Wow, today is a great day in genetic genealogy-land. After the conference in Houston, which ended just a month ago today, a small group met with the Family Tree DNA team and explained what we, as users, need, and why. We walked through lots of scenarios and everyone did a lot of explaining. The whiteboard was full. We were hopeful.
Bennett made a commitment, publicly, at the conference, to do whatever it took. However, I never expected this feature, the Family Finder Match Matrix, which was very high on the priority list, to make it out the door this soon. Less than one month later. Hats off to the Family Tree DNA team! YOU ROCK!!!
Why is this so important? Because you have two halves to your chromosome, and there is no magic zipper to divide Mom’s half from Dad’s half. So you’re going to match with people who come from Mom’s side, Dad’s side, and some who just happen to match because of random recombination. The best way to figure this out is to see which of your matches match each other as well.
So, in a nutshell, here’s how this works.
- If your matches match you, but not your other matches as revealed in the “In Common With” feature, they are questionable matches. To find who you match in common with one of your matches, use this crossover icon on your matches page:
- If your matches match you and each other, then they are very likely important genealogical matches.
- If your matches match you and each other, and you can identify the lineage based on which of your cousins or other family members they match, you’ve got a hugely valuable piece of information. I discussed this in yesterday’s article, Chromosome Mapping aka Ancestor Mapping.
Here’s the release today from Family Tree DNA. And even better news, they have promised to keep us apprised on new features to come ON A WEEKLY BASIS!!!
From Family Tree DNA:
Today, we are happy to release our new BETA Family Finder – Matrix page. The Matrix tool can tell you if two or more of your matches match each other. This is most useful when you discover matches with wholly or partly overlapping DNA segments on the Family Finder – Chromosome Browser page.
Due to privacy concerns, the suggested relationship of your two matches (if related) is not revealed. However, we can tell you whether they are related according to our Family Finder program. To use it, you select up to 10 names from the Match list on the left side of the page and add them to the Selected Matches list on the right side of the page. A grid will populate below the lists. It will indicate whether there is a match (a blue check mark) or there is not a match (an empty white tile).
You access the BETA Family Finder – Matrix page through the Family Finder menu in your myFTDNA account.
The page starts out with two list areas: Matches and Selected Matches. You add Matches to the Selected Matches list by clicking on a name and then on the Add button.
Here is a screenshot of the BETA Family Finder – Matches page with a few matches added to the Selected Matches list.
You can change the order of names in the matrix by clicking on a name and then either the Move Up or the Move Down button.
To remove someone from the Selected Matches list, click on their name and then the Remove button.