Resources to help you make the most of DNA Painter

Help

Overview

  • To use DNA Painter, you or someone whose test results you administer needs to have done an autosomal DNA test (Ancestry, 23andme, FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage are among the companies who sell autosomal tests).
  • The site is aimed primarily at those who are interested in using their DNA test to further their family history research.
  • DNA Painter uses information on the segments you match with other people to help you attribute these segments to specific ancestors. The site doesn't store or use raw DNA data.

You can use autosomal DNA test results to visualize DNA by painting match segments onto sets of chromosomes. DNA Painter provides tools that will help you make sense of your matches by letting you visualize shared segments and make notes.

As well as making profiles for individual DNA Kits, mapping each person's segments to their ancestors, you can also create profiles for your ancestors that map their segments to their descendants.

Before you start

If you tested with Ancestry or another testing company that doesn't provide segment data, you'll need to upload your raw DNA to Gedmatch or Family Tree DNA so that you can compare your DNA with others in their database, download segment data for each match, and use it to paint your DNA.

Gedmatch is free, while you will have to pay a one-time fee of $19 per DNA kit to access the Chromosome Browser in Family Tree DNA. DNA Painter is free.

Here are some links explaining the upload process.

Resources

Before you go too much further, you might like to read a summary of how to use the site and review frequently asked questions. There's also a glossary of commonly used terms.

Blaine Bettinger (https://thegeneticgenealogist.com/) has kindly produced a very thorough and helpful video introduction to what DNA Painter is and how to use it - click the play button or click here to view and comment on YouTube.

Other Resources:

For more specific advice on genetic genealogy and how to draw conclusions from your chromosome mapping, I highly recommend the blogs and resources linked in the 'Further Reading' sections of the glossary, along with the Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques Facebook group.