Category Archives: Genealogy Blogs

These blogs have valuable tips about how to search for your ancestors.

GEDmatch to the Rescue

Presentation to Citrus County Genealogical Society

“GEDmatch To The Rescue!”

Some clues on using this valuable tool to find genetic and genealogical links.

Jackie Reiss, Presenter

September 13, 2016

GEDmatch is a private site developed by a Floridian for use by people who have results from one or more of the major DNA testing sites. The purpose of having this tool is to help us find (and hopefully) confirm genetic and genealogical connections. GEDmatch is especially helpful for people who have tested at AncestryDNA since that site does not have all the tools needed to confirm DNA matches. Looking at my list of my DNA Relatives on GEDmatch, it appears that a great number of the 2000 people on my list have tested at Ancestry. After checking out the new 23andMe site, I expect there will be quite a few people in my age bracket going to GEDmatch for answers. Fortunately, GEDmatch has a very comprehensive wiki to help you.

Most parts of GEDMatch may be accessed for free. How many of you may have already uploaded your DNA results to GEDMatch and are using the basic searches? My goal today is to help you learn about some of the useful tools that GEDMatch has developed for our benefit and which you may not have known about.  I will skip some of the more difficult tools or we will be here for hours.

If you haven’t signed up for GEDmatch yet, do it. It’s easy… Just fill out the “User Registration” to get started.

Raw DNA:  If you haven’t done so already, you need to download your raw DNA data from the website you tested at. Each company has a slightly different way of accessing your data. But, despite which website you used, your data needs to be downloaded into a zipped file. I recommend that you put that zipped file onto your desktop so it will be easy to find. The file looks like a manila folder with a vertical zipper through it. (show it on my computer). Look for that file and transfer it to GEDmatch. Here is how you proceed.  After you have signed in, go to the Raw DNA file Uploads Box. [no need to click on the name of the company that generated your raw DNA] –GEDmatch now has a single “NEW easy DNA upload” called Generic Upload FAST NEW, BETA found in the Raw DNA file Uploads section which can be used for all supported autosomal testing companies.  Do NOT open or un-zip rawDNA data files before uploading.

Follow directions carefully: Click on “Browse” to locate the compressed (.zip) raw DNA data file which is on your computer. (show the icon on my  computer.) When you find it, then click the “Upload” button on GEDmatch.

Warning: Do NOT click on, open or un-zip that folder before uploading the data.

GEDmatch is in the process of upgrading some tools (including “one-to-many” matches ).

Notice: Once a kit is marked as being processed after being uploaded there is an additional sync process which may take 12 hours or more to complete before one-to-many will reflect matches in the new restructured tables. You can check the status of the matches by running the DNA File Diagnostic Utility.

When your file is ready (usually a day or two later), you will see a list of your 2,000 closest DNA Relatives who have joined the site from all of the major DNA testing sites.

There are many useful tutorials in this site that will help you understand how to use the vast database. If you are new to GEDmatch, and while you are waiting for your list of DNA Relatives, check out these “Learn More” features: “Beginner’s Guides to Using GEDMatch,”  “Using GEDMatch: Basics for Newbies,” and DNA for “Dummies” (basic introductory information from some of the “pros” in the field of Genetics). Other useful sites are: GEDmatch Forums, GEDmatch wiki, GEDmatch FAQ page, and “Tools for DNA and Genealogy Research.”

Once you get your matches, check out the “User Lookup:  Information Search” in the “Learn More” section for more details. This utility provides a way to cross match GEDmatch results with a DNA kit number, GEDCOM (genealogy) number, email address, and name.

An important part of the website is the Genealogy – Family Trees database, which allows you to search for GEDcoms that might contain members of one or more of your ancestral lines.

The site allows matching 1 GEDCOM to all; matching 2 GEDCOMS; and Searching all GEDCOMS.

You can also check GEDCOM+DNA Matches and Your GEDCOM Resources: My Family Tree.

The GEDcom + DNA matches tool is especially useful. I recommend that you do a GEDcom of your genealogy database and upload it to GEDmatch so you and others can confirm genealogical connections.

Some other “cool tools” are:

User Information Search:  Cross Match your GEDmatch results with another DNA Kit #.

Your DNA Resources: click on a Gedcom # to go to an individual site (yours or someone else).

Your GEDCOM Resources:  Click on the GEDCOM number to go to the individual detail page for the point person.

Analyze your DATA: One-to-many matches, One-to-one compare, and  X one-to-one compare.

Admixture (heritage):  Using Dodecad V3 Admixture Proportions;  a different way to check your results.

Phasing: comparing DNA from  parent(s) to child

People who match both of 2 kits, or one of 2 kits

Are Your Parents Related? (Hey, You never know!)

Predict Your Eye Color (based on your DNA: See how close you match their prediction)

Are your parents related? (Hmmm..)

3D Chromosome Browser: (The 3-D version is colorful but a bit difficult to use)

Archaic DNA Matches – Links to your deep ancestry

Multiple Kit Analysis – You can compare up to 50 kits

DNA File Diagnostic Utility (to analyze file upload for potential problems)

Tier One includes:*

Matching Segment Search: This utility allows you to find other kits with matching chromosome segments.

Relationship Tree projection: This utility calculates probable relationship paths based on Autosomal and X-DNA Genetic Distances. It is experimental, and the results should not be considered absolute. This application only works properly for 2 kits with a non-zero cM result for X.

Lazarus: Generate ‘pseudo-DNA kits’ based on segments in common with your matches. These ‘pseudo-DNA kits’ can then be used as a surrogate for a common ancestor in other tests on this site. Segments are included for every combination where a match occurs between a kit in group1 and group2. The results are combined to create the final kit.

Triangulation: This utility finds people who match you with your top matches as shown in the one-to-many results and below the upper threshold limit that you specify. It then compares those matches against each other.

*Tier one is available for $10 per month. However, it is not a place for newbies. I suggest you wait until you have mastered the other parts of GEDmatch before delving into Tier One.