Help:How to Get Started with DNA
Here's how to unlock the combined power of DNA testing and WikiTree.
Have You Taken a DNA Test?
See DNA Tests for:
- Why to take a DNA test.
- Types of DNA testing for genealogy.
- Which test to choose.
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.
Consider using a third-party comparison and matching website
The DNA testing company will compare your test results with those of other customers. To compare and match with customers of other testing companies, consider using one of these:
- Ysearch for Y-chromosome DNA tests.
- Mitosearch for mitochondrial DNA tests.
- GEDmatch for autosomal DNA tests, i.e. the popular AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritageDNA and Family Tree DNA Family Finder tests.
After doing so, add your Ysearch, Mitosearch, or GEDmatch 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. (Unless you opt for privacy. See GEDMatch's page on WikiTree connections.)
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 Confirmed with DNA?!
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 or mitochondrial DNA test and you know your relationship with one of your matches. See Y-Chromosome Confirmation or Mitochondrial 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
For more information on WikiTree's DNA features, see the DNA Help Category.
This page was last modified 14:46, 12 March 2018. This page has been accessed 27,479 times.