Sunday, November 11, 2018

Visualizing DNA tested Descendants of an Ancestor Couple

If you are actively working to identify what relationship you share with your DNA matches, you have likely heard of the What Are The Odds tool, commonly referred to as WATO.   It is part of and you can learn more about all of the tools by visiting the website. While I use the tool mainly when I'm helping adoptees, lately I've been using it to get a visual of the assessment of people who have tested from specific ancestor couples.

One of my larger AncestryDNA Circles is that of Jabel Putman my 3rd Great Grandfather.  There are 106 members but I want to know if these testers represent someone from all of his children or just ones thru several branches. He is believed to have had 12 children.  Using the WATO tool I chart each line from Jabel to the tester.  I also look at the shared matches within the circle members to see if I can identify others who are descendants of Jabel who weren't included due to not having him in their tree.  I have added some that I've found at other sites as well.  Below is a closer look at two of the children of Jabel.  I didn't show the right side of the chart as it contains the names of living and testers but it gives you some idea of how it looks.

The chart is a work in progress.  I will be adding more testers as I identify them.
Of Jabel's 12 known children, it looks like all but 2 have descendants that have tested. There is a representation of the following among the Jabel Putman descendants:

2 of William's children
4 of Lavina's children
2 of Parry's children
3 of Hiram's children
4 of Noah's children
5 of Sarah/Sally's children
4 of Elizabeth's children
3 of Susan's children
3 of Janette's children
2 of Simpson's children

Please note that there are varying amounts of testers from each of those children's children who have tested.  Below is a zoomed out shot of the chart(just a small portion of it) which continues out to the testers on the right for each line.  This can be used to see the coverage or to identify testing opportunities.


  1. DNA Painter is something I've had on my list of tools to try for months. Your post is pushing me to go ahead and start the process! Thank you.

    1. I love the tools at DNA Painter. I had used Genome Mate Pro and got to the point where i never updated it because it was just too much to deal with--updating software--importing and adding new matches. . DNA Painter site is VERY user friendly and I have access to it from any of my devices. For me that last part was essential..

  2. I can honestly say that I haven't jumped into the DNA part of genealogy yet. I want to, but just haven't had a chance to yet. This looks like a very user-friendly tool that would help me tremendously, when I am ready to look into this more. I will have to keep this article bookmarked! Thank you!

  3. DNA Painter is such a great tool. I haven't used WATO yet but your post has inspired me to get moving! How fortunate to have so many people who have tested.
    Sue (

  4. I've had some luck with DNA Painter, and I've used WATO sparingly. Most of my connections are 3-5 cousins, and because they don't have any trees, it's challenging trying to find out how we're related. I may need to use WATO to dig a little deeper!