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  • Family Finder

    I have a match that says she is between my 2nd and 4th cousin. Her shared cm is 80, most of my other matches for 2nd-4th cousins is in the 40's to 60's. What does this mean? None of her surnames match mine, trying to locate my grandmother's ancestry who was adopted. Thanks? When does the shared cm denote a really close relative? I'm wondering how much time I should spend researching her tree.

    Thanks for any advice

  • #2
    Best guess is you are looking for shared Great-Great Grandparents or better. You and your match would each have 16 to sort out; 8 couples. Surname 'matches' are unlikely to be helpful.

    This is do-able with good paper trees, but hard. In your case, with an adoptee, it would be extremely hard. You might need to hope for a better starting point to get your first big break, IMHO.

    I have only a few holes in my tree back that far and am striking out trying to sort them out. Realistically this will be a struggle for you, but good things happen. Help is but a few keystrokes away.

    I really liked Finding Family by Richard Hill; highly recommended.

    Bob H.
    Last edited by hansonrf; 1 December 2015, 11:20 AM. Reason: clarity


    • #3
      Thanks Bob I appreciate your response. I will check out the family finder information you suggested. yes, it's going to be very hard. I do have the surname of my Grandmother, Green. But I don't know if this was her mother's surname or father or just made up. Going to be very difficult, yes. I've already spent 20+ years trying to find her parents. I'll keep looking..

      Thanks again


      • #4
        I second the Richard Hill book recommendation, it is very well written and an interesting read for anyone, not just people interested in genetic genealogy or the experiences of adoptees. His website may also be a useful resource to add to your bookmarks:


        • #5
          Also look at the "in common with" feature and see if you have shared matches. If yes, you can look to see similarities in matching chromosomes and such. If you get lucky, you might see more than 1 match in the same location(s) and if you are REALLY lucky you might even find similarities in their family trees. I have gotten lucky in figuring out some of my matches... but despite having a ginormous known family history on many of my branches... it usually feels like I am looking for a needle in a haystack. Also, figure out a system that you like for documenting anyone you research. I am still playing around and trying to figure out what works best for me... but so far it seems that is simply downloading the CSV file and making notes. There are also a lot of 3rd party tools you can use (the suggested website likely has many of them listed). I just haven't found the system I like best yet.