Chromosome Mapping with DNA Painter

Chromosome mapping can be a fun way to compare your shared DNA with known matches and assign genetic strands to specific shared ancestors. Here’s how to do this with DNA Painter.

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Chromosome mapping is one of those “DNA tangents” some people love. It’s a fun way to compare the DNA you share with your known matches and eventually assign specific genetic strands to specific shared ancestors.

There are certainly many ways you can approach this yourself. DNA Painter is a great free online resource for chromosome mapping. Here’s how to do it.

Chromosome Mapping with DNA Painter

To use DNA Painter, go to the site and register: 

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Once you are registered you can create multiple DNA profiles:

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Once you have created a profile, you will see an empty set of chromosomes:

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Click on "Paint a New Match" to start painting your chromosome and assigning them to your ancestors:

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Next, you’ll create shared chromosome match data (from test results hosted at GEDmatch, MyHeritage, 23andMe or Family Tree DNA) by following these instructions on the DNA Painter website.

After doing that, you will input this shared data:

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Click on "Save Match Now." Now you can assign these segments to your shared ancestor, indicate if they are a match on your maternal or paternal side, and assign it a color:

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DNA Painter will then color code the chromosome graphics to correspond to your ancestors:

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Here are some additional chromosome mapping resources you might want to try.

Does chromosome mapping sound like fun but a little over your head? Schedule a mentoring session with Your DNA Guide. We can get you started!