- Written by Patricia Hobbs Patricia Hobbs
- Created: 18 May 2015 18 May 2015
- Hits: 14058 14058
I have done autosomal DNA testing through 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 tells you only that you match people. It identifies the common ancestor merely by locating the same people in trees of the match who are also in yours. Unfortunately that is not reliable because you may be related in more than one way or you may have unidentified ancestors you share. 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 23andMe) 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
that the segment came from that couple (and certainly this is as far as Ancestry takes you without identifying the location of the segment matching). You can have much greater assurance of the identification of the segment if you have a third person who is also descended from the same couple (or an ancestor at a higher level) and matches on the same segment. None of this is possible to know with matches on Ancestry.
I have tested several other relatives in various lines only through FamilyTree DNA. But I've uploaded results to GedMatch for all of those relatives. Gedmatch accepts raw data from all three testing companies. Therefore you get a much larger pool of potential matches. Increasing the pool of possible matches is a great benefit for people testing with all three companies, but Ancestry testers derive the greatest benefit because they can finally see the "segment data," i.e., on what chromosome and segment their matches lie. For some of us who have proactively tested multiple relatives, we also may be able to tell you that you also match one of those relatives and therefore narrow the match to a specific branch.
Under the DNA menu tab, choose "Your DNA Results Summary" from the drop-down menu.
Click on "Settings" on the right side across from your name (or user name).
On the right sidebar, you will see the category "Actions." Under "Actions," click "Download your raw DNA data."
You will be prompted to enter your password. Click "Confirm." You will receive an email with a download link. Pay attention to where the file is being downloaded to your computer.
Go to GedMatch. After the words "Not Registered?" click on the link to create an account. Once you have an account, log in.
You will see this box for "File uploads" in the right half of the screen. Click "Generic Upload FAST." Insert name of the person who was tested. Use an alias in the second box if you don't wish the real name to be used. Choose the sex. Don't worry about the mitochondrial haplogroup or Y haplogroup questions. Click on "Yes" to allow your data to be used for comparisons. Click on the "Choose File" link to navigate to the location of the downloaded file from Ancestry. Once you've selected the file, click "Upload. Follow the instructions for not navigating away from the following screen until the upload is completed.
You will be able to do one-to-one comparisons right away. So do tell the person who encouraged you to upload that you have done so, and give her the kit number. You will be able to see the kit number right away on the home page (the landing page after logging in.) She will be able to start comparing with those known relatives. It can take a day or two for the test results to be processed for doing the one-to-many matching. One-to-Many is the tool that shows your match list. It is similar to what the testing companies show, but with more information.