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As part of my genealogy research, I asked a number of family members to provide samples of their DNA to assist in breaking down a brick wall, and to help prove or disprove a family story. Thanks to those samples and the matches made with relatives as a result, the family story has been disproven – I got the impression there were mixed views on that result, but then there were mixed thoughts on whether the story was true or not to start with. The brick wall still stands, but I am chipping away at it.

Anyway, as part of the analysis of the results, which get updated as often as other people in the world provide samples and match with my kin, I use a number of different tools to make calculations and estimations, and to overall play one giant logic game of “If this, then that, but not those.”

gmproGenome Mate Pro – my number 1 go-to tool in comparing my matches with the matches of my family. Available for free from http://genomemate.org/ – please make a donation to the developer if you find it even the slightest bit helpful. There is also a Facebook Group that helps to support users. All of my match lists for each managed kit from each testing company are within Genome Mate Pro, and as such I can more easily work out who has common matches with other family members and therefore narrow down which branch of the family tree a match is likely to connect through.

DNAGedcomLogoDNAGedcom – my number 1 go-to website to easily download the match lists of all my managed kits across the three testing companies that I’ve used. Found at http://dnagedcom.com/, this is a site that can be used for free, but also has a subscription area which provides more tools for minimal cost. Even if you only use the free portion of the site, donations are very welcomed, and the subscription cost is minimal, just $5US a month (roughly the price of a decent coffee). The subscription component of DNAGedcom gets you access to their entire website as well as their “Client” which currently allows easier access to Ancestry and 23&Me files. Future features are planned for the client and these will also be included at that time.

GedMatch – my number 2 go-to website to compare managed kits from one testing company with kits from one of the other two testing companies. Found at http://www.gedmatch.com it too is a free site that has a subscription component to it. Again, even if you only use the free portion of the site, donations are very welcomed, and the subscription cost is minimal, just $10US a month. The subscription component of GedMatch gets you access to the “Tier 1 Tools” of Matching Segment Search, Relationship Tree projection, Lazarus, and Triangulation. The first and last of these Tier 1 tools come in very handy indeed.

These are just three of the tools that I use, but they are my most used tools.