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System change on the way

NOTE: This blog’s recommendation of GEDmatch has been withdrawn due to privacy issues. See “Withdrawing a recommendation,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 15 May 2019).

Batten down the hatches.

Change is coming.

A big enough change to be called Genesis.

And like any big change — any rebirth in fact — there are going to be birthing pains.

And it may not be pretty at all.

Genesis notice

GEDmatch — the third-party matching site many genealogists use for cross-company DNA comparisons1 — is shifting over from the current soon-to-be-called classic system to the new Genesis system, according to an announcement on the GEDmatch home page:

NOTICE: We are making progress on migration to site. This site2 will become “” at some point in the future.


As of 12/18/2018 all new kits will be only added to the site. This site will continue to be available for some time but will be “frozen” with all new kits being processed and available only on genesis.3

So… what’s Genesis? The site’s Frequently Asked Questions describes it as “the development stage of the future matching technique for At the moment it is available for everyone to try out. It currently has its own dedicated database so you will have to upload your data again to the Genesis database. It is reached from your homepage at the bottom of the options.”4

And the GEDmatch wiki main page says it’s the “future of gedmatch” with a “new matching algorithm – lower thresholds – better accuracy. A peek at the future!”5 You can read more about it on the Genesis Beta page of the GEDmatch wiki.

The Notice tells us that Genesis is going to be the only game in town for new uploads as of December 18. That’s Tuesday. The day after tomorrow.

And not everything is working yet as it should.

Looking at my own results, for example, 17 of my top 25 results on GEDmatch classic are kits that I manage. All 17 are shown on GEDmatch Genesis as having completed the migration of data to Genesis. And about half the time when I run one of the tools on Genesis, only about half the kits show up as matches. The other half of the time, they all show up as matches. And there’s no real consistency in what does and doesn’t show up by tool or any other variable.

Now I realize that, in programming terms, 48 hours — the time until Tuesday — is practically a lifetime. One new data load, one new server upgrade, and problems can disappear. Or, alternatively, one little code change, one minor system tweak, and data can disappear.

So the name of the game here is patience. GEDmatch isn’t a big commercial operation with hundreds of employees getting paid to manage data. It’s two guys with crack programming skills who are doing the work basically for free.

If things aren’t working yet as they should, that’s only to be expected. And if on Tuesday there are problems logging in or accessing data or uploading to the site, that’s only to be expected as well.

In other words, like any big change — any rebirth in fact — there are going to be birthing pains.

And it may not be pretty at all.



  1. And the site that law enforcement uses to look for criminal suspects. See e.g. Judy G. Russell, “The bull in the DNA china shop,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 29 Apr 2018 ( : accessed 16 Dec 2018).
  2. The reference is to the existing page and system.
  3. “Notice,” homepage ( : accessed 16 Dec 2018).
  4. What is Genesis Beta?,” FAQs, GEDmatch wiki ( : accessed 16 Dec 2018).
  5. Ibid., “Genesis Beta,” Main Page, GEDmatch wiki.
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