I Tested My DNA

Now What?

By Kitty Munson Cooper
Blogging at blog.kittycooper.com

Get familiar with the tools provided by your testing company

  • Most have a help center or FAQ
  • Use the ISOGG wiki- https://isogg.org/wiki/
  • You can always Google any question you have

Your autosomal test data is about 700,000 lines of data in a spreadsheet so best to use tools to analyze it!

Google for the instructions on how to download your DNA results from your company

This will be a zipped file that you can later upload to other sites


Upload results to other sites for free to get more analysis
and find more cousins:

* $19 for the full tools
**Only free until December 1,2018

To get the health results available in your DNA test results use this site (small fee)


By Chakazul, via Wikimedia Commons [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

You can get also  determine your Y haplogroup from Prometheuse -http://www.geneticgenealogist.net/2017/08/updated-method-to-get-ydna-haplogroup.html

By User:Maulucioni via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Mitochondrial Haplogroup Map:
note the distinct Native American groups

Autosomal DNA tests show the DNA from all your recent ancestors (back to gg(g)-grandparents then it trails off)

Each company has a different way of calculating yours

None are perfect yet, but the general outlines are accurate

Most Americans are a blend of ancestries

My version of the  J. Paul Hawthorne colorful ancestry chart, see http://www.geneaspy.com/2016/03/a-little-thing-that-went-viral.html

My known recent ancestry is 50% Norwegian, 25% Bavarian and 25% German Jewish

MyHeritage has a clever feature which shows the ethnic make up of modern day countries

Click on Ethnicities Map under DNA then select a continent and a country

German Ethnicities

MyHeritage Ancestry Composition, the overview

My DNA Home Page at Ancestry

The recent update at Ancestry actually breaks down ethnicity by country

Kitty's current ethnicity at Ancestry

Ancestry Overview for Tester with one New Mexican Parent

Ancestry Overview for Tester with Deep American Roots

How Does Ancestry Composition

Help My Genealogy?

When you get an unexpected result

If there is something unexpected that cannot be explained by the current levels of inaccuracy

A jewish friend of mine had been told that her grandfather was a Hungarian nobleman

The second one has some Sephardic ancestors 

Two Ashkenazi Jewish Friends

23andme Ancestry Overview Page - click on All Reports

The ancestry composition at 23andme is under Reports > Ancestry

Only 23andme and LivingDNA report your haplogroups.

There is much European haplogroup information at eupedia, see http://www.eupedia.com/europe/origins_haplogroups_europe.shtml

If you have a parent tested, it will break out the ethnicity by parent

Chromosome details of 23andme ancestry

Put your mouse on any 23andme ancestry to see just that ethnicity

You can change the confidence level, I use 70%

Ancestry Composition Segment Data can be downloaded from 23and me

Family Tree DNA initial ancestry composition page -  click on the map for more

My Origins Map at Family Tree DNA

Only family tree DNA reports on Sephardic Jewish DNA

DNA.land ancestry composition for me and my brother

My brother at GEDmatch.com

For details of how to use the GEDmatch ancestry tools see


Newly found "DNA" cousins can help you with your genealogy

They may have family stories and photos you do not have

My 3rd 1R sent me photos of my gg-grandparents


Best to have a tree back to your g-g-grandparents (all 16) or your 3rd greats but the shared DNA is less beyond 3rd cousins

A tip from Michelle Trostler is to print the pedigree out and use gold stars to show lines with DNA matches - http://blog.kittycooper.com/2016/08/michelles-ancestrydna-tips/
Very few Germans have tested which explains my lack of maternal stars

Other approaches are a DNA image on the photo or to use the suffix field to show the ancestors you share with DNA matches

An icon in the suffix field will not affect matching

Do I really have to look through thousands of matches?


Start with the low hanging fruit, 3rd cousins and closer

(90cM and larger)

Cousin Matches

  1. How much shared DNA in centimorgans (cMs)?
  2. Who else do they match?
  3. How many segments? (More than 2 is best)

Getting New Cousins to Respond to You

  • Have a family tree online
  • Upload friendly picture of yourself
  • Include details of who matches whom (they may have multiple kits)
  • Offer them information when you write to them

Do not be disheartened by lack of responses, some rarely log in 

Also the app for tablets and phones does not show the messages icon

The top right corner of your Ancestry DNA page has some important icons

  • Be sure to click on the envelope with the blue number to read your messages
  • Be sure to connect your DNA test to your tree (click the gear icon, settings, to get to that page)

Use Family Tree Linking to connect your DNA results to your tree

CINDY has an Ancestry Tree "Green Leaf" Match

Clicking on View Match for an "Unlinked Tree" gets a page that may have their tree

If you are very unlucky the tree might look like this one! Or it might not even be the right tree.

Sometimes you can figure out where they fit in from the shared matches

medBetterDNA is an extension which shows your notes on the match page among other features


See this article for how to get your Ancestry match t respond  


Clicking the username on a match takes you to their profile page

Where is the 23andme Cousin Matching Page?

23andme Cousin Matches

Click through to a Match gets a long page with much information

The match page also

shows your population

break downs side by side

On the right side of the page is space where you can send a message to your DNA match

The match page shows a chromosome map of where the matching DNA is BUT there are no numbers here

At the bottom of the 23and me match everyone who matches both of you is listed and a YES indicates that there is overlapping DNA between these 3 people (automated triangulation)

Clicking that YES gets this, segment data (numbers) at bottom or on hover with your cursor over the segment


Family Finder matches has your cousin matches at Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA Cousin Matches

5 known cousins compared in ftDNA chromosome browser

Click the DNA tab, then DNA matches at MyHeritage

My Heritage DNA

MyHeritage DNA Cousin Matching

MyHeritage Pedigree Display

MyHeritage DNA Chromosome Browser

MyHeritage DNA Shared matches shows each relationship to you and the other cousin

Cousin matching via the "One to Many" tool at GEDmatch

More at http://blog.kittycooper.com/tag/gedmatch/

Inheritance from 8 g-grandparents, courtesy of Angie Bush

Make a DNA chart from grandparents at https://www.legacytree.com/inheritance

Watch the video from Blaine Bettinger on how to use DNApainter at https://youtu.be/wyjcJxywTZI

The latest and greatest mapping tool is at DNApainter.com

Another new tool is automated clustering

You DNA tested, Now What? 2019

By Kitty Cooper

You DNA tested, Now What? 2019

How to use your DNA test results for your genealogy research: ethnic ancestry, finding cousins, and more

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