One of the most exciting trends within the genealogical community in recent years has been the growing popularity of DNA for various genealogical applications. DNA genealogy can be a helpful tool as a part of your overall research strategy. The specific use of autosomal DNA from companies, such as AncestryDNA®, has grown exponentially over the years! The results from an autosomal DNA test can be exciting and informative with the potential for you to make new genealogical discoveries. The ethnicity estimates (based on algorithms) and DNA cousin connection opportunities often plant a seed for members of the community, who may be new to genealogy and wish to explore their roots further.
What is Gedmatch?
If you have not done so already, one way to expand your DNA connection possibilities is to download your raw DNA results from the testing company that you used and to upload those results to Gedmatch.
Gedmatch is free and compatible with many of the major DNA testing companies, including AncestryDNA®, Family Tree DNA, Living DNA, MyHeritage and 23andMe. Gedmatch allows you to upload your raw DNA results from the testing company that you used to its site. Moreover, it enables you to search for match possibilities from users who uploaded their raw DNA results from other DNA testing companies.
Downloading Your DNA Results
Before creating a Gedmatch account and obtaining a kit #, you have to first download your raw DNA results from the DNA testing company that you used. The following DNA testing companies offer instructions for downloading the raw DNA results, which, again, are compatible with Gedmatch:
Uploading Your DNA Results to Gedmatch
After downloading your raw DNA results from the testing company that you used, you can then create a free Gedmatch account. After creating the account, you can upload your raw DNA results after which you will be assigned a kit # (a Gedmatch number). After you have been assigned a kit #, feel free to explore the site. Many users like to use the “One-to-Many” tool or the “One-to-One” tool to compare a specific a kit # against another kit #. Also, the various Gedmatch Ancestor Projects give users additional DNA matching opportunities based on specific areas of genealogy.
Exploring autosomal DNA results can certainly be exciting and informative and potentially offer breakthroughs for complex genealogical problems. Relying on DNA genealogy as a tool can be helpful, especially when the traditional document trail in some way proves elusive. The diversity of applications on Gedmatch allow users to refine their matching opportunities according to specific categories. While much attention has been given to DNA genealogy over the years, just remember that the document trail ought to have pride of place during the family research process.
NEED RESEARCH HELP?
If you need genealogical assistance, Stephen is happy to assist you. For all research requests, please fill out as much information as you know here.
Stephen Wendt, MLIS, is a professional genealogist, speaker and owner of Tree Tidings Genealogy. Stephen holds a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State University.
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