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Building Branches on Your Family Tree

You can build your branches by adding more relationships (aunts/uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.), but you must first add the immediate family member who is associated with the distant family member. For example:

  • If you want to add your sister's son as your nephew, you must first add your sister to your tree.
  • If you want to add your dad's sister as your aunt, you must first add your dad to your tree.
  • If you want to add your mom's brother's son, you must first add your mom and then her brother (your uncle) to your tree.

Note: When building your tree, you do not have to enter a name or any other information for a relationship. You can add, for example, your dad's brother (your uncle) to your tree and leave his profile card blank. As long as that relationship is added, you will be able to build your uncle's branch of the tree.

Adding Additional Relationships (Aunts/Uncles, Cousins, etc.)

To add distant relationships: 

  1. Click on the block for the person who is associated with the relationship you want to add. For example, if you want to add your sister's son, you would click your sister's block. The action menu is displayed. 
  2. On the action menu, click Add Relationship. A relationship menu is displayed.
  3. On the relationship menu, click the relationship that you want to add for the selected person. The profile card for the relationship you are adding is displayed.
  4. On the profile card, fill in the details that you want to add for that relationship. Please note that, if you wish, you do not have to enter any information for a relationship.
  5. Click Save. That relationship is now displayed on your tree. (Reminder, if you are on the Pedigree View, you will only see your direct-line relationships.)  

Adding Half Siblings 

To add a half sibling:

  1.  Add both of your biological parents to your family tree.* Example: Joe Jones and Jane Smith are the biological parents of Mary.

AddHalfSib1_2019Dec.jpg

  1.  Add the spouse relationship to your biological parent who is also the biological parent of your half sibling. Example: Linda Jones is added to Mary’s biological father Joe.

AddHalfSib2_2019Dec.jpg

  1. Then add your half sibling by adding a child (son or daughter) relationship to the parent that you and your half sibling do not share. This will link your half sibling to both of their parents. Important: Make sure to add your half sibling to the parent that you and your half sibling do not share, not to the biological parent that you share. Example: Mary’s half sister Lisa is added to her mother Linda, which links her to her father Joe also.

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Why don't I see all my relationships on my tree? 

If you do not see all of your relationships on your tree, you are most likely on the Pedigree View. 

To see all of your relationships, in the upper-left corner of your my family tree, click on the Family View button.

If you are still having problems viewing your relationships, please use our contact form to submit a request to customer service.

Linking Matches  

When you link a match to your family tree:

  • The person's profile image indicates which FamilyTreeDNA test(s) they have completed.
  • The person's profile card displays their mtDNA haplogroup and/or Y-DNA haplogroup if they have taken an mtDNA and/or Y-DNA test.
  • The person's profile card displays their Shared Origins if they have taken the Family Finder test and have opted in to Origins Sharing.
  • If the match's relation to you is in the range of parent to 3rd cousin and you both have taken the Family Finder test, the Family Finder - Family Matching feature is activated. Click here to learn more about the Family Matching feature. 

How to Link Matches

To link a match:

    1. In the upper-left corner of your family tree, click Link Matches. The Link Matches to You Tree menu is displayed.
    2. Search or scroll for the person that you want to link to your tree.
    3. Click and drag the selected match to the person with whom they have a direct relationship (you, your mother or father, sibling, etc.).
    4. On the Link/Add Relationship window, select the relationship of the match you are linking. Once the match is successfully linked, the person’s profile image will indicate which FamilyTreeDNA test(s) they have completed.

How to Unlink Matches

To unlink a match:

      1. Click on the person you wish to unlink. The action menu is displayed.
      2. On the action menu, click Unlink Match. You are prompted that you are unlinking that person.
      3. Click Unlink. The person and their information are unlinked from your tree. 

Why can't I link my relative to my tree?

You can only link your genetic matches from the tests that you have taken to your tree. If your relative took another type of test, then they are not in your matches list and cannot be linked.

Do you compare my tree to my match's tree to come up with link suggestions?

No, link suggestions are based on your matches’ names only. The Soundex system will identify matching or similar sounding names between the entries in your tree and your matches’ names and alert you to any possible links to investigate.

Removing Relationships 

It is important to note that when you remove a relationship, you remove that person and everyone on their branch.  

If you have entries all tied to one person on your tree and no one else, then deleting that person will break the link that connects all of those entries to the tree. When removing a relationship, you will receive a warning message if any additional entries will be deleted with them.

Example 1

Your sister and her son are on your tree.

  • This is your sister's branch, and the branch consists of your sister and her son.
    • When you remove your sister, her son is also removed.

In this situation, if you were to select your sister's son and remove him, only the son would be removed and not your sister.

Example 2

Your dad's sister, her husband, and two daughters are on your tree. There are two branches here:

  • Branch 1: Your dad's branch, which consists of your dad, your dad's sister, her husband, and her two daughters.
    • When you select to remove your dad, your dad's sister, her husband, and her two daughters are also removed.
  • Branch 2: Your dad's sister's branch, which consists of your dad's sister, her husband, and her two daughters.
    • When you select to remove your dad's sister, she, her husband, and her two daughters are also removed, but your father remains on the tree.

How to Remove a Relationship

Important: Once you remove a relationship/branch it cannot be undone.

To remove a relationship:

  1. Click on the person you wish to remove. The action menu is displayed. 
  2. On the action menu, click Remove Relationship. You are prompted that you are removing that person and everyone on their branch if there is anyone on their branch.
  3. Click Remove to remove that person and their branch if there is one.
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