Help:Relationship Finder

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Here is information on the basic features of WikiTree's Relationship Finder <>. See Relationship Finder for Genetic Genealogy for advanced information for those who have taken DNA tests.


Relationship Naming — Cousin Calculation

The Relationship Finder is WikiTree's "cousin calculator." It enables you to find out how two people are related. This can help you sort out the confusing "third cousin twice removed"-type relationships.

See this Relationship Chart for an English-language explanation of cousin relationships.

Most-Recent Common Ancestor

To name a relationship, you need to know the first common ancestor that is shared by both people.

It's the called the first common ancestor or most-recent common ancestor (MRCA) because beyond that first ancestor, of course, the ancestor's ancestors are also shared by both people.

It's also the first or most-recent common ancestor in another sense. Two people often share many ancestors on different lines. If you go back far enough, we all do. For the purposes of naming the relationship it's important to find that first connection.

Limited to 15 or 30 Generations

Our Relationship Finder looks back through the ancestry of both people for 15 generations.

If a common ancestor is not found within these 15 generations — if the other person is more than a 12th cousin — you can click the button to search 30 generations. This may take a few minutes. It may be comparing hundreds of thousands of ancestors.

If a common ancestor is not found within 30 generations, it could be that the other person is more than a 27th cousin but it's more likely that WikiTree is incomplete.

Choosing your own number of generations

You can have the Relationship Finder check any number of generations from 1 to 30. This requires configuring your own URL by hand. For example:

In the above, replace Washington-11 and Lincoln-103 with whatever WikiTree IDs you want, and 12 with the number of generations.

Relationship Trails

In addition to finding the first common ancestor and naming the cousin relationship, the Relationship Finder also shows you how each person is related to the common ancestor.

The trail will show you each parent-child connection. Click on any name to view their profile.

Trails to other common ancestors

If two people have more than one common ancestor within the given number of generations, an "Explore More" box will appear on the results page with a pull-down menu showing up to 250 other common ancestors.

Selecting one lets you view that relationship trail.

Note that when you explore these alternate connections, the relationship name and confidence level will not change. These are based on the first common ancestor.

See Relationship Finder for Genetic Genealogy for more about this feature.

Relationship Confidence

For every relationship our system will say that it's either Confirmed with DNA, Confident, or Uncertain, or will say that the relationship confidence is unknown. These conclusions are based on the current Relationship Status indicators that members have selected.

We use these rules:

  1. If any link in the chain is Uncertain then the entire chain is Uncertain.
  2. If all links are Confirmed with DNA then the chain is Confirmed with DNA.
  3. If all links are Confident or Confirmed with DNA then the chain is Confident.
  4. If none of the above apply, the confidence level is unknown.

Your Relationship to Yourself

If you'd like to see your own common ancestors, i.e. the ancestors that you have through both your mother and father, compare your mother and father.

Relationships through Marriage

See the Connection Finder.

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This page was last modified 13:15, 29 April 2018. This page has been accessed 34,841 times.