03 June 2016

Join an Autosomal DNA Project (AncestryDNA, GEDmatch, FTDNA, 23andMe)

Edited 25 September 2018 for Family Tree DNA user interface changes. Each company periodically makes minor changes in their interfaces. Because of this, the step-by-step instructions may vary. The websites referenced usually have the most current instructions on their website; you should use their instructions if the ones on this page are outdated. For example, GEDmatch used to have individual upload instructions for each testing company, but now a common upload process is used.

The following instructions are tailored for the "Parker FamGroup 1" autosomal DNA (atDNA) project. These instructions can be used for other projects by substituting the other project name. Whether you tested at Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, or 23andME, these instructions will help share your DNA data with autosomal cousins who tested at any company by sharing on GEDmatch.

The steps below were confirmed on 3 June 2016. If the website changes their procedures the exact steps needed may differ from those shown here, but will likely be similar.

Parker FamGroup 1 atDNA Project
A while back we started a DNA project so we can compare the shared atDNA of family members who are part of the Parker Surname Y-DNA project group 1 or who would be if there was an eligible Y-DNA test-taker. This allows us to compare the DNA other than Y-DNA that we all may share whether we are male or female.

Family Tree DNA currently only makes public the Y-DNA and mtDNA data for project members, based on each test-taker's privacy selections. The project administrators can also see and analyze the autosomal DNA data of project members. This helps confirm links to our Parker lines, both providing links for lines with no Y-DNA test-taker and confirming the links where the Y-DNA is not conclusive alone.

Joining the project also allows you to filter the DNA matches in your list to only those who are also in the project. This can help you zero in on those in your match list who are related through this Parker line.

The autosomal DNA project page is at:


The Y-DNA project page is at:


To Join the Parker Family Group 1 autosomal DNA Project follow the instructions below. If you tested at Family Tree DNA all you need to do is join the project on their site. If you tested elsewhere, you need to download your raw atDNA data from the testing company server then upload the data to GEDmatch.com so we can gather the information on the shared DNA segments.

If you took the Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) or have already uploaded results from another testing company to FTDNA
  1. Login to FTDNA.

  2. On the top navigation row, move the mouse over "myProjects" then click "Join a Project."

  3. If "Parker FamGroup1" is displayed in the list, click on it. If "Parker FamGroup1" is NOT displayed in the list, scroll down to the "Search by Surname" option, change "Equals" to "Begins with," enter Parker in the box, click the "Search" button. When the list is displayed, scroll down to the line
    Parker FamGroup 1
    This is a Family Finder project for the Parkers who are related through Family Group 1 in the Parker Y-DNA Surname Project. Men and women who are related to those in Parker Family Group 1 can join ...
    and click on "Parker FamGroup 1."

  4. On the next screen you can enter information on your Parker line, enter a link to an online family tree, or let me know you will send a tree by e-mail. Then click the "Request" button.

  5. It will take some time for the request to be handled and for the project to appear in your list of projects. Once it does, you can use this in your search filters to view only DNA matches who should be related on our Parker Family Group 1 line. This may help us in analyzing the DNA results to try to link our end lines to their parents and help confirm our research on later ancestors is correct.
Please! Be sure to share your Parker lineage or a link to a public online tree. Correlating the family tree information with the DNA information allows new discoveries to be made. Neither DNA not documentary research will solve all our problems. Using them together, we may find a solution. If you have a tree on a site like Ancestry.com, please access your tree then copy the URL from the browser address bar and send that to me. It is easy to locate a tree using the URL. It is sometimes difficult or impossible to locate the tree when you send the name of the tree or your Ancestry user name.

If you took the autosomal test at 23andMe
23andMe instructions for the "new experience" in 2016 will be added at a later date. For pre- and early-2016 experience see this blog post with instructions on how to download your raw atDNA data.

If you took the autosomal test at AncestryDNA
  1. Login to Ancestry.com

  2. In the top navigation bar, click on "DNA" then "You DNA Results Summary"

  3. On the right, click on "Settings"

  4. Click on "Download Raw DNA Data"

  5. Enter your Ancestry.com password and click that you understand the data files on your computer cannot be protected by Ancestry.

  6. Click the "Confirm" button.

  7. The next screen confirms to which e-mail address your raw data message is being sent.

  8. Once the confirmation message arrives in that e-mail account, click on the "Confirm Data Download" button.
  9. This opens a page on Ancestry (if you are not still logged in, you will need to enter the login information), click "Download raw DNA Data" button.

  10. In the Windows "Save As" popup window, navigate to a folder where you want to save the file. Remember the name of this folder and the file as you will need them later. I have a folder where I save all of the DNA data for all of my family members. I name the file something like AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_DATE_INITIALSofTestTaker.zip (AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip) so I know whose DNA data it is and when I downloaded it.
This has saved your data on your computer from the Ancestry server. Now go to the section titled "Uploading to GEDmatch" to place the data on the server where others can compare to the data.

Uploading to GEDmatch

Be aware that once your data is on the GEDmatch server all other GEDmatch users will be able to see the data and compare it to their data. The only way we can use DNA for genealogy is by sharing the data. But if you are concerned about privacy you cn enter an alias as the name of the test-taker. If you are concerned about people seeing your e-mail address you may want to set up a Gmail address (or other e-mail address) you use only for genetic genealogy. Most of us use our real e-mail addresses, but some people prefer not to use their real names. You decide how much infomration you wish to share publicly.

For the GEDmatch privacy policy see https://www.gedmatch.com/policy.php.

  1. If you are not yet registered on GEDmatch, click "Not Registered, Click HERE" and follow the instructions to create your free account.

  2. Login to the newly created account.

  3. In the "File uploads" section and the "Raw DNA file uploads" sub-section, click on the "AncestryDNA.com."

  4. In "Name of DNA Donor," insert name of the person who was tested. Enter an "Alias" if you prefer not to display the real name of the test-taker. Select the "Sex of donor" - the gender of the test-taker. Skip the mitochondrial haplogroup or Y haplogroup questions.

  5. Click on "Yes" to allow your data to be used for comparisons.

  6. Click on the "Choose File" link. Navigate to the folder where you saved the raw data file from Ancestry. Selected the filename (such as AncestryDNA_raw__dna-data_20160603_DJP.zip). Click "Upload." It takes up to several seconds for the file to be uploaded, depending on the speed of your connection. A new message is displayed as the file is processed.

  7. DO NOT LEAVE THIS SCREEN until the processing is completed. The processing will likely take 30 minutes or so, depending on the load on the GEDmatch server. A message will tell you when this is complete. Chromosome numbers will change at the bottom of the screen as the data is processed.

  8. Write down the kit number assigned (such as T123456 or A781234). This number is very important so we can find your DNA data to compare to others in the Parker FamGroup 1 project to learn more about our shared ancestry.

Want to learn more about DNA analysis for Genealogy?

I have several DNA articles linked from my website if you are interested in learning more about genetic genealogy.


To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Join an Autosomal DNA Project (AncestryDNA, GEDmatch, FTDNA, 23andMe)," Deb's Delvings, 3 June 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved

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