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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Visualising Ancestry DNA matches–First aid for complicated graphs

If you have tried the instructions in this series and found that no matter how carefully you followed the instructions, all you had was a big blob, it’s probably because your very close relatives have tested. Lucky you!

I will be providing a post with ideas to help with complicated charts including those with many family relationships, but in the meantime you can apply some simple first aid.

  • Add an extra line with the ‘Skip’ instruction to the Additional Input file for each parent, child or sibling who has also taken a test.

Post 2 has been updated to reflect this instruction.


  1. Thank you so much for the excellent step by step directions for using this amazing program. I did not know there was such a program, and would never have attempted to use it on my own even if I did find it. My graph improved a lot after adding SKIP to all my relatives but is still not as elegant as yours but I will keep experimenting with different settings and see what I can do. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    1. Fantastic Sandra! I'm so pleased it's working out for you :-)

  2. Is there any way to use this graphing with FTDNA results, either by direct download or by using a labor intensive excel worksheet I create myself with match information? Having used Rob Warthem's tool in the past I miss it like crazy and your new brillant addition could go a long way towards filling the gap in wading through matches for people like me who do much better making sense of it all with visualizing things with tools such as yours.

    1. Hi Anonymous,
      1) It's not my addition or my tool - I just found it, used it, and wanted to share.
      2) Yes! You can use it with whatever source you want. You just need a unique identifier for each person and a list of pairs of people (or whatever) to form the lines.

    2. Thanks for your speedy response, and the clarification, it might not be "your" tool, however thank you for sharing and letting the rest of us know about it. Any chance you can tell me how I'd go about formatting an excel page to use this as in what information I'd need in which column?

  3. I have installed all the steps and loaded my first graph using the appropriate settings. The graph loaded the first time but then when I tried to load it after rebooting my PC it came up with the error message that there was not enough memory and to take some steps to free some memory. What has increased the need for extra memory?
    The error message says:
    The computer does not have enough memory to lay out the Graph. Try the following to fix the problem:
    1. Select a different layout algorithm
    2. Close other programs
    3. Restart the computer
    4. Reduce the number of edges in the graph
    5. Add more memory to the computer.
    Could you give me some suggestion as to how to fix the issue using:
    1 and 4. I have already tried 2 and 3 to no avail. At the moment Option 5 is not an option.
    Apart from that I am very much enjoying your excellent tutorial.
    Thank you for promoting this excellent spreadsheet.

    1. I think I'd start with 1. When you open your file, before you lay out the graph (but with data loaded) try the clearing duplicates step from this post: Then filter off some of your smaller matches using the instructions at the end of this post:

  4. I seem to be running out of memory whilst Excel is creating the Graph suggesting I take steps to increase the available memory including reducing the Edges. Can I do this by adjusting the quantity of data downloaded.

    1. Hi Ron, you could limit the download to 4th cousins and closer.