Clustering is a process used to group your DNA matches based on them matching each other and you. It is very simple way to identify matches that share common ancestors with each other but not the rest of you matches.
In theory and usually in practice matches should fall into one of four clusters – one for each grandparent. You will also have smaller sub-clusters for more distant ancestors.
Warning: Clustering may not be reliable for people who have endogamy, pedigree collapse (consanguinity), or any other group that tended to intermarry.
Tools provide automated clustering, but we recommend you do clustering by hand at least once to understand the process and possible refine your results more than an automated program would. Some of the clustering tools are quite simple and some are advanced.
- The Leeds Method. Manual clustering based on grandparents. Very helpful for searchers. Read through her blog for additional ideas on refining and reorienting your search
- Jim Bartlett’s instructions How Manually Cluster
- The McGuire Method Of note, some of the McGuire Method process has been automated by WATO
- What Are the Odds ($)
- DNA2Tree – automatically gathers and clusters your matches. Automates tree search for common ancestors. Only works with ancestryDNA. Only works on Apple iphones and ipads
- Genetic Affairs
- RootsFinder: an older and more advanced tool