AncestryDNA just released a new matching tool called Shared Matches. This new tool will help you see your matches in a whole new way, giving you clues about the common ancestor that may have given both you and your match the DNA you share today. And as a bonus, if you have had a parent tested, you now can see which matches you have in common with them using the mother or father filter.
What is this new tool?
The Shared Matches tool will show you which matches you and any given match on your list share in common. You can use this new tool to help narrow down your matches to a particular side of your family. It’s especially helpful if you’ve had a parent tested because once you have a parent tested, you’ll see a new filter at the top of your match list that lets you find the DNA matches that you share with your mom or dad.
How do I get this new tool?
To access this feature, go to your DNA homepage and click on View all DNA matches.
Shared Matches Tool
When you click “View Match”, the Shared Matches filter appears on the detail page for each of your matches. If you need help, click on the question mark for more information.
The shared matches list shows DNA matches that you and one of your DNA matches have in common. The list will be of 4th cousin matches or closer. This might help you determine which family line you share or give you more evidence that you’re related to a specific person or match.
For example, I have had a 1st cousin tested, and I can now see all the matches we share. From this list I can possibly narrow down that these matches might stem from a common ancestor on a particular line I share with my cousin. This is helpful for me because I have questions on that particular line (our shared grandparents). Now, instead of going back and forth between our match lists, I can simply click on my 1st cousin’s match details and choose to see all the shared matches we have in common. Then I can use the notes field for those shared matches to detail that I share the match with my cousin, along with anything else I want to note for later as I try to identify the common ancestor we share. This tool is fantastic for helping me find new leads and putting the pieces of my genetic family story together. It is important to note that the list of matches shared is going back as far as 4th cousins. You won’t see any shared matches in common in the distant cousin range.
Mother and Father Filter
If you have had a parent tested, you will automatically see a new filter option at the top of your match list page next to the Hints, New, and Starred filters that you should already be familiar with. You can now filter your matches by Mother or Father. That means, if you have tested your mother you can now see all the matches you share with her, narrowing down which DNA cousin matches might belong to that side of the family. Same goes for the Father filter.
I have had both of my parents tested and can now filter all my matches by whether they are also a match for my mother or father. This is a huge advantage when it comes to finding how you and your matches connect. Don’t forget to use the notes field as you examine your matches looking for patterns. Notes are for your personal use and can be seen only by you.
To take full advantage of these new tools, consider having others in your family tested. Review the chart below to help you decide who you could test next to answer specific research or family questions.
Have fun with these new tools and good luck. You will start to see patterns among the cousin matches you have and may even uncover the very clue you have been waiting for. Good Luck!
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