|My Father Robert Kapple with two of his sisters|
I just got a new 2nd cousin match at AncestryDNA. Now that I have a few results to compare it's interesting to see the variation in the number of cm's shared. My new 2nd cousin is actually a predicted 3rd cousin at Ancestry. However he is a predicted 2nd cousin of my 1st cousin Darryl, which is correct. My first cousin Judy, like myself, is a predicted 3rd cousin of his, which isn't correct. This has to do with the number of cm's shared which is how Ancestry decided what the predicted relationship should be. Other 2nd cousins of mine are also predicted 3rd cousins at Ancestry. When looking at 3rd cousin matches it's important to consider that they may be closer cousins.
Below you can see that several of my 2nd cousins share much less DNA with me as compared to my 1st cousin Darryl, hence the different cousin prediction. The largest difference is 132 cms. The differences have to do with differences in the amount of DNA we get from shared ancestors. I believe if I compare with the same cousins at GEDmatch amounts of shared DNA would increase. Ancestry cm numbers are often lower than the other companies because of the way they process the kits.
A record number of kits were sold as gifts for the holidays. We may see several more 2nd cousin matches in the New Year. I have about 7 2nd cousin matches so far on both sides of my family. Since my Kappel/Kapple great-grandparents had 11 children there are definitely more 2nd cousins out there. These cousins can be useful if they upload elsewhere, at a site where you can collect shared segments and construct a segment map. A map with 2nd cousin segments helps to confirm more distant cousin matches; matches that share small segments. Hoping to improve my segment map in the New Year!