Monday, October 10, 2016

Let's See How This Approach Works

Dear Mr. Pikholz, 
I tested my DNA with and I see on GEDmatch that I match twenty-six kits that have your email.
The names in my family are Cohen, Levy, Miller, Friedman, Blumenstein on my father's side and Goldstein, Goldberg, Feingold, Goldsmith and Kuperman on my mother's side.
Can you tell me how we are related? My GEDmatch number is A______.

Dear _______,
I manage about ninety kits and most weeks I hear from people like you who match thirty, forty, fifty and more. Those are generally weak matches with no segment larger than 15 cM. Usually 15 cM isn't much to go on, particularly when we have no surnames in common. (Much of that is on me because I do not have large numbers of surnames on my sides.)
I have begun suggesting that people do the following:
  1. If you are on Family Tree DNA, check the surnames of your matches with me, in the far right column and see if anything matches.
  2. Get on GEDmatch and search your kit using "one-to-many" but change the 7 to 15 or 20. That will eliminate the small matches. (You can always go back and look at those later.) Then sort on the "name" column. All my kits will come up together near the top. The middle part of the name tells you who is from which family, using the codes at .
Then we can talk, if you find anything significant.
For an example of how this can work, look at my blog post "Cousin Debbie" from last May. And note that although this was a very successful inquiry, we still were not able to be specific about the nature of our connection.


  1. Okay, Israel. I'll bite. I'm sending you an email.

  2. I am sending you an email . My husband's DNA matches four of your managed kits with a range 73.9-132 total centimorgans and 18.8-42.2 largest cM.