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 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.
Recently I gave an updated talk about GEDmatch.com for my local DNA special interest group, DIG, here in San Diego. GEDmatch.com is a DNA geek’s playground, but many less computer inclined folk find it difficult at first.
It is the only place for those who have tested at Ancestry DNA to compare their results to a possible relative, chromosome by chromosome. It also has many tools that are unique such as ancestry composition calculators with more recent breakdowns and more categories than the main companies. I covered those in detail in my original talk about GEDmatch tools. Those slides are at http://slides.com/kittycooper/gedmatch#/5
The new talk – http://slides.com/kittycooper/gedmatch-10#/ – covered uploading your data, how to manage your kits and mark a kit for research, and much detail on the one-to-many function as well as all my other favorite tools (starred in the image to the left).
There is a new 23andme upload which is nice and fast as it uses the API so you actually log into your account there rather than uploading a file.
It makes sense to upload all your kits when you have tested at more than one company but please mark all but one kit as research only, so DNA relatives are not confused by seeing so many versions of the same person.
Today I sent the following email to a newly found DNA cousin match at ancestry whose great-grandmother lived right next door to my family in Kristiansand, Norway in the late 1800s. She moved to the U.S.A just a year after they did (1884 and 1885) and lived a block away from where my grandad eventually lived on Ovington Ave in Brooklyn, N.Y.
OK now I REALLY want to see where our DNA matches, because I have a large database (spreadsheets) of where my Dad, my brother and I match various known Norwegian relatives so it is likely that I can figure out from the matching DNA segment(s) where we are related and if it is really the 7th cousin match shown at Ancestry.com on the Eigeland line.
Pretty please either upload to GEDmatch or Family Tree DNA or both.
First you will need to get the raw data from Ancestry.com – here is how:
There is a new feature at GEDmatch.com – you can look at the GEDCOM of a DNA match easily again.
Take the kit number of interest and plug it into the user lookup form. On the next page, with the information about that kit, it will either say NO GEDCOM UPLOADED or there will be a GEDCOM id number. That id number is now clickable and will take you to the person associated with this kit number in the GEDCOM.
If you have not uploaded a GEDCOM to GEDmatch.com then I highly recommend that you do so. It is helpful to be able to compare your GEDCOM to that of a DNA match. I prefer just 10-12 generations of my ancestors (privatized) as my full family file is way too large. My theory being that is enough generations for DNA matching and I only want ancestors for my DNA matches to look through.
I have used red arrows on the above sample excerpt from a GEDmatch home page to show where to upload your GEDCOM file and where to click to do a user lookup.
Here is a the step by step example: