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Completeness

Have you wondered how complete your family tree is? Until today, I hadn’t really considered what kind of ‘grade’ my tree would receive. I was aware of ‘holes’ in my tree but wasn’t overly concerned about those holes.

Then today, Blaine Bettinger posted a poll asking us how confident we would be figuring out 6th cousin DNA matches. As Blaine pointed out, in order to figure out these DNA matches, we have to have a complete tree going back to our 5th great grandparents. Thus, the poll asked participants to use the ‘Tree Completeness’ tool on DNAPainter and report the findings.

Knowing I have holes in my tree, but thinking I had over 50% of my tree complete, I decided to participate. I had previously uploaded a GEDCOM file of ancestors to DNA Painter, so I just had to locate the ‘Tree Completeness’ link in the upper left corner of the page displaying my tree.

When I clicked on that button, I was surprised that I only have identified 40% of my 5th great-grandparents.

This gap is very evident when I switch to FAN view on DNA Painter.

If I go to my place on the FamilySearch tree, the FAN view of the tree fills in the names. This view can show 4 thru 7 generations and the start person can quickly be changed. Below are images of my tree for 5, 6 and 7 generations.

So if I want to see the next generation, I can simply click on my dad to see the paternal side of my tree back 8 generations.

By clicking on my mother, I get a similar chart for my maternal side.

Using the tree on DNA Painter, I can get a ‘percentage grade’ for my tree at various levels and a colorful chart that quickly reveals where I’m missing ancestors. Even though the FAN chart on FamilySearch doesn’t give me a ‘grade’, it does show the ’empty’ positions on the chart.

Blaine’s post was that I need to know who all of my ancestors are to be able to use DNA results to verify the lineage. Thus, I have work to do!