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Connecting DNA Test Results to WikiTree Profiles

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Surnames/tags: DNA ydna mtdna
Profile manager: Rob Jacobson private message [send private message]
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This is an attempt to provide the help needed by users wanting to add their DNA test results to WikiTree. At the moment, users like Peter Roberts and Kay Wilson are answering this FAQ type question over and over, so hopefully this page will help more new users, and lighten the burden for the veteran users. The Help page that new users are often pointed to (Help:How_to_Get_Started_with_DNA) does not mention how to do it. I suspect someone started the page, and intended to come back to fill it out, but forgot about it. Edit: A Help page for GEDmatch has been created, that is much more helpful.

Contents

Quick Summary

If you have taken a DNA test anywhere, and are a WikiTree user, you probably want to link your DNA test results to your profile, and to other profiles as appropriate.
WikiTree does not actually store the raw data of your DNA tests. Instead, it uses other sites to load and store that raw data, and do the actual comparisons. You give WikiTree the ID assigned to you by that site and WikiTree marks relevant profiles with that ID. When you or WikiTree or other WikiTree users or other sites wish to check for matches, you and they will use those assigned ID's to make comparisons, using the tools built into those sites. WikiTree acts as the coordinator and connector, a facilitator to help find and test potential matches.
It is the ID you get from GEDmatch that connects WikiTree profiles to DNA tests.
  • Quick summary of the procedure - basically all you do is
    • download your data from the testing company
    • upload it to a comparison site (like GEDmatch)
    • add the site ID to the person's WikiTree profile
    • make sure your Privacy Level is set to Private with Public Biography and Family Tree
  • If you don't want to read anything further, and you are good at figuring things out as you go, that's all you need to know - stop reading and go do it! If instead you prefer step by step instructions and much more detail, read on!
In general, the steps you take to connect DNA test results to WikiTree profiles are the same for all DNA tests. These are the typical steps:
  • Note: your test must be complete. Nothing can be done until your testing company has notified you that the test is complete, and your results are available
  • Your raw data from a test is downloaded from a testing site; below, there should be instructions for each testing company and test type
  • If you haven't already, you register at the appropriate DNA storage/matching/comparison site like GEDmatch
  • You then upload the downloaded file(s) to that DNA site, and the site assigns an ID to you
  • You pull up the WikiTree profile for the person that took the DNA test, go to their DNA Tests page, select the test that was taken, enter that ID, and answer a few questions
  • WikiTree stores your DNA info on that profile, and then over the next day or so, adds it to all other profiles it may apply to
  • Last but not least, you make sure the profile privacy settings are correct, sufficiently public for others to see and match - you set the Privacy Level to Private with Public Biography and Family Tree; this keeps living people private but all others are open and public, so that all potential matches can see them

Important Points

  • PLEASE do not confuse GEDmatch with GEDCOM! GEDmatch is a web site, GEDCOM is a file.
    • GEDmatch - a web site about DNA, stores your DNA as a kit with an assigned ID, then facilitates various tests and comparisons with other kits; a GEDmatch ID is a unique label assigned to your uploaded DNA kit
    • GEDCOM - a file of family tree information, contains names of people, facts about them, and sources for those facts; usually has a GEDCOM file name, not an ID; GEDCOM files are produced by genealogical web sites and genealogical software
  • If you manage DNA tests for other people, you MUST get their express permission first before adding their DNA information to their profiles. WikiTree insists on this. Edit: currently, WikiTree does not allow entering DNA information for anyone but yourself, but you can help others enter their DNA info on their profiles.
  • DNA test results are always added ONLY to the WikiTree profile of the person who took the test. If you manage DNA tests for other people than yourself, it may be tempting to enter them all on your own profile. PLEASE DON'T! If you haven't already, create profiles for each of them, setup their relationships correctly, then add their DNA test results to the tester's profile only. WikiTree will take care of marking those results on all other profiles that may be related, including your own! Edit: currently, WikiTree does not allow entering DNA information for anyone but yourself, but you can help others enter their DNA info on their profiles.

Privacy Concerns

  • Some people have concerns about abuse of DNA information, and you may want to research that, and decide for yourself. Most of us are not overly concerned, and we aren't aware of any stories of abuse so far.
  • Remember that when actually trying to match or compare DNA results, you almost never can access the actual raw data of the test results of anyone else. The comparisons are done using only the ID's involved. Even if you are comparing chromosome segments, you are only comparing matching segments by position and length. You don't have access to the actual content of those segments, and others don't have access to the actual DNA data in yours.
  • In general, if you want to make use of your DNA for testing and matching purposes, you need to make the ID's of your DNA test results public, or there is very little point in doing the tests. You cannot compare your results with any results that are not made public, and no one else can compare with yours if your results are not public.
  • To be safe from being sued, all DNA testing/storing/matching companies and web sites are going to ask your permission, again and again, before they make any DNA information visible and available. Just keep responding in the affirmative, to make it available publicly (if you don't, DNA matching will probably not be possible). Companies that can access your raw DNA data have strict policies controlling its security and access, because their reputation is riding on it. If there is even one story of abuse associated with them, their business will suffer.
  • For greater privacy of your DNA results on GEDmatch, use a non-identifying Alias, plus a non-identifying throwaway email address. Your name will then be only as visible as you allow, to any who may match you on GEDmatch. A first initial plus surname, or a first name plus last initial, are what is recommended, but you may completely obfuscate your name if you wish. Because this email address is public (how else could you receive notifications or be reached by matches?), it's best to be a throwaway one that you can easily replace, in case it gets overly spammed, or an objectionable person has it. Free Gmail addresses are often recommended.

Why Bother

You may be asking, "Why bother with DNA? Is it worth the time and cost?" If you aren't sure you want to do it, read what Anne Young says on her blog, a very nice example of what can happen when you connect DNA to WikiTree. And there are many more examples out there!

DNA Test Types

For genealogical purposes, there are 3 main DNA test types:
  • Autosomal DNA tests - a general test of the 23 chromosomes, useful for general matching of up to 6 generations away; the main autosomal DNA tests are the Ancestry.com DNA test, the FamilyTree DNA "Family Finder" test, and the 23 and Me DNA test; more tests are being added, such as the MyHeritage DNA test and the LivingDNA test
  • yDNA tests - a test of the Y chromosome DNA, therefore males only; because it changes very slowly, is useful for tracing paternal lineages back from father to father, many centuries back; this is usually a yDNA test from FamilyTree DNA, but could also come from the 23 & Me test or the LivingDNA test
  • mtDNA tests - a test of your mitochondrial DNA; mitochondrial DNA changes even slower than yDNA; while everyone has it, it is only passed by mothers; both sons and daughters have the same mtDNA, same as their mothers; that makes it very useful for tracing back a maternal lineage from centuries before; this is usually an mtDNA test from FamilyTree DNA, but could also come from the 23 & Me test or the LivingDNA test
X-DNA is often thought of as another type of DNA (it has its own comparison tests), but it's really just one of the chromosomes collected by the autosomal DNA test. It has it's own tests because it doesn't behave exactly like the other chromosomes, and is passed down differently.

Note: Most DNA tests only test one type, but there are a few that bundle multiple types into one test. The LivingDNA and 23 & Me tests are two that bundle an autosomal test with an mtDNA test and a yDNA test. They produce an autosomal result that can be uploaded to GEDmatch, plus mtDNA and yDNA haplogroups, and possibly some of the associated SNP's.
Here are the specific procedures for connecting WikiTree profiles to DNA test results. Select the correct procedure for the DNA test type.

Procedure For All Autosomal DNA Tests

Tests such as AncestryDNA, 23 & Me, FamilyTree DNA Family Finder, LivingDNA, MyHeritage DNA, etc
  • If you haven't already, go to GEDmatch and register. The user ID is your email address, and should generally be the same one you use for WikiTree. (See the last Privacy Concerns tip above.) This email and password will be needed every time you use GEDmatch. (A good password manager can make life easier and safer!)
  • Log into GEDmatch (if desired, see Help:GEDMatch)
  • Look for the onscreen section for Raw DNA file Uploads. Note: the specific instructions at this point have changed from time to time, and are expected to change again. Someone will try to keep these steps updated, but you may have to use your good sense here. The general idea should be the same.
  • If your testing company is listed here, click on it and follow its directions completely. Then skip past the next steps, down to the "Congratulations!".
  • Otherwise, click on the Generic Upload link, and look for your testing company again, and click it. If it is still not listed, then click on the Generic Upload link.
  • You should see a page of instructions for downloading the raw DNA data from your DNA testing company, and uploading it to GEDmatch. Follow them completely. If they differ in any way from any steps here, you usually should rely more on them. Note: a small but important step is to REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT THE DOWNLOADED FILE. You will need to find it, in order to upload it!
  • Once you have the DNA file saved to your computer, fill in some or all of the blanks on the GEDmatch screen.
    • Enter your full name in the first box.
    • If your full name is not what you want showing to others, then enter a shorter or different name in the next box. (See the last Privacy Concerns tip above.)
    • Click Male or Female.
    • If you have been given an mtDNA haplogroup, enter it as the Mitochondrial haplogroup.
    • If you or a close male blood relation has been given a yDNA haplogroup, enter it as the Y haplogroup.
    • Click Yes to authorize making your DNA data available for comparisons.
    • Click the Browse button, and browse to your downloaded DNA data file, and select it. If it came as a zip file, keep it that way!
    • Finally, click the Upload button, and WAIT! It may take several minutes, sometimes 10 minutes or more, so don't rush it or it may be corrupted. Wait for every chromosome to load, and it will inform you when it's finished.
  • Congratulations! You now have a kit number, a GEDmatch ID. Write it down, record it, because it's what you will be entering into WikiTree, and using for comparisons. Note: be aware that once your DNA data is uploaded, it still takes a few minutes before any of the GEDmatch features are available, and some won't be available for several days, some may not be available for several weeks! There's a processing backlog.
  • Now go to WikiTree.com and pull up the WikiTree profile for the person that took the DNA test. Remember, DNA test results go only on the profile of the tested person. If they don't have a profile yet, create it now, and make sure it's relationships are set correctly.
  • At the top right, hover over the WikiTree ID for the tested person, and click on DNA on their drop down menu. On their DNA page, click on the DNA tests button near the top, in the middle. That should take you to the DNA Tests page for that person.
  • Click on the Select DNA Test box. If you have already added DNA tests, then you may have to scroll down to find it.
  • Click on the exact DNA test that was taken. If it's not listed, you will need to click on the Other auDNA option. Because this is the autosomal DNA test section, you should only be clicking on autosomal test types. Do NOT click on anything that indicates Paternal Lineage, Maternal Lineage, yDNA, or mtDNA.
  • Enter the requested information. It's here you will enter that GEDmatch ID (your assigned kit number), and whatever else may be appropriate for the test you took. It's not necessary, but if you wish now or later, there is a box where you may enter additional information related to this DNA test.
  • If the DNA test you took included a yDNA test and/or an mtDNA test, like 23 and Me or LivingDNA, then you should also be asked for the haplogroups you received with your test results. If you selected the LivingDNA test type, it does not yet request the yDNA and mtDNA haplogroups, but probably will in the future. For 23 and Me, do enter the haplogroups. Unfortunately, they aren't propagated to the associated profiles yet (hopefully in the future they will be), so there's another step after you complete this autosomal dialog. If you want your yDNA and mtDNA haplogroups propagated to their male and female ancestors, you will also need to select the Other yDNA and Other mtDNA test types, and fill in the haplogroups in each of them. Within a day, they too should be propagated to the correct profiles.
  • When all is correct, click on the Add Test button, and the DNA information you entered will be saved to that profile. (That button actually is Add Test for user name, the name of the person that was tested).
  • WikiTree will store your GEDmatch ID's and DNA info on that profile, and then over the next day or so will add it to all other profiles that it may apply to (be patient! usually takes a day).
  • And last but not least, make sure the privacy settings are set to be as open and public as possible. Set the Privacy Level to Private with Public Biography and Family Tree. Living people will still be private. If you don't make profiles open, then others cannot see potential matches, and there's little point in your DNA testing.
  • Done! In a day or so, you will see your DNA test info propagating onto relevant profiles.

Procedure For Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Tests

Note: for yDNA haplogroups provided by 23 & Me or Living DNA, use the Other yDNA test type, and ignore any steps below that refer to FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA)
  • You should have already been notified by FamilyTree DNA that your Y-DNA test results are ready. If you have not registered there yet, do so now. Typically, you would use the myFTDNA link within the email from FamilyTree DNA that announced your results were ready. Make sure you know your FTDNA kit number and the haplogroup they assigned you.
  • Go to WikiTree.com and pull up your WikiTree profile. Remember, DNA test results go only on the profile of the tested person.
  • At the top right, hover over your WikiTree ID, and click on DNA on the drop down menu. On the DNA page, click on the DNA tests button near the top, in the middle. That should take you to the DNA Tests page.
  • Click on the Select DNA Test box. If you have already added DNA tests, then you may have to scroll down to find it.
  • Click on the exact yDNA test that was taken. If it's not listed, you will need to click on the Other yDNA option.
  • Enter the requested information. It's here you will enter that haplogroup, and whatever else may be appropriate for the test you took. It's not necessary, but if you wish now or later, there is a box where you may enter additional information related to this DNA test.
  • When all is correct, click on the Add Test button, and the DNA information you entered will be saved to the profile. (That button actually is Add Test for user name, the name of the person that was tested).
  • WikiTree will store your ID's and haplogroup on that profile, and then over the next day or so will add it to all other profiles that it may apply to (be patient! usually takes a day).
  • And last but not least, make sure the privacy settings are set to be as open and public as possible. Set the Privacy Level to Private with Public Biography and Family Tree. Living people will still be private. If you don't make profiles open, then others cannot see potential matches, and there's little point in your DNA testing.
  • Done! In a day or so, you will see your DNA test info propagating onto relevant profiles.

Procedure For Family Tree DNA mtDNA Tests

Note: for mtDNA haplogroups provided by 23 & Me or Living DNA, use the Other mtDNA test type, and ignore any steps below that refer to FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA)
  • You should have already been notified by FamilyTree DNA that your mtDNA test results are ready. If you have not registered there yet, do so now. Typically, you would use the myFTDNA link within the email from FamilyTree DNA that announced your results were ready.
  • Go to WikiTree.com and pull up your WikiTree profile. Remember, DNA test results go only on the profile of the tested person.
  • At the top right, hover over the WikiTree ID for the tested person, and click on DNA on the drop down menu. On the DNA page, click on the DNA tests button near the top, in the middle. That should take you to the DNA Tests page.
  • Click on the Select DNA Test box. If you have already added DNA tests, then you may have to scroll down to find it.
  • Click on the exact mtDNA test that was taken. If it's not listed, you will need to click on the Other mtDNA option.
  • Enter the requested information. It's here you will enter that haplogroup, and whatever else may be appropriate for the test you took. It's not necessary, but if you wish now or later, there is a box where you may enter additional information related to this DNA test.
  • When all is correct, click on the Add Test button, and the DNA information you entered will be saved to the profile. (That button actually is Add Test for user name, the name of the person that was tested).
  • WikiTree will store your ID's and haplogroup on that profile, and then over the next day or so will add it to all other profiles that it may apply to (be patient! usually takes a day).
  • And last but not least, make sure the privacy settings are set to be as open and public as possible. Set the Privacy Level to Private with Public Biography and Family Tree. Living people will still be private. If you don't make profiles open, then others cannot see potential matches, and there's little point in your DNA testing.
  • Done! In a day or so, you will see your DNA test info propagating onto relevant profiles.

Other DNA Tests

  • The only DNA tests that qualify are those tests that produce results specifically for genealogy, human genealogy! Sorry, no pet DNA tests, no paternity tests, no medical DNA tests, no crime lab forensic DNA tests, etc. While I don't doubt that some of those *could* provide results suitable for genealogical purposes, if they don't make it available in a suitable form, it can't be used here.
  • University of Michigan and GenesForGood DNA tests
    • See Peter's answer to How to enter DNA test results from Univ of Michigan
    • For the latest answer on using GenesForGood tests, see the answers in this thread
    • GenesForGood tests appear to be skimpy on the number of SNP's tested, and be problematic to upload. After you download the GFG zip file, you need to extract it, then locate and re-zip the file that contains 23andme in the file name, then upload that new zip file to GEDmatch. If you can, zip it with the lowest compression (to make the zip file larger), because GEDmatch requires it to be at least 5MB (that was a problem for some users). Even if it accepts it, GEDmatch may disqualify the upload for other reasons.
  • YSEQ DNA tests
    • See Peter's answer to How do I add a YSEQ DNA test?
    • I suspect that other elite yDNA tests (YFull, etc) should be handled the same, as an Other yDNA test. Then enter the haplogroup, and in the note box, identify the test and STR/SNP results.

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Susan, and all - I need to update this page for all the GEDmatch Genesis changes, but they and WikiTree aren't yet finished making changes, so a little more time is needed.

As to your GEDmatch ID, if your raw DNA upload finishes successfully, signified by the "Finished" line at bottom of upload text, then you should have a GEDmatch ID. Look again at your initial page after login to see it listed.

posted by Rob Jacobson
How do I get a GEDMatch ID? I've uploaded my raw data to genesis.gedmatch.com but there's no GDEMatch ID.

Categories: DNA