Who Am I Related To? – Using Family Tree DNA’s Tools to Compare Within Projects

While this may not seem like a Native topic, it is.  I am the volunteer administrator or co-administrator of several DNA projects that are either focused on or include people with Native heritage.  The goal of DNA testing is to find out and document your heritage and part of that is discovering who you match and what kinds of information they might have that could be useful to you, and vice versa, of course.

One of the most common questions I receive is how to figure out who you’re related to within projects.

For example, the Cumberland Gap project is massive with over 4000 members.  In the past, people would go and look at the project page to see who they are related to, but with over 4000 people, that’s just impossible. Not to mention that as an administrator, I have to group them all individually, by haplogroup, and given that takes a minute or so each, that equates to over 66 hours, which I simply don’t have.  So, participants need to use tools to see who they are related to.  Thankfully, Family Tree DNA provides those tools.

First, sign on to your personal page.  You can see who you are related to in any project by using the Advanced Matching tool that is available for Yline, mtDNA and Family Finder results.

Click on Advanced Matching.  You will see several options.

First, select the type of test you’re interested in matching.  If you’re interested in only the Family Finder test, then just select that one.  If you’re interested in seeing who matches you BOTH on Family Finder and your Yline, then select Y-DNA 12, where there are generally more matches than at higher levels, plus the Family Finder, then click the box that says “show only people I match in all selected tests.”  As you can see, by using combinations, this is a very powerful tool.

In addition to the tests, you can also select how to compare your data.  You can compare to the entire data base, or you can compare to only people within certain projects.

For this example, I’m going to compare my results with the entire data base, asking for anyone who I match on Family Finder and on the HVR1 region of my mtDNA as well.  You can see my selections below.

Hey, look, I have one match.  That means that she may be related to me on my maternal line.  I hate to run, but I need to e-mail this person and see if we can find some common genealogy, or maybe just some common geography on my mother’s side.  Wow, the power of DNA combined with the right tools….amazing!!!  Happy hunting.

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in DNA. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Who Am I Related To? – Using Family Tree DNA’s Tools to Compare Within Projects

  1. Janet says:

    What projects are available to Family Finder participants at FamilyTreeDNA? Most projects are for yDNA or mtDNA only and since I’m female and my mtDNA is German I’m kind of limited. Also, is there a way to find out how many participants there are in each project?

  2. Pennie Cockrel says:

    Wow, I am impressed at your work! Bless you for your service! Maybe will find the father of Bob’s 4th great grandfather by using your tips!

  3. Thomas Robbins says:

    The Chowanoke Descendants Community forum/blog/website can help you connect to others researching the same names. Its run by Lars Adams and attended by Fletcher Freeman, Marvin Robbins, Sheshone Elmardi, and others with a wealth of info about just about all the Coastal tribal groups.

    I have had my dna tested and have had a lot of interesting names pop up. I will post my kit # and what I discover on the Chowanoke Descendants Community. By the way, many of my lines merged at the Indian Woods res for anyone interested.

    2% is ridiculous. Tony McClure phd of the Cherokee says one drop of Cherokee blood makes you Cherokee. I feel that pride in your Native heritage cannot be quantified by percentages.

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