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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Squeeze more juice out of your Family Finder DNA test


gedmatch.com is a website with tools for genealogy research.  At gedmatch it is possible for Family Finder testers to go "deeper" in comparison of their autosomal test results to others.  You also can compare your results to other gedmatch users who tested through 23AndMe.  If you are willing to fuss around with a computer and a not-too-easy-to-use website, you can go further with your autosomal test results.  In gedmatch tables I have seen people who may share ancestry with me as far back as 11 generations by gedmatch's calculation.

In addition, you can compare your uploaded data with others in the West Cork & Kerry ancestors project.

In my own case I think my match generation calculations are too generous, and should go back further.  For example, I have a match who "should" be a third cousin according to FTDNA but we cannot even find a surname or geographic area in common, much less figure out how we are supposed to match.  So if I see a match labeled, say 4.3 generations in gedmatch, I tend to think it is more like 6 or 7.  But that is just my experience.

There are two files you need to download from FTDNA once you've logged in to your account:

1) Under Family Finder | Matches, at the bottom of the page it says "Download Raw Data."  Download the CSV file.  That is a file of your matches.  The file will be named starting with your kit number, then "_Family_Finder_Matches_" then a date and then the file extension is CSV.  e.g.

N73108_Family_Finder_Matches_20120825.csv


2) Under Family Finder | Download Raw Data, you want to download "Autosomal Raw Data."  It is in  GZIP (compressed) format. It will be very large, maybe 24 megabytes. The file will be named starting with your kit number, then "autosomal-o-results" and then the file extension will be .CSV.GZ. e.g.

N73108-autosomal-o-results.csv.gz

3) You will need something like Windows Zip utility or gzip (decompress option) to unzip this file.  After you decompress the file, the file extension will be CSV.  e.g.

N73108-autosomal-o-results.csv

Now point your browser to gedmatch.com

4) This page is to upload your large file of your autosomal DNA. 

http://ww2.gedmatch.com:8006/autosomal/a-upload1.php

You need to fill in your email address, the donor name exactly as it appears in the FTDNA account, and the kit number.  You can also add an alias if you wish to.  There are more questions, then at the bottom of the screen on the left, click CHOOSE FILE to select on your hard drive your large autosomal results file.  Then click UPLOAD on the bottom right.  Be patient and wait for this to upload.


5) To upload your matches data, go to this page:

http://ww3.gedmatch.com:8004/relationship_search1.php

You answer some similar questions. Your Family Finder test was likely run on the Illumina chip so leave that  selected.  At the bottom left click CHOOSE FILE to select your matches file and then on the bottom right click UPLOAD. 

Check to see if the download is succeeding.  You will see error messages on the screen if it did not. 

In that case, you may want to open the CSV file in a plain text editor and make sure that every field is surrounded by double quotes " ", then separated from adjacent fields by a comma.  I have seen problems with this file before, however the last time I tried it there were no problems.

The field names are:

"Full Name","Match Date","Relationship Range","Suggested Relationship","Shared cM","Longest Block","Known Relationship","E-mail","Ancestral Surnames (Bolded names match your surnames)","notes".


6) This is entirely optional. In your FTDNA account there is a third file you can upload.  Under Family Finder | Download Raw Data, save the file under X Chromosome Raw Data, which is in GZIP (compressed) format.  I have seen only one of these files but after decompressing it the size was about 600K.  You can upload that file here:

http://ww2.gedmatch.com:8006/x/x_upload1.php

Note: FTDNA and other testing labs are still experimenting with this data to see what might be available through it. X chromosome data comes through fewer lines than the full-blown autosomal data, however because the contributing father's X chromosome does not recombine from his parents, in daughters his X chromosome will have survived a generation without recombining.  I don't know what to make of gedmatch's interpretation of generations, to be honest.  We have no information yet about this result.

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7.  You may also want to upload a GEDCOM file.  You can do that here:

http://www.gedmatch.com/upload.php

8.  Once your data has been uploaded and you've been able to play with the triangulation tool a little, point your browser to the home page, click a link called Ancestor-Projects.Com.   Then click Details where it says "West Cork/Kerry Ireland."


9.  Email the contact person with your kit number and your GEDCOM ID number, if you uploaded your GEDCOM.  Once the administrator accesses your data, you can compare your results with others in the West Cork/Kerry project.

Update:  GEDMATCH has been upgraded and is back online, however Curtis has plans for further upgrades so please support him if you can.

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