Introducing the Gencove Relative Radar

tl;dr: use our new Relative Radar to find relatives in the Gencove database

Our users have been telling us they want an open tool for finding relatives across testing companies and genomic technologies.

We heard you loud and clear, went to the drawing board, and created the Gencove Relative Radar, which is immediately available to existing and future Gencove users. It’s also free ;)

Check out an example below and read on to learn more about getting started.

Gencove Relative Radar

1. Import your genomic data into Gencove

If you haven’t already, simply create a Gencove account and upload your data from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, or any other testing company out there. We almost certainly support it.

In case you don’t have your genomic data, grab a Gencove kit here.

2. Opt into the Relative Radar

When relative matching has completed, you’ll be able to open the Relative Radar from the Gencove dashboard and go through the onboarding and opt-in process.

By opting into the Gencove Relative Radar, you are giving other users access to your name, profile picture, and profile text. Feel free to update these by editing your Gencove profile.

We also think it is important to mention that you may learn unexpected things about yourself and your family (see an example here), so please consider this before opting in.

Of course, you can always opt out of the Relative Radar at a later time.

3. Explore relatives, make friends, and reach out

Your relative matches will show up in the Relative Radar, sorted by the estimated relatedness — the closer they are to you, the more related you are.

The number along the right side of the screen represent the percentage of shared DNA:

  1. Identical twins share all of their DNA and will show up near the 100% mark.
  2. First-degree relatives share around half of their DNA and will show up near the 50% mark. First-degree relatives are parents, siblings (brothers and sisters), and children.
  3. Second-degree relatives share around a quarter of their DNA and will show up near the 25% mark. Examples of second-degree relatives are grandparents, grandchildren, and genetic aunts and uncles.
  4. Third-degree relatives will show up around the 12.5% mark. An example of a third-degree relative would be a 1st cousin.

Among your relatives, you might notice a few Anonymous users, which are users that have not yet opted into the Relative Radar and we do not reveal any information about them.

Users that have opted into Relative Radar show up with their name and profile photo. Clicking on the user provides more information about them and the option to send them a friend request.

In case a relative is already a friend, they will have a “friend” badge and you’ll be able to see a summary of their ancestry. You’ll also be able to send your friend/relative an email if they chose to share their email with friends.

To share your own email with friends, head over to Settings and toggle the “Email visibility” setting.

Details for the tech-savvy

We’ve decided to roll-out relative matching using the percentage of shared DNA, not identity-by-descent (IBD), which means that we do not report details about shared segments of DNA.

We’ve validated the method to confidently discover third-degree relatives (and closer), and will be working on adding new features to extend the radar’s range. We are also happy to say the method works seamlessly across different genotyping arrays and sequencing technologies. It’s also quite fast ;)

We would love to hear what you think about Relative Radar — let us know at!

Happy exploring!
Your friends at Gencove