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Family Finder Matches Guide

Detail View Vs. Table View

The difference between the two views is as follows:

  • Detail View - Displays detailed information individually per match.  
    • You can use the Sort by button in the upper-right corner of the page to sort your matches. 
  • Table View - Displays your matches' information in a table.
    • You can sort the table by each column header in ascending or descending order. 

Match Information Overview

The following is listed for each match:

  • Name - Displays the name of the Family Finder tester that you match. Matching suggests you share one or more recent common ancestors through any of your ancestral lines. 
  • Note: On the Detail View, below a match's name, the DNA tests your match has taken are displayed. In both views, You can click on your match's name to see the following information:
    • Email - Your match's email address.
    • Earliest Known Ancestor - Your match's self-reported earliest known paternal and maternal ancestor. 
    • Haplogroup - Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroup. Your match's mtDNA haplogroup is only displayed if they have taken an mtDNA test. 
    • Ancestral Surnames - Your match's self-reported ancestral surnames if they have provided this information.
  • A symbol indicating whether your match is Paternal (paternal.jpg), Maternal (maternal.jpg), or Both (both.jpg). These are only displayed once you have activated the Family Matching feature. For more information, see the below Family Matching Overview topic.
  • Ancestral Surnames - Self-reported last names and their locations in your match’s genealogy. Shared surnames are highlighted and may lead to a common ancestor.

  • Haplogroup - Displays the following:
    • Y-DNA Haplogroup - Y-DNA haplogroups represent a shared paternal line ancestor who might have lived recently or thousands of years ago (for Y-DNA tested males only).
    • mtDNA Haplogroup - mtDNA haplogroups represent a shared maternal line ancestor who lived thousands of years ago (for mtDNA tested matches only).
  • Relationship Range - Most probable genealogical relationships between you and the match, predicted based on your shared DNA. Linked relationships are shown below this range.

  • Shared DNA - Centimorgans (cM) are a unit of genetic linkage between you and the match. A higher shared cM value indicates a closer genealogical relationship.

  • Longest Block - Centimorgan value of the longest segment of shared DNA between you and the match. A higher value indicates a closer genealogical relationship.

  • X Match - Shared DNA on the X chromosome. A male’s  X matches are typically on the maternal side, while a female’s can be on either side.

Family Matching Overview 

You can click on the Family Matching tabs to view your Paternal, Maternal, and Paternal/Maternal matches. 


The Family Matching feature allows you to view your confirmed maternal and paternal Family Finder matches at a glance and separately. This feature assigns maternal or paternal icons to your matches list based on phased matching to close relatives in conjunction with a special Family Matching threshold.

In order to take advantage of this feature:

  • You must have taken the Family Finder test and received your results.
  • You must have Family Finder matches.
  • You must have created or uploaded a Family Tree or GEDCOM on the FamilyTreeDNA website.
  • You must have at least one maternal and/or paternal Family Finder match linked to your family tree. 

The Family Matching tool is not limited to Parents and uses anyone who has taken the Family Finder test and who is currently linked to your tree between Parent to 3rd cousin.

Family Matching continues to populate information when linking more matches beyond a linked immediate parental relationship range. We always recommend linking all members of your family, even if a particular relationship is not currently in use, as it may be in the future.

    • Relationships are validated based on Family Finder’s range with a + - formula depending upon the distance. For example, the system will not use someone as a parent if they are calculated as a 2nd cousin.

    • Family Matching does not populate based on relationships indicated by users but rather assigns maternal and paternal icons only based on single or multiple linked kits, the phased matching algorithm and the Family Matching threshold.

The Family Matching system is not based on the In-Common With/Not-In-Common With feature which is entirely based on the match list. Instead, Family Matching is based on phased blocks detected between relations, taking into account phased information is significant as it ensures that the block is not only of similar size and in the same location, but also transmitted by the same alleles.


In both views, Actions are listed to the far right of your match's information.

The following actions are available: 

  • mceclip1.png - Click to view which matches you and a match have in common or not in common. 
  • Family Tree icon - If your match has a public Family Tree, you can click this icon to view it.  
    • Family_Tree_1_.jpg - Signifies that your match does not have a public Family Tree. 
    • Family_Tree_2.jpg - Signifies that your match does have a public Family Tree. 
  • Note icon - Click on this icon to add/edit a note for your match.  
    • Note_1_.jpg - Signifies you do not have a note added. 
    • Note_2_.jpg - Signifies that you do have a note added. 

Relationship Filter 


The relationship filter is located in the upper-left portion of the page.

This filter allows you to filter matches by: 

  • All Matches – Displays your genetic matches cousins at all levels of matching.
  • Immediate Relative – Displays your matches in the Immediate Relative range.
  • Close Relative – Displays your matches in the Close Relatives range.
  • Distant Relative – Displays your matches in the Distant Relative range.
  • Remote Relative – Displays your matches in the Remote Relative range.
  • X Matches – Displays your matches who also match with you on the X chromosome.

Search Options

The Search field is located in the upper-right corner of the page.

You can search for matches using the following options: 

  • All - Search for matches using all search options. 
  • Name - Search for matches by name. 
  • Ancestral Surname - Search matches by self-reported surname.
  • mtDNA Haplogroup - Search for matches by mtDNA haplogroup. 
  • Y-DNA Haplogroup - Search for matches by Y-DNA haplogroup. 

Sort Options 

You can sort your matches by: 

  • Table View - Click a column header to sort your matches in ascending/descending order by column details. 
  • Detail View - In the upper-right corner of the page, click Sort by. Then select the option for which you want to sort your matches. You can click the option again to toggle between ascending and descending order.

The following sorting options are available: 

  • Relationship Range 
  • Shared DNA
  • Longest Block 
  • X Match
  • Y-DNA Haplogroup 
  • mtDNA Haplogroup
  • Most Recent Matches 
  • Assigned Relationship
  • Ancestral Surnames 

Filter Options 

The Filter option is located at the top, center of the page next to the Family Matching tabs. When you click Filter, the filter slide-out menu is displayed on the right of the screen. 

The following filters are available: 

  • Family Tree Type 
  • Match Date 
  • Test Taken

Comparing Matches in Chromosome Browser

You can select up to seven Family Finder matches to compare in the Chromosome Browser. 

To compare a match: 

  1. On the Family Finder Matches page, select the check box located to the left of your match's name. You must select at least one match. 
  2. On the popup window displayed at the bottom of the page, click Compare Relationship
  3. You are directed to the Chromosome Browser to view your DNA segment comparison. 

For more information on the Chromosome Browser, see Chromosome Browser

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