Recording DNA Matches in Family Historian

Since receiving our DNA results a week or so ago, we have been having a lot of luck confirming several lines and extending our tree down to some of the matches.

We are using both Ancestry and GedMatch to contact people and gather information, so I wanted to record those people and their contact details with in Family Historian.

To this end I have created a custom Event called GedMatch. There is already a DNA Markers Attribute in the extended fact set which brings in Marker groups if importing from Family Tree Maker, but I wanted to keep my information separately from the those.

The fact definition has an automatic note which has the following elements

  • Tested With
  • Test Site Name
  • Kit ID
  • Gedmatch Name
  • Shared Ancestor
  • Shared Couple
  • Primary Link

Filled in the note will look something like this.

Tested with: Ancestry
Test Site Name:  xxx21
GedMatch Details
Kit Id: A123456
GedMatch Name: xxx21

Shared Ancestor:
Shared Couple: 70
Primary Link: 2
Chr     B37 Start Pos'n     B37 End Pos'n   Centimorgans (cM)   SNPs
3   66,914,689  73,660,741  10.1    1,215
6   95,063,185  112,378,555 15.7    2,259
18  28,669,839  53,849,251  22.4    3,558
  • Each of the links is a record number for the Individual or Family record to match.
  • The Primary link is the “home person” eg My Record ID (2) or Stephen’s record ID (1)
  • You then record either the Shared Ancestor as a individual record or as a couple family ID this ties to the suggestions on the DNA Painter site for showing how people tie together
  • Finally there is the Centimorgans for the match copied from GedMatch if the contact is on there.

I have also written a Query which easily lists all the matches we have found so far with links to their record and to the shared ancestor or couple. Double clicking on entries in the GedMatch column will open the Property box to the Fact.

Output from the Query with names changed to protect the innocent.

In some cases I might not be able to confirm the full link when I add people, but at least I can record the Genetic information against an “unrelated” individual in the Family Historian database).

Having a custom fact against the people concerned also means I can do diagrams with a small marker to show they are a confirmed DNA match using


as a Box condition of the expression type.

Of course some people may already be using a completely different method, but this is working well for me so far. There is a discussion on FHUG titled Recording DNA matches in Family Historian

2 thoughts on “Recording DNA Matches in Family Historian

  1. This is interesting. What I do at the moment is to use the DNA Markers fact and enter the Ancestry match figure for that individual. This is the (rounded) total of all the matched segments so an entry will be e.g. 23 cM across 3 segments. In the Note section, I enter the individual’s Ancestry ID i.e. the name they have allocated to their test result. I then drop that individual into a custom List which has as the columns, Name and Record ID, DNA Markers, and Ancestry ID. From that list, I can then choosed an individual by name or ID and jump to their record.
    I also have created Groups with a Shared Couple (to use your term) as the head of the group. Each descendant in the line to the match person is then made a member of that group. To identify this “line” on a diagram I add a simple expression in the Box condition, %INDI%.CAST, and change the box colour. I decided it was too complicated to try to make each “line” a separate colour, especially as my tree has several lines crossing, but the diagrams now show these “lines” quite clearly.
    The problem of lines merging is a real nuisance, however. I wish there was some way of copying multiple groups to each descendant. (It occurs to me now that it could be done with a plug-in, but I struggle with the code.) Your GEDmatch query assumes there is only one shared couple, I think.
    However, recording the actual segment data looks like a big step, to my inexpert eyes. Will we be able to use this to place waifs and strays in the future?
    I’ve done one match using both techniques. I’ll have a go at some more now.

  2. Dear Jane and Peter,

    I am struggling to work out and find out how best to record (a) my own DNA in FH and (b) the DNA results of others. Peter – are you still using the “system” you have described above. In this example, exactly what would you record? Here’s an Ancestry match that I have ….
    “Williamson Family Tree
    2nd-3rd Cousin | Paternal Side
    2% Shared DNA : 148 CM across 7 Segments”

    Jane … can you help with how the DNA Markers hidden Fact is supposed to be used in FH. What am I supposed to record in the box “DNA Markers” ? It’s a mystery to me.

    Any help much appreciated.

    John Snelson

    FH provides a DNA Fact

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