Monday, January 1, 2018

Why Having More Than One GEDmatch Kit Uploaded Can Be Slowing You Down

If you have your raw data from more than one testing company uploaded to GEDmatch you could be hampering your best chance to find matches.

GEDmatch is a case where one is enough.

First, GEDmatch only shows you your top 2000 matches. If you have more than one kit for yourself uploaded you are cutting down your own matches on your One-to-many page for each additional kit you add. You are always going to match you! Not only that, you will be your highest match.

Study your One-to-many page to see how many of your matches have done this. The easiest way is to sort your emails by clicking the up arrow. As you scroll down the page it is easy to see repeated email addresses. (This will also bring to view matches you've never seen before.)

I did a random check on five One-to-many-pages.

An average of 17 people had two kits uploaded with the same name and results. 
An average of 11 people had three tests posted with all the same results.
An average of 4 people had four kits uploaded with the same results.  

There are many people who will spend money and test at more than one company. That used to be considered a good thing because if you're adopted you want to "fish in all the ponds." That is great if you have your results at multiple sites.

Today it's not necessary to test at all the sites and a waste of money. (It really is.) 

FTDNA, MyHeritage, GEDmatch all accept FREE transfers from other companies and that puts you in nearly all the ponds---and GEDmatch is the ocean. 

Yes, transferring your raw data to another company is not as good as testing at it. Testing may give you a few more distant matches, but distant isn't necessarily what you're looking for if you're adopted. Transfering WILL show your closer matches. 

What's with all those email address that are the same?

A family historian is doing the work for loads of family members and is SERIOUS about tracking their family tree.

Someone is under the mistaken impression that having more than one kit will help them make more connections. Nope, it doesn't work that way.

Some people think their DNA will change over time and re-taking a test will help them find new matches. This is not true.

When you make people aware it is unecessary your are helping not only them you are also helping a lot of other people.

Many serious genealogists triangulate to study their matches. 

The Tier 1 tools make the job easy. These tools, however, limit the number of matches (depending on the tool they use). This means you are triangulating against yourself and in doing so, you could very well be eliminating one of your own triangulated matches that you need to make an important connection. 

Serious genealogists collaborate with those in their triangulation groups. 

When you are in one triangulation group you are often in another. If the person doing the triangulation is a close match to you, and you share a large number of segments with them, you could be costing yourself and them more triangulation groups.

If you share 21 segments with a second cousin and have more than one kit, you will triangulate with yourself and bump out matches who could be key for identifying a common ancestor FOR YOU. 

Now you understand why you are defeating your own efforts to find your family by uploading more than one kit. It is a simple process to remove kits from GEDmatch. The place to do this is on your landing page under Your DNA Resources.

A note to adoptees. 

Times have changed. Don't be afraid of letting people know you are adopted, especially on GEDmatch. There are tons of people willing to help. Put up a tree (Gedcom), again I recommend WikiTree. Don't give the excuse you don't have one. You can link it directly to GEDmatch. If your tree says nothing more than your name and place of birth (or adoption) and bio father unknown and bio mother unknown, that will help others help you. 

If you are adopted you can add your profile to Wikitree and link your GEDmatch kit number to it so others can find you. Be sure to add pictures of yourself at various ages in your life. You never know when a grandparent may be searching. (Wikitree also has an Adoption Angel Project and people willing to teach you how to find your family.)

If you have identified one line and not the other, please show what you do have. (It is always important to list living people as private. WikiTree does this automatically.)

Recently while working with someone I studied a tree of their match while doing triangulation groups. Their match had a tree and only the maternal branch It was a very good one too. Loaded with twigs and leaves.

As we closed in on the match for the person I was helping, I wrote the person with the maternal line tree and suggested they search a certain surname line the person I was working with and I discovered while studying the triangulated group. 

I received a reply back explaining they didn't have any lines by that name in their tree. 

I explained I realized that because I had studied their tree. If they pursued the names I provided, they might have a good start on building the paternal branch of their tree. I provided the kit numbers that linked to trees in the triangulated group they were in.

When you help a researcher by having a tree that indicates you are looking for your biological family, many professionals will be considerate enough to contact you when they find your shared common ancestor. 

The really astute researchers will enlist an adopted person's help. If you are in a triangulation group they are working on and they have a list of possible common ancestor matches, they may contact you and request you to conduct a surname search at your testing site and tell them the amount of cM's the site shows you share with your match who shares that surname. If it fits the right amount of cMs for the distance, you could be instrumental in helping them find the most recent common ancestor for the entire triangulation group as well as yourself!

Happy Better Finding!

Still having a blast!

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