Paternal and Maternal designations within Family Finder (FTDNA) #dna

Janet Akaha <akaha@...>

In response to Steven Bloom and Jeffrey Herman re FTDNA and maternal and
paternal assignments.

The maternal and paternal matches are determined based on shared DNA. So
these are not just "in common with matches". The way this works is that
you have to attach your known DNA matches to your family tree. As you
are typing their name, Family Tree DNA will usually recognize the name
and give you a suggestion. Click on that suggestion and that person's
DNA will be added to your tree. When you go back to your match list
Family Tree DNA should "recalculate" and assign some of your matches to
either the paternal or maternal bucked depending on your relationship to
the person you just added. This generally only works up through 3rd
cousins. The goal is to extend this out to more distant cousins, and
ultimately to "paint the chromosome", but it is very useful in assigning
your matches to one of set of chromosomes. If someone matches on *both*
chromosomes they will be put in the purple bucket.

Janet Akaha

Peggy Mosinger Freedman <peggyfreedman@...>

Here is more detail aboutPaternal and Maternal designations within Family
Finder (FTDNA)

This is a tool that is based on computer analysis of your data. You can
not turn it on and off. You start it by "assigning test results to
relatives on your family tree."

To assign test results to relatives:

1) Enter your own family tree by going to the Dashboard (for me,
this is the first page when I log in) and clicking on MENU symbol on the
top left (three horizontal lines and the words myFTDNA)

2) A menu opens, click on FAMILY TREE

3) Spend some time learning to navigate this area. You can enter
data, then delete it, so don't be afraid to experiment. In the beginning,
nothing will show but the test taker. You can upload a GEDCOM or enter
people individually by clicking on the icon for the person, then clicking
ADD RELATIONSHIP. I make a special GEDCOM that shows only direct
ancestors and one generation of their children in order to 1) protect
privacy and 2) simplify navigating this screen.

4) Because I do not show all my known cousins on my FamilyTree DNA
tree, I have an extra step. If I look at the match list, I have to be
sure that my known cousin with a DNA test is on the family tree that I
have created. I go to our most recent common ancestor and add the direct
relatives so that the matching person appears on the FamilyTree DNA tree.

5) On the Family Tree screen, click on the button on the top left
that says DNA MATCHES. A list of your matches should appear. Find the
name of the person that you know is a match and drag the name to the
circle on your tree that represents that person.

6) Your match will get an email asking if they accept the

7) When the other person accepts that this is a real match, allow
the computers some time to analyze all your matches. If your known
match is related to only one of your parents, you will begin to get pink
and blue boxes on your unknown matches that indicate they are related to
both you and your cousin.

I tested my mother -- her father was >from Lithuania and her mother's
family is >from Hungary. Because a number of known cousins have also
tested, I have a better idea which side of the tree to look for unknown
matches if they have a pink or blue icon on them.

Hope this helps!

Peggy Mosinger Freedman
Atlanta, GA

Sarah L Meyer

1. Paternal and Maternal designations within Family Finder (FTDNA)
First you need to have your family tree on FTDNA. Then you have look at
your known DNA matches and drag the DNA match to the appropriate person on
the tree. You have to either uncheck the send an email - or leave it checked
and finally there is a button at the very bottom of the screen that says
Confirm or Cancel. You need to click on confirm. Once you have a
sufficient number of relatives with the DNA matching on the tree, then FTDNA
will split your results. Be aware that there will still be people where
there is insufficient evidence to assign them to a side - or people other
than siblings and children, that will get assigned to both sides.
Sarah Christiansen
Georgetown TX

June Genis

I believe that FTDNAs maternal/paternal matching algorithm may be
unable to correctly catch all relationships if they have been
reinforced by endogamy. My second best 2nd cousin match and his
mother have both been identified as paternal matches. However when I
paint them on DNAPainter along with other close cousin matches
collected >from multiple DNA sites it clearly shows that those same
segments match people on my maternal side. So most likely they are
both more distant relations that have connections on both sides of my

I have about 50 matches which FTDNA identifies as as being both
maternal and paternal. My full sibling has about 150. Jewish DNA is a

June Genis
Livingston, TX
(Russian/Polish Empire)