The Phillips DNA Project News

What is the probability that my relative and I share enough autosomal DNA to detect?

If your relationship is within recent generations (2nd cousins or more recent relatives), shared autosomal DNA will almost surely be detected. Testing will also detect many 3rd cousins and about half of your 4th cousins. It will detect a small percentage of 5th and more distant cousins.


Chances of finding a match:


Match Probability

2nd cousins or closer

> 99%

3rd cousin

> 90%

4th cousin

> 50%

5th cousin

> 10%

6th cousin and more distant

Remote (typically less than 2%)


For genealogists, it is best to use autosomal DNA to prove recent relationships (one to five generations). Our Phillips DNA Project relies on Y-DNA testing, not autosomal DNA testing, because Y-DNA is passed down from father to son generation after generation with very little change.

Phillips DNA Blog