What Is A Mirror Tree?

What Is A Mirror Tree

Whether you are an adoptee or not, sometimes, we all get curious about our ancestors, especially to solve some unresolved ancestral mysteries! And a mirror tree can help you with that. But if you’re pretty new to the term, it’s common to ask, “What is a mirror tree?”

Well, it’s a family tree that helps to find common ancestors or lost relatives. Creating the tree aids in connecting to the concept. Here, I’ll share the detailed process and so on with you! 

What Is Mirror Tree?

Mirror trees are known to be a genealogist-approved method of creating family trees and comparing them to find out ancestors or parents. It is basically a program for adoptees, donor-conceived persons, and people of unknown parentage.

What Is A Mirror Tree

Moreover, a mirror tree replicates another person’s family tree with differences in the DNA base. Both the trees include the DNA details of their respective users.

Even if a person knows nothing of his family tree, he can create one by duplicating other users. And then, the DNA Ancestry database will help to make his own tree by the shared ancestors.

How to Make a Mirror Tree: Step-by-Step Instructions

There are several sites that help to make mirror trees. But not all of them show the closest trees to find out your ancestors. Thereby, rely on the steps I am going to share right here –

What Is A Mirror Tree

Step 1: Find A Match

Land on AncestryDNA to find your match by surname, pedigree view, or other relatable information. Select the match’s profile and scroll down for user-provided details. For information on the match’s direct line ancestors and their siblings and children, click “View Full Tree.”

Note that the living people are private on the tree, so you will need to work with the previous line of ancestors. 

Step 2: Map and Create Trees

On a piece of paper, map out the relations of the members on the DNA match’s family tree. From my experience, I know it gets confusing while mapping out the tree with connections!

So, use an eraser and pencil for the process so that you can modify the mistakes easily. Afterward, figure out how they might be related to you.

On AncestryDNA, click on Trees, followed by Manage Trees. Keep recreating the trees of the possible matches. Do not forget to make the trees private so that no user can think you are stalking them.

For better clarity of the technical knows-hows of creating trees, feel free to watch this video:

Step 3:  Link DNA and Trees

From the Settings of the website profile, add your DNA information to the tree you have copied from the match. Then, tab DNA Results, followed by the Settings menu to pick a certain tree and link it with yours. 

Step 4: Look for Match Leaves

Once you have linked the trees, AncestryDNA will scan the details. And upon finding a common ancestor, they will add a leaf next to the match. Analyze the leaf hints by clicking on View Match. If the Hint seems confusing, jump right into this video:

Try to find more than one leaf or hint. Then, analyze the branch that shares DNA with yours. Keep working or remodeling the mirror trees by adding siblings, spouses, and children until the site provides you with the closest ancestral branch. 

In order to get more insights on the matched tree members, you can collect data from the government records.

Is A Mirror Tree Free to Make?

Family history tools and genealogy sites have both paid and free features. To make a mirror tree and find the ancestral hints in the DNA match list, you do not need to pay or subscribe to AncestryDNA. And you can create multiple trees without a subscription. 

What Is A Mirror Tree

However, to access the trees of the matched profiles and the shared hints, buying a subscription is a must. So, if mirror trees are the only option to identify your parental or ancestral roots, go for the paid features. 

How to Troubleshoot Mirror Tree Issues: Essential Tips

Finding shared ancestors can be difficult due to some common technical or nontechnical issues. And to troubleshoot them, follow these given tips:

What Is A Mirror Tree
  • Enter the DNA data and other information with patience to avoid typos or missing content.
  • If the close DNA matches do not show up on the feed, search by surnames on the site. 
  • Reach out to the site’s message boards or Member Directory tab to find details of the close matches.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

Can You Create a Mirror Tree Without A Close Match?

Yes, if there is no first-to-third cousin match, you can still build a mirror tree. To do so, collect geographical locations and marital relations of the fourth cousin matches.

Is Mirror Tree Helpful?

It depends on the dedication and time you put into creating the trees. If done correctly, it takes a few weeks to years to solve the unknown ancestral mysteries.  

What Is The Con Of A Mirror Tree?

A mistake in the close match’s tree can lead to an irrelevant shared hint. Also, if the attached DNA is wrong, the genealogists will fail to find the replica. 


As much as the mirror tree is common among genealogists, it is not widely known to commoners! But thanks to the internet, where more people want to dig deep into it. Thereby, the common query now is, “What is a mirror tree.” And that’s what I discussed right here.

I’d recommend collecting your match’s data properly before getting into it. Otherwise, wrong information can lead to false matches.

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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