GEDmatch is a free access genetic genealogy platform where you can do a relative search by using its database (1.1 million individuals). This platform belongs to Verogen, a California forensic genomics company that collaborates with law enforcement by allowing them to access its database to solve crimes.
In fact, this platform generated a lot of buzz in 2018 after it was used by law enforcement agencies to identify a suspect in the case of the Assassin from the golden state in California. This offender was identified thanks to genetic comparisons between biological samples found at the crime scene and the GEDmatch database to obtain a construction of the suspect's family tree.
If you decide to upload your genetic information in this database, you will need to follow the next steps:
- Registration: name and email visible to all GEDmatch users.
- Download your information ADNTRO genetics (or any other platform that offers direct-to-consumer genetic testing). If you are part of the ADNTRO community, access your results, go to settings (top right) in "My account", in the "My samples" section, select the option "Download sample" (bottom right) . A file will automatically be downloaded to you, your RAW file, which will be the one that you must upload to GEDmatch.
If you have any questions, you can access the more extensive information in this post.
- Permissions: As soon as you start the upload process, you will have to select if the genetic information is yours, if you have permission to upload that DNA, if you belong to law enforcement ...
- Privacy:You will also be asked about the privacy management that you want to be provided to your uploaded file. You can choose whether it is accessible to the police or not. In both cases, if law enforcement requests access to your genetic information, GEDmatch will give them permission, regardless of the privacy option you have chosen.
- RAW upload:Select the file you want to upload. During that process, do not leave the page or refresh it. It will take approximately 10 minutes. If not, repeat the process.
A good way to know that your file has been uploaded correctly is by looking at the screen. Do you see some numbers in green? These numbers correspond to chromosomes that have been identified in your file. You can also have "X", "Y" and / or "MT" in case your genetic information contains X chromosome, Y chromosome and / or mitochondrial chromosome.
Once the file upload is complete, you will be assigned an identifier. You will need this number for the family search in GEDmatch - it will appear on the home page (profile → profile/registration deletion → kit number) so you can copy and paste this number for your analysis.
WHAT TYPE OF ANALYSIS CAN I DO WITH GEDMATCH?
GEDmatch provides a series of tools based on the analysis of your SNPs. Among them and for free, you will find:
FAMILY SEARCH: ONE TO MANY TOOL
You will be able to access this tool 24-48h after uploading your file, since matching the 1.1 million individuals in the database requires some computational time. “One to many tool” will allow you to find out with which individuals in the GEDmatch database you share DNA fragments with. In other words, samples that have a degree of kinship with you.
With this analysis you will obtain information represented in a table:
- First column: GEDmatch identifier of the individual with whom you share DNA fragments. By using its identifiers you will be able to do the rest of the analyses explained below just as you can do them for your own DNA (with your own GEDmatch code). This can allow you to pinpoint where different parts of your heritage came from.
- Second column: alias chosen by the user you are matching with when creating their account in GEDmatch.
- Third column: the email of the relatives found. Keep in mind that this email may belong to the person who uploaded the genetic information to the platform with the consent of the person to whom that DNA belongs. If you do contact them, never assume that the email belongs to a relative of yours.
- The rest of the columns is additional information on the relatives found, such as how long ago did they upload their sample to GEDmatch (“age”), sex of the person found, how many generations there are between the relative found and you ...
- First degree of kinship: 1 represents a father-son relationship, 1.2 if he / she is a brother / sister, 1.4 is a half-brother, uncle or grandfather.
- Second degree of kinship: 2 would be a cousin as was the last common ancestor 2 generations ago, 2.6 would be a first cousin
- Third degree of kinship: 3 would be the second cousin with the last common ancestor 3 generations ago.
ADMIXTURE / HERITAGE TOOL
You need your kit number, that is, the number that was assigned to you as soon as you completed the upload of the file
This tool compares your SNPs by "blocks" with a reference set. Correct reference set selection is the key step for a correct analysis, because if you select the wrong reference set incorrectly, you can force the tool to a close, but erroneous match.. Selecting the correct reference set is the key step for a correct analysis, since if you select the wrong reference set incorrectly, you can force the tool to a close, but erroneous match.
What reference set should I use? This answer depends on what you want to analyze:
- MDLP Project: global ancestry calculator. In case you want a global vision of ancestry, this is your reference set.
- Eurogenes: maps European ancestry more finely.
- Dodecad: African and Asian descent.
- HarappaWorld: in case you want to do an in-depth analysis of the South Asian part, this is your reference set.
- Ethiohelix: African descent.
- PuntDNAL: ancient DNA.
- Gedrosia: it also analyses ancient DNA - Gedrosia Ancient Eurasia K6.
If you want to know the populations included in each reference set, click here.
ARE YOUR PARENTS RELATED?
ARE YOUR PARENTS RELATED TOOL
This tool analyzes your own DNA against yourself to determine if your parents have common ancestors. If we think about it carefully, it makes all the sense in the world, as your DNA contains part of your mother's DNA and part of your father's DNA. This tool compares each of your copies against themselves and visually paints you the short matched regions, the long matched regions, and the non-matched regions. It is common for small regions of DNA to coincide. Only if there are matching long regions will it mean that your parents are related and share recent common ancestors (blue segments).
DO I HAVE RELATIONSHIP WITH ARCHAIC HUMAN DNA?
ARCHAIC DNA MATCHES
With this option you will be able to compare your DNA with different samples of archaic DNA. We all have an ancestral origin, however, there is no data stored about all the ancestral DNA that existed. For that reason, this tool will only compare your genetic information with those reported ancestral DNAs. These results will be displayed on a plot.
For each reported archaic human DNA, those fragments that match your DNA will be shown in orange.