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Where they are today

So The Legal Genealogist was poking around on Ancestry today, and justforthehellofit decided to look at that part of what’s called the DNA Story that records “Where your family lives today.”

Of my 54,768 total Ancestry DNA matches, it turns out that some 827 who are fourth cousins or closer share their location information.1

Ancestry DNA cousin locations

No surprise, of course, that the vast majority of those are in the United States: 814 in the continental United States; three in Alaska; and two in Hawaii.2

And no surprise at all that most of those matches live in southern states: my mother’s people came into what was colonial America in areas now south of the Mason-Dixon line and kept moving south and southwest over the generations.

And — sigh — no surprise that there are darned few matches to folks who I would have hoped would have come from my German-born father’s people: only three of those 827 are in Europe — two in Germany and one in Luxembourg.

Except that they’re not on my father’s side: the Luxembourger looks to be on my maternal grandmother’s Robertson side; one of the German matches on my maternal grandfather’s Johnson side; and the second German match most likely on that Johnson side as well.


So… what good is this? Well, what’s kind of fun is seeing how those ancestral genes have spread to places I wouldn’t particularly have expected. In addition to those Europeans I’ve already mentioned, I have, according to this feature, fourth cousins all on my mother’s side living in:

• Victoria Valley, Tasmania, Australia3

• Christchurch, New Zealand

• Owaka, New Zealand

• Tamuning, Guam

• South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

No, this may not help me fill in gaps on my family tree, not at all.

But it does help me appreciate the resilience of those genes.

So… where do your cousins live today?

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Those spreading genes,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 8 Jan 2023).


  1. “Where your family lives today,” Ancestry DNA results for JG Russell; ( : accessed 8 Jan 2023).
  2. Hi, cousins Russ and Robyn! Invite me to come visit, willya? I need Hawaii and the Dakotas to be able to say I’ve been in all 50 states as an adult…
  3. I’ll have to introduce him to my nephew and his family — they’re in Tasmania as well.
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