DNA Shared Matches Tool


The Shared Matches tool is my favorite genetic genealogy tool for taking control of your DNA match list! Here’s how it can help you figure out your relationships to your matches.

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I have heard so many of you tell me you are overwhelmed by your long list of DNA cousins! You don’t know how to go about turning that list of matches into actual genealogical discoveries.

The Shared Matches Tool

My very favorite tool to help you immediately take control of your match list is the DNA shared matches tool. Every company has one, and it works like a filter on your match list. It shows you a list of people who share DNA with you and one other person.

You can use it in many ways, but one idea is to use the shared matches tool on a fairly close known relative who has tested. Then you’ll know that everyone in that shared matches list is also related to the grandparent couple you share with that first cousin.

For both AncestryDNA and MyHeritage DNA, click on one of your matches and scroll down to see a list of your shared matches. Here’s what it looks like at AncestryDNA:

And here’s what it looks like at MyHeritage DNA:

Now you might not know right away exactly how you are related, but it is a great start to know which side of the family they belong to.

I hope this quick tip directs you back into the powerful shared matches tool at your testing company. To get the more out of your results—wherever you’ve tested—check out my inexpensive but must-have quick reference guides, including a guide specifically for organizing your DNA matches.


Originally published June 2018 on genealogygems.com. Updated March 2019.