As you know my parents and I recently purchased DNA kits from 23andme. From the start I think I was hoping for some shining light that would connect the dots thanks to DNA. That so far has not been that case. In my search for trying to get the most out of my DNA, I stumbled upon a website called GEDMATCH.
At first glance you would not think that the site was anything useful. Its looks like just a plain old site with some links to upload GEDCOMS, DNA raw data. I didn't really do anything the first time I found the site. But after making some contacts with "prospective cousins" on 23andMe they told me more about GEDMATCH.
I was amazed at what the site does, and what happens behind the scences. It give you the ability not only to compare your data against anyone who uploads from 23andMe, but also from people who have uploaded from Family Tree DNA.
From what I know of the site it allows you to upload your 23andMe raw data and your Ancestry Finder data. Additionally if you have a Family Tree DNA account you can upload that also. Once you have completed the uploads you are assigned a kit number.
The kit number comes in handy when you find matches on GEDMATCH or on 23andMe. I don't have a Family Tree DNA account/plan but I would guess it would be the same over there. It takes about 2 minutes to get the kit number, but it states to give it 24 hours to be fully uploaded and searchable in the databases.
So far I have uploaded mine and my father's DNA and AF (Ancestry Finder), still waiting on my mother who says she finally did the DNA kit and it will be mailed out tomorrow, we will see.
On GEDMATCH it shows 175 matches between FTDNA and 23andMe, with a good portion of them having contact information readily available. I have noticed that if I contact them via email address's provided on GEDMATCH I have a higher percentage chance of a response then through 23andMe Relative Finder. I would have to say that is because GEDMATCH you are the one uploading your information, whereas alot of people on 23andMe did it for the Health benefits
I was still hoping for a closer relationship match, but currently we are still at 4.5 or so on GEDMATCH and 23andMe with no real connection. Either way I check the site about once a week.
About the only thing that I could think to add to the site is the ability to have it email you on a weekly basis or so of new kits that match your kit, even if it just gave the kit number. That way you could come back to the site and check it out in full detail. I know that there are new kits added daily at least.