While I could have compared Relative Finder data in a program like Excel, I created a simple program to find matching names.
Excel offers an easy way to compare Relative Finder Public Matches between two-to-three people. First, color code each person’s matches with a different color. Then, create a merged document— combine the Public Match data from the two or three different people into one document — by copying and pasting each person’s matches into one spreadsheet. Next, select all and sort from A to Z. This will place the listings with the same name together. If you see the same person show up with your color and with your friends or family members, you share that match.
In our case, I found that I had cousins in common with three people I work with — Kristina, Tiffany, and Jessica. Our team, excluding one person, was able to create a web of interconnections connecting me to people who I didn’t even know before I started working here. As a collective group our ancestors came from roughly 23 countries around the world. The majority of these countries spanned Europe, however our collective ancestry stretched out to also incorporate Japan, China, and the Philippines. One team member had only a few Public Matches and couldn’t find a link using this method.Now with at least yourself and one parent genotyped, you can identify whether your match is a relative on your mother’s or your father’s side of the family in our Relative Finder feature. This can be helpful if you are only able to genotype yourself and one parent. Comparing Relative Finder Matches with friends could help you identify where your families’ paths crossed to produce a mutual cousin. If you share a lot of cousins, you may want to check if you also share segments in common. You may actually be related yourselves!Besides interesting dinner conversation about how your great great great great great uncle married your best friend’s great great great great aunt, you can learn more about your ancestry by determining where and when your ancestry overlaps with someone else’s ancestry. For example, we later found that two employees shared a large number of mutual cousins, but weren’t related themselves. After reviewing the cousins they had in common, a trend appeared. All the cousins they shared listed that they had German ancestry. German ancestry was confirmed by both employees.By looking for similarities that mutual cousins share, you may be able to find out more about your own ancestral origins, family surnames, and family migration.