Just when we started to get comfortable using and understanding our Gedmatch results, we find out that there is yet another place we should upload our DNA: Gedmatch Genesis. It’s relatively new, and has been growing in popularity since it launched earlier this year. In this post, you’ll learn what it is, and whether you should consider checking it out.
If you haven’t tried using Gedmatch, you can learn a little about it here)
What is Gedmatch Genesis?
Gedmatch Genesis is a free website where you can upload your raw DNA file and compare your DNA to that of people who have done DNA tests with many other companies. This is a great way to find new family matches, and learn more about your family history.
There are several tools on Gedmatch Genesis available that can help even a budding genetic genealogist (you!) learn all that you can from your DNA:
- One-to-Many comparison
- One-to-One comparison
- People who match one or both of two kits
They make it clear on their site that they are still in beta (fancy way of saying they are still testing things out), which means that they will continue to improve and add new tools and capabilities as time goes on. I’m using the site, and checking it daily, just to keep up with changes.
If you are unsure about using Gedmatch Genesis, but still want to get access to the utilities they offer, you might consider signing up for both Gedmatch and Gedmatch Genesis. This way, you can still use the “old” Gedmatch and the tools it offers, which are excellent, and have access to the newer features offered by their new site.
What makes Gedmatch Genesis different than the regular Gedmatch?
You might be wondering if participating in Gedmatch Genesis will provide you with results that are different or better than the ones that you get with the old Gedmatch. I had the same question. There are currently two main advantages of transitioning your DNA to the new site:
- There is an improved algorithm used to compare DNA kits, which results in more accurate matches. I’m very excited about this, since I have noticed that with some matches, Gedmatch shows that we are more closely related than we really are. More accurate matching means that we will all be able to spend our time more efficiently, and we won’t “spin our wheels” contacting people who are distantly related when there is little chance we’ll be able to find the connection.
- The second advantage of the new site is that the new software has the ability to accept uploads from testing companies that use test formats that don’t currently work with the old Gedmatch software. People who have tested with companies like Living DNA (and others) will be glad to hear this, since they will now be able to take advantage of some of the information that Gedmatch can provide. As the DNA testing industry becomes more competitive (i.e. more companies offer testing) this is going to become a bigger advantage, since there is no way to know which companies your DNA relatives will pick to test with.
- There is an “estimate of validity” included with One-to-Many and One-to-One results, which can help us know how confident they are that their software has correctly identified matches. This seems similar to the Ancestry DNA “confidence” indicator, and is a good idea.
- You will get a brand-new kit number, which you will need to use the tools on the site. It will be different than your regular Gedmatch kit number.
The site also makes promises of “greater flexibility”. While I’m not exactly sure what type of flexibility they are referring to, flexibility is always a good thing 😉
Are there disadvantages to using Gedmatch Genesis?
I wouldn’t say that there are disadvantages, per se, but there are some things that you should know before you decide to get started with the new website:
- Currently (as of 10/2017), the Gedmatch and Gedmatch Genesis databases are separate, so you will only be able to see comparisons with people who have uploaded their DNA to the new site. This means that for now, until the site becomes more popular, the number of kits on the site is likely to be much lower than the old Gedmatch.
- It’s a brand-new website to learn, and it does take some effort to get your raw DNA uploaded again (though not much!). While it is similar to the old Gedmatch site, there are some definite differences, and for those among us who struggled with learning to use Gedmatch, it can be an obstacle.
How to get signed up for Gedmatch Genesis
It’s free and easy, just like with regular Gedmatch. You just go to the homepage, log in with your regular Gedmatch login information, and then upload your DNA to the site. There are several links on the homepage that tell you which one you should click (it depends on which company you tested with). Once you upload your kit, it will take a few hours for the processing to complete. Once it’s done, you will have the ability to use all of the tools available on the site, which includes the One-to-Many comparison tool (which you can use to find new family matches).
I hope that this post helped you understand just a little bit about the new Gedmatch Genesis project. Lately, I’ve been getting more and more excited about the site because I’ve seen brand-new matches pop up that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Lots to explore! I plan to write a lot more about the site as they add more features and usage grows. I hope to see you there – maybe we are related! If you’ve used it, I’d love to hear your thoughts here in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by!