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Make a combined DNA kit for yourself

Have you ever wanted to make a kit combining all your DNA tests at the different companies so as to get the most SNPs for comparisons? Well GEDmatch GENESIS is now providing that for paid members. So of course I made one of these superkits for myself! I combined my LivingDNA with my V3 23andme and my current Ancestry kit. Now to investigate what I have gained from this.

The first thing I did was compare this new kit to my recent Ancestry kit. All looked fine. It has the expected small differences, many of which disappeared (including the black lines) when I checked the prevent hard breaks box on the form. The older 23andme kit comparison had more black spots and mismatches.

My next thought about my new superkit was that I might get a better comparison to cousins who tested more recently at 23andme but none of them have uploaded to GENESIS yet. So I checked how my comparison to an Ancestry tester, my second cousin once removed Jeanie, looked. The superkit gets the same result as my recent Ancestry kit. When I compared her to my 23andme kit and my Living DNA kit however, there were small differences.

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The Beta One-To-Many Tool: GENESIS Basics II

Finding cousins who can help solve genealogical mysteries are what many of us are hoping for when we do DNA testing. The various One-to-Many tools at GEDmatch Genesis list all the people who match the DNA kit you specify. These are cousins or even closer relatives.

The new beta version of the One-to-Many tool  is found under the heading DNA Applications in the right hand column of your home page.

My red arrow points to it in the image to the left.  It is a much improved tool, more like what was available on GEDmatch. When you click on it, you get a form as shown below which only needs the kit number added.


If you have set up some tag groups (click here for my GEDmatch tag group article), check the tag group box named “All” (shown with my red arrow above). Below is what my One-To-Many result looks like with my tag groups. The kit number is shown with the color of the group it belongs to. Note that when I have a person in more than one tag group, I get duplicate lines for them, one for each color coded tag group they are a member of:

My top matches in the One-To-Many with my tag groups (click for larger image)

One of the great features of this tool is that every column is searchable by putting text in the box above the column and then clicking the enter key. [UPDATE: this is a Tier 1 feature only and is more directly called a filter]. Another one is sortability via the up and down arrows at the top of the column. When working with my Jewish side, I sort by largest segment to get my closest cousins at the top. The reason I do that is that endogamous populations will often share many small segments from way back so the total cM make a triple 5th cousin look like a 2nd or 3rd ; however close cousins will always share larger segments.

This beta One-To-Many tool includes many of the features GEDmatch users are used to: the link to a tree*, the display of haplogroups, the estimation of generations difference, and the X matching. It also includes the new overlap number which lets you know how many SNPs are tested in common between the two kits. The overlap issue was discussed in my previous article about GENESIS

You can click on any kit number to get a One-To-Many for that kit or click on the underlined largest segment number to compare the cMs of the two kits for either autosomal or X. In both cases you are taken to a prefilled in form on which you can make changes to (don’t yet) before you click the Submit or Search button. On the X comparison, I recommend you click the “Prevent Hard Breaks ” because there is a large gap in the middle for many tests otherwise.

New matches will be indicated by having their names and days since upload colored in green. The green gets lighter the longer they are there until it eventually goes away.

Here is a table with an explanation for all of the One-To-Many column headings:

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Ancestry’s new DNA feature: ThruLines

Ancestry.com announced a great new tool at Rootstech called ThruLines. It finds connections to your DNA matches by looking through other people’s trees for you. This replaces DNA circles by displaying the descendants of your ancestors in a more understandable format. Even if you have a private tree, you will get these ThruLines as long as your tree is set to searchable. Here is what the new DNA overview page looks like:

ThruLines is fabulous but a little buggy. I was constantly getting page not found apparently due to a cookie problem and was wondering if I would ever finish this post! A trick suggested in Blaine’s DNA tools group on FaceBook solved this for me. I now open the ThruLines page as a private or incognito page by using the right click menu in Firefox or Chrome.

Right mouse clicking on ViewDNA matches brings up a menu where you can request a private window

The ThruLines page shows images of each of your ancestors with whom you share DNA matches, ordered by most recent first. Since I have tested my brother and many first, second, and third cousins, there were no surprises in the first four lines (16 ancestors) but once I got back to my great great grandparents I found a number of new cousins that I had not found before on my Norwegian side: descendants of my Wold great grandparents and my Halling 3rd grandparents.

One of the nice things is that Ancestry can see past the private parts of trees to find the connections. It shows you living people as boxes marked private but can still connect them back to the common ancestors. It also indicates whose tree the information came from, which is helpful when you know there is an error since you can click on the tree name to see it and contact that person to request that they fix it.

I found a whole slew of new Halling cousins decended from my great grandmother’s sister Nikolena

I was about to complain that I would prefer to see these ThruLines theories start from my DNA matches rather than my ancestors when I discovered that if I joined the Beta test of the new matches page they do exactly that, among many other wonderful new features.

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MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity

It seems as if every DNA and genealogy company is unveiling wonderful new features this week at RootsTech 2019 which makes me wish I was there. It will take me many posts to cover all the ones that excite me!

MyHeritage has just unveiled a cool new feature called the “Theory of Family Relativity.” The idea is to look at your tree and other trees in their database to see if the computer can figure out how you are likely to be related. When you click on the big pink View theories button at the top of your DNA matches page it will show you just the DNA matches for whom it thinks it has found the relationship.

What is exciting and different about this offering is that when you click on the “View theory” in the listing for a match it offers you several paths to view a graphical representation of the possible relationship including percentages of accuracy. It also indicates the trees or records the deduction was made from. Here is how it shows that with a known 5th cousin of mine. I had not known that she had tested nor had I been in touch, although I knew her family.

 

If you go to the match page of a match that has a theory, it will show you a compact view of the expected relationship at the top of the page without the tree names and percentages however it includes a click point to see the full theory.

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GENESIS Basics: GEDmatch reinvented part 1

GENESIS.gedmatch.com is 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. It is the new version of GEDmatch.com that can compare the data from many more companies than the original. Click here for my previous post written for GEDmatch users moving to GENESIS. Today’s article is to introduce GENESIS basics to the new tester.

GENESIS Home page for my cousin who has only 2 kits migrated and is not a Tier 1 member

One problem for many users is that this site is not intuitive. GENESIS does not hold your hand and does not build your tree for you. You have to learn how to use the tools there to the best advantage for your own research. I have many posts on this blog for GEDmatch, most of them are also useful for Genesis and I will list some of those later. UPDATE 17 FEB 2019: Click here for the slides from my presentation about the basics of using this site from Saturday Feb 16, 2019, in Carlsbad for the North County DNA Interest Group (DIG).

To get started at GENESIS, you have to be registered as a user. Currently that is still done over on the old GEDmatch.com site. Your login will be your email address with a password you create. Some people prefer to use an email which they have created just for genealogical research. Easy to do at gmail, hotmail, or yahoo, among others and it is a way to create some privacy. Note that GEDmatch is careful to warn you when you register that their site can be used by law enforcement to try to identify violent offenders and victims. Click here to understand how your DNA can out a distant cousin who is a criminal.

Before you can use GENESIS to explore your test results, you have to download your DNA data from your testing company. Click here for the help page that GEDmatch provides on how to download your DNA. The file of your test results is quite large (about 700,000 lines of data) and zipped. DO NOT UNZIP it.

To upload your results to GENESIS you log in and then click on Generic Uploads (23andme, FTDNA, AncestryDNA, most others) in the right hand column under Upload your DNA files. That takes you to a form to fill out before doing the upload. You have to enter the name your kit was registered under, but you can choose to use a pseudonym to appear on Genesis. Put it in the box for alias on this form. For example, all my cousins are called Kittys#CuzNN where the number sign is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, and NN is their initials so that I know who they are! You have to change the No to a Yes after “You authorize this data to be made available for comparisons in the GEDmatch public database” if you want your results to be visible to your matches.  If you want to stay private, then leave it as is for now, but change it after it is uploaded to “Research” so you can use all the tools on the site but stay invisible. Once your or your cousin’s file is uploaded, you are assigned a kit id (2 letters plus several digits) which will also always show on your home page when you log in. You need a kit id to use the tools. You can upload multiple tests and manage them all from this one user.

You can make edits to any kit you own by clicking the pencil icon next to it on the left side of your home page. Click here for my presentation slide that shows you that edit screen and where to change the privacy to public or research or private.

It usually takes a day or two to fully process your kit so that you can run the most important tool: the one-to-many. That is the tool that lists your DNA relatives in the Genesis database. While you wait you can experiment with the ethnicity tools (called admix here) covered in my Gedmatch basics post and in detail in these slides (click here).

If some cousin, like me, asked you to upload and gave you their kit number, you can do a one to one compare with that kit before your kit is fully ready for the other tools. Click here for the slide that shows the form to make that comparison. There are slides following that one which have some examples. You can use all the defaults when you fill out the form with one exception: you may prefer to check the prevent hard breaks box at the bottom. That is particularly recommended for an X one to one. Personally I prefer to look at the image only comparison first, then I click back and select position only to get the numbers for each segment to put in my master spreadsheet.

Once you see a blue check mark on the line with your kit number on your home page (as in image above), you can run the one to many tool. That looks at all the other kits in the database to find people whose DNA matches yours. The more cMs you share, the closer the match.

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