How to Upload FTDNA Raw Data Files to GEDmatch

Download_FTDNA_raw_data_instructionsYesterday, I realized that I needed to re-upload my husband’s Family Tree DNA results to GEDmatch.com.

For those not familiar with GEDmatch, it is a wonderful, collaborative website that “provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists.” Folks who have taken DNA tests at any of a number of different companies can upload their results to GEDmatch and now find additional cousin matches with other persons who have also uploaded their results from different testing companies. Judy G. Russell, AKA The Legal Genealogist, referred to the site as “a DNA geek’s dream site.” I so agree.

To get started, you will need to register—which simply requires your name (an alias is allowed for publication purposes), email address, and a password. Then, you will need to upload DNA and/or genealogical (GEDCOM) data to use the various utilities.

For some reason, the instructions for downloading your Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) raw data (which will need to be done prior to uploading this file to GEDmatch) are not self-explanatory. Several options of downloads off the site are available to choose from and, if you don’t know the correct selection, you will be confused. As I was in the past.

For the record, recently GEDmatch underwent some changes as to how raw data must be uploaded and what names the new files are given. For ‘F’ kit numbers that already exist on GEDmatch (kits that have a letter ‘F’ at the beginning because they were uploaded from FTDNA versus another company, such as Ancestry), these numbers have been changed to ‘T’ followed by a random kit number.

For new kits being uploaded to GEDmatch, FTDNA data results are being accepted in a different format than before. It’s called a “concatenated” format and it combines both autosomal and X-DNA results so only one upload is now required.

Note that if you rename the file, it will be necessary to retain the ‘36_’ or ‘37_’ identifying text that comes with it when downloaded from FTDNA.

Uploading Family Tree DNA Raw Data to GEDmatch.com:

  1. If you have not done so, create a new GEDmatch.com account.
  2. In a new browser window or tab, log in to your Family Tree DNA account.
  3. Under the Family Finder category on your dashboard FTDNA home page, find the term “Download Raw Data.” Click on the link.
  4. You should be re-directed to a page that looks like this:Download_FTDNA_raw_data_instructions
  1. Next, select the bottom right link: “Build 36 Raw Data Concatenated.” The file will immediately download to your hard drive. REMEMBER where it is saved on your hard drive, as you will need to find it soon.
  2. Do not open or un-zip raw DNA files before uploading to GEDmatch.
  3. Return to the GEDmatch site. Log in.
  4. On the home page is a box titled “File Uploads.” Click on “FTDNA concatenated DNA file.”GEDmatch_file_uploads
  5. Here’s the new page.FTDNA_upload_page_for_GEDmatch
  6. Fill in the blanks. At the bottom, you will need to find and choose the raw data file downloaded from FTDNA. Select it, then click “Upload” to send your raw DNA data file to GEDmatch. A new screen will appear and will show a progression display for the next few minutes.
  7. At the end of this progression, you will be assigned a kit number. WRITE IT DOWN; you will need to know it in the future.
  8. Once the progression is complete, the data will be “tokenized” (registered properly in the database). This can take anywhere from one day to several days to a week or so.
  9. Once the batch is finished tokenizing, you may begin evaluating your kit with the kit numbers of other researchers. A great place to start is to compare your kit against numerous others via the ‘One-to-many’ Matches utility. Another is the ‘One-to-one’ Compare utility.

Have fun exploring your genetics in a whole new way.

13 Comments

  1. carrie Pillow

    “Build 36 Raw Data Concatenated.”

    But why build 36 and not 37

    Reply
    1. Julie (Post author)

      I’ve never asked! I don’t know. I guess that it’s time for me to ask and learn. I’ll let you know what I find out.

      Reply
      1. Linda

        From what I’ve read GEDMatch uses the 36. It will convert the 37 when you upload to 36 anyway. I’m new at this too but I just read it last night.

        Reply
  2. Lairel

    I found the following answer in the forums on FTDNA:

    “GEDmatch uses Build 36 Data but will convert Build 37 if uploaded.”

    “The Concatenated file combines the Autosomal and X Raw Data files and is the only file(s) the GEDmatch will allow to be uploaded from FTDNA.”

    Reply
    1. Julie (Post author)

      I really appreciate your taking the time to add to the discussion!

      Reply
  3. James Emerson

    I keep trying to upload the FTDNA to GEDMATCH and keep getting this same error message…any advice?
    Email: Rnbsn96@hotmail.com

    Donor Name: James Emerson
    Family Tree DNA raw data file upload V2.1.1

    Server IP: 172.31.39.246
    Filename: 343747_YDNA_DYS_Results_20170109.csv

    Warning: The file is not a ‘gZIP’ (.csv.gz) file. Please upload the file exactly as it was received from FamilyTreeDNA.Com . Do not un-compressed or open the file before uploading it.
    If you are running on a Macintosh – Click on the ‘Wiki’ link on your GEDmatch home page. From there, type in ‘Macintosh Files’ in the search box near the upper right corner. That should provide details on how to get around this problem.

    Reply
    1. Julie (Post author)

      Are you attempting to unzip the files prior to uploading?

      Reply
    2. kim

      if on a mac, go to safari, then general Uncheck at the bottom where it says open files once downloaded. this way it stays zipped to load properly on gedmatch i just did this tonight and it worked.

      Reply
      1. Kristina

        Thanks for your comment, it helped a lot!

        Reply
  4. Curly

    I don’t see the FTDNA option in the uploads menu. Am I missing something?

    Reply
    1. Julie (Post author)

      Can you please explain your problem in a bit more detail– which uploads menu?

      Reply
  5. Chris

    Do you get a notification email when “tokenizing” has finished? … or do you just need to keep checking back?

    Reply
  6. Ruby Casteel

    I got an error 607. This is my third attempt. I am not following directions correctly. Help!

    Reply

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