Thursday, March 17, 2016

How to Upload FTDNA Results to GEDMatch Despite The Ban on Uploads


As of Wednesday, March 16, GEDMatch has stopped accepting FTDNA transfers due to concerns over privacy.  Hopefully this is a temporary issue and FTDNA and GEDMatch resolve their differences soon.

Until then, I think everyone should know that it is still possible to upload results from FTDNA to GEDMatch.  This can be done by disguising the FTDNA raw data as a 23andMe file.  Here's instructions on how to accomplish that.  Note: The instructions are for a common Windows computer with Microsoft Excel.  Any number of other spreadsheet programs can accomplish the same task.

First, download your Build 36 raw data files from FTDNA. (Instructions can be found here)  You'll want both the Autosomal and XDNA files.

You should now have two files with the .gz extension, one starting with names like (Kit#)_Autosomal_o36_Results_(DATE).csv and (Kit#)_XChromosome_o36_Results_(DATE).csv.  Next you'll need to unpack the .gz files containing the raw DNA data.  To do that you'll need a file compression program such as WinRAR or 7Zip. They're free.  Install one and then right click on the .gz files you downloaded and select extract here.  This will extract the .csv spreadsheet files. 

Now open both .csv files in Excel or another spreadsheet program.  In the "XChromosome" csv file, select and copy all data except the column headers on the first row. A quick way to do that in windows is select the first row of data, then press shift + control + end.  Then control + c to copy that data.  Move to the "Autosomal" csv file and press control + end to go to the end of the data.  In the first bland row, paste the data we copied from the other spreadsheet.  Now go to "Save As"  and where it says "Save as type" select "Text (tab delimited) from the list.  This will save it as a .txt file.  You can keep the default name or name it whatever you prefer. Excel will likely give you a bunch of warning messages about possibly losing data. Don't worry about this, we're not going to lose data.  Just select "Ok" or "Yes" for each message until its warning fit is done.  

Now find the .txt file you just saved. Right click and use your compression program (WinRAR, 7Zip or the native windows compression) to compress the file to a zip archive.  When that is done, return to GEDMatch and select the 23andMe upload option (Instructions on uploading can be found here).  The kit should process as normal and give you a 23andMe kit number.  

17 comments:

  1. Could someone more technology savvy develop an app that will jump the hoops via "plug&play"?

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    1. I've created an automated version (Windows only though). You can find it here: http://www.geneticgenealogist.net/2016/03/automated-ftdna-to-23andme-raw-dna-data.html

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  2. Replies
    1. Working on it! I know next to nothing about coding so its going to take me a lot of trial and error. I'll try and post a .vbs script that will do the reformatting. Should work for any Windows users (sorry Mac users! You'll have to do it manually)

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    2. I got a warning about the file on gedmatch but it said it may work anyways and seems to be so far. Thank you! My half sister is on ftdna and we are waiting on our siblings from ancestry (weeks) to match on gedmatch. It's taken 50 years to find them so I was panicking with this new announcement. Thank you again.

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    3. finished the automated version: http://www.geneticgenealogist.net/2016/03/automated-ftdna-to-23andme-raw-dna-data.html It does a better job formatting the files so there shouldn't be any more warning messages from GEDMatch

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  3. if anyone is on Ancestry, and you have a relative on ftdna, you can bring your test results over to FTDNa, and for 39.00 you will find out, if and how you are related.

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  4. You should probably clarify in your instructions 1) Whether Build 37 can be used 2) That the name of the files on the Mac is not FFO (Autosomal) and XO (X). It is Kit#_Autosomal_o36_Results_.csv and Kit#_XChromosome_o36_Results_.csv

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    1. thanks I made a few changes. Weirdly it doesn't seem to matter what OS you're on as to how the files are named, but some kits have different file names than others, I'm not sure why yet.

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  5. I just posted an expansion of this post, with screenshots, and credit to you here. http://genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/10461/how-do-i-convert-my-raw-familytreedna-autosomal-result-files-to-ancestry-or-23an/10464#10464

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  6. Will your instructions work on a Mac?

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    1. The general concept applies to a mac, but the specific applications and commands to highlight and copy all the text differ. I don't have a mac so I can't really create a guide for one.

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  7. I have two (slight) reservations about going this route, at the moment anyway. One is that GEDmatch servers could get overloaded if everyone rushes to do this. The other is that the kits will receive an M prefix, which is misleading about the source of the data. I'd recommend that people wait until the dust settles a bit and we hear directly from GEDmatch what their preferences are.

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  8. DNACousins makes a very valid point. Wait....and don't needlessly clog GEDmatch. However, I do recommend downloading most of your files to your PC from FTDNA for safe-keeping. Most...as in specifically *not* the Big Y data as those files are huge.

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  9. I am trying to get my uncles Y37 FT test from 2004 over to Gedmatch. It downloads in a .csv file. Gedmatch takes .csv.gz files. How can I do this without PAYING FT for Family Finder ?

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