My GEDmatch Ancestry Genetic Testing Review
Like a lot of other people, I recently heard of GEDmatch, when it made news headlines as one of the resources that the police used to catch the infamous Golden State Killer. That piqued my curiosity – what was this service, and could it be useful to help fill in some of the blanks in my family tree?
I decided to find out, and I must admit, I was pretty impressed with the service! Below, you will find my review of GEDmatch, and some information about my experience using it. Let’s get started now.
What is GEDmatch?
GEDmatch is a third-party free genealogy website that allows you to upload your genetic profile and raw data.
The “GED” part refers to GEDCOM, the standard for exchanging genealogical information, and the “match” part is self-explanatory, i.e, using your genealogy and DNA to match with others who share your DNA profile.
How much does the GEDmatch genetic testing cost?
GEDmatch is totally free to use, at least for its basic DNA analysis tools, such as:
This tool analyzes your DNA raw data and matches you with people you share a similar genetic profile with. There is an option to adjust the ‘confidence threshold,’ which is a measure of the likelihood of your matches being returned.
This tool allows you to see whether your matches share the same ancestry as you do. You can key in the kit numbers of your matches and compare their DNA data with your own!
This tool analyzes your DNA raw data file and identifies the population group you share your genetic material with.
This tool, in particular, was a bit complex to use and cannot really be labeled “user-friendly.” I had a pretty hard time comprehending the results as well.
Besides these, the site also offers tons of other great DNA matching features! However, some tools are considered “Tier 1” and are locked behind a paywall.
Matching segment search
This tool analyzes the DNA information of you and your matches and tells which segment of your genome you share your genetic material with.
Relationship tree projection
This tool uses your DNA information to suggest relationship trees that show how you may be related to your matches.
This tool lets you create triangulation groups (TGs) to identify a common ancestor with 2 or more of your matches you share an overlapping segment of DNA with.
This tool lets you generate “pseudo-DNA kits” which can be used as a surrogate for a common ancestor in other tests on this site.
To unlock these tools, you need to pay a $10 donation, which lets you use them for a month. To be honest, I did not understand how to use them, and I got by just fine without paying. But more advanced users may want to pay to unlock these features.
What do you need to get started?
Since I had previously taken an ethnicity breakdown test with AncestryDNA, all I needed was my DNA raw data to get started. The website also accepts raw data files from:
- Family Tree DNA
How to upload your DNA raw data to GEDmatch?
Head over to their website and register yourself as a new user.
After you log in, in the “Files Upload” section, you can choose your raw data provider. Fill out the required information before you upload the raw data file.
Once the upload is done, it can take up to a few weeks for your results to be ready. I got mine in 2-3 weeks. Once the results are ready, they will be present under “Your DNA resources” on your homepage.
My Verdict: Give GEDmatch A Try Today!
GEDmatch showed me a ton of matches and an in-depth analysis of my ancestry, that AncestryDNA failed to provide. It also comes with loads of fun, useful features that are totally free. If you’ve already taken a test with one of the autosomal DNA testing companies, there is no reason not to give it a try. Check out the GEDmatch website now to get started.