DNA Definitions: Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)

 Most Recent Common Ancestor or MRCA is used in DNA and genealogical terminology. 

The most recent common ancestor is someone in your direct line that you have in "common" (related to), with someone else. Most recent refers to that person being the closest or "most recent" to you in generations.

The diagram on the right helps illustrate who would be the most recent common ancestor between me and my Uncle. My grandparents are my most recent common ancestor with my Uncle.  It is not my mother because she isn't my Uncle's ancestor. 

It is not my great grandparents because they are not the most recent ancestor.


At RootsTech, FamilySearch has this great app that shows you people close by if someone on your tree matches with someone near by. 

When you click on a name, it shows your direct line and their direct line back to where to the lines meet. These are your most recent common ancestor. 




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