Link to BYU Presentation

Note:  A new version, MatchCompare v3.03, is now available for download. This version was written by Dermot Balson. With this version, it does not matter which column the input data begins in.


The object of this method is to find those matches that are in common with (ICW)  and not ICW you match list.  Depending on which match lists you compare, you can narrow down your match list to a group of matches that are likely to be related to a specific line of your family.
For example, if the first match (red) list represents you and the second match list represents your maternal first cousin (green), then the ICW area (green), which matches in both lists, will consist of people that are likely to be related to you on your maternal line.  The red Not ICW area will consist of matches that are likely to be on your paternal line with a smaller number of matches that are also on your maternal line, but just were not one the matches that you first cousin had.  You can make this analysis more accurate by adding sibling matches to the your list of matches and by also adding maternal cousins to the green match list.

MatchCompare can relatively quickly compare to large match lists and give you a list of matches that represent your paternal, maternal or uncle family lines.  

Additional comparisons can be made to narrow down your match list as shown in the video if you know of matches that are 2nd, 3rd or 4th cousins.

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To download the macro, click on the above menu button that says "MATCHCOMPARE."  

To view the video, click on the menu button that says "VIDEO TUTORIALS."


The whole idea of genetic genealogy is to find those who can help you advance your genealogical research. After getting your autosomal DNA (atDNA) tested, you are given a large list of matches. For example, I downloaded my matches from the testing companies and got a list of anywhere between 1,400 to over 10,000 matches. You may have wondered like me --- how can I narrow down all of these matches to those who might help me solve my genealogical question?

You can begin to sort out the matches are of most interest if you know of at least another cousin on either side of your family. Matches, which are in common with (ICW) this other person, will also be ICW with your most recent common ancestor (MRCA). Matches, which are not ICW with this other person, will generally not be related to your MRCA. If you have 2,000 matches and the other person has 4,000 matches, it could, however, take a very long time to figure out which matches are ICW or not ICW with this person; unless you can automate the process.

MatchCompare is a macro made for EXCEL that will quickly do this sorting for you and it is free! Just click on the MatchCompare tab, download the macro and begin narrowing your matches down to a more manageable list of those you want to contact to find your MRCA and who may know about your family so you can extend your research.

For those less experienced in knowing how this tool can be used to narrow down your list of matches to a specific family line, then I have created a tutorial video. I hope to add to more videos explaining some of the aspects of this methodology in more detail. These videos will explain how to obtain your match data and how to create match groups to compare with your matches in further detail.