Find Your Doppelgänger

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Find your Doppelgänger - Twin Strangers

In 2015 three friends in Ireland started a Facebook challenge to each find their identical lookalike. They had such an overwhelming response that they decided to start a website for the purpose, called Twin Strangers. As the name suggests, the main purpose is to find identical lookalikes who, as far as they know, are not related. However, they probably have some matching DNA, at least at the level of ethnicity. But environmental factors, like growing up in the same geographical area, also contribute to the development of faicial traits.[1]

A FamilySearch tool for comparison of facial similarity was presented in the FamilySearch Blog in November 2019. It is geared towards finding lookalikes for yourself, to see which family members you resemble most closely.[2]

Trying the tool

Eva Ekeblad

As you can see, the FamilySearch tool is geared towards comparing a picture of yourself with pictures of your relatives - the interface comes up with the first image pre-labelled with your own name. Since I'm not comfortable putting my own face into FamilySearch, I used a portrait of my grandmother, Ruth Persson to compare with a portrait of her daughter, my aunt Margit. This turned up a 41% likeness.

Well, they're not the same age and tilt their faces differently. I made a second comparison of aunt Margit and her sister, my mother, Anna Lisa. These portraits must have been taken at the same time, in the same atelier and with a very similar tilt of the head. The result showed a likeness of 53%.

I had more success comparing my grandfather, Gustav Ekeblad with himself at two different ages - portraits taken in 1915 and 1951. He was considered 95% similar to himself, which is not bad, considering the effects of aging, the glasses and the downcast gaze in the second portrait.

I can add that the system wasn't fooled by comparing a mirror image of my grandmother to herself. That yielded a 100% likeness.

Add your comparison here

I would love to see the results others get!

Why the brothers?

The first uploaded picture on this page presents two full brothers, Johannes Ekeblad (1856-1936) and Svante Pettersson (1852-1927) in their Sunday best. It is a nice illustration of what environment will do to the appearance of a person. At least, I don't think it's difficult to see who spent his life as a school teacher and who spent his life running the family farm. But I may be biassed.


  1. How to find your doppelganger by Jessica Contrera, Washington Post, April 21 2015
  2. Do You Have a Look-alike? Find Your Doppelgänger] by Jessica Grimaud, FamilySearch blog, November 20, 2019

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