How do I link my DNA results to my Ancestry tree?

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11 December 2020
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Take your family tree to the next level by linking your DNA test results to your family tree at Ancestry. Michelle Leonard explains how to do this in our handy guide.

Linking DNA Results To Trees: if you have taken an AncestryDNA test one of the most beneficial things you can do is link your DNA results to your tree as this will enable the system to work for you by generating ‘Common Ancestor Hints’, ‘Thrulines’ and more.

Navigate to the ‘Settings’ button on your DNA homepage at Ancestry then scroll down to the ‘Tree Link’ section from where you can choose the tree you wish to link and the name of the DNA tester in that tree - be very careful to link the tester to their correct spot on the tree. 

Tip: you can only link ONE tree to your DNA results so it’s best to have an amalgamated tree containing all your direct ancestors as opposed to several separate trees (e.g. paternal and maternal trees).

DNA Discoveries: to view the ‘DNA Discoveries’ settings click on the DNA icon on the vertical settings bar in pedigree or family view. I recommend turning on the ‘Thrulines’, ‘Possible DNA Matches’ and ‘Connected DNA Matches’ icons. DNA Discoveries provides an excellent level of integration between Ancestry’s tree facilities and DNA tools. 

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Orphan Branches: I recommend creating private and unsearchable master research trees to expand DNA match trees in one place. To do this you must first learn how to create orphan branches; attach the new DNA match as a close relative of any other person on the tree then use the “Edit Relationships” tool to remove that relationship. This will leave you with the DNA match unattached to anyone else on the tree (hence the term “orphan branch”) and you can build their tree out from there. Remember to attach a “DNA Match” tag for organisational purposes! 

Discover more about DNA for family history

1. Read Michelle Leonard's full article on DNA in the January issue of Family Tree magazine. Available to buy in our store now.

2. Sign up for Michelle Leonard's DNA Bootcamp. Tickets £35. To find out more click here.

Michelle Leonard M.A. PgCert. Professional Genealogist, DNA Detective, Researcher & Historian.