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  • My Parents were cousins

    I have just started contacting my matches. I am asking this question because one of my "3rd to 5th" cousins is looking a lot more like 8th or 9th cousin. My parents were 2nd cousins. Plus, there was an "in-law" marriage. As a result my paternal and maternal great grandfathers were brothers, and my maternal and paternal great grandmothers were sisters. Since the test I had was a mixture of genes from both my parents, I wondered if that would affect the DNA mix? Maybe giving me more matching centimorgans than most people would have, making it appear that we were more closely related than we actually are?

  • #2
    Since the actual match is only labelled a cousin or 2nd cousin, etc. going back based on a range amounts of the shared DNA you have with each other, you will very likely have cousins labelled 4th that are actually 5th, 6th, or farther back. Welcome to the club. And removes aren't called. My uncle's grandson shows as my 2nd cousin not first 1X removed.

    It's not unusual to have DNA mixed or messed up this way. My father in law's half siblings on his father's side are also all his first cousins on their mother's side. The typical a man married two sisters. You end up getting an extra dose of the DNA.

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    • #3
      The estimated relationships are based on "statistics" and are usually fairly close for actual relationships up to about second cousins. Beyond that, the estimates become increasingly uncertain. Very few of my estimated fourth cousins can be confirmed, even in the rare situation where they have posted enough of a pedigree to be useful. In the handful of cases where we have been able to find the actual relationship, it has often turned out to be several generations further back. There are no cousin marriages in my own pedigree.

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      • #4
        Snap, John!

        Spoke about my situation in another thread - to which you kindly replied.

        I've been in the database for seven years, and have over 3,500 "matches" (obviously not written to all of them - only the most promising), but only in the last couple of weeks had ONE we were able to verify by conventional means.

        Think about that: one in 3,500+ was verifiable.

        That means you have to get very lucky.

        I think people have unrealistic expectations (that FTDNA don't do much to dispel) of being able to work out how they are related to most matches.

        In reality, it's the exception, rather than the rule.

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        • #5
          1600 matches

          I have 1600 matches outside my immediate family.

          36 are listed as potential 2nd -4th cousins. We have been unable to determine any potential link thus far with any of these potential second cousins.

          of the 122 listed as potential 3rd to 5th cousins one of them is a confirmed Third Cousin.

          of the 332 listed as 4th to distant cousins one is a confirmed 4th cousin.

          I know all 16 of my Great Great Grandparents, with paper trails and census records.... We can also identify 24 of my 32 GGG Grandparents. But few people know the names of their 16 GG grandparents. Thus it is near impossible to confirm potential fourth cousins as 95% of the people do not know the names of their GG Grandparents

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          • #6
            Yes

            Originally posted by MarieNTexas View Post
            I have just started contacting my matches. I am asking this question because one of my "3rd to 5th" cousins is looking a lot more like 8th or 9th cousin. My parents were 2nd cousins. Plus, there was an "in-law" marriage. As a result my paternal and maternal great grandfathers were brothers, and my maternal and paternal great grandmothers were sisters. Since the test I had was a mixture of genes from both my parents, I wondered if that would affect the DNA mix? Maybe giving me more matching centimorgans than most people would have, making it appear that we were more closely related than we actually are?
            Marie,

            My birth mother & birth father were 2nd cousins, we have the genealogy to prove it, and also gedmatch has an app "are your parents related", and the results showed 196cMs total on 11 segments. I have a 1st cousin 1x removed who shares 997cMs on 38 segments, which looks more like a 1st cousin, but we know why.

            Best regards, Doug

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