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DNA How to identify common ancestor?

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DNA How to identify common ancestor?

Postby Grandma Jedi » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:57 pm

After DNA testing on Ancestry, 2nd, 3rd, 4th cousins have been matched to me. Who or what generation is the common ancestor? If it is a second cousin do we share a Grandfather? Just don't know how the cousin relationship works because I thought that some ancestors would be Uncles or Aunts. Have read the explanation on Ancestry regarding relationships but I am no wiser!

Help please and thank you in anticipation for bothering to look and help me with this query.

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DNA How to identify common ancestor?

Postby brunes08 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:00 pm

It is fairly straightforward to identify relationships. First cousins share the same grandparents. Second cousins share the same great grandparents and so on back with 3rd and 4th etc. So, for example, my first cousins are the offsprings of my parents’ siblings. Hope that helps a bit.
My aunts and uncles are my parents’ siblings. My great aunts and uncles are my grandparents siblings and so on.

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Re: DNA How to identify common ancestor?

Postby JaneyH » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:33 pm

This article is written specifically for beginners to DNA testing: http://donnarutherford.com/put-the-kett ... bies-only/

I’d also recommend a book by Blaine Bettinger called “The Family Tree Guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy”. There are sections I had to read a few times but it’s really useful at explaining the science.

Do bear in mind, though, that DNA testing isn’t a substitute for traditional research - just an aid.


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Re: DNA How to identify common ancestor?

Postby Mick Loney » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:45 pm

The easiest way to think of matches, is that they MUST come from one of your direct ancestors. So if a 2nd, 3rd or 4th cousin is a match, they must be descended from one of these direct ancestors of yours. The matching exercise is to discover who this common ancestor is.

Remember, the number of generations back to this ancestor, may not be the same for you and for your matching cousin, which is why the matches are defined by an estimated range, such as 3rd-4th cousin.

I must re-iterate the comment by JaneyH, DNA testing is used to confirm you research only, it is NOT a substitute for research. If you don’t have a tree, don’t waste your money on a DNA test!
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Re: DNA How to identify common ancestor?

Postby Grandma Jedi » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:42 pm

brunes08 wrote:It is fairly straightforward to identify relationships. First cousins share the same grandparents. Second cousins share the same great grandparents and so on back with 3rd and 4th etc. So, for example, my first cousins are the offsprings of my parents’ siblings. Hope that helps a bit.
My aunts and uncles are my parents’ siblings. My great aunts and uncles are my grandparents siblings and so on.

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Thank you for your reply that is very straightforward, I understand now. Grandma Jedi
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Re: DNA How to identify common ancestor?

Postby Grandma Jedi » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:44 pm

JaneyH wrote:This article is written specifically for beginners to DNA testing: http://donnarutherford.com/put-the-kett ... bies-only/

I’d also recommend a book by Blaine Bettinger called “The Family Tree Guide to DNA testing and genetic genealogy”. There are sections I had to read a few times but it’s really useful at explaining the science.

Do bear in mind, though, that DNA testing isn’t a substitute for traditional research - just an aid.


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Thank you for the reply, I have read the article and have got a better understanding. Grandma Jedi
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