How to Separate Your Maternal and Paternal Matches with FTDNA

I had the opportunity of attending the 12th Annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy 2016 and on one of the presentations I learned something that I had no idea FTDN could do.

It is a very powerful feature that I fell in love with. As you can see these are my results. Next to the All tab you find three more labeled “Paternal”, “Maternal”, and “Both”. Below them you see my father and my mother (I transferred their AncestryDNA).


What I learned at the presentation was that I need to link my father and mother to my tree in order for me to be able to separate the matches that I have strictly through my father’s side and mother’s side. Once I do this on the “Both” tab I will get the matches that I match with through both of my parents.

As you can see this is a very powerful tool that can help us narrow our matches down. Thus helping us focus on father or mother tree.

Here is how you link them up.

Go to “myFamilyTree”, it is found on your dashboard.


On the left top hand corner you will find the following options.


Click on Family Finder and as you can see on the following image my parents are my top matches.


After you find your parents all you ahve to do know is link them to yoru family tree. You do the linking by draging and droping them off on top of their circle representating them on the family tree.

After you drag and drop you will get this screen.


Just press “self” on the middle circle and press “confirm”. Now my father is linked to my Family Tree.  I did the same for my mother and now my matches look like this.


From the above image you can see that I am related to 544 people through my fathers side and 353 through my mothers side. I also have 425 people that I match through both sides.

My example is easy since I have tested both of my parents and I am very well aware that many people aren’t as lucky as me to have both parents living. In case that you don’t have one or even both parents, you can cheat.

All you have to do is test the siblings of your parents and attach them to your tree. FTDNA will start populating your paternal and maternal matches. If you don’t have any uncles or aunts you can also try with your first cousins.

I hope that you find this information useful as I have had. Thank you for reading and until next time. FYI: If you have yet to test FTDNA is having a sale right now starting at $59.00, make sure to check them out here: 


    1. It is a very good reason for people to upload. On my next post scheduled for this coming Saturday I will talk about the changes that FTDNA has done to their Family Tree software on the website. Hopefully this will encourage more people to upload their trees.

  1. I am Adopted and I am trying to figure out, if I do this with my half Brother will it still separate out my Maternal and Paternal side? Or if I go through this and I mark all that are confirmed on my Maternal line? What is the best suggestion? I am having a rally hard time finding anyone on my Paternal line ..All advice welcomed.

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