Skip to main content

Family Finder Frequently Asked Questions

How much of my autosomal DNA does Family Finder test?

The microarray chip used for Family Finder tests about .024% of your autosomal DNA.

Is the Family Finder test medical?

No. The Family Finder test is for ancestry and genealogy only

Because the field of genetics is dynamic and constantly evolving with consistent research being done around the entire genome or parts of it, there is no assurance that the raw data of any tests of any kind may reveal information from which a qualified person may extract health-related information.

We do not share your results other than for the purposes to which you have consented or to which you may consent. Additionally, in 2008, GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) was passed in the United States. The GINA Act stops insurance firms from using DNA test results to deny coverage. All of your raw data and information are held behind your sign in pages at FamilyTreeDNA.

How will I know about new Family Finder Matches?

We will send an email notification for any new Family Finder matches determined to be Immediate or Close matches. We do not send notifications for Family Finder matches that are more distant than 2nd cousins.

Why isn't my Y-DNA close match not a Family Finder match?

If your Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) match is not on your Family Finder match list, it may be that the match did not take the Family Finder test. Matches do not work across databases. You may check this on your Y-DNA match list by looking for FF or Family Finder next to the match’s name. If FF or Family Finder is displayed, then your match has taken the Family Finder test.

If both you and your match have taken the Family Finder test but do not match, it means that your relationship is unlikely to be within the past five generations.

Why can't my close match and I find common surnames or ancestors in my matches? 

It is both possible and reasonable for you not to have matches in common with a close cousin. For example, your relationship with your close cousin may be through your mother. However, your relationship to the majority of your matches may be through your father.

How can I tell on which side my matches are related (mother or father)?

It is not possible to tell from your Family Finder results if a match is from your mother’s side or your father’s side. This is because autosomal DNA recombines each generation. With an autosomal genetic test, the only sure way for you to tell if your relationship with a match is on one parent’s side is to test that parent or a relative from their side. For example, if you and a maternal cousin share a match, this is a good indication they are a maternal match.

However, our Family Matching feature can bucket your Family Finder matches. Click here for more information. 

I have matches who are remote cousins, and I cannot find the connection. Are these false positives?

These matches are in the Speculative Relationship category. Their quality should be taken as exactly that. Your relationship may be as close as 4th cousins. On the other hand, you may share some autosomal DNA with cousins beyond genealogical times. Thus, it may also be as remote as 20th cousins. It is not possible to say exactly where the relationship falls.

Why does a third-party tool analyze my results differently?

When you compare two people’s Family Finder results using third-party tools, it is common for there to be small differences. The FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder program uses a proprietary set of calculations to evaluate shared DNA segments and to determine relationships. The bioinformatics team set thresholds not only to provide the most meaningful matches but also to account for microarray chip technology using current scientific knowledge.

Can I transfer my autosomal DNA results from another company to FamilyTreeDNA?

You may transfer your autosomal DNA results from 23andMe©, AncestryDNA™, and MyHeritage™. Click here to learn more about transferring your autosomal DNA. 

Submit Feedback