Getting Started with Genome Mate Pro, Part 3 — Activate GEDmatch Import Templates

Scroll down for links to other posts in this series.

One reason Genome Mate Pro gets a bad rap for being complicated is that there are so many different ways to do the same thing. Take data imports, for example. You can import segments from GEDmatch via the chromosome browser, the one-to-one tool, or the Tier 1 matching segment search. You can also import relative information (names, email addresses, etc.) from the one-to-many output and triangulation data from the Tier 1 tool. Similarly, there are multiple ways to import from Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.

Flexibility is great. On the other hand, having so many options can be overwhelming. Not only that, the different methods of importing aren’t always completely equivalent. For that reason, this tutorial series will cover only the import options I personally recommend.

In most cases, those import options will require a subscription to either GEDmatch ($10/month) or DNAgedcom ($5/month). Both services are well worth the money. If you are on a budget, consider subscribing for one month, doing all of your imports, then subscribing again in a few months when you’re ready to update your database. Fair warning: I’m also going to suggest occasionally that you donate to GMP.  (I have no financial interests in any of these resources, I just genuinely like them.)

Now that I mention it, if you like GMP and want to contribute to its future development, you can donate by clicking here.



GMP uses what are called “templates” to manage each type of import. The data we import is always in a table format, and a template simply tells GMP which column contains which type of information. GMP comes with more than 20 built-in templates for importing data from 23andMe, FTDNA, GEDmatch, and AncestryDNA.  You can also create custom templates for other data sources, like MyHeritage or personal spreadsheets. (I will cover custom templates in a later lesson.)

Templates can be turned on and off individually, so you can activate only the ones you need.  When I’m doing a lot of imports, I turn off all of the templates except the one I’m actively working with, so I don’t accidentally select the wrong one. Using the wrong template usually just wastes time, but it can sometimes result in the wrong data going into the wrong fields and cause bigger problems.

For that reason, I recommend that you back up your database before each import, so if you mess up, you can simply go back to the previous version.


Turn on the GEDmatch Templates

First, open GMP and click on “Import Data” in the menu bar at the top of the GMP window (PC) or the top of your computer screen (Mac). If you haven’t skipped ahead and are working with a brand new GMP database, nothing at all will happen. That’s because none of the templates are “on”. Let’s fix that!

  1. Click on the OPTIONS tab in GMP.
  2. The screen will be divided vertically into three panels. In the left-hand panel, make sure that IMPORT TEMPLATES is selected. The middle panel contains quick-start options for activating the built-in templates. The right-hand panel lists all of the available templates.  Those listed in grey font are turned “off”.
  3. Look through the list of Import Data Templates in the middle panel of the screen to find the ones for GedMatch Extracts. Click the radio button next to Tier 1.
  4. Click the ACTIVATE DATA TEMPLATES button at the bottom of the GMP window.
  5. Respond to the pop-up notice by clicking “Yes”.
  6. Click “OK” to the next notice.
  7. Look in the right-hand panel. Two of the templates will now be in black font instead of grey.  That’s because they are now “on”.
  8. Now, try the “Import Data” menu option again. This time you should see “From GedMatch Tier 1”, and if you hover your cursor over it you will get two options: “1: Matching Segment Search” and 2: Triangulation”. (This screenshot is from the Mac version. On a PC, it might look slightly different.)
    What you won’t see is the anything about the One to Many tool or the Chromosome Browser. Those options are helpful, so let’s turn them on, too.
  9. If you wandered off, click on the OPTIONS tab in GMP.
  10. Under GedMatch Extracts, click the radio button beside “Regular”.
  11. Click the ACTIVATE DATA TEMPLATES button, then “Yes” and “OK” to approve the change.
  12. Look in the right-hand panel.  Three more templates will now be in black font, for a total of five.
  13. When you try the “Import Data” menu option, you’ll now see two categories of imports (“From GedMatch” and “From GedMatch Tier 1”), and within the “From GedMatch” category will be three new import choices: “Create Relative Records via One to Many Matches”, the oddly named “Import Chromosome Browser data via Chromosome Browser Data”, and “1 to 1 Comparison (optional)”.

Confused yet?  Don’t be!

Each import template lets you do something slightly different. “Matching Segment Search” is the workhorse of GEDmatch imports. It’s the fastest, easiest way to pull in all of the matching autosomal segments for a given GEDmatch kit. However, it doesn’t import all matching segments on the X chromosome, nor does it collect associated data, like the sex or haplotypes of your matches. To add those pieces of information, you’ll use the “Chromosome Browser” and the “Create Relative Records” imports, respectively. There are also times when you will want to do a quick import of segments for just one person, and then you’ll use the “1 to 1 Comparison”.

It will all start to make sense once you’ve done some imports. Patience!


Getting Started with Genome Mate Pro Series


11 thoughts on “Getting Started with Genome Mate Pro, Part 3 — Activate GEDmatch Import Templates”

    1. Doh! Part 4 will post tomorrow morning, but the first imports aren’t covered until Part 5. Part 4 is about the Settings. I’m almost done with Part 5 and will schedule it for Monday.

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