Today I am answering a new question for our Research Like a Pro with DNA Q&A series: “Should I sort my 23andMe matches by percent or strength of relationship?” The RLP with DNA study group member asked this question during assignment 1, which includes sorting DNA matches into color clusters using the Leeds Method. The full question is:
How does 23&Me determine “Strength of Relationship?” Is this a more valuable sorting mechanism to use for producing a Leeds chart or would percentage of shared DNA work better? Or both?
I noticed some individuals with whom I shared up to 100-150 cM were ranked low when sorted by “Strength of Relationship.”
The 23andMe DNA Relatives page allows you to sort your matches by strength of relationship, percentage of shared DNA, segments shared, and newest relatives. In the video, I share about the 23andMe algorithm for predicting relationships, or “strength of relationship.”
When using DNA evidence for your genealogy research questions, it is helpful to start by sorting your matches into color clusters with the Leeds Method. This allows you to focus on the right side of the family as you look for relevant DNA matches. I talk a little about selecting matches in the range of 2nd to 3rd cousins. Watch here:
“Relationship Ranges And The Predicted Relationship,” 23andMe Customer Care (https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/212861177-Relationship-ranges-and-the-predicted-relationship : accessed 23 Feb 2022).
Dana Leeds, “DNA Color Clustering: The Leeds Method for Easily Visualizing Matches,” 23 August 2018, Dana Leeds (https://www.danaleeds.com/dna-color-clustering-the-leeds-method-for-easily-visualizing-matches/ : accessed 15 Feb 2022).
“DNA Relatives: Detecting Relatives And Predicting Relationships,” 23andMe Customer Care (https://int.customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/217578268-DNA-Relatives-Detecting-Relatives-and-Predicting-Relationships : accessed 24 Feb 2022). This article links to the following scientific article about the science behind predicted relationships at 23andMe:
Henn BM, Hon L, Macpherson JM, Eriksson N, Saxonov S, Pe’er I, et al. (2012) Cryptic Distant Relatives Are Common in Both Isolated and Cosmopolitan Genetic Samples. PLoS ONE 7(4): e34267. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034267
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