DNA results are in

+10 votes

I have received my DNA result from Ancestry but no Gedmatch ID #, I am very confused and disapointed with the results.  My brother has his done and completely differs from mine (he has his done at 23andme. I don't know what to do....can someone help...

in The Tree House by Lise Rodrigue G2G6 Mach 1 (14.6k points)
retagged by Karen Lowe

Lise, you mention that you have no GEDmatch ID. Have you gone to www.gedmatch.com to join the project?

In what way do your brother's results differ from yours? Are you talking about estimates of ethnicity? Those can vary widely from one company to another because they use different algorithms to make those predictions, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

3 Answers

+7 votes
Hi Lise, For everyone to be able to see your DNA test information on your profile you will need to change your privacy level from 'private' to 'private with public tree'.
by Kay Wilson G2G6 Pilot (223k points)
+6 votes
Hey Lisa -

Try not to read too much into the different ethnicity results between your Ancestry DNA test and your brother's 23&me test.  The ethnicity results are highly unreliable, especially when you compare between testing companies.  In short, each testing company uses a different set of referent tests for their respective ethnicity tests.  So - if you were to test at 23&me, you would probably get different ethnicity results than what you found from Ancestry DNA.

This article does a nice job explaining the (rather severe) limitations of ethnicity testing in DNA genealogy.  Judy Russell shows an example of how 4 biological siblings have widely varying ethnicity percentages among their respective tests:

by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (164k points)
The real value in DNA genealogy comes from using your closest matches to confirm your ancestors going back to your great-great-grandparents - which also allows you to find additional cousins.

For example, I have 15 different Ancestry DNA tests among relatives connected to my Jones line.  In addition to me, my Dad and my Uncle, we also have tests from first cousins, second cousins and third cousins.  All 15 tests match one another.  We have 12 of these 15 tests uploaded to Gedmatch, which we use to identify the exact DNA segments that each test has in common with one another.  By knowing these segments, we can then search for other tests on Gedmatch who also share these segments.

The practical value of studying these segments is that the shared DNA segments among multiple tests provide important evidence for connections.  For example, 9 of my paternal tests who descend from John J. Coates (1815-1867) of Meigs County, Ohio have several DNA segments in common with 2 tests of descendants of Jeremiah Coates (1817-1895)  of Gallia County, Ohio.  Meigs and Gallia are adjacent on the map.  We don't have paper records yet showing a relationship John and Jeremiah, but this DNA evidence pushes us to look for a relationship.
+6 votes


First off, if you and your brother transfer your results to FTDNA you will be able to compare apples to apples as you will both be in the same database. This also allows you to find matches within FTDNA's database which you won't find in the databases of Ancestry or 23andMe. If you can, I strongly recommend this.

Next, in order to get a GedMatch ID# you will both need to add your DNA results to that site, this isn't done automatically. If you visit the GedMatch website you should find the instructions there pretty easy to follow for downloading your respective DNA data from Ancestry or 23andMe, and then upload that data to GedMatch. This is another way to compare apples to apples as your results will both be in the same database.

Everybody becomes confused when they start using DNA for genealogy (except maybe some experts in the field, but I've seen notes from some of them who were confused too!). Don't get discouraged, while the learning curve is kinda steep most people eventually are able to come to a reasonable understanding of DNA and how it works as a genealogy tool. Read everything you can about it, join the DNA-NEWBIE Yahoo group and ask questions . . . lots and lots of questions. People there and here at WikiTree should be able to help you.

by John Beardsley G2G6 Mach 4 (45.3k points)

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