1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. If you're looking for the LostCousins site please click the logo in the top left corner - these forums are for existing LostCousins members only.
  3. This is the LostCousins Forum. If you were looking for the LostCousins website simply click the logo at the top left.
  4. Coronavirus Corner - a place to share your hopes, dreams, and frustrations.
  5. Only registered members can see all the forums - if you've received an invitation to join (it'll be on your My Summary page) please register NOW!

DNA Question

Discussion in 'Any questions?' started by GDaveF, May 5, 2021.

  1. GDaveF

    GDaveF LostCousins Member

    On Ancestry DNA I have a 203 cm match to a person and in My Living DNA a 213cm match to her brother which I believe makes us quite close but we can't find any Surnames in common.

    Ancestry DNA gives me 4 shared matches with the 203cm person and of these 4 I have linked 2 of them to the same pair of Great Grandparents. Am I correct in thinking that is the place to look?

  2. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Well that's the correct branch of the family but there could be an NPE (Non Paternal Event) and this person could be a half match. This would mean that there wouldn't be surnames in common as the paper trail is different to the DNA trail.

    This handy tool shows you the probabilities when you add the cMs into the box. When you scroll down you also get a great visual.
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    It's the right place to start looking. How closely related to you are the 2 shared matches you can identify, and can you work out how the other two shared matches are related to you?
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't recommend using that tool because the probabilities given are inherently misleading.
  5. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I agree.
    I agree with this too, and that's the bit I like.
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Well of course - as will come as no surprise - I disagree the (so called) Handy Tool recommended by Tim I found REALLY USEFUL and more to the point has been a great boon to me in getting across the message of explaining cousin relationships to family, my daughter, sisters & wife in particular. True they are not concerned with the cM side of things - that is exclusively for DNA Geeks of which I am not one, although to be fair I found the 'probabilities' pretty accurate, the few times I have used the Tool. But it was its add on 'read more about cousin relationships' that I discovered a while ago and used to explain Cousin relationships far more clearly than I ever managed without such an aid - although there are others of course. For that alone DNA Painter earns its keep...and I agree with Tim about the visuals.
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The best way to explain cousin relationships is with a family tree. Great visuals.
  8. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Sorry Peter, disagree. Family Trees are excellent illustrations of pedigree - and I have lost count of the number produced for family and friends - but, what they do NOT do is explain cousin relationships except of course to the Genealogical Cognoscenti. Try to dissuade someone convinced that the relationship of A to B is second cousin, when in fact it is first cousin once removed -and vice versa plus variations on a theme - requires a deal of tact, patience and the ability to refrain from exclaiming ...BECAUSE I SAY SO.

    Now move forward to a visual 'lay' format - of which the link provided by DNA Painter to the Family Search article on "Family Relationships explained" and their 'What is a Cousin Chart" is one such - and that does the job for you. Not always accepted without a whimper or outright surrender but satisfying to hear them conclude..."well I always thought..."

    PS The chart can be downloaded and I now have copies in reserve for the next time I am called upon to explain a particular cousin relationship.
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Not if you just plonk one in front of someone and expect them to figure it for themselves. But as a visual aid when you're explaining a relationship they simply can't be bettered.

    The FamilySearch chart is, of course, a family tree - which is why it works, though only up to a point. Far better to explain using a real example and a real tree in which your pupil features - that way a good teacher can impart real understanding.

    Cousin relationships are actually very simple - putting a chart with 25 coloured boxes filled with text in front of someone makes it unnecessarily complicated.
  10. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I agree. The coloured boxes are great for reference by someone who understands, like us, but a simple family tree with just 2 or 3 generations is much easier to explain cousin relationships and can be tailored specifically to the audience for greater understanding.
  11. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    'Plonk' - PLONK? I think you have been watching too many "Only fools and horses" Peter . I am many things, but a Plonker certainly not. My usual practice when visiting a cousin or family member who wants to learn more about their lineage is to sit with them at a Kitchen or Dining Table, and take them through their Tree, explaining things as I go using as many vistual aids I can That is how I KNOW many cannot get to grips with cousin relationships, other than their first cousins. Simple to you and perhaps most in the Forum, but explaining how relationships are determined by common Grandparent/Gt Grandparent ties can be hard going, so give me visual aids every time.

    I also recall way back being roped into (and I mean 'roped' as I turned it down twice before finally relenting at the insistence of my wife and her friend) giving a talk to a local WI on the subject of Family Trees. I was apprehensive, but need not have feared because it went off well. But it was in the ubiquitous Q&A session that followed that I learned of the general bafflement of cousin relationships, other then their own (first) cousins. Thankfully as they were all of my generation and older, I was able to explain about 'removed' cousins (because most occupied that role themselves) and I think I also got over to them about multiple (2nd and beyond) cousin relationships as well. How much easier it would have been with some form of visual aid, even a blackboard or whiteboard?

    A good visual aid (like a photo) is worth a thousand words. It is how children learn and how best to pass on information to others. "Fine words butter no parsnips" as the old saying goes, and so to sit with someone and explain things with 'coloured boxes' as a visual aid is the best way to get any message across, particularly where it concerns cousin relationships.
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  12. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I agree but some visual aids are better than others. I would class the 'coloured boxes' as poor, requiring considerable explanation when first introduced. On the other hand, a simple family tree is much more pictorial and hence easier to associate with. That is why I particularly like GenoPro as my tree software. I find it very quick and easy to appreciate relationships by looking at the charts. It is not perfect but I believe that it can make it easier for those who are trying to grasp the general principles for the first time.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Me too - perhaps others are constrained by their choice of family tree program?
  14. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Allowing for the fact I also use GenoPro mainly for its chart making properties adding descriptive notations to highlight, amongst other things, cousin relationships and often combine same with the wonderful Ancestor/Descendant charts produced by Tribal Pages (3-5-7 generations up or down, ) I am not constrained in any way.

    I also use FTM but NOT for its chart producing capabilities (which I am sure other will tell me it is perfectly capable of producing) but mainly for its 'Ancestry' Sync capablities and one of the best data bases for highlighting place locations. I doubt such could be beaten; not that I am out to challenge anyone.

Share This Page