DNA testing has become increasingly popular over the years, as people seek to learn more about their ancestry and genetic makeup. One of the most exciting aspects of DNA testing is the ability to connect with relatives who share your DNA. However, it can be challenging to determine which relatives are on your maternal or paternal side. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips for separating your DNA matches from your maternal and paternal sides.

Understanding Autosomal DNA

Before we dive into how to separate your DNA matches, it’s essential to understand autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA is the DNA that is inherited from both parents and is passed down through generations. When you take a DNA test, you receive results that show the percentage of DNA you share with your matches, based on the segments of autosomal DNA that you share.

  1. Start with Your Closest Relatives

When you receive your DNA test results, you’ll likely see a list of DNA matches, ranging from distant cousins to close relatives. To begin separating your matches into maternal and paternal sides, start with your closest relatives. These relatives will likely have a more significant impact on your family tree and can provide valuable information about your ancestry.

  1. Create a Pedigree Chart

Creating a pedigree chart is an excellent way to visualize your family tree and identify which side of your family your DNA matches belong to. A pedigree chart is a family tree that shows the relationships between your ancestors. Start with yourself and work your way back, filling in the names of your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on.

Once you have your pedigree chart, use it to label which side of your family your closest relatives are on. For example, if your grandmother is on your father’s side, label her as such on the chart. This will help you keep track of which side of your family your DNA matches belong to.

  1. Use the Shared Matches Feature

Many DNA testing companies offer a shared matches feature that allows you to see which DNA matches you have in common with a particular relative. This feature is an excellent way to determine if a DNA match is on your maternal or paternal side.

To use the shared matches feature, select a close relative who you know is on either your maternal or paternal side. Look for DNA matches that you share with that relative and mark them as either maternal or paternal. Once you have a few matches marked, you can begin to see patterns and determine which matches are likely on each side of your family.

  1. Look for Clusters

Another way to separate your DNA matches is to look for clusters of matches that are likely on the same side of your family. Clusters are groups of DNA matches who share DNA segments with each other, indicating that they share a common ancestor.

To identify clusters, look for matches who share significant amounts of DNA with each other and who have family trees that overlap. These matches are likely on the same side of your family, and you can mark them as such on your pedigree chart.

  1. Use Third-Party Tools

There are many third-party tools available that can help you separate your DNA matches into maternal and paternal sides. These tools use algorithms to analyze your DNA matches and determine which side of your family they are on.

One popular tool is the DNA Painter, which allows you to create a visual representation of your chromosomes and mark which DNA segments are on your maternal or paternal side. Another tool is the What Are the Odds? tool, which uses a statistical algorithm to determine which side of your family a DNA match is on.

In conclusion, separating your DNA matches into maternal and paternal sides can be a challenging but rewarding process. By starting with your closest relatives, creating a pedigree chart, using the shared matches feature, looking for clusters, and utilizing third-party tools, you can begin to unravel the mysteries of your family tree.

You have your DNA test back, now what?

Post navigation

Did you find this content helpful?