the DNA of any ancestor. Click the "DNA" link on any ancestor's Profile Menu and then click the "DNA Descendants" button.

The DNA Descendants page will show you anyone who has inherited the person's Y chromosome (if they are male), mitochondrial DNA (if they are female), and X chromosome.

It will indicate which descendants are living and whether or not they have already taken the relevant DNA test.

For descendants who could take an autosomal test, click the "Descendants" link on the profile menu on the profile of a second or third great-grandparent. The descendants you see there will be in the second or third cousin range and may enable the "low-hanging fruit" confirmation mentioned above.

For more explanation, see our introduction at DNA Comparison.

Collaborate with Matches

WikiTree is awesome for collaborating with the matches that you get from your DNA testing company. Collaboration is what we're all about.

  1. All non-private genealogy on WikiTree is entirely free and open to everyone. You don't even need to login to view public trees. This makes it perfect for sharing.
  2. Since this is a single collaborative tree, you and your match can grow your genealogy here together.

The hardest part can be the initial communication with your matches. To make it easier, there is simple copy-and-paste message text on your DNA Tests page.

See DNA Matches for more about this.

Utilize the Relationship Finder's special features

If your match is on WikiTree you may be able to see your relationship with one click. Click the "Relationship to Me" link on the profile menu on your match's profile.

However, finding the common ancestor from whom you inherited your shared DNA may require more than one click. WikiTree's Relationship Finder has a special feature that lets you browse all your common ancestors. You can even limit the common ancestors to those on your father's side or your mother's side, or those that a third or fourth match also share.

See Relationship Finder for Genetic Genealogy for more on this.

Get Help

WikiTree is a community. Some say that this is the most friendly and helpful genealogy community on the Internet.

We're lucky to have some professional geneticists and leaders in genetic genealogy participating on WikiTree. We also have a lot of members, perhaps like yourself, who aren't experts but are learning and are willing to help each other learn.

When you have questions, ask them in our Genealogist-to-Genealogist Forum, ("G2G") and tag them DNA to make sure they're seen by the right people.

For more information on WikiTree's DNA features, see the DNA Help Category.

This page was last modified 12:25, 3 May 2023. This page has been accessed 134,656 times.