Are you using DNA testing in your genealogy research? If so, you have probably seen this chart from the Shared cM Project.

Shared_cM_Project

You take a look at the number of cMs you share with your match and then you can use the chart from the Shared cM Project to find the most likely relationship between you and your match.

The way to find the number of cMs you share with a match is different for each DNA site. I currently have DNA kits on 3 different sites, so I can show you how to find the cMs on those 3.

To see the number of cMs you share with a match on Ancestry:

Click the “View Match” button. Note: your match does not have to have a tree in order to see how much DNA you share.

View_Match

Once you are on their page, click on the small letter I below the Predicted relationship. A pop-up box will tell you how much DNA you share.

Amount_of_Shared_-_Ancestry

To see the number of cMs you share with a match on FTDNA:

Navigate to your list of matches and look in the column that says “Shared Centimorgans”.

Amount_of_Shared_-_FTDNA

To see the number of cMs you share with a match on MyHeritage:

Amount_of_Shared_-_MyHeritage

 

The number is included along with the information for each match.

 

 

Once you have this number, you can use the chart to see all of the possible relationships you might have with your match.

If you find the chart confusing, there is another tool that will help you out. Jonny Perl has a fantastic web tool if you like the idea of “mapping” each segment of a dna kit to the ancestor(s) who passed it along. I am slowly using this tool to get a better idea of how I am connected to some of my DNA matches. But he also has an interactive version of the Shared cM Project chart that I love.

Go to dnapainter.com and click on “Tools” at the top of the screen.  (You do not have to be registered to use the tool.)

Tools

Click on the option for the most recent version of the tool. The creator of the chart, Blaine Bettinger, continues to collect data and updates the chart on a regular basis, so you will always want to look for the most recent version.

Most_recent

In the box at the top of the page, enter the number of cMs you share with your match.

Shared_cM_Tool

Notice that the chart at the bottom has changed to show you the most likely relationships you and your match might have based on the number of cMs. But just below where you entered your number, he also gives a table showing you the probability for every possible relationship based on the number of cMs. If you know the age of your match, you can use a little common sense to eliminate some of those highlight boxes in the chart. For example, a 40 year old person is pretty certainly NOT your great-great aunt or uncle!

I love working with my DNA matches, but I do find that once I get going with it, I can’t tear myself away! I have to drag myself away to get back to my “traditional” research, but I’m hoping that it won’t be long till I’m breaking through my brick walls by using my DNA info! And PLEASE, if you discover one of my kits in your list of matches, let me know!!!

(And just to be thorough – here are my GEDmatch numbers)

My mother: A326218
Her sister #1: A961251
Her sister #2: A569139
Her brother: T850404
Her 1st cousin: A476875

All of the above have deep Russell County roots!

My husband: A045548
My MIL: A660940

My husband and mother-in-law have deep GERMAN roots!

 

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