Using the Shared Matches Tool on
Ancestry DNA to Find Cousins
|My new found half first cousin shared cM.|
The shared matches might give me more evidence that we are related to others in that family line. There were eight names that showed up in the shared matches list for this person. Only three had trees, one with fifty people, the other one thirteen people, and the other one with six people. The first shared match, was an immediate family member, my sister, who had tested with Ancestry. If you and a sibling share DNA with a cousin, that cousin will show up as a shared match for both my sibling (my sister) and me.
The shared match with the fifty people in his tree had a high confidence level. He and I share 41 centimorgans across four segments of DNA. So, this is a good match to follow up on. This shared match I recognized. He also tested with Family Tree DNA and I corresponded with the person managing his account and shared information. The location for the people in his tree is nearby the location of my maternal line ancestors. That match is puzzling because he matched on my paternal line, so maybe we match on the maternal line also. Further research is needed on this shared match cousin.
The shared match with thirteen people in it piqued my interest because there was a Jasper Arnold Burnett. Eliza Jane Burnett was a maternal great grandmother. That shared match and I share forty centimorgans of DNA across two DNA segments. We are possibly third or fourth cousins. So, that shared match with only thirteen people in it yielded a helpful clue that I will pursue.
The next thing that I did with the shared matches was to go to the match with people in it and look at that person’s shared match list. There was a shared match that a large family tree. That one I checked out. There were two maternal line surnames, Hodges and Smith, listed. This is a shared match that I will follow up on.
One thing to remember is if you have a DNA match and your second cousin has the same DNA match, this person would be a shared match to you and your second cousin. This may help determine how you are related to this second cousin. Shared matches work best with your closer relationships.
I use shared matches in my research quite often. The shared matches help me figure out how I am related to a DNA match by narrowing down the family line to a certain line that both my DNA match and myself share. I have several Coon cousins who have tested with Ancestry DNA. This helps me in narrowing down my matches to that family line. My Edwards cousins matches help me narrow down matches to that family line. So, the trick is to figure out which family members can help you narrow down your matches to the family line in which you are interested.
The shared matches tool is a tool on Ancestry that I use often. It shows which matches you and any given match on your match list share in common. You can use this tool to help you narrow down your matches to a particular side of your family – either maternal or paternal side. Using a DNA match, corresponding with her to verify the particular family line I found a cousin on my maternal line. Using this DNA match and the shared match tool I have found surnames in the list are clues for further research.
The more you work with the shared match tool the more you will become familiar with it. It will help you in narrowing down your family line most of the time.
To find help with your DNA Ancestry has provided articles that may help you as you work with your DNA matches. When you log in to your account on Ancestry and you go to your DNA matches on the right side of the screen is a question mark in a white circle. Click on that icon and it will take you to articles that you may find helpful when working with DNA matches.