People often want to know how many DNA matches they have.
Sounds simple, right?
At some vendors, the answer to this question is easy to find, and at others, not so much.
How do you locate this information at each of the four major vendors?
What else do you need to know?
I’ve written handy step-by-step instructions for each company!
Matches at FamilyTreeDNA
At the top of the next page, you’ll see your total number of matches along with matches that FamilyTreeDNA has been able to assign maternally or paternally based on creating/uploading a tree and linking known matches to that tree in their proper place.
Your parents do NOT need to have tested for the maternal/paternal bucketing functionality, but you DO need to identify some relatives and link their tests to their place in your tree. It’s that easy. Instructions for linking can be found in the “Linking Matches on Your Tree” section of this article (click here), along with information about how that helps you, or here.
Obviously, if your parents have tested, that’s the best scenario. For people who don’t have that option, FamilyTreeDNA is the ONLY vendor that offers this type of feature if your parents have NOT tested.
At FamilyTreeDNA, I have 7313 total matches of which 3169 are paternal, 1402 are maternal and 6 are related to both parents.
Hint – your siblings, their children, your children, grandchildren, etc. will be related to you on both your paternal and maternal sides.
Matches at MyHeritage
At MyHeritage, sign on and click on DNA, then DNA Matches.
At the top of your matches page, you’ll see your total number of matches.
At MyHeritage, I have 14,082 matches.
Matches are not broken down maternally and paternally automatically, but I can filter my matches in a wide variety of ways, including shared matches with either parent if they have tested, or other relatives.
Click here for instructions about how to download a copy of your DNA file from other vendors.
Matches at Ancestry
At Ancestry, sign on and click on DNA, then DNA Matches.
On your matches page, at the top, you’ll see a number of function widgets. Look for “Shared DNA.”
Click the down arrow to expand the Shared DNA box and you’ll see the total number of matches, along with the breakdown between 4th cousins or closer and distant matches.
Sometimes the number of matches doesn’t show up which means Ancestry’s servers are too busy to calculate the number of matches. Refresh your screen or try again in a few minutes. This happens often to me and always makes me question my sanity:)
I have 53,435 matches at Ancestry, of which 4,102 are estimated to be 4th cousins or closer and 49,333 are more distant.
For close matches only, if your parents have tested at Ancestry, when possible, Ancestry tells you on each match if that person is associated with your father’s side or your mother’s side.
You can also download a copy of your tree from Ancestry and upload it to either of those vendors, along with your DNA file for best results.
Matches at 23andMe
23andMe functions differently from the other vendors. They set a hard limit on the number of matches you receive.
That maximum number differs based on the test version you took and if you pay for a membership subscription that provides enhanced medical information along with advanced filters and the ability to have a maximum of 5000 matches.
In order to purchase the membership subscription, you need to take their most current V5 test. If you tested with an earlier product, you will need to repurchase, retest or upgrade your current test which means you’ll need to spit in the vial again.
Please note the words, “up to 5000 relatives,” in the 23andMe verbiage. They also say that’s “over 3 times what you get” with their test without a subscription.
23andMe handles things differently from any other vendor in the industry. They made changes recently which created quite a stir because they removed some capabilities from existing customers and made those functions part of their subscription model. You can read about that here and here.
The match limit on the current 23andMe V5 test, WITHOUT the subscription, is 1500. If you tested previously on earlier kits, V2-V4, 23andMe has reinstated your prior maximum match limit which was 2000.
So, here’s the maximum match summary for 23andMe:
- Earlier kits (V2-V4) – 2000 maximum matches
- Current V5 kit with no subscription – 1500 maximum matches
- Current V5 kit with subscription – 5000 maximum matches
Except, that’s NOT the number of matches you’ll actually see.
23andMe handles matching differently too.
23andMe matches you with their other customers up to your maximum, whatever that is, then subtracts the people who have not opted-in to genealogy matching. Remember, 23andMe focuses on health, not genealogy, so not all of their customers want matching.
Therefore, you’ll NEVER see your total number of allowed matches, which is why 23andMe cleverly says you “get access to up to 5000 relatives.”
Let’s look at my V4 test at 23andMe. Sign on and click on Ancestry, then DNA Relatives. (Please note, Ancestry is not Ancestry the company, but at 23andMe means genealogy results as opposed to medical/health results.)
At the top of your DNA Relatives page, you’ll see your total number of matches, before any sorting filters are applied.
23andMe does not automatically assign matches maternally or paternally, but if your parents have tested AND opt-in to matching, then you can filter by people who also match either parent.
I have 1796 matches at 23andMe, which means that 204 or 11% of my matches have not opted-in to matching.
You can’t upload DNA files from other vendors to 23andMe, but you can download a copy of your DNA file from 23andMe and upload to either FamilyTreeDNA or MyHeritage where you will assuredly receive more matches. Click here for instructions.
Each vendor has its own unique set of features and operates differently. It’s not so much the number of matches you have, but if you have the RIGHT match to break through a particular brick wall or provide you with a previously unknown photo of a cherished family member.
I encourage everyone to fish in all 4 of these ponds by testing or uploading your DNA. Uploading and matching are both free. Advanced tools require a small one-time unlock fee, but it’s significantly less than testing again. You can find step-by-step instructions to walk you through the process, here.
I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.
Thank you so much.
DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- FamilyTreeDNA– Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
- MyHeritage DNA– Autosomal DNA test
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload– Transfer your results from other vendors free
- AncestryDNA– Autosomal DNA test
- 23andMe Ancestry– Autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder– Genealogy software for your computer
- MyHeritage Subscription with Free Trial
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars– Genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
- Legacy Family Tree Software– Genealogy software for your computer
- Charting Companion– Charts and Reports to use with your genealogy software or FamilySearch
- RootsMagic Software– Genealogy software for your computer
- Newspapers.com – Search newspapers for your ancestors
- Genealogical.com– Lots of wonderful genealogy research books
- Legacy Tree Genealogists– Professional genealogy research