Thursday, March 24, 2016

GEDMatch to resume accepting FTDNA Kits


UPDATE 4/11/2016: GEDMatch has once again enabled uploads from FTDNA.  If you downloaded from FTNDA while the transfer process was offline,  you'll need to redownload from FTDNA as the file format has changed.  There is no need to use my FTDNA to 23andme converter for uploads, though I'll leave the script available as it may be useful again in the future.

It appears the dispute between GEDMatch.com and FamilytreeDNA has been amicably resolved.  GEDMatch.com's administrators just posted the following update to their website:
As we suspected, this confirms FTDNA's main problem with GEDMatch was its use of FTDNA's unaltered kit numbers.  Since these kit numbers serve as the login ID for the vast majority of FTDNA's users, having these publicly available AND associated with the name and email address of the FTDNA accountholder was a bit worrisome, to say the least.  GEDMatch will now use random numbers similar to how it assigns kit numbers for 23andMe and Ancestry.

Also of note is the mention of a new file format from FTDNA.  Its unclear exactly what changes will be made.   Hopefully FTDNA remembers that there are other uses for FTDNA kits, such as DNA.Land and Promethease, and doesn't make substantial changes to the Build 37 format.

Certainly the change to all kit numbers will be a headache for many researchers.  I'd strongly suggest everyone save their one-to-many matches immediately so you can compare the old list to the new modified list. Here's how to do quickly that:

1) Bring up your one-to-many match results page.  Press Crtl-S (or Command-S on a Mac) to save the page.

2) Make sure you select to save the "complete web page."  Here's what it looks like in Chrome:

This will save a local copy of the website as well as all images and scripts running on it.

Once the transfer to the new numbers is complete, you'll likely want to redownload all your gedmatches to your database or program of preference.  If you use GenomeMate Pro, you should be able to tie the new T-number kit to the old profile, just like you would for anyone with  multiple kits.  But you'll want to have this list saved separately in case you can't find the old profile (for example, if the person changed their name or email since you downloaded to GenomeMate Pro, it may be difficult to find.  Then you'll be able to use this list to help transfer over any notes to the new profiles.

I will leave my FTDNA to 23andMe conversion to up for anyone who wants to experiment with it, but will add a note that it is no longer needed.  I encourage anyone who made use of the tool to reupload their FTDNA results to GEDMatch once new FTDNA uploads are allowed.

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