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 GEDmatchMatching 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.
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.
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.
The good news is that professional genetic genealogist Angie Bush has put together an introductory video on GEDmatch which I am embedding here for all of you.
Angie is a molecular biologist as well as a professional genealogist, so is a very qualified genetic genealogist, unlike us passionate amateurs. Better yet, she can explain difficult concepts in plain English! She has a GEDmatch basics guide for sale at a nominal cost on her site at: http://www.genesandtrees.com/products-and-services.html