So let’s say that you’ve taken a DNA test and you’re still looking for a better way to find that elusive ancestor since no other documentation exists. Or maybe you were adopted or your parent was. How do you handle these family mysteries? There’s a technique called Mirror Trees that’s a great way to help with these mysteries.  Mirror trees can be used to test theories about unknown ancestors. Mirror Trees use DNA matches, who typically are distant relatives, such as second or third cousins. The matches’ family trees are built “up” to find common ancestors amongst the matches’ trees. Then, for unknown parent work, trees are built “down” to include those ancestors’ descendants. Possible birth parents are identified from the descendants. Determining who your matches are is important for this work. There are many tools for when your matches don’t respond or don’t have a tree posted.

Note: As genetic genealogy is rapidly evolving, there may be some differences between your experience and the links or tools shown in the webinar and on handouts.


  • Mirror Trees

    Mirror trees are trees built based on matches’ trees. They’re often used in unknown parentage cases. However, they’re also helpful for breaking down brick walls further back in your tree and determining how your matches are related to each other and to you. Learn how to build and use mirror trees.

    To watch this video, please enter this password: dnamystery

  • Best Tools for Researching Difficult DNA Matches

    Have a really strong DNA match, but that the person doesn’t even have a name, let alone a tree? This webinar covers both free and subscription-based websites to help your detective work. It also covers the clues that can be used to figure out who matches are, where they’re from, and other important information. These new insights into your mystery can help you figure out your connection to them and place them in your family tree.

    To watch this video, please enter this password: dnamystery