Have you heard of Gedmatch? Are you wondering what you can learn from it, what it can do for you, and how to use it? In this post, you’ll find the most common Gedmatch frequently asked questions.
What is Gedmatch?
Gedmatch is a free website where you can upload your DNA and have access to many different DNA analysis tools, as well as DNA matches, and genealogy records like family trees. The advantage of using Gedmatch is that they accept uploads from several different testing companies. This gives you access to more DNA matches, and can possibly help you learn more about your family’s history, since not everyone will have tested with the company that you chose.
Is Gedmatch Safe?
Yes, Gedmatch is a very secure website and your personal data is protected. If you would like to make sure that you remain completely anonymous to people whose DNA might match yours, you can create a generic e-mail address that doesn’t include your name, and use an alias during your DNA upload. Additionally, if you upload a family tree, this information is generally searchable by either your e-mail address or your DNA kit #, so you should make sure that the personal details of living people are not accessible.
How to upload DNA to Gedmatch
It is a fairly easy process to get your DNA uploaded to Gedmatch. The first step would be to download your DNA from your testing company’s website. Then, create your Gedmatch account and complete your upload.
- How to download Ancestry DNA raw data file
- How to download Family Tree DNA raw data file
- How to upload to Gedmatch
How long does Gedmatch take?
You’ve done your upload, and you might be wondering if this is going to take as long as it did when you first did your DNA test with your testing company? I have excellent news for you: no. You will not have to wait very long at all to start using the tools on Gedmatch and get your results back. In fact, you can use most of the tools within 30 minutes of beginning the process. The “One-to-Many” tool, which compares your DNA to all of the other kits on the site, is usually ready to use within a few hours, but can take a day or two at the longest.
Understanding Gedmatch Results
There are several different tools on Gedmatch. The Gedmatch software will compare your DNA to the hundreds of thousands of other DNA kits on the site, and report to you the top few thousand matches. You will have plenty to do once you get your results, since you might find new close matches and family trees of other users that might reveal important information about your family tree.
Below are links to posts about the two most popular, and most useful, tools available on the site:
Total cMs on Gedmatch
It’s looks like some crazy notation, but really cM is just an abbreviation. It stands for “centimorgans”, which is the unit of measurement that geneticists use to describe the length of DNA segments. When you see “Total cMs” on Gedmatch, it is telling you the total amount of DNA that you and a match share with each other. Generally speaking, the more DNA you share with someone, the closer the relationship.
Does Gedmatch give you ethnicty estimates?
This is one of the most popular reasons that people like to upload their DNA to Gedmatch. There are wonderful researchers out there who work completely independently of the DNA testing companies, and have created DNA projects to provide ethnicity estimates to Gedmatch users. It’s quite amazing what you can learn. They are called Admixture calculators (admixture means “mixing”, and is basically like a report of the mixture of ethnicities that you have). Each project generally has a focus on a particular region of the world, and some can help you find ethnicities that you might not have located otherwise.
Gedmatch: Native American
Since one of the most popular reasons for using Gedmatch is the ethnicity estimates you can have access to, it makes a lot of sense that one of the most popular ethnicities people are researching is the Native American ethnicity. Many people have grown up believing that they have Native American ancestry
Does Gedmatch have a Neanderthal calculator?
To my knowledge, there is not currently a calculator on the site that will tell you how much Neanderthal DNA you have (but you can find one here). With that said, there is something pretty cool that you can do on Gedmatch. You can compare your DNA directly with some of the most famous DNA samples out there. This is even better than a Neanderthall calculator, in my opinion.
Some of the most interesting DNA samples you can compare your DNA to? Use the Ancient Genomes tool to run your DNA against all of the ancient kits, and then use the One-to-One tool to see how much DNA you share with these samples from people who lived many thousands of years ago. You can get their kit numbers from the Ancient Genomes tool results page.
Other sites like Gedmatch
Gedmatch is a fairly one of a kind site, and as of 2018, there is no comparable site that offers the magnitude of access to people who have tested with other companies, as well as the advanced tools to analyze your DNA. There is a relatively new site called Geneplaza, which allows you to upload your DNA from various testing companies, but access to the tools is not free, and there is no evidence that they provide information that would be useful for finding relatives or family tree researching. Additionally, I have no experience with this site, but it’s worth watching to see how it develops.
If you want to make sure that you have uploaded your DNA to all of the available sites, read this post about free places to upload your DNA.
I hope that you learned a bit about Gedmatch and that your most pressing questions have been answered. If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to leave a message in the comments below – I might add your question to the article.
Thanks for stopping by!