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Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 15 May 2013 7:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
If anyone else has been successful at convincing their matches to use gedmatch, I'd love to hear your secret!

I decided to start small. I found my Mom had LOTS of matches in a particular county in Denmark, even though most of her ancestors are from another, neighboring county. I've been trying to triangulate ancesctry.com-style, but so far the best I've done is to find that some of the matches are from the same parish.

I sent a message out (helped greatly by Jeff's app in searching user names!) to all my matches from that county with a brief summary of my findings and a plea to upload to gedmatch. I figured I'd start small, so I can see where I go wrong and improve the message before I send it out more widely. (For example, I only realized about halfway through that including my email would be a good idea!)

I sent a total of about 20 messages. I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic, but I'm hoping at least five or so of my "cousins" will send me gedmatch kit numbers!

Anyone have any tips about how to improve responses?!

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 15 May 2013 8:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
I haven't done this, but I would think it would be a good idea to include easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to do it. Many people are not very technical, and the whole download/upload process might not be obvious to them.

David Mc

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 15 May 2013 8:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
I sent messages to my 50 +/- closest matches the other day. I didn't think to include my email addy but I did include my kit# in the spirit of share and share alike.

Of course the site went down an hour or so after I sent my message which probably won't help with positive responses.

So far I've heard back from one person and her response while not negative gave me the impression I was coming in in the middle of some other conversation. I responded with more info and am keeping my fingers crossed (which makes it damn hard to type). :)~

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 15 May 2013 9:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 15 May 2013 9:02PM GMT
Somebody posted elsewhere about getting a 15% agreement rate. It doesn't mean that the matches will actually do it when GEDmatch is up again, but 15% agreeing still sounds pretty good to me. I don't remember who it was but I wish he/she would post the generic message sent to messages.

Susan and Dennis, mind sharing your "boilerplate" with us?

Lou

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 16 May 2013 12:07AM GMT
Classification: Query
I thought about including instructions, but I thought gedmatch offered pretty thorough instructions. Hmmm, we'll see! And 15% of 20 people is 3, so I guess I'll be happy if I get three, although I will have to be very lucky for us all to be on the same chromosome segment!

Here is the text that I sent to my matches:
-----------------------------------------------
Hello, I'm sending out a group message to some of my matches who all have something in common – we all have ancestors in the county of Hjørring, Denmark!

I have been working on my own tree as well as doing research into some of my matches (I will eventually send people any information I find in their trees!), but at this point I am running into trouble due to ancestry.com's lack of chromosome browser tools. For those not familiar, a chromosome browser, available on testing sites such as 23andMe and FTDNA, can tell people not only a suggested level of match (4th cousin, etc.), but also what segments of what chromosomes they actually match on.

If I could take a look at where my mother (she has the Danish ancestry in my family) matches all of you, and where you match each other, I think I might be able to narrow down some family links.

Luckily there is now a tool available to ancestry.com users, although it is through a third party website called gedmatch.com (http://www.gedmatch.com/ ). This is a volunteer-run website which is well regarded by all the major genetic genealogy blogs. I already have my mother's DNA information uploaded there as kit number M103038.

Gedmatch is now taking uploads from ancestry.com members. If you register with a free account, you will see where they have instructions on how to download your DNA data from ancestry.com and upload to gedmatch. You will then find that you have a whole slew of new matches including many people who have tested with the other major testing companies.

If any of you decide to use gedmatch, please send me you kit number so we can compare chromosome segments and discover how all of us Hjørringers might be related! (And if you are very serious about DNA privacy, please just send me which chromosome we match on along with the start and end segment!)

If you have any trouble with the download or upload, I will be glad to try and help! My email (if you prefer to communicate outside ancestry.com) is susan.russell@gmail.com.

Susan Russell
-------------------------------------------

Seems a bit long looking back over it!

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 16 May 2013 12:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
Mine is just as long, Susan, but I've gotten between a 15% to 20% response thus far. Time will tell how many follow through as promised. I did hear from three 95%matches who had not responded before as well as severl others who had responded.

I liked your geography approach!

Here's an example of my lengthy but seemingly effective email.

........
Hi!

My name is Blanche McGuire from Pittsburgh.

Forgive me if I've written before but you are such a strong match (96%) for my Dad's sister that I would really like to know how we are related.

My family tree is Private but I'll be happy to share it if you like.

My Dad's family lines go back to Cambria, Adams, Lancaster and Berks Counties in PA; Frederick, MD; Ireland; and Germany (especially Alsace-Lorraine.)

I'd also like to tell you about gedmatch and to recommend that you post your raw Ancestry DNA file on this site.

Gedmatch is a free website that takes raw DNA files and matches users to others with similar DNA. Sounds like ancestry.com, right? Yes, but there is a big difference.

At Gedmatch your DNA is compared to DNA from people who have uploaded data from ancestry, FTDNA, Gene and 23and Me. Your matches are no longer confined to one company! You can get matches outside the US since FTDNA is not restricted to a US audience.

You can also identify the exact region where your DNA matches someone else. For example, my sister matches a 5th cousin on a certain region of Chromosome 16. This cousin is only related on one family line so we know that anyone else with this segment match is likely to be a Glass descendant.

If you post your data on Gedmatch, we can identify the dna segments that your relatives share with my aunt. This could give us huge clues about which family line we share. I can't promise that we'll have the answer overnight but we might be that lucky!

A DNA expert has prepared an easy to understand comic that explains gedmatch and why it should be used for DNA analysis. Type in this link to read all about it. http://tinyurl.com/gedcomic

Gedmatch had such a flood of ancestry users subscribe that it has discontinued uploads until May 13th. That should give you time to read all about it. To find gedmatch, just go to gedmatch.com.

Gedmatch also has other 'tools' that are fun to play with. You can use the Admixture tools to get ethnicity estimates for your DNA overall and by chromosome. This can supplement your ethnic breakout from Ancestry.

I turned out 12% Persian Turkish Caucasus on Ancestry and lo and behold I saw that I've Caucasus DNA on several chromosomes! (Still have no clue what ancestors gave me this DNA but I have it from both my Mom and Dad.)

I am very excited about gedmatch! Can you tell?

If you decide to use Gedmatch, please let me know your kit number. I'll then send you my aunt's kit number.

Hoping to hear from you soon,

Blanche (joyecho@aol.com)


Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 16 May 2013 1:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Mine is pretty simple, but I am waiting until I am sure gedmatch is stable before sending it out:

"Please excuse the generic message; I am emailing my DNA matches to be sure that you are aware that Ancestry.com has made available the raw data from our DNA tests. Why is this significant? By downloading your raw data, you will then be able to submit it to a number of 3rd party sites and gain additional insights from your test. These include better ethnicity analysis, more matches with relatives, and the ability to compare the details of your matches with others. The best site to start with is gedmatch.com, which is free and has lots of excellent tools.

Here is a cartoon that one of my “DNA relatives” made, explaining why this kind of comparison is so important and how to do it: http://tinyurl.com/gedcomic.

I very much hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity. If you need any help please let me know and look for me on gedmatch under F240232 and M173111. You can find me by searching the email addresses for jbarry6899.

Good luck in your search.

Jim Barry"

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 16 May 2013 1:10AM GMT
Classification: Query
I'll be glad to share but I don't know how effective it is. 1 reply and no commitment so far but the year is young.

_____________________________


I'm sending this message to my DNA matches that are either a close match or where I can see some possibility of a match based on our respective trees, requesting that you download your raw data (available through 'Your DNA Home page --> Manage Test Settings') and upload it to GEDmatch.com.

For those not already familiar with GEDmatch, it is a FREE site (I'm not affiliated in any way but I know donations are appreciated) that has a number of utilities that allow us to compare our DNA results with others from Ancestry, FTDNA, & 23andMe. As most of you have discovered our DNA results are not the answer to all our questions but with these utilities and enough participation we can start to narrow down the surnames we share and quite possibly find some answers to our own genealogical mysteries.

Once you upload your raw data you will be issued a "Kit number". Mine is A830444. It takes a couple of weeks to fully process the data. My own results netted me a few hundred "matches" some stronger than others, some more useful than others.

I'll be glad to answer any questions I can but there are a number of threads in the forums as well as some pretty knowledgeable posters that would probably be good reads.

On a slightly different subject, a forum member has developed a pretty slick extension (read add-on) for Google Chrome that allows you to search your matches either by userID or in detail by surname. It's in beta and currently requires you to page through your results (kind of tedious) but well worth it in the end. It's a shame Ancestry hasn't seen it's way clear to develop some of this internally but time will tell.

Again, my Kit# is A830444. Please send me your kit# if you upload your data and lets figure out how we're REALLY related.

Dennis

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 16 May 2013 1:22AM GMT
Classification: Query
The home page says:
-----------
Not all Functions available
Some of our recent server problems were agrivated by the sudden influx of new DNA files from Ancestry.Com. I have temporarily disabled all upload capabiiity until we catch up a bit. I'm going to try to let the processing continue for the 650 files that have already been uploaded, so we can at least do a little testing of how well that part works. I'm estimating about 2 weeks to process those files.

The server that processes Genealogy and Triangulation functions is still down. No estimate on when it will be back. I'll do my best to get things back online, as quickly as I can.
-------
I've been checking it periodically to see if it is available yet, and still not.
Barbara

Re: Encouraging matches to use Gedmatch.com

Posted: 16 May 2013 9:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
That's the same message that's been on the GEDmatch home page since it came back online almost a week ago. We've killed it again since then.
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