Tag Archive | GEDmatch Tools

All My GEDmatch Articles

GEDmatch is one of my favorite sets of genetic genealogy tools but it can be hard to get started with. I have done many presentations over the years attempting to help people master the basics there, most recently for Family Tree University (click here). Plus I wrote a GEDmatch Basics article for their magazine (click here) which explains all the column headings on the one-to-many report.

Over the past 12 years I have written many posts about GEDmatch, most of which are still useful. So I decided to make a new tag – GEDmatch tools – which brings up just my posts that explain a specific tool. Now I can see which tools I still need to write about!

Here is the list of my articles in reverse chronological order (click any title to go to that post):

How Related Are Ashkenazim?

Eight of the ten fully Jewish kits I have access to showed related parents in the “Are Your Parents Related”  (AYPR) tool on GEDmatch. I am wondering if this level of relatedness (about a 4th cousin) is generally true among Ashkenazim and other endogamous populations. Or perhaps the GEDmatch parameters need some tweaking?

Sample related segment from a Jewish kit in AYPR

Sample related segment from a Jewish kit in AYPR

Also a number of married jewish couples I know have discovered that they share a DNA segment. Personally I share 11 cM on the X with my late husband even though I have only one Jewish grandparent. Most testing companies show me as about 30% Jewish.

I can understand that when people live in the same general area for generations, one could easily marry 3rd and 4th cousins. I also know that in the past, cousin marriages were not uncommon among Jews.

I invite all tested fully Jewish people to run that free tool at GEDmatch and then fill out my form on the next page. Please fill it out even when they are not showing as related to help with my statistics.

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My talk about GEDmatch and more about GEDCOMs

Finally! The video of the GEDmatch basics talk I did on May 26 for Verogen is now available. Best to view it full screen at youtube in order to see the images well.

Click here for the slides for that talk

GEDmatch, a DNA tools site, was originally created to compare GEDCOMs, a function you can still use it for. A GEDCOM is a plain text file of your family tree formatted so that any genealogy program can understand it. Click here for the wikipedia entry explaining this in more detail.

In my talk I emphasized that it is best to upload a privatized GEDCOM with no more than 10 generations of ancestors then connect it to the DNA test for that person. This will help you use the relative matching tools. I promised in the presentation to explain how to create a GEDCOM. So here are a few of the many ways.

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A Really Basic Approach to Using GEDmatch

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
https://blog.kittycooper.com/2019/02/genesis-basics-gedmatch-reinvented-part-1/

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.
https://segmentology.org/2018/05/01/first-time-at-gedmatch/

And here is what my beta test Dashboard looks like, an improvement? I think so.


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Tool to find common ancestors at GEDmatch

Whenever I get a new good-sized DNA match, I try and figure out how we are related. Ancestry and MyHeritage both have clever tools that search your tree and the trees of other users to come up with the likely relationship. Of course both you and your match have to have a family tree connected to your DNA on those sites for that to work.

My father’s DNA matches with matching ancestors, first run

GEDmatch has just released a tool for its Tier 1 (paid) members that will search for the common ancestor you have with your DNA matches on that site. This capability requires both you and your match to have uploaded a GEDCOM to GEDmatch and associated it with your kit. I just updated my 2015 blog post about using GEDCOMs at GEDmatch which explains much about them, so click here to read it. By the way, a GEDCOM is a text file that is formatted especially for genealogy programs; it lets you move the facts in your tree from one genealogy web site or program to another.

The new tool found nothing on my mother’s side. She was German and half Jewish. There are almost no Germans at GEDmatch and my one known half 2nd cousin on there has no tree uploaded. As to the Jewish side, very few have their trees far enough back to meet mine. I need to get a few of my known 3rd cousins to upload GEDCOMs.

The above listing, partially repeated below,  shows all the common ancestors my first run of this tool found for my Norwegian-American father using the default settings on the form. I have cut off the first 3 columns on the left which have the kit number, match name, and email address for privacy; also that makes the image readable on this page!


Let’s look at the rest of the columns for my Dad’s top match. Clicking the tree icon would take you to the user profile information. The cM shared are listed next; 40.3 is match that can be anything from a 4th to an 8th or even more distant cousin. Then the name of the possible shared ancestor, first in my GEDCOM and then in my match’s GEDCOM; either one can be clicked on to go to that person’s tree entry. The 8G is how many steps down from that ancestor my Dad is. If you click that, you see a descendant list from that ancestor in your tree. Notice that his match is also 8 steps down, so in the same generation. Subtract one to get the cousin level so this is a 7th cousin.
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