Consumer genetic testing has grown at an explosive rate over the last few years. A report by the MIT Technology Review indicated that an estimated 26 million people had taken genetic ancestry tests by the end of 2018. Along with genetic testing companies, the popularity of third-party services, such as GEDmatch and DNASolves has also grown.
In this blog post, we’ll answer all your frequently asked questions about GEDmatch and how it works.
What is GEDmatch?
GEDmatch (https://www.gedmatch.com/) is an online service that allows users to compare raw autosomal DNA data provided by various DNA testing companies like AncestryDNA and 23andMe. GEDmatch does not sell direct-to-customer DNA test kits; its main selling point is that it allows users to share ancestry data and find family members with DNA matching tools.
Who owns GEDmatch?
GEDmatch was founded by genealogists John Olson and Curtis Rogers in 2010. It was a hobbyist website that aimed to supplement the tools and information provided by DTCs and to help people find a birth parent or lost family member. In December 2019, a private forensics genomics company named Verogen acquired GEDmatch.
Why did GEDmatch become so popular?
GEDmatch gained substantial media coverage during 2018 because it was used by law enforcement officials to narrow down a suspect during the Golden State Killer investigations. Since then, law enforcement officials have also used the database to find new leads for cold cases.
How does GEDmatch work?
GEDmatch uses a freemium pricing strategy, where the website offers tools that are both free and paid-for. Users can upload profiles and enjoy additional functionalities in the paid version.
GEDmatch also accepts raw genetic data from whole-genome sequencing as well as microarrays. Additionally, the site also accepts samples of ancient DNA (aDNA) from the artifacts of deceased people.
Can law enforcement agencies use data on GEDmatch?
Following the events of the Golden State Killer, many people began to question the use of law enforcement agencies using GEDmatch. As a result, the company announced strict privacy rules surrounding the use of the platform. Users can now choose to “opt-in” to share their information with law enforcement.
Plus, law enforcement officials now have access to a dedicated portal known as GEDmatch Pro (https://pro.gedmatch.com/). Law enforcement officials are can upload SNP profiles after paying a small fee.
DNA Matches and Genetic Genealogy
If you want to use DNA information to find a lost family member or find a birth parent, DNA results can help. By uploading your results to an online database such as GEDMatch, you can find DNA matches and start building your family trees.
If you’re unsure where to start, get DNA research assistance at DavisDNA & Family Research. With over 50 years of experience in the industry, our experts combine genetic genealogy services with traditional genealogical research to provide you with more information about your ancestors and DNA relatives
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or call at 727-280-6274.