Help:Relationship Finder

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Here's an introduction to WikiTree's Relationship Finder.


How to Find a Relationship

Enter any two WikiTree IDs at Special:Relationship to see how the two people are related.

You can also select "Relationship to Me" from a profile's pull-down menu or click a relationship icon relationship.gif on DNA test connections, your Watchlist, or a profile's Trusted List.

Relationship Naming

The Relationship Finder is a "cousin calculator." It names the relationship between two people. This can help you sort out confusing "third cousin twice removed"-type relationships.

See this relationship chart for an explanation of cousin naming in the English language.

Most-Recent Common Ancestor

Relationship naming requires knowing the first common ancestor that is shared by two 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. See the section below on multiple common ancestors.

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. We call this a "relationship path" or "relationship trail."

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

Multiple Common Ancestors

If two people have more than one common ancestor 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.

Exploring ("pedigree collapse")

If an ancestor is related to you in more than one way, the "Explore more" box will enable you to see the alternative paths.

To see the various paths to an ancestor you need to be viewing the relationship between you and the ancestor, not the relationship between you and a cousin that connects through the ancestor. When the ancestor who connects you is related to either of you in more than one way you'll see a link to open a new page.

The Relationship Finder will tell you how many ways you are related to the ancestor, but you can only view up to 100 of the paths. If there are more than 100, you can see more by restarting the search with one of your recent ancestor's IDs instead of your own. For example, you could check how each one of your grandparents is related to the distant ancestor.


You can also limit the displayed relationship trails by adding a third person. Look for the Advanced filter box below the trails.

This feature may be especially useful for DNA test analysis. See Help:Relationship Finder for Genetic Genealogy.

Relationship Confidence

For every relationship trail our system will say that it's either Confirmed with DNA, Confident, or Uncertain, or say that the relationship confidence is unknown. These conclusions are based on the 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 either Confident or Confirmed with DNA then the chain is Confident.
  4. If none of the above apply, the confidence level is unknown.

New and Changed Relationships

When you add or update relationships it may take up to 24 hours for your changes to be reflected in the Relationship Finder.

In order to provide rapid results and the range of features described above we maintain a special database of relationships that is rebuilt once a day, late at night.

Relationships through Marriage

The Relationship Finder looks for common ancestors. To include relationships through marriage, try the Connection Finder. See Help:Connection Finder.

This page was last modified 15:28, 9 October 2021. This page has been accessed 53,907 times.