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Thread: 23andme Matches

  1. #1
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    23andme Matches

    My wife has two third cousin matches on 23andme of 0.83% and 0.75% respectively. My wife is about 35 years older than her matches and 23andme states that their match is through great great grandparents. My question is: Are these my wife's great great grandparents or her matches great great grandparents?

    Her two matches have the same mother, but different fathers. Would these matches' mother or aunt give a significantly higher match too my wife? There is about 16 years of age difference between my wife and the mother and aunt of these two matches.

    Thanks for any help in explaining this,
    Ken

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    I've moved this thread to a more appropriate forum section.
    Known ancestry - English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Croatian, Bosnian, Ashkenazi, Polish and Māori.


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  4. #3
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    The relationships are only an estimate based on how much DNA they share. 3rd cousins share 2nd great grandparents, meaning if they are actually 3rd cousins, their most recent common ancestors would be both your wife's 2nd great grandparents, and her match's 2nd great grandparents. However, since the relationship is only an estimate, they could be something more like 2nd cousins once or twice removed, 3rd cousins once removed, etc. There is a great tool here where you can put in the amount of DNA you share (in cMs, not in percentage) and it will tell you all the most likely relationships possible: https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcm

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  6. #4
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    Thank you for the link. I'm still not wrapping my head around how my wife's 2nd great grandparents and her matches 2nd great grandparents can be the same. I understand that this is an estimate, but there is a generational difference of 2nd great grandparents. I am trying to trace my wifes father's ancestors and I'm not sure where to start. These are the only DNA matches she has that I think are paternal.

    Thanks,
    Ken

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    Well, without saying that your wife and the two matches you mentioned actually are 3rd cousins, it is at least possible for them to have the same 2nd great grandparents even with a 35 year age difference between them.

    One reason is that whatever the average generational distance may be, the actual distance may be much greater or much less. For example, my father was born in 1930 but his youngest (full) bother was born in 1955. That makes for a difference of 25 years in the same generation!

    Looking at the next generation, my oldest brother was born in 1950. However, my uncle's younger child (he only has two) was born in 1985 or 1986. So now we see an age difference in 1st cousins of 35 or 36 years. By the time you get to the generation of 2nd great grandchildren, you can see how a much larger age difference between 35 years is possible -- the difference could well be 60, 70 years or more.

    Of course, this doesn't mean that your wife and her matches actually are 3rd cousins. There could be some "removeds" involved. But keep in mind that they wouldn't necessarily be 3rd cousins once or twice removed; they might be 2nd cousins once or twice removed. They could even be 1st cousins with multiple removeds.

    The "Shared cM Project" managed by Blaine Bettinger found that the average cM shared by 3rd cousins in the probject was 79 cM, with a range of 0 to 198 cM. However, 79 cM also falls within the range for either 3rd cousins once removed (0-156 cM) or 3rd cousins twice removed (0-82 cM). Or, it could fit 2nd cousins twice removed (average 81 cM, range 0-201 cM), 2nd cousins once removed (average 129 cM, range 0-325 cM). In fact, 79 cM even lies within the range for 1st cousins twice removed (27-413 cM) -- but it is possible even for some more distant relationships. https://thegeneticgenealogist.com/20...ed-cm-project/

    So unfortunately, percent shared or cM shared is not by itself enough to pinpoint the relationship. Even so, I'd start with the idea that these matches do represent 3rd cousins or closer. Perhaps 2nd cousins once or twice removed.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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    Another possibility that can mess up calculations is half relationships. For example, I have a cousin at Ancestry who shares 116 cM with me across 6 segments. Ancestry's prediction is that she is a 3rd cousin, but in fact she is my half 2nd cousin: We have the same great grandmother but different great grandfathers.

    But to show how variable the amount of DNA shared can be, I have another half 2nd cousin who is descended from this same great grandmother, but again with a different great grandfather. Even though it's exactly the same relationship, he and I share just 58 cM across 5 segments.
    Last edited by geebee; 03-11-2018 at 05:22 AM.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  11. #7
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    Thanks everyone. I guess I need to work harder on her family tree. It's hard when you don't know the biological father though. This was the first hope of finding her biological father's ancestors.

    Ken

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    Don't give up. Sometimes you can get a lucky break, even after going for a while without getting any solid leads. For example, I was a 23andMe customers for years before someone tested there just happens to be a 2nd cousin. A while after that, another apparent 2nd cousin appeared in my match list at Ancestry -- and this one turned out to be a 1st cousin of the other one!

    These two cousins helped me resolve an issue regarding my maternal grandfather's parentage. He is not the biological son of the couple who raised him, but of the couple who are the parents of my 2nd cousins' mutual grandfather. I still don't know why he was given up.

    But here's the really weird part. In the family my grandfather was raised as part of, he had a sister. That sister married a brother of my cousins' grandfather -- who was also my grandfather's brother. In other words, his sister-by-adoption would have been his sister-in-law in fact (though he didn't know), and his brother-in-law by marriage was his own biological brother.

    Clearly, my grandfather's biological family and adoptive family knew each other; but whereas I'd thought it was because of the marriage, it appears that the marriage was more likely a result of the families already knowing each other.

    My point is, I discovered this through a couple of "lucky breaks". You won't always get those, but they do happen.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  14. #9
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    That's an interesting story and gives us more hope. I have a kit on the way from Ancestry for my wife. Hopefully this will lead to more matches. I had a particular family that I had found from the process of elimination, but they all refuse to be tested even if I pay for it. With these two new matches, even though they are distant, I feel I might have been on the wrong track. Time will tell.

    Thanks again,
    Ken

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    I share 2.14% of my DNA with my 3rd cousin(23andme predicted 2nd or 3rd but since we know each other, we fixed it to 3rd). You can see it in the image I uploaded.
    total shared DNA is 160 cM over 9 segments, biggest single segment is on 7th chromosome and 50cM.
    I don't know how come %0.89 can also be a 3rd cousin?
    I understand that shared DNA may vary(as provided by the cM Project) but the difference between 2.14% and 0.89% is really huge in my opinion.

    screenshot-you.23andme.com-2018-03-12-17-03-29-678.jpeg
    Last edited by maydonez; 03-12-2018 at 04:21 PM.

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