Do you want to know where to look on your Ancestry match list to find out how many centimorgans you share with your DNA matches? In this post, find the two different ways to access this information and what you can learn.
Have you seen people mentioning “shared centimorgans” or seen someone say “shared cMs” and wonder how on earth they accessed that information on their Ancestry DNA results?
You are not alone. When I was new to DNA testing, I had no idea how to access this information or what it really meant.
In this post, I’ll show you show you how to access shared centimorgans on Ancestry. There are two main ways to view this information, and each has its advantages.
How to Find Shared Centimorgans on Ancestry DNA
The easiest way to see an overview of how many centimorgans you share with your DNA match is directly on your DNA match list. On your match list, you will see your relative’s photo, if available, and their name in the first column.
In the second column, you will notice the estimated relationship to your relative. Directly underneath the estimated relationship is the number of centimorgans shared, as well as the percentage of shared DNA.
In the image below, you will see a list of three DNA matches with the number of shared centimorgans and percentage of shared DNA in a red rectangle, which I placed there so you will know where to look on your own list.
The advantage of viewing your shared centimorgans directly on your main DNA match list is that you can see right from this main screen about how much DNA you share. This can help you quickly determine which DNA matches you would like to focus on so you can learn more about them and your shared ancestry.
You can quickly scroll through your list and find new DNA matches and can see how much DNA you share without having to click through to their name and load a new page. This can help you avoid focusing on your more distant matches, at least while you are a beginner, which are often more difficult to research.
To find more details about shared centimorgans on Ancestry
The second way to view how shared centimorgans on Ancestry is by viewing the compare match page by clicking on their name. This is the best way to view your shared DNA because you will be able to see further details about your match including:
- How many DNA segments you share
- The size of the longest shared segment
- The unweighted shared DNA
- Possible DNA relationship probabilities
To see this information, choose a DNA match from your main list page by clicking on their name. Then, click on the blue link where it says the percentage of shared DNA, the number of centimorgans, and how many DNA segments you share.
A pop-up will appear once you do this, and you will see a lot of details about your relationship with your match.
If you aren’t sure where to click, the image below shows a red arrow pointing to the blue text with the link to further details.
The advantage of viewing your shared DNA in this more detailed way is that you can evaluate more thoroughly your shared DNA using more information. For example, the size of the longest segment can often help you determine how far back your most recent common ancestor is, and the unweighted shared DNA can reveal more information, too.
Why is the Amount of Shared DNA Important?
The reason that it’s good to know how much DNA you share with someone is that this information can help you figure out exactly how you are related. There are ranges for the average amount of DNA that people of different relationships share with each other, and so if you know the shared cMs, you can figure out how you are, and how you are not, related.
Once you know the amount of shared DNA, you can take a peek at their tree, if they have one, and you will know how far back in their tree (and your tree) you need to look for your common ancestor.
Sometimes, people are surprised by the amount of DNA that they share with their matches. I know that I definitely was surprised by the things that I learned about my own family.
If you want to know more about shared centimorgans, you might be interested in this post: “Beginner’s Guide to Shared Centimorgans”
I have learned so much from this little trick, and it has been extremely handy for family tree research. If you have already done your DNA test and have a question about shared DNA, I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated 🙂
Tuesday 19th of October 2021
High my sister recently done her DNA through Ancestry and discovered her father is not her biological father. One of her matches has 866 cM the highest at that time is this a first cousin to her? I am going to set up a tree for her on Ancestry to help her out hopefully I will discover more for her Thank you in advance Kathy
Sunday 7th of February 2021
I had my DNA done in 2018, but I have no information on my biological parents. My adoption was done illegally, no papers, wrong date of birth, no location as to where I was born, absolutely nothing. I have 69,000 matches, my highest has 386 cM, over 16 segment. this person has very little to share as tree. I am wondering if Ancestry can be of any help for my case. What do you think?
Thursday 25th of June 2020
I got a big surprise recently when I found a name I had not seen before that appears to be a close first cousin. We share 1809 cM over 63 segments. Unfortunately this person does not have a family tree. I've written him through Ancestry and have not received a reply. My guess is he would have been fathered or mothered by one of my Aunts or Uncles or possibly my father. I've never ran across his surname in any of my family tree researches. We have close to 11,000 names in our family tree.
Thursday 16th of April 2020
Hi my name is Simone I have one dna match that ancestry said is my first cousin but I think he’s my half nephew only because we share 841 centimorgans across 46 segments is he my half nephew
Tuesday 21st of April 2020
Hi Simone, Thank you so much for your comment! If you look at the calculator here: https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4 you will notice that there is a chance that this match could be a first cousin OR a half-nephew, among other possibilities. The best thing to do is use other information (like age, place of birth, family tree info) in order to figure out exactly where this match belongs on your family tree. I hope that this helps you :) Mercedes
Friday 28th of February 2020
I share 2,224 cm across 66 DNA segments could this be my sibling ? what is segments ? Thank you .