If you haven't read my first two posts about the Color Clustering (aka Leeds) Method, read the original posts:
|An example of Color Clustering using Excel|
I thought this method would be too messy to work with 4th cousins. But, I figured out yesterday how to make it work: I built my clusters based on the shared matches of 2nd and 3rd cousins and then I just sorted the "4th cousins" into these clusters!
Here are the steps I used:
STEP 1: Create a Color Cluster chart (see first post)
Using all of AncestryDNA's predicted 2nd & 3rd cousins (who share less than 400 cM with the test taker), create a color cluster chart. (Note: If you are not comfortable with spreadsheets, you can use colored pencils and paper or whatever you have on hand!)
Depending on which relatives have tested, Color Clustering often results in 4 columns which are related to the four sets of great grandparents. See the original post for examples and possible explanations of cases where there are not 4 columns created.
Example of test taker whose DNA sorted
into 4 Color Clusters plus one
Unclustered (purple) match, Drew
Note: One match, Mona (red print), sorted into TWO columns. She most likely is related to the test taker through BOTH the yellow and orange families.
STEP 2: Identify these columns if possible.
In this case, we were able to determine the relationship of the test taker to the 4 clusters (C1 through C4). If you cannot identify some (or any) of these groups, you can skip this step.
STEP 3: Compare 4th Cousins Shared Matches to your Color Cluster Chart
Below the original Color Clustering, I wrote the names of the test taker's first ten "4th cousin" matches (in grey boxes). For each person, I opened the Shared Matches and looked to see which 2nd and 3rd cousin names they matched with and assigned them that color. Note: This is not proof that they are related to that branch of your family, but it is a strong clue! (I do not continue to add more columns; I am only determining which color cluster these matches match!)
|Color Clustering using 4th Cousin Matches|
(last 10 in grey).
STEP 4: Sort 4th cousins who do not have 2nd or 3rd cousin matches by looking at their shared matches.
|Showing 4th cousin, Teresa, had a shared|
match that matched Mona so she was
assigned to both the orange & yellow clusters.
Note: As with most techniques, this method works best when the branches of your family - especially your 4 sets of great grandparents - are completely unrelated. But, one of the neatest thing about this method is that your matches do NOT have to have FAMILY TREES and this will STILL WORK!!
Note: While the above example uses real data, the names have been changed for privacy. Also, this test taker had a single random person in a 5th column without a tree or any 2nd/3rd cousin matches. We have not identified this "unclustered" Purple match.