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Family finder

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  • Family finder

    Can someone, in simple terms, tell me how Family Finder works?

  • #2
    I'm no expert but I believe they are looking for identical segments of your DNA in other people who have tested. They measure the DNA in centi Morgans, so if you share a block of 10cM or more with someone, it means you definitely have a common ancestor. The longer the block, the closer the common ancestor. This is known as 'Identical by descent'. There is a possibility that you share bits of identical DNA with someone with no common ancestor, this is known as 'identical by state'. This can happen in small populations. Take my Maltese ancestry for example, I have a match that shares a total of 59cMs with me but the longest block is only 11cMs. This is because Malta has a small, somewhat isolated population and there are many bits of DNA that the population would share.

    Hope that helps a bit. It's still not totally clear in my mind!


    • #3
      Unfortunately FF is not simple

      Since FF is not simple to understand, there really can be no simple answer. If you are interested in FF testing and what it can do for you, then you need to have patience and take the time to learn the ins and outs.

      FTDNA has lots of good tutorials as does many other sites on the internet. Roberta Estes has a wonderful blog series on her DNAexplained site. Just google genetic genealogy and you will have access to many wonderful resources for learning.