Question: As I look at possible cousins, I see “Confidence…moderate, good” etc… What exactly is the difference? Are these matches created by DNA or similarities in family names, profiles?
Answer: When we compare your DNA to the DNA of one of your matches, we calculate a confidence score for you based on the amount and location of the DNA that you share. This score lets you know how much DNA evidence there is for you and your match actually being related. A high confidence score means that we are pretty sure that the DNA you share with your match is identical because it was inherited from a recent common ancestor.
It’s important to note that the confidence score is related only to your match and not to the relationship range we’ve assigned. In other words, the confidence score should not be interpreted as our confidence that you are specifically 4th cousins, for example. Instead, it lets you know how confident you can be that you and your DNA match are related through a recent common ancestor.
On your DNA page you will see a question mark icon that will take you to our Help screen:
There are two articles that might help you understand confidence better if you would like more information:
I would also recommend checking out Ancestry Academy. Anna Swayne has created a DNA 101: An Insider’s Scoop on AncestryDNA Testing course that you might find helpful.