Many people have heard of GEDMatch. Only a handful may have taken full advantage of this useful tool.
This is the first part of a complete GEDMatch guide that we are putting together to help you make the most of this mostly free raw data analysis.
This is a simple introduction article which aims to cover the basics of GEDMatch and what it does for the consumer genetic testing community.
What is GEDMatch?
The name GEDMatch was coined from a combination of “GED”, which represents the universal standard for the exchange of genealogical data, GEDCOM, and the “match”, because it helps users find and connect with people share varying portions of their DNA.
How Do I Use GEDMatch?
We mentioned a few paragraphs back that the GED part of GEDMatch comes from the use of GEDCOM.
GEDCOM allows you to extract the genetic information that you received from your previous ancestry DNA test and explore relatives from companies other than the one you got your initial test done from.
For example, if you have done your initial ancestry genetic test from 23andMe, you can explore DNA matches from the Ancestry DNA database through GEDMatch. This effectively helps you avoid paying for the same test twice.
First off, using GEDMatch is completely free.
If that’s not enough reason to convince you to give it a try, then there’s this: GEDMatch helps you identify exactly where you match with your relatives, helps you discover your trace ethnicity, provides email addresses for easy contact with your relatives,
And most of all, searches results from pretty much all existing DNA databases in order to find a match for you.
How I get started with GEDMatch?
Getting started with GEDMatch is as simple as clicking on a couple of buttons.
First, you need to get a copy of the results from the DNA testing company you used, create a GEDMatch account and upload the file you downloaded.
Wait a couple of hours for things to get properly set up.
Some of the tools that you can try out:
- One-to-One tool
- DNA Admixture tool
If this sounds like a foreign language to you, don’t worry about it. We will be coming up with a detailed guide on each of these tools soon.
Once this is done, creating the GEDMatch account itself on GEDMatch.com shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
Here are all the details you are required to fill up on GEDMatch:
If you’re having a little trouble with the uploading of your genetic material, see here for an excellent step by step tutorial.
Recently, GEDMatch has phased out uploading genetic data on its website, instead preferring them to be uploaded here but the steps are pretty much the same.
Tools to explore within GEDMatch.
GEDMatch has a couple of tools guaranteed to add a fun twist to exploring your genetic data.
The GEDMatch and DNA Matches Utility
When I was little, I used to dream that I’d discover I was heir to a vast and hidden kingdom, leading me to dangerous adventure and riches untold. Well, this is kind of like that, if a little less life threatening and dramatic.
This tool helps you find people who match your DNA, all you have to do is input your kit number, and you’ll get a list of people with information on how closely they are related to you.
I never did find my long lost royal ancestor, but I had a great time checking.
The Admixture Calculator
Ever wondered where exactly your curly hair came from, or why exactly you are fabulously tan for a person of full Caucasian descent?
Well, this tool helps you with an estimate of the components of your ethnicity.
I had a lot of fun with this, and discovered some intriguing things about my family tree, and I’m very certain you will too.