Gedmatch Genesis Frequently Asked Questions

Have you heard of Genesis Gedmatch? If you’ve already started using the site, you might have a few questions. In this post, I will answer some of the most common questions about Gedmath Genesis, and understanding the DNA analysis tools available on the site.

Gedmatch Genesis Frequently Asked Questions

If you haven’t started using Gedmatch Genesis yet, you might be interested in learning how to upload your DNA to the site, and reading my post, “Gedmatch Genesis Tutorial for Beginners.”

What was Gedmatch Genesis?

The story of Gedmatch Genesis takes us on a journey to 2010 when the original Gedmatch site was first founded by Curtis Rogers and John Olson.

The site slowly grew in popularity and became one of the most popular genetic genealogy sites on the internet.

Realizing that there was need for additional features, Gedmatch Genesis was launched. At first, it was a “beta” site.

After all of the bugs were worked out, the original Gedmatch site no longer accepted new uploads and everyone was encouraged to use the new Gedmatch Genesis site.

After only a few months, the old Gedmatch site was merged with the new Gedmatch Genesis site and is now known as a simply “Gedmatch”. The “new” Gedmatch site is the best of both worlds:

  • The same catchy, easy-to-remember name (Gedmatch)
  • Better features and technology

If your DNA was in the “old” Gedmatch database, you don’t need to upload it again. Since both the Gedmatch and Gedmatch Genesis databases belonged to basically the same site, the two databases were merged.

Which tools on Gedmatch Genesis are most helpful for beginners?

If you are brand-new to Gedmatch Genesis and consider yourself a beginner in genetic genealogy, I would recommend acquainting yourself with the following two tools:

These tools are the most useful for users who are just starting out, and once you get acquainted with understanding these results, the rest of the tools will be easier to work with.

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Are Gedmatch Genesis results accurate?

Gedmatch Genesis results are very accurate. You should find that your results on the site are similar to results obtained on other sites. You can trust your Gedmatch Genesis results.

With this said, you might find very minor discrepancies between the location of DNA segments you share with your matches. The minor difference shouldn’t make a big difference and should only be noticeable with your more distant matches.

How to figure out how your Gedmatch Genesis DNA matches are related?

Discovering how our Gedmatch Genesis matches are related can be challenging, primarily because many times the only information we have about our matches is their e-mail address. Sometimes, we might have our match’s full name.

While I really do wish more people would upload their family tree to the site (more on this below), a name and an e-mail address is often enough to learn the identity of our match and begin the work of discovering our genealogical connection.

I wrote an entire post on this topic: “How to figure out how your Gedmatch Genesis match is related to you.”

What does estimated number of generations to MRCA

MRCA stands for “most recent common ancestor“. Knowing who our MRCA is helps us calculate our exact genealogical relationship to our relatives. For example, the MRCA for two siblings is at least one parent. The MRCA for second cousins is a great-grandparent.

Gedmatch Genesis uses the amount of shared DNA between you and your matches to estimate the number of generations between you and your MRCA. Generally speaking, the larger amount of shared DNA, the more recent the MRCA, and the fewer number of generations to the MRCA.

When it comes to more distant cousins, the estimated number of generations to MRCA should be taken as a literal estimate. There are limits to using the amount of shared DNA to predict an exact relationship, and it can usually only help us narrow down how we might be related.

You can read more about using shared DNA to predict how you might be related to a match in my post, “Shared Centimorgans for Beginners“.

How to get more people to upload to Gedmatch Genesis?

I have found that adding a profile picture to my DNA results on the different sites where I’ve tested saying “Gedmatch Genesis kit #….” (and of course, adding my kit#) is a great way to get the attention of my DNA matches. I’ve had DNA matches ask me what that means, which gives me the chance to explain the benefits of Gedmatch Genesis.

Additionally, I generally try to mention my Gedmatch Genesis kit # in messages that I send to relatives on the testing sites. It’s less abrasive than “Please upload to Gedmatch”, but it achieves the same result. They become curious about it and end up doing it anyway.

This is especially helpful for sites like Ancestry DNA where we don’t have access to a chromosome browser. If our Ancestry DNA matches upload to Gedmatch Genesis, we can access detailed segment data.

Is there a way to upload a family tree to Gedmatch Genesis?

Oh yes! I’m so glad that you are wondering about this question. In fact, I wish more people would upload their family trees to Gedmatch Genesis because it would make figuring out our connections much easier and make the information that we learn from the site more useful.

Gedmatch Genesis accepts family tree uploads in the form of a “Gedcom” file. You can download your family tree from Ancestry or many other sites (or software programs) and follow the instructions on the Gedmatch Genesis Gedcom upload page.

You can access the page to upload your Gedcom from your main Gedmatch Genesis home screen, as shown in the image below:

We can make Gedmatch Genesis more useful for everyone by uploading our Gedcoms.

Should you delete your data from the “old” Gedmatch site?

There is no need to delete your data, but you could certainly do this if you felt a need to do so. The most compelling reason that I can think of to delete old data would just be so that way you don’t forget over the years that your data is on the site.

If you do decide to delete it, I would definitely wait until the end of 2019. I’m hoping that over the course of this year, Gedmatch Genesis is improved to the point of reaching the usability and interface of the “classic” Gedmatch site.

If we all delete our data from the site now, we won’t be able to use the old site, and I have still found it useful – even with the migration of all kits to the new site.

Should you lower the default thresholds on the DNA comparison tools?

I see a lot of Gedmatch Genesis users (and users of the classic Gedmatch site) running One-to-One comparisons with thresholds lower than the default 7 cM legnth.

So, is it good or bad to lower the threshold?

When people are just getting started understanding Gedmatch Genesis results, lowering the threshold below the default level on any of the settings can cause a lot of unnecessary confusion.

For example, almost all DNA segments lower than 5 cMs in length are likely to be coincidentally identical segments (IBS), and not DNA segments that two people inherited from a common ancestor. If you compare two kits on the site but have the threshold set to 5, 3, or even 1cM, and spot a match, you are almost definitely going to find yourself searching for a common ancestor who doesn’t exist.

Is our DNA data safe on Gedmatch Genesis?

Gedmatch (and Gedmatch Genesis) has gotten some tough press over the past year or so. Gedmatch Genesis is a safe site, and our information is pretty secure.

Our actual DNA is not stored on the site. The only information that they have is our raw DNA file, and while this file does contain a lot of information, it’s not the same as having an actual DNA sample.

It is important to know that while most people use Gedmatch Genesis for genealogy, there are people who have discovered other uses for the site. The primary concern is the use of Gedmatch Genesis by law enforcement. You can read more about why I’m not worried about this exact issue here.


I hope that this post has helped you understand more about Gedmatch Genesis and helped answer some questions that you might have about the site and the tools available there.

If you have any questions about something that you read here, or have a question that I didn’t answer in the post, or if you would like to share your own experience with Gedmatch Genesis, please join me in the discussion below.

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