In preparation for my series of posts on how to use GEDmatch, I recommend you download and install the Genome Mate software (http://genomemate.org). While not mandatory for using GEDmatch, or following along with my posts on GEDmatch, I think you will find it will make things much easier.
Genome Mate is like a Swiss army knife, in having many tools combined into one. It serves as a database of your test comparison data, a chromosome browser, a chromosome map generator, a GEDCOM comparison utility, and a correspondence tracker. The programmer, Rebecca (Becky) Walker, is very responsive to suggestions for improvements to the software, provides lots of helpful information for using the software (via the Genome Mate site (http://genomemate.org/)and the Genome Mate Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GenomeMate), and is constantly issuing new updates and to the software.
Here are a few more screenshots (with match names blurred for privacy):
What the specific data and items shown represent, and how to use the tools in Genome Mate to make sense of the data, will be the subject of my upcoming posts. For now, I want to focus on getting the Genome Mate software downloaded and installed on your computer.
The Genome Mate software can be downloaded from the main site (http://genomemate.org/) by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. Prior to installing Genome Mate, Microsoft Silverlight software needs to be installed on your computer, if you have not already done so (most will likely not already have Silverlight installed on their computer). Becky has a link for downloading Silverlight, as well as a nice set of instructions for how to download and install Silverlight for each of the three major Internet browsers.
Once Genome Mate is installed, you will want to create at least one profile. In the menu bar near the top of the program window, click Profiles to bring up the Manage Kit Profiles box. Enter a name for your profile. This can be anything you want, and is only used to keep the test results sorted in the Genome Mate software on your computer. The profile name entered in Genome Mate does not appear anywhere outside of the program. In my examples going forward, John Q. Sample will be my profile name. After entering a profile name, click the Add button to continue.
Upon clicking the Add button, the Manage Kit Profiles box will appear. Enter your GEDmatch kit number in the box provided. In order to make the most use of the Genome Mate matching features and tools, you will want to upload a Gedcom file of your direct ancestors from your genealogy software or Ancestry member tree by clicking the Load Gedcom File button and selecting your Gedcom file. This is optional, and can be done at any time, so if you are unsure how to do this, go ahead and skip clicking the Load Gedcom File button. Now, click the Close button.
Upon clicking the Close button, you will be taken to the main Genome Mate screen.
Genome Mate provides a way to backup your database, and it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing this often, as well as any time you finish using the software. Backup your database now, by clicking on Backup in the menu bar near the top of the program window. The program selects where to save the backup file, and I recommend not changing this for most people, but you can specify any location you wish to save your backup file to if you do not wish to use the default location.
Since we will be using Genome Mate to follow along with the upcoming posts on how to use GEDmatch, I would recommend repeating these steps and creating a second profile under the name of John Q. Sample. This will keep any instructional data completely separate from any actual data that you may enter if you wish to jump ahead, or try the instructional steps with your own data. Once you’ve finished entering your John Q. Sample profile, be sure to backup your database again.
Congratulations, we are now ready to begin learning how to use GEDmatch and start doing our comparisons! If you experience any problems while following these steps, or notice that a screen has changed from what I’ve shown in the screenshots, please let me know by commenting on this thread or sending me an email. As with the GEDmatch site, Genome Mate is free to use, but donations are encouraged if you find the software helpful in your own research efforts and would like to see it’s development continue. Donations are what allow Becky to continue making Genome Mate even better.