If you haven’t tested at FTDNA, you can transfer your raw data from AncestryDNA or MyHeritage to get DNA matches for free. You can then access the chromosome browser and ethnicity estimates at FTDNA for a one-time fee of $19. (Click here for instructions on how to transfer your AncestryDNA data to FTDNA.)
Use the DNAGedcom Client to Scan Your FTDNA Matches
The PC and Mac versions of the DNAGedcom Client are somewhat different in appearance. In the screenshots below, the PC version will be on the left and the Mac version on the right.
- Open the DNAGedcom Client. If you completed the steps in Part 11 of this series, you should already be logged in to your DNAGedcom account.
- Click FTDNA in the list of choices.
- Enter your FTDNA kit number and password (not your DNAGedcom credentials) in the designated boxes, then click the LOGON button.
- When you are logged in, you will see “Logged into FTDNA” below the LOGIN button. In the PC version (not the Mac one yet, sorry!), you can set the minimum total centimorgans to be include in the scan. In the example below, matches below 40 cM will be ignored. Now click the GATHER MATCH (PC) or GATHER MATCHES/ICW (Mac) button to start scanning your FTDNA matches. Both the PC and Mac versions will automatically complete all the scans GMP needs.
- If this is the first time you’ve scanned this FTDNA kit with the DNAGedcom Client, the scans will take approximately forever. Many hours, possibly even overnight. (Remember that on the PC version, you can set a minimum threshold to make the scans go faster by skipping distant matches.) The good news is that subsequent scans will be a lot faster.
- When the scans are complete and the files have been written, you will see a message below the LOGON button to that effect, telling you where the files were saved. (You can change the designated location in OPTIONS.) Don’t quit the Client just yet, because we will need the “GMP ID” near the bottom of the window in the next section of this tutorial.
Add FTDNA Information to Your GMP Profile and Set Up the Import Templates
- Open GMP and back up your database.
- Switch to the PROFILES tab and select yourself in the list on the left.
- In the center bottom panel of the PROFILES window, use the “Source” pulldown to select “FTDNA”, and in the field to the right of the pulldown, enter the GMP ID from Step 6 above.
- Click the SAVE KEY button at the bottom right of the panel. Once you’ve done this, you can quit the DNAGedcom Client.
- Switch to the OPTIONS tab and click on IMPORT TEMPLATES at the top left.
- In the center panel, click the radio button for “DNAGedcom Client” under “FTDNA Extracts”, then click the ACTIVATE DATA TEMPLATES button at the bottom right.
- Three new templates will now be shown in black text in the right-hand panel, indicating that they are active.
Import Family Tree DNA Data into GMP
- Switch to the CHROMOSOMES tab, and make sure your profile is selected in the pull-down at the top left.
- In the Import Data menu, select “From DNAGedcom”, and “1: FTDNA Family Finder File”.
- Click OK to dismiss the popup with instructions.
- The next pop-up asks you to confirm that you’re loading the data into the correct profile. Double-check and, if so, click YES.
- Navigate to where the DNAGedcom files were saved on your computer and select the one with Family_Finder_Matches.csv in the name. Click OPEN.
- Wait for the records to import. At the bottom of the GMP window, you can track the progress of the import.
- When the import is done, you will get a pop-up that summarizes the import. Click CLOSE to dismiss it.
- The view in the CHROMOSOMES tab will look the same. Don’t worry! This import added names, email addresses, haplogroups, surnames, etc., but not segments. If you want to check that records were imported, switch to the RELATIVE DETAIL tab, and select FTDNA from the pulldown on the right. You should get a long list of names in maroon, the default color for FTDNA matches.
- Switch back to the CHROMOSOMES tab. Click on the Import Data menu option again. This time, select “From DNAGedcom”, and “2: FTDNA Chromosome Browser File”. Click OK to dismiss the instructions, then confirm that you are loading chromosome data into the correct profile.
- Again, navigate to your DNAGedcom files. This time, select the one with ChromosomeBrowser.csv in the name. Click OK.
- Wait for the segment data to import. The progress summary will first list DNA Segments Processed then Triangulations Processed. You will see a lot of “Skipped” data points. These are the small segments from FTDNA that are below our import threshold.
- When the import is done, review the summary and dismiss it. You should now see segments in the CHROMOSOMES tab. The new imports will be highlighted in yellow. The names for the FTDNA matches will be in maroon font, while the ones for the GEDmatch matches that we imported earlier will be in purple.
- Our final import for the day is the ICW (In Common With) file. In the Import Data menu, select “From DNAGedcom”, then “3: FTDNA ICW File”. Dismiss the popup with instructions.
- Navigate to where the DNAGedcom files were saved on your computer and select the one with ICW.csv in the name. Click OK.
- Your ICW file is probably very large, so this import could take 15 minutes or more to complete. When it’s done, review the import summary, then dismiss it.
- You won’t notice any changes from the previous (Family Finder and chromosome browser) imports. The ICW import works much like the triangulations one did for GEDmatch, as described in the next section.
Working with FTDNA Data
- GMP gives you the ability to view match data from all of the databases (GEDmatch, FTDNA, 23andMe, etc.) at once or to focus on one of them at any given time. Right now, your CHROMOSOMES tab should show both FTDNA and GEDmatch segments. To look only at FTDNA matches, use the “All Sources” pulldown at the top right of the chromosome browser to select FTDNA.
- Your chromosome browser view will change to only show the matches from FTDNA (in maroon font). The filter is a great way to focus your efforts.
- If you have matches at FTDNA for whom you know the connection, you can assign an MRCA to their segments just like we did for our GEDmatch data. For a refresher, review Part 9 of this tutorial series and scroll down to the section titled “Map a Segment”.
- FTDNA does not provide true segment triangulation data; instead they give ICW information. ICW matches are people who match you in the same place and who also match one another somewhere. To view ICW matches, right-click on a person or segment in the CHROMOSOMES tab and select “Show ICW DNA segments”.
- The chromosome browser should filter to show only matches who both overlap the segment you selected and are ICW that person. These are my matches who are ICW Carol.
There is no guarantee, however, that Carol, Wendy, and Robert match one another on the segment in question. If you come from a non-endogamous population, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re looking at a true segment triangulation. On the other hand, if you come from an endogamous population like I do, you cannot be sure at all. In the screenshot above, it’s possible that Carol and Wendy both match me in the same place by chance and only match one another on another chromosome. People with endogamous backgrounds should be very careful when working with ICW data.
- If you are confident that your ICW matches represent true triangulations, you can easily assign “Side” and “Group” using the right-click options in GMP, similar to what we did in Part 10 for GEDmatch data. First, assign a “Side” (M for maternal or P for paternal) to one of the segments in your ICW group from Step 5. Then, right-click on that match and select “Mark Shown DNA Segments”. This will automatically label all of the visible ICW segments to have the same Side as the person you selected.
- Finally, there is a way to do true triangulation with FTDNA data if you manage multiple accounts there. You will need to set up a GMP profile for each FTDNA account that you manage, import the data for each profile as described above, and then you can use “Show Possible Triangulations” to view matches who triangulate with you and one or more of your other FTDNA-based profiles. (For segments that don’t also match another profile, you will have to make do with ICW.) You already have all the skills you need to do this on your own (see Part 2 of this series for how to set up a profile and Part 10 to use the “Show Possible Triangulations” feature), but if you have trouble, please let me know in the comments.
Getting Started with Genome Mate Pro Series
- Part 1 — Install the Program
- Part 2 — Set Up a Profile for a GEDmatch User
- Part 3 — Activate GEDmatch Import Templates
- Part 4 — App Settings
- Part 5 — First GEDmatch Imports
- Part 6 — The Chromosome Browser
- Part 7 — More GEDmatch Imports
- Part 8 — The Relative Detail Tab
- Part 9 — Import a Gedcom
- Part 10 — Import GEDmatch Triangulations
- Part 11 — Install the DNAGedcom Client
- Part 12 — Use the DNAGedcom Client to Import FTDNA Data
- Part 13 — Merge Duplicates (coming soon!)
- Part 14 — The Relative List Tab (coming soon!)
- Part 15 — A Few Tips (coming soon!)
- Part 16 — Use the DNAGedcom Client to Import 23andMe Data (coming soon!)
- Part 17 — Import Ancestry Composition from 23andMe (coming soon!)
- Part 18 —Use the DNAGedcom Client to Import AncestryDNA Data (coming soon!)
- Part 19 — The Segment Map Tab (coming soon!)
- Part 20 — Create Custom Templates for MyHeritage (and Others) (coming soon!)
- Part 21 — Customize Genome Mate Pro (coming soon!)
- Part 22 — Update Your GMP Version