I’ve posted about my experiences using FamilyTreeDNA.com before. Their site is fine but of course you’re limited to matches of people who’ve uploaded their DNA to that site only. To widen my DNA net a little more, I downloaded my DNA info from FamilyTreeDNA and uploaded it to GedMatch.com.
GedMatch.com is a free site. Refreshing, no? But it’s not exactly user-friendly. First of all their dashboard page is totally confusing if you don’t have a degree in genetics. Be that as it may, it was pretty easy to follow their directions on how to download my data from FamilyTreeDNA and upload it onto GedMatch … which was what I thought would be the difficult part. However GedMatch does not appear to notify you when you have DNA matches in their system. I’d uploaded my DNA file a while back and was told it would take a few days to upload into their system. I was never notified that it had been processed and so … completely forgot about it until a few days ago.
Here’s what the main page looks like after you log in:
HINT #1: When they say to write down you Kit Number …. DO IT. You have to have that number for everything.
It was yesterday I found the little sticky note with my DNA Kit Number jotted down on it which was what reminded me I’d never heard back from GedMatch. So I logged back on to the site to see if I’d had any matches. Looking at the options on the Dashboard had me a little lost. I expected something like “See Your Matches.” No, it seems the best way to see your DNA matches is to click on GEDCOM + DNA Matches. First I’ll say that the best way to search and also be found is to upload a GedCom file for your ancestors. How do you to this? Well, if you use any sort of genealogy computer program you can export a gedcom file from it, which is what I did. The GedCom contained all the names of my ancestors going back 12 generations. I uploaded the file and connected it to my Kit Number … remember I told you to write down that Kit number!
So after I clicked on GEDCOM + DNA Matches, this is what I get:
My GedMatch Matches
For the privacy of my matches I’ve blacked out their private info. I’ll just say they give names and email addresses. You can click on the number under the column “GEDCOM ID” to get more info on that member.
Again, I blacked out the info for their privacy. It was this one, about 5 or 6 down on my list, that caught my attention. They’re from Lanarkshire, Scotland!!! Yes, that’s where the trail goes cold on my Geoghan Family. I sent this member and email this morning with all my Geoghan info to see if it rang any genealogical bells for them. Wish me luck!
So what else can you do on Gedmatch?
I’m not really into the technical DNA stuff but I like to see a good pie chart. If you click on “Admixture – Heritage” and select the Eurogenes project, this the kind of report you’ll get:
GedMatch – EuroGenes Report for me
Looks a lot like the report I got from FamilyTree DNA (See below)
So what else is on GedMatch? On the same “Admixture – Heritage” there are several projects to pick from. Here’s what the MDLP Project looks like:
You’re definitely going to want to click on the “Click here for more information” link. When you do, it takes you to Wikipedia where all those numbers are explained. My breakdown goes as follows:
- 40.18% … ENF: the component of the ancient European Neolithic Farmers with the peak in the ancient samples of LBK culture (Lazaridis et al. 2014, Haak et al. 2015). Among the modern populations – the highest values have been detected in Sardinians, Corsicans and Basques.
- 25.97% … WHG-UHG: the native component of the ancient European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers (Lazaridis et al. 2014, Haak et al. 2015). Among the modern populations – the highest percentage in the population of Estonians, Lithuanians, Finns and others.
- 21.26% … ANE: component from North-Eurasian component by interpolating the non-East-Asian part of Native Americans’ ancestry.
- 10.59% … Caucas – Gedrosia: identical to Pontikos’s Caucasus-Gedrosia cluster
- 0.93% … NearEast: the modal component of Middle Easterners
- 0.50% … Paleo-African: the modal component of African Pygmies and Bushmen
- 0.47% … Amerindian: the modal component of the Native American
- 0.09% … Oceanian: the modal component of the aboriginal inhabitants of Oceania, Austronesian, Melanesia and Micronesia(the peak in modern Papuans and Australian Aborigines)
Basically, I’m European … duh … knew that. I’m definitely not Native American. Would be nice though.
Here’s what the Dodecad Project looks like:
This one seems pretty spot on with what I know about my family. There are a few other projects that give you different pie charts but they’re all pretty similar.
There are also comparisons that you can do between your DNA test kit and someone else’s. I did it between me and the gal from Lanarkshire. There were a couple of other matches but really distant looking from the numbers.
There’s also a test called “Are your parent’s related?” Of course I had to check that one out. Good news …..
I see there is something called Tier 1 membership which you have to pay for. To be honest I can’t see that paying the $10 gets you much other than helping support the site.
So … If you’re a relation of mine and have your DNA results from another site, upload your DNA data onto GedMatch.com and let’s see if we’re related!
Jennifer Geoghan, Genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.
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