Shared DNA, or chromosome browsers, can be a powerful tool for genealogical research.
Because DNA segments are inherited from your parents, someone related through your father will (generally) not have the same segments as someone related to you through your mother.
You can use this information to identify how you are related to a match - with a little extra digging!
At the simplest level, you can compare two matches to see if you have the same shared DNA.
For this it is helpful if you know how you’re related to a few of your matches - parents, and grandparents will be most useful if you’re trying to determine whether your match is maternal or paternal, but any known match will help you rule possibilities in or out.
You can also use chromosome ‘painter’ technology to make this more visual. With Living DNA’s Shared DNA feature you can automatically copy segment data to your clipboard, and paste it into either a chromosome painter or a CSV which can be uploaded to a painter.
We offer the option to adjust the length of the segments you see on the chromosome browser - see our article below on why the length of the segment can be important:
There are lots more features coming to Living DNA over the coming months, and we have more plans for the Shared DNA feature specifically, so watch this space for more tools!