The end goal of using DNA Painter is to be able to map your chromosomes to your ancestors. You can use known matches to help you identify unknown matches. As soon as you know which ancestor was the source of a specific segment, you will have a better chance of identifying any new DNA matches who share this segment. Imagine if all your DNA matches were mapping their chromosomes like this! Mysteries could be solved much more quickly and easily!
Once you've visualized your matches, it becomes much easier to see overlaps and patterns, and many users have reported that DNA Painter has helped them to get through genealogical 'brick walls' by helping them to identify matches, which then leads them to information they didn't previously have.
In a general sense, many of us find the process of chromosome mapping inherently interesting. Discovering and recording which segments we inherited from different ancestors is an ongoing and addictive puzzle.
DNA Painter will be most useful for those who have at least one known match. If you have no known matches and/or have unknown parentage, chromosome mapping might be something you want to try later on once you have some information to work with. For unknown parentage cases, people have reported great successes using different strategies that don't involve segments. If you're interested in exploring these, the following articles are recommended:
- Kitty Cooper: Solving unknown parentage cases with DNA
- Leah Larkin: Science the heck out of your DNA