GEDmatch "tag groups"

I'm a BIG fan of GEDmatch. See my other post below on why you should transfer your DNA data to GEDmatch. Lately they've been rolling out some new features and the best is the ability to tag a group of kits to ease further analysis later. 

There are at least a couple of ways to select kits for comparison. One is by checking the boxes next to  entries of interest in "One-to-Many" (your match list). You might do it this way if you already know some people in the list are related to each other, and you want to see where the shared DNA lies. 

I normally use "People who match one or both of 2 kits." After selecting this option, enter two kit numbers—usually yourself or one of your kits and the other person whose relationship you want to establish or discover. 





Using "People who match one or both of 2 kits" allows you to find all the people who match on the same segment as both of the targeted people. It also will select people who match the two of you on other locations, but are related to you in the same way. But the caveat is that it can also select people related to both of you, but through different ancestral lines. Using the "People who match one or both of 2 kits" allows you to more easily find the people to triangulate a segment. Segments shared by others in the group at other locations may lead to additional trianguated groups. 









Select all the names in the resulting list. You might not want to include kits you know to be the children of others. The children can't have any shared DNA that the parents don't have. I didn't select the top two because they are my sons. I've uploaded three of my sons' kits, and only two inherited the (maternal) segment I share with this person who is Kit 2. The other son inherited the corresponding segment on my other (paternal) chromosome. You don't necessarily know that when you're starting this. Because I've already gone through these steps and I know who else matches this other person, I know this match is on my mother's side.  


Click "Submit" at the top after making the selections.







 Click on "Tag Groups." 











Enter a description for the group, select a color, and click on "Add Tag Group with Kits." 















Look back at the menu option where "Kits who match one or both of 2 kits" is located. Below that is the link to the tool "Multiple Kit Analysis." 

You can still use "Multiple Kit Analysis" by entering kits one by one as it's always been in the tab for "Manual Kit selection/Entry." But you can also use one of the groups you've already tagged. Checking the box next to the group of interest will bring up the group you've already established and enable you easily to work with the same group again. Using the interface shown in the previous image allows you to add new kits which also may match some of the same group. 









GEDmatch Visualization Options then allows you to see all the selected kits in a chromosome broswer and in a matrix (how much each person matches the others), and also allows you to download a spreadsheet (CSV) to see how all selected parties match each other by chromosome and segment location. You also can more easily locate their gedcoms. In the 2D chromosome browser, you can quickly locate segments shared by enough of the group to triangulate. Collaborate and discover your common ancestry! 





Sharing a Tree on Ancestry

The purpose for many of us doing DNA testing is to identify common ancestors with our matches. It can be frustrating if you don't have both the DNA segment matching information and the family trees of matches. One has to have both to correctly identify common ancestors. It is not good enough for a person to claim a particular ancestor if we cannot verify the lineage. And we cannot leverage multiple descendants with matching DNA to identify common ancestors without seeing the matching segments. Sharing family trees is important also to be able to eliminate the possibility having shared ancestry in more than one way.  

The solution is for Ancestry testers to transfer raw data to GEDmatch and for testers on GEDmatch and Ancestry to share their pedigree information. Learn how to transfer your DNA data from Ancestry to GEDmatch here.  I understand that not everyone wants to make their family trees public to the world. You can share your family tree information in one of several ways:

  • Create a pedigree chart in pdf format from your genealogy software. Send to DNA matches. Unfortunately because Ancestry users are stuck using the contact forms at Ancestry, you cannot send a pedigree chart until you have shared email contact information. When contacting Ancestry matches, always try to direct communication to email by providing your email address. 
  • Upload a GEDCOM from your software into GEDmatch so that matches on GEDmatch can easily find your family tree. GEDmatch does not privatize living individuals, so you will need to select options to privatize the GEDCOM export from your genealogy software. 
  • Create a tree on WikiTree which is free and offers varying levels of privacy controls. When contacting a DNA match, share the link to your tree.
  • Create a tree on Ancestry. If you want to keep it private, share it with matches when requested. This is the purpose of this post. Some of these posts I am writing are so that I can share more information, particularly with Ancestry testers, than what is easily done via the available contact form. 

Sharing a Tree on Ancestry (detailed instructions)

DNA Tests and Tools Diagrams

The plethora of tools available for DNA analysis can cause confusion. The following are diagrams showing the inter-relationships of some DNA third-party tools.


Third-Party Tools

Third Party DNA Toolsthmb


Number codes are from "Third-Party Tools."



Number codes are from "Third-Party Tools."


Why GedMatch?

   I have done autosomal DNA testing from all three of the major testing companies (FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry, and 23 and Me). I spend most of my time with Ancestry matches trying to get them to transfer their results to GedMatch. This is to explain why and give me a place to give instructions without repeating them over and over again. 

   Ancestry only tells you that you match people. It attempts to tell you how you match, but it only does that by comparing your trees and finding a matching couple in both. Unfortunately that is not reliable because you may be related in more than one way and not know about other ways you might be related. Part of the reason we do DNA testing is to learn about ancestors we do not know about yet.  The matching is only as good as the genealogical work (whether good or bad) that has gone into constructing the trees. 

  The two other companies (FamilyTree DNA and 23 and Me) give tools that allow matches to discover on what chromosome and on what segment on the chromosome people match. It is then up to you to search the genealogies and attempt to discover the most recent common ancestral couple. If two people match on the same chromosome and segment and they discover a common ancestral couple, they can hypothesize

C. T. Lamson family of Greene, Butler County, Iowa

One of my favorite things about genealogy is finding people who might otherwise be forgotten. This is not my family, but I was touched by the article and how quickly a region could be decimated by disease.



An Incident of Sadness. -- Mr. 

C.T. Lamson, of Green, some

three or four weeks ago lost a

bright little girl by that dreadful

disease, diphtheria.

   In conversation with a friend at

Butler Center the other day, in re-

gard to the ravages of the disease at

Greene, Mr. Lamson related the fol-

lowing sad incident: One year ago

his little daughter gave a birth-day

party at which were present eight

of the bright, sparkling little girls

of Greene -- her intimate playmates

and associates. Now, every one of 

that joyous group, who were the

birdlings of parental love and the 

light of happy homes, are sleeping

side by side in the grave yard.

The severity of affliction which

Greene and its immediate vicinity

have been called to undergo, though

the prevalence of diphtheria is great

and evokes the heartfelt sympathy 

of all. -- Eclipse.


"An Incident of Sadness," Clarksville (Iowa) Star, 6 March 1879, 5th page, column 4. State Historical Society of Iowa microfilmed newspaper collection, Iowa City.