Sunday, August 28, 2016

Visualizing relationships in DNA matches

When I am working with my DNA results and those of my matches, I often find I need to draw out how people were related.  I am a visual person when it comes to working toward a solution.Using Google Tools, I have been able to accomplish a great deal of what I had previously used MS Visio to draw or design.  I also love to use Evernote on occasion.  Lately my GO-TO has been the Google Drawing  tool which is part of Google Docs Toolbox.  I have made a template which I just make a copy of to start a new project.

This is actually a real life example with the names changed.   John & Jane are the couple from whom everyone descends.  Shane and Maggie are siblings which were high matches to the adoptee.
Rodney is the son of Maggie.  Among the adoptee's matches we also found other who descend from John and Jane thru another daughter named Minnie.  The other matches are a granddaughter and Great Grandchildren of Minnie. and I have mapped out their descent and noted the matching cM amounts for those that had tested.  I use the chart at the Shared cMs Project to get an idea of what the relationship might be by taking the amount of matching segments which are 7 cMs in length with that match and totaling them.  Then I find that amount on the chart.  From this I was able to form a hypothesis that the adoptee's birth father is more than likely a descendant thru Lulu.  In my drawing I use the amounts from GEDmatch unless otherwise noted.  (A) for Ancestry's guesstimate and (T) for FTDNA.

To me, it's just better when you can do this and see what is happening...or in some cases what is NOT happening.  Another added perk is the ability to save the file to your Google Drive and have it available to you at any time that you have internet access regardless of which device you are using..

This same technique could probably be accomplished in a regular Google docs or using Google Sheets(Evernote is another option).  I just happen to find that this works for me the best and thought I would share.

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