Technology never stands still. The latest change affecting all of us who love using DNA for genealogy is a new chip from Illumina. The past six or so years of autosomal DNA testing have shown that the current chip is great for testers with European ancestry, but does not have enough SNP coverage to figure out the details of the ethnic make up for people from other parts of the world. Many more and different SNPs are tested in this new GSA chip.
All the 23andMe tests done since this past July use that chip, as does Living DNA (highly recommended if you have British ancestry since it does local regional breakdowns). I imagine eventually the others will follow along. The bad news is that there is not that much overlap between this chip and the previous ones, which affects cousin matching.
Debbie Kennet wrote a blog post describing the new chip at https://cruwys.blogspot.com/2017/08/23andme-launch-new-v5-chip-and-revise.html
Because the SNPs are so different the DNA results from these kits cannot be uploaded to GEDmatch, however our friends there have built another site to handle these new kits called GENESIS. They have come up with a whole new algorithm for relative matching that works with lower SNP counts.
At the recent i4GG.org conference (videos coming in February), I gave a presentation on what’s new at GEDmatch, the second part of it went into much detail about GENESIS, starting with this slide:
The functions available at GEDmatch are being gradually implemented at GENESIS. Most of the key ones are there now. Plus there is some new functionality. One major addition is the showing of the number of SNPs actually overlapping between kits. Very important to know since the overlaps can be as small as 108,000 SNPs or as large as 580.000.
The new Tier 1 one-to-many at GEDmatch includes a link to your match’s family tree when that is available. Clicking the word GED next to that kit’s email address takes you to the tree your match has uploaded to GEDmatch. The word WIKI links to the compact tree view at WikiTree.
GEDmatch GEDCOM link
Clicking on the GED for a match takes you to the profile of the individual in the linked tree at GEDmatch.
Here is what you would see if you clicked on the GED next to my Dad’s name. Note the words “GEDmatch Ref: “ followed by a long number. That number is the id of this GEDCOM which you can use to compare to your own GEDCOM in the “2 GEDCOMs “ function on your home page.
Of course, I immediately click on the pedigree button in the little menu at the top of this individual page and then look through the pedigree on the next page for familiar names and places. Here is what the top half of my Dad’s tree looks like at GEDmatch. Note the default number of generations shown is 5. You can change that to a larger number (I often go to 8) and then click submit to see more generations.
Clicking on WIKI next to a match in the Tier 1 One-to-Many listing takes you to that match’s compact pedigree at the collaborative world tree WikiTree. This is automated and the connection to Wikitree happens because a member of that site has added a GEDmatch kit number to a profile there. Here is the top piece of what you see when you click on my WIKI.
Being able to group my cousins from different lines into colored “tag groups” on the GEDmatch site is a wonderful new feature. It makes it easy to quickly see which line a new cousin fits into because the new Tier 1 one-to-many display uses those colors to highlight the kits belonging to a group. See the image below for a colorful example of my own one-to-many.
Tag groups are for everyone, not just tier one members,. They can also be used to select what to look at in the “Multiple kit Analysis” function. However they are not yet included in any of the other functions, like the people who match both kits, triangulation or matching segments and of course not the regular one-to-many.
Here is a quick example of how a new close cousin can be visually assigned to a line when you use the tier 1 one-to-many on their kit. My tag groups use yellow for close family, aqua for paternal first cousins, shades of blue for my Etne lines, green for my Munson line, and purple for my Wold line. Which line is this cousin on?
Right, she is a Munson.
Other New Features
I love that the newest pages at the GEDmatch site include a top menu. and use tabs to make for a more compact display
Also the new Tier 1 version of the one-to-many is outstanding. In addition to showing those colored tag groups. it has search boxes at the top of every column for just that column. The form to invoke the one-to-many is gone, instead the selection is neatly across the top so you can change it dynamically. The long details that used to be at the top of the page now only show up as a pop-up window if you click the tip button.
Yesterday I did a presentation on all of this, click here for the slides which show many of the details of these new features.
Having just received the Etne, Norway local history books (bygdebuker) for Christmas, I have spent countless hours looking at my ancestors in them. Naturally I have been trying to think of even more ways to use these books.
An idea that came to me was to look at my Dad’s one-to-many X matches at GEDmatch.com and see if I could find a match where I could follow the lines and connect them to Dad’s maternal grandad via those books
The largest X match he had with an unfamiliar name and email was to *k for 26.8 centimorgans (cMs) and it included a small autosomal match of 6.3 cMs. This seemed promising so I used the user lookup function on my GEDmatch home page and was delighted to see that she had uploaded a GEDCOM.
The GEDCOM number is clickable from the lookup result and it takes you to a page listing the individual. Of course what you really want is the pedigree to quickly scan for relatives in common and there is a button for that at the top of the page. Better is to use the compare 2 GEDCOMs feature from the home page to compare your match’s GEDCOM to your own. Works great if you both have deep trees but I had no luck with that for *k.
Next I clicked on the pedigree button at the top of her individual listing in the GEDCOM which took me to her pedigree page. Nothing jumped out at me and most of them were from Germany.
Perhaps this post needs the subtitle , “My Perfect Cousin Goes to GEDmatch.”
Most of us can keep track of information in spreadsheets. So how to do that with DNA? Well, the idea is to keep a list of matching DNA segments so that a new match can be compared to your known family members. That way you may be able to see where they fit in.
If you have tested at 23andme or Family Tree DNA, you can download your list of matches with their matching DNA segments either directly from your testing company or by using the tools at DNAgedcom. However AncestryDNA does not provide a list of matching segments.
Extract from my Dad’s Master DNA Segment Spreadsheet (click for a larger version)
Why would you want those? The short answer is to figure out which line a new DNA cousin belongs to. For the long answer, read on. For more posts about DNA spreadsheets click here or in the tag cloud, lower right hand column.
AncestryDNA testers can make a DNA segment spreadsheet by using any of a number of utilities at the GEDmatch web site. Start by uploading your raw DNA data (click here for that “how to” post). Your results will usually be ready for full comparisons the next day. Then buy the tier 1 utilities for at least one month ($10).
My preference for making a first spreadsheet is to use the Tier 1 GEDmatch Matching Segment Search. Then I go through the top matches from the ‘One-to-many’ matches report with that spreadsheet as a reference. I add notes on what I discover to my new spreadsheet.
Here is the step by step of what I did for my perfect cousin J.M. whose AncestryDNA results I blogged about in my previous post.