Using GEDmatch tag groups

The multiple kit analysis function works beautifully with tag groups. Another benefit of tag groups, is that when I don’t remember the kit number of a cousin whose results I wish to view, I can look it up quickly by displaying the people in that tag group (from the View/Change your profile (password, email, groups) on the top left)

My previous post about tag groups mentioned that tag groups are a quick way to see where a new match fits in by looking at their one to many page for your tag colors. However this is less useful for a distant cousin match (fewer colored tags) or an iffy paper trail match. In those cases I put the new person in my Unknown group (which only ever has the one person being analyzed) and then compare with all the relatives I expect a match to, by using their tag groups.

The main GEDmatch page has a box called Analyze Your Data and towards the bottom of that box you can see Multiple Kit Analysis with a big red NEW next to it. The “new” is because you can now use tag groups for this analysis. When you click Multiple Kit Analysis to get to that function, you will see a page like the one shown below. The old way of doing multiple kit analysis, by typing in each one, is still available from the Manual Kit Selection/Entry tab on this page or by checking boxes in various other functions like one-to-many.

My tag groups: note that I am using shades of aqua and blue for my Etne, Hordaland, Norway descended cousins

You can check the tag groups of interest and compare them to the new person (the Unknowns group for me) in all the wonderful ways the multiple kit analysis gives you (Click here for the slides on that from my most recent GEDmatch presentation).

Recently I have been searching for a “Lee Oleson” who is the grandfather of a third cousin match at Ancestry. He was only in town long enough to get my match’s grandmother with child. This third cousin’s one to many lights up with the colors of my Etne, Hordaland, Norway side relatives.  So I set myself a project of tracing forward all the descendants of the eight children of my Etne great-great-grandparents to see if I could find Lee.

My DNA 3rd cousin’s one=to-many: matches my Skjold and close family tag groups

I only have DNA test results from the descendants of four of my great-great grandparents’ children, Aamund and Margaret who stayed in Norway, my great-grandad, and one of the two Annas who emigrated to Illinois in the late 1800s. So now to find the descendants of Gottskalk, Oystein, and Halvor. When eight children all have another five or six children there are a lot of cousins!

Interested family members, if you are logged into GENI, you can see how I’m doing with this project by clicking this link –

In the process of tracking down the other descendants, two of whom moved to Stord island in Norway, I have Facebook friended many wonderful new cousins in Norway. But I am looking for those who emigrated to America. Recently I found a likely descendant on and sent him this message:

Long story … trying to track down descendants of my great great grandparents of Skjold farm, Etne, Norway and one of their sons Halvor moved to Stord and had a daughter Marta (Martha) who married Bernhard Olai Nilsen and went to America in 1903

These facts fit your ancestors… has anyone in your family DNA tested? This would confirm it (the oldest family members would be best!)

He kindly replied with his GEDmatch kit number. So I made him the only person in my Unknown tag group and ran the comparison. He is the bottom line in this chart:

Sadly he shares no significant DNA with any of us, so he is likely not our 3rd cousin once removed. He would have to have inherited very little DNA from his 3rd grandmother, less than the expected 3%, and then none of it match any of the 20 cousins I compared him to. This seems like an infinitesimally small possibility but I will still ask him if any others in his family are tested. Sadly a Norwegian immigrant named Bernhard Olai Nelson married to a Martha is more common than you might think, so back to work on this!


7 thoughts on “Using GEDmatch tag groups

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  1. Hi Kitty,
    I believe my relatives came from Etne, Hordaland in Norway. The last name is Tesdahl. I have a kit number for GED match.

  2. Kitty, I have a GEDmatch result on my Dad’s side whose email address is your Gmail name+VR. Is that you? His father was Norwegian from Hordaland (Myking Parish), and his mother is German and English. Some of the Germans are more recent immigrants, but some came here before the American Revolution. They all settled in Pennsylvania, of course.

    • No there is no good way to share a tag group yet. I have asked for this.
      The best you can currently do is to transfer a tag group to another user and then recreate that group for yourself. Then you each have your own copy of the group

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