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.
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.
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.
UPDATE 26 Jan 2021: Both Beta One-to-Many Tools include tag groups but you have to check the box for them, either one or all.
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.
GEDmatch.com is about to get a face lift. Many have complained that it is not intuitive and does not offer enough help for a newcomer. The new site hopes to correct some of that; I am helping with the beta test now; it sure is prettier!
Why use GEDmatch and what is it? Well it’s a free 3rd party site of tools where you can upload your DNA test results and compare them with those from people who have tested at other companies. Plus there are many analysis tools, some available nowhere else. These include GEDCOM (family tree) comparisons, including yours to your DNA matches.
Recently I gave a talk for the Family History Fanatics at their Winter of DNA conference where I demonstrated how to use GEDmatch without worrying about segments. An approach that gets a lot out of the site without having to be a geek like me. The slides are here: https://slides.com/kittycooper/gedmatch-basics-2021
Here is a step by step of that very basic approach as outlined in the syllabus for my FHF presentation
1. Create a User ID and Upload a DNA raw data file, aka a “kit”
Click the image above to go to the video from Andrew Lee, of FHF, which shows you how to create a user id and upload your DNA raw data to GEDmatch.
Or read this blog post of mine which also has links to my other GEDmatch posts
2. Once Logged in, your Dashboard Page is not Intuitive
The tools are in the right hand column and the resources you have uploaded are listed on the left. You can upload more than one DNA kit and multiple GEDCOMs. There is a help section on the top right.
This post from Jim Bartlett is a useful explanation of the home page, as is my basics post listed above.
And here is what my beta test Dashboard looks like, an improvement? I think so.
If you have not logged into GEDmatch recently, please do so and either accept the new terms and conditions or don’t. Unless you are clearly USA based*, your kits will not be visible to your relatives any more unless you accept. I have linked to numerous other blogs at the end of this article to help you make your choice. I recommend reading either the one from Roberta Estes or EU users, the one from Debbie Kennett. Both look carefully at the new terms and conditions which are not very different from before.
Frankly, I was surprised by the panic expressed last week by some in the genetic genealogy world on FaceBook due to the sale of our beloved GEDmatch DNA tools site to a forensic science company. Personally, I hate knee jerk reactions so I did some research into this company, Verogen, as well as communicated extensively with Curtis Rodgers, one of the GEDmatch founders, and Kim Mohr, a spokesperson for Verogen.
To remind you all, GEDmatch is the best place to compare DNA tests done at different companies to each other or just to see the actual chromosome locations shared by two Ancestry testers. While both Family Tree DNA (ftDNA) and MyHeritage accept uploads of tests from other companies so you can compare on those sites, neither has the extensive tools of GEDmatch. FtDNA compares down to very small segments which can be useful in a family project but leads to inaccurate relationship estimates. MyHeritage does not show the X chromosome and neither company shows the fully identical segments (FIRs) that full siblings will have, which can be so helpful (click here).
GEDmatch has many useful additional tools, such as “People who match both or 1 of 2 kits ,” an “Are your parents related?” test, the ability to see who matches you on a specific segment, being able to check for full siblings rather than half, and automated triangulation, to name a few of my favorites (click those words to go to that post when I did one or click here for my more general GEDmatch articles). Plus it has GEDCOM comparison utilities. Compare yours to all the ones in the database or to just one other.
GEDmatch became a center of controversy when it was discovered that genetic genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter, working with law enforcement (LE). had solved the Golden State Killer case (click here) using that site. Since that time, there have been more controversies around law enforcement’s use of the site and many overblown scare articles in the press. Personally if my DNA outs a distant cousin who is a murderer or rapist, that’s fine with me. Genetic genealogy techniques are used as a tip; no one is arrested without getting their DNA from discarded materials and seeing if it is a match to the crime scene. I know some people are afraid of the possibility of false arrests, but that just does not happen with these modern techniques. You can, as before, choose to opt out of allowing LE to see your results on GEDmatch when looking for cousin matches to the dna of the perp or the unidentified victim.
In recent months, there have been more problems, news stories and controversies, including a Florida search warrant being granted. One has to feel for the two retired hobbyists who founded GEDmatch to help in their research and ultimately help us all, keeping most of the features free. Clearly getting the site owned and managed by a more professional group would be of great advantage to the users. Curtis spent several months looking for the right partner that would respect the original misson of GEDmatch and yet deal appropriately with LE, the EU, and security issues. He and the programmers, the two Johns, will continue to work on the site as consultants.
So who or what is Verogen? Two years ago this company was spun off from Illumina (the maker of the chips and machines that all the consumer oriented DNA testing companies use to sequence your DNA). It has 50 plus employees and plans to continue growing. Their office is in a small office park near UCSD here in San Diego. Continue reading