Stumbling My Way in Genome Mate Pro
by Wesley Johnston
Last updated August 28, 2016 (textual clarification - since I am done with the task, this page has not changed since March 2016 and is not expected to change again)


Genome Mate Pro MAY be the tool that I am looking for to manage the DNA matches of the 28 accounts of our extended family. But so far, it has been extremely frustrating just to start using it.

There is a 173 page user manual, but it only covers topics of interest to the creator (e.g. gives no information about importing from other than DNAGedcom), and it is completely silent on the implications of changing some of the settings in the Options -- only saying that you can change them and not giving any help as to what difference it will make if you do.

There is a Facebook page but no other form of online user group or support (e.g. an e-mail list, such as Legacy has). But I find using Facebook like trying to drink from a firehose: important stuff may be in there, but finding it is difficult.

And so the bottom line is that I am stumbling my way through trying to use Genome Mate Pro and have MANY questions. And there are probably a lot more people in the same situation. So I am starting this web page to document my stumblings, so that the potholes that I fall into may be avoided by others.

While I am clearly frustrated with the owner manual and lack of any support other than Facebook, my intent here is not to disparage Genome Mate Pro nor the manual's creator, James Sipe. He has done a great service, and it is a huge effort to single-handedly deal with all the possible things that might come up in such a rich software tool as Genome Mate Pro is. So I am grateful for what he has done. And I hope that this web page can supplement his documentation for the areas in which I use it.

The order is the order in which I encountered the issues as I began using Genome Mate Pro.

Key Lessons Learned

All of the other sections in the contents are the chronological sequence of me stubmling my way toward a critical mass of data and ability in Genome Mate Pro. So this first section really is the last one chronologically. But it highlights the key lessons that I learned, so that it really is what this entire page is all about. So here are those lessons, in no particular order.

  • In general
    • Join the Genome Mate Pro Facebook page. I am NOT a Facebook afficionado -- even after using the GMP page. But it is the only way that you can ask for help in a public forum. And in the "Files" section, it may have a more up-to-date version of the User Guide than the one that is on the GMP web page.
    • Read the User Guide. GMP is complex, since it deals with a complex subject. Do not try to use it without very committed reading of the User Guide.
    • Have patience and persist. Climbing Learning Curve Mountain took me 9 days of actual direct work with GMP over the course of nearly a month of calendar days, with many of the days in between used for preparing my GEDCOM and DNA data for import into GMP. Keeping this log (below) actually helped me to resume work when as many as 9 calendar days went by between GMP work days. It also helped when I had to go back to zero and re-install GMP to start again from scratch.
    • Use GEDmatch. One of the most frustrating things when loading Ancestry data into GMP is that it has no chromosome data at all. It is almost completely useless for really understanding your DNA results in terms of shared DNA segments. No matter where you tested, upload your autosomal DNA results to GEDmatch. This not only assures that your actual chromosome data will be visible to you but it also allows you to compare to anyone who has tested on any of the main genealogical DNA services. (I did not initially know it, but you can even upload to GEDmatch from your National Geographic 2 results, since they were done by Family Tree DNA.) AND GEDmatch has superb tools for doing the comparisons, tools far beyond what any of the genealogical DNA services has. You should strongly consider donating money to GEDmatch, which entitles you to use four even more powerful tools.
  • Imports
    • If you want to import Family Tree DNA matches, import them first to DNAGedcom and then use the DNAGedcom version to import into Genome Mate Pro.
    • Do not try to do work in other windows during an import. When I did this, I wound up doing something at some point that aborted the import. The good news is that both the data and GEDCOM imports can simply be started again, without corrupting your database.
    • If you are importing from GEDmatch (or any other source for which the import to GMP is via copy and paste), use Google Chrome to do the copy. I do not understand why other browsers do not work, but they don't, especially for the Triangulation step.

My Preconceptions

It is important to have in mind what it is that I want to accomplish, since it might not turn out to be doable within Genome Mate Pro. My ultimate goal is to identify the Most Recent Common Ancestor for every segment of my atDNA on all 22 of my chromosomes and on my X chromosome. I want to know the origin of every bit of my atDNA -- and the same for each of the family members whose accounts I administer.

I originally envisioned having a separate spreadsheet for every chromosome, with two worksheets for that chromosome. On one worksheet, I would have my raw results: the ACGT values for every SNP measured by Family Tree DNA. I would use my FTDNA results, even though I have also tested on both Ancestry and 23andMe. On this sheet, I would have one line below mine for each of my matches, in descending order of the size of their largest matching segment with me on that chromosome. This would be, in effect, a chromosome browser with the highest possible resolution: one SNP. On the other worksheet, I would somehow mimic a chromosome browser at a higher resolution -- a duplication of the data in the detailed worksheet in which things would be summarized in a way that I could visually scan in the same way that you can scan in the chromosome browsers of FTDNA or GEDMatch. This would allow me to see which matches were overlapping on which segments that they match with me and just how significant the length of the segments is for each person.

When I found that Genome Mate Pro can do a significant part of what I want -- but not the raw values -- AND that it had built-in tools for dealing with the complexity of what I wanted to accomplish, I realized that Genome Mate Pro may -- in the long term -- be worth the investment of my time spent on the non-trivial learning curve.

In the Genome Mate Pro user manual (the PDF file "Managing Your DNA for Genealogy with Genome Mate Pro", GMP creator James Sipe begins Section 1.3 (Data Analysis) with this statement of purpose: "The goal for the Data Analysis process is to identify a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) with sufficient proof." This is what I want to do -- for every segment of my DNA and for every segment of the DNA for the family members whose accounts I administer. So Genome Mate Pro looks like the tool that I want, so that I will invest my time in learning it, rather than setting up my own spreadsheets.

Stand-alone vs. Other Tools?

Before starting, I read the introduction to the Genome Mate Pro user manual. And this led me to wonder if Genome Mate Pro is a stand-alone tool or if it must be used with DNAGedcom. The user manual does not make this clear. Nor does it tell you what benefits to using Genome Mate Pro you would have from using DNAGedcom.

Things became even murkier when I tried to find (jumping ahead here to the Profile section) how to download my Ancestry matches into a CSV file in order to learn my Ancestry Test ID. It turns out that there is no way to do this with Ancestry itself. Instead, you have to be using the Chrome browser (which I do not use) and then download an add-on to Chrome in order to do this. There is no mention of this in the Genome Mate Pro documentation.

So I wondered if I could really use Genome Mate Pro as a stand-alone tool or if I had to deal with installing DNAGedcom, Chrome and the Chrome Ancestry add-on -- as well as the learning curve for dealing with each one. So I am going it with trying to use Genome Mate Pro as a stand-alone tool, relying only on connections to the sources of atDNA data: Family Tree DNA, Ancestry, 23andMe and GEDMatch. I am treading cautiously on the initial effort, which is a big part of why I am documenting it here. I fully expect that at some point I am going to come face to face with some sort of realization that there was something way back at the beginning that I should have done differently and that the only way to deal with it is to go back over and start completely new and abandon all the work that I had done in the first pass -- all because of discovering something about GMP behavior that requires a massive change to my database, so that it is easier just to start over again. Maybe this will not happen. But I fully expect it will. So I am proceeding with GMP as if I were walking out onto a lake covered by thin ice, expecting to hear an omenous crack at any minute that sends me scurrying back to shore.

If and when I do master GMP, I will definitely explore DNAGedcom and the Chrome add-on for Ancestry. But first I have to see if Genome Mate Pro really does what it is that I am hoping it will do to assist in keepign me from losing track of things and being overwhelmed as I deal with all of our family accounts.

Sorry for those of you, but this pothole in the road is still open and if you have fallen into it as well, I have no guidance to help you out, other than to simply try GMP and see what it does for you.

UPDATE: I wound up having to use DNAGedcom (see

  • Starting Over: Installing DNAGedcom and Importing my FTDNA data into it below), and it was not at all difficult to use for the purposes of exporting files to be used for import to GMP. In fact, the chromosome charts in DNAGedcom's ADSA tool (not needed for GMP) revealed a previously un-spotted match who overlapped with two other.

  • GEDCOM -- or Not?

    Clearly the focus of the atDNA research is on finding matching relatives and then finding our Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) in our documented family trees. But my trees are separate for each nationality of our family. So I am not sure yet just how to deal with this. Just who needs to be in the GEDCOM for a given profile? And if another profile is for a closely related family member who has some identical lines but some entirely different ones, should I create a separate GEDCOM for each one, or am I better off creating a GEDCOM that is going to hold all 28 of our tested family members? I really would like to know the answer to this sooner rather than later. But there is no answer on this. So for now, I am deferring dealing with GEDCOM files in GMP until I have at least some minimal sense of what the best answers are for my questions. Sorry for those of you, but this pothole in the road is still open and if you have fallen into it as well, I have no guidance to help you out.

    Profile Inputs

    For the most part, the manual and the numbered instructions on the Profile window let me find the things needed for the first profile that I added. The exception was the "Ancestry Test ID", which turns out -- not mentioned anywhere in the documentation nor in the numbered instructions -- to require using the Chrome browser and an add-on. So I just left that field blank, since I do not want to deal with the extra baggage, as noted in the stand-alone section above. Will this omission come back to haunt me later? I don't know.

    App Settings

    Section 2.5 ("New to Genome Mate Pro or Updating") states early on that before you start your first import, you should go to Section 7.1 on App Settings to make sure the settings are as you require. So I dutifully jumped over to Section 7.1 to learn what the app settings are and what impact changing them has on the behavior of Genome Mate Pro. There are six settings, which are dealt with only by definition of what they are measuring. There is no dicussion of what impact that they have on GMP's behavior, other than to say that they need to be used in conjunction with the "Hide Minimum" filters on the Chromosome page. And again, there is no information given about just what that means in practical terms that I can use to modify the settings.

    Four of the six Display Options are things that I can understand (Min cMs, Min SNPs, Min Overlap, Number of Days to Highlight New Matches). But two of the Display Options baffle me as to just what difference they will make if I change them: Min Length and Max cMs.

    While "length" is defined above, it is not at all clear to me what the difference is between "Min cMs" and "Min Length". Is "Min cMS" referring to the minimum total cMS to display and "Min Length" referring to the minimum length of any individual segment? That is my best guess. But I really would like to know specifically what the impact of these is on GMP.

    "Max cMs" is a completely new concept that I have never seen in any of the four sources. What impact does it have on GMP behavior? Is it saying that it will not display any segments longer that the value of "Max cMs", or is it saying that it will truncate any longer segments and only display them as being of that length? I am completely baffled by "Max cMS".

    What worries me is that if I make some setting change -- or just leave the defaults -- that I may find later that I have made erroneous assumptions based on the displays and will only discover that the hard way and will then have to completely re-do all the analytical work that I have done before, since the prior work was flawed due to the Display Options and the assumptions that I made based on the displays. But in the absence of any guidance on what difference these settings make in GMP behavior and how they impact what decisions I can legitimately base on the displays, my only option is to choose some values for the Display Options and plunge ahead, groping in the dark.

    Importing from FTDNA -- NOT!!

    This is where my feeble progress came to a complete halt, but I have now figured out how to do this. The user manual details importing FTDNA data from DNAGedcom. But I want to import FTDNA data from FTDNA. The bottom line is that even though the user manual is giving instructions for a different template, you should still follow them with your template.

    So I went to Options, and I clicked on Import Templates. And in the list of Import DNA Templates, I see two for Provider FTDNA: (1) Create Relative Records via the Family Finder Match and (2) Import Chormosome Browser data via the Chromosome Browser. I clicked on "Activate Template" for both of these. And now they show up in bold text at the top of the list. So far, this is the same as step 4 in the manual's DNAGedcom steps.

    I clicked on the FF Match template, and it gave instructions for how to save a CSV file in FTDNA for this template. So I went to FTDNA and created the file.

    This is where I stumbled on my first try. Since the user manual was talking about a different template, I assumed it was way off in another direction from where I wanted to go. So I tried to do the import by clicking on the only button that says "Import", which is the "Import Template" button -- which looked for a TXT file and not a CSV file. And just renaming the CSV file to a TXT file did not work. So I went back to the manual and read the steps for the other template and realized that they were sufficiently generic to guide me through with the template I want to use.

    And the next step is to go up to the "Import Data" pull-down menu at the top left of the GMP screen and choose to import from FTDNA via the first FF matches. I then navigated to the CSV file that I had created and imported it. It imported 311 of my 312 matches and skipped one because it had a blank name. It was a 5th to Remote Cousin with 25.99955 total and 7.77257 longest, so that it probably is a legitimate cousin that I will have to look into at some point. But for now, it is a sufficiently distant relation to set it aside for "someday".

    Thus endeth day one of my exploration of the wilds of GMP. I have no idea what is coming next. Just clicking on the other tabs at the top, nothing shows up in any of the windows (Chromosomes, Relatives, Ancestors, Segment Map).

    Day two was only a brief effort, due to other priorities. I used Excel to open the CSV file that I had imported, to see just what had been imported. It really is just the very high level information, with one row per match and these columns: Full Name, First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Match Date, Relationship Range, Suggested Relationship, Shared cM, Longest Block, Known Relationship, Email, Ancestral Surnames. So this is administrative-level information and not really the detail that I want for data analysis for identifying the origin of every bit of my atDNA. So I will see if the FTDNA chromosome browser import brings in the detail that I need to do that analysis. But it will have to wait until day three. And then there is the loading of GEDMatch information, which is more of the mother lode, since it includes people who tested at all three companies. More to come ...

    "FTDNA 2. Import Chromosome Browser data ..." Import

    Day three came after a hiatus of a few days. I began by doing the import of the FTDNA chromosome browser data. I went to "Options" and clicked on "FTDNA 2. Import Chromosome Browser data ...". This allowed me to see the instructions: "On 1. Select MyFTDNA 2. Select Family Finder 3. Select Chromosome Browser 4. Select Download All Matches to Excel (CSV Format) 5. When asked, select file named {kit}_ChromosomeBrowser.csv 6. Select OK" This time I looked at the CSV file first, and the columns have these headings: NAME, MATCHNAME, CHROMOSOME, START LOCATION, END LOCATION, CENTIMORGANS, MATCHING SNPS. And this really does have the detailed information on the shared segments that I have with every one of my matches (including the unnamed one) on each chromosome, including the X. So this is what I really want for my analysis. The file has 3,599 lines of detailed information.

    The counts of DNA Segments Process and the counts of Errors went up identically: every single one of the 312 was an error. When the run finally finished, the popup window showed that 311 had "End Point Missing" and 1 (the one with no name) had "Key fields blank". So what do I do now? I did everything exactly as the instructions said. Has FTDNA somehow changed something in the data that they download so that the end point expected by GMP is no longer where it once was? As noted above, there is an "END LOCATION" field, and in looking at the data in the CSV file, every single data line has an end location specified. So what is GMP's problem?

    I saved the log file and looked at it, and it is showing the match list data. So maybe I clicked on the wrong CSV file to import. So I try again and make sure that I click on the chromosome browser CSV file. And -- yes -- that was the problem. There are now 3,601 segments being processed, and while the number processed is higher than the number of errors, the number of errors is only slightly less and is growing almost one for one with the number of segments processed. So what is the problem this time? This is frustrating because this time I am 100% certain that I did everything as instructed. But I have to wait for the processing to finish in order to find out what GMP is unhappy about. And since some of it is being accepted, just what is the state of my database going to be now? Is it corrupted?

    Instead of ending, it goes to processing 496 triangulations. The error count was 3,106 out of the 3,601 lines of input -- not at all encouraging, since it means only 495 lines out of 3,601 were successfully imported. At least the triangulations are not adding to the error count ... well, change that, the error count has gone up, so that I am now not sure if 3,106 was the error count after the segment import.

    OK, it is finally finished and shows the following counts:

    • < Minimum cMs: 3094
    • < Minimum X cMs: 1
    • Added: 1
    • End Point Missing: 1
    • False Positive Region: 9
    • Kit2 Relative Not Found: 3
    • Triangulation Added: 468
    • Triangulation Updated: 25

    Once again, I saved the log file. I went back to my "App Settings" in "Options" to see what the "Import Criteria" options are. The cMs are at 7, SNPs at 700 and X cMs at 10. There are checks in the boxes for "Add New Relatives" and for "Show Import Help Messages". I had made no changes to these settings (see App Settings above), but when I click the "Reset Defaults" button, it checks "Add Possible False Positives". AND even thought the "Reset Defaults" button is entirely in the "Import Criteria" closed section of the window, it also resets the "Display Options" in a completely separate closed section -- which is NOT what you would expect, since anything in one section is not expected to alter anything in another closed section. But it does. Looking back at the 3,094 "below minimum cMs", I see that they are indeed all below 7 cMs. I may eventually want to change this, since I know already that some sub-7 cM matching segments that I have are IBD and not IBS. But for now, I am going with the import as it is.

    My available time in Day 3 has run out. Again, clicking on all the tabs shows me nothing, so that I am still not sure just when I see all this data showing up. Is this because I have not uploaded a GEDCOM? I don't know, and it will have to wait until Day 4 for me to take the next step in the user manual. (I am deferring loading GEDMatch data until I know more about what the FTDNA data shows me.)

    Day 4 is very limited. But I am troubled that even after successfully importing my matches from FTDNA, nothing shows up in any of the windows. So it is back to the user manual. And page 25 gives me even more concern when it says "After importing the selected data, scroll through the chromosomes on the Chromosome page." There are no chromosomes to scroll through. Checking the Database Statistics, it shows these counts: Relatives (316), DNA Segments (1), Triangulations (468). So there are relatives. But why is there only one DNA segment? Going back to the Chromosomes page, I stepped through every chromosome. There was an entry only for chromosome 8 -- a 7.8 cM segment of 1,400 SNPs -- and the relative was my son. I do not know what is wrong? I have no idea. I watched all three online videos. I did everything as instructed, and yet this is what I have as a result, and I have no clue why it has failed to load all my matches. The only thing that I can find on the Internet is Jim Sipe's blog entry on Load FTDNA files from DNAGedcom where he recommends loading FTDNA data via DNAGedcom. So it looks like I am going to be forced to start over again (delete the database) and download and learn DNAGedcom and then try once again to import my data into GMP.

    Starting Over: Installing DNAGedcom and Importing my FTDNA data into it

    Since I am starting fresh, the first step is to delete the database. I cannot see any way to do this within GMP. So I am going to delete the sqlite file with Windows Explorer. This still did not get rid of the file when I re-opened GMP, since the GMPOptions.txt file is still pointing to it. Page 13 of the user manual says to not move or alter this file. But the only thing that I can see to do is to alter it by deleting the lines that point to the deleted sqlite file. This prevents GMP from even starting. So now I am down to uninstalling GMP and reinstalling it -- all because the FTDNA imports did not work properly. This is an increasing and expanding pain.

    So now finally, I can download and install DNAGedcom. And the first thing that I realize is that it is an online service and not something that you download and install. So I registered.

    I then clicked on the Family Tree DNA tab at the top and it's "Download Family Tree DNA Data" menu option.

    Adhering to instruction 3, I refreshed the screen, and it now displays my DNAGedcom ID and has a link that says "Download Kit", which instruction 4 says that I have to click. So I did. And then I took a look at what the ADSA tool showed, which showed an overlapping segment that I had not previously detected on one chromosome that is very active in match activity the past few days.

    So Day 4 of my stumbling comes to an end with the DNAGedcom data being downloaded and ready to load into GMP whenever Day 5 happens. I do have to acknowledge that the DNAGedcom step that I avoided early on was not only relatively painless but quite beneficial, since the ASDA tool's chromosome browser allowed me to spot a new match on a key segment that I had not spotted within FTDNA. While there is a lot of user manual and learning that looks like you could immerse in with the DNAGedcom tools, the core tool can be used very easily for migrating your data to GMP with no big learning curve. Even the ADSA tool can be used easily to see the chromosome browser report without any learning curve. Someday I may want to explore the tools that DNAGedcom has. But for now, I can just not deal with them and move on to the central project of trying to learn Genome Mate Pro.

    Second GMP Try: Profile & Import

    So Day 5 arrived the day after Day 4, which has not always been the case in this fits and spurts project. And I returned to the user manual's earliest pages to begin all over again with a completely new installation of GMP. I am still NOT including a GEDCOM, which the user manual states is an optional step but without which you can not set an MRCA. So I am user manual pave 13, section 2.1 and now moving on to 2.2 "Database Structure" where I will create a new database. And that goes smoothly, as it did the first time. And now I come again to 2.3 "Profile Setup" which is going to be different this time, since I now have a DNAGedcom kit number. And that is done, although I have left the 8th box (Ancestry Test Id) blank because the instruction refers to an Ancestry .csv file that I do not have.

    So I skip section 2.4 (Already Genome Mate User) since I am not a Genome Mate user. And I move on to section 2.5 (New to Genome Mate Pro or Updating), which is where things went off the rails on my first try. This time I am using the exact same method to import as is shown in the user manual. So I will follow the user manual steps. "Chrome is the browser that is supported by Genome Mate Pro", but I am using Firefox and do not even have Chrome installed.

    I am leaving the App Settings at their default values, without even looking at the App Settings. Steps 1-5 are done: the three DNAGedcom FTDNA templates are activated in the order 1, 2, 3. Step 6 is an advisory step. Steps 7-10 are the actual import initiation. My file has 315 relatives, and the processing results in 3 errors: 2 with "Name Blank" and 1 with "Title Row". So "Added" is 312. But looking at the log file, one of the people who it says is "Name Blank" very dfinitely has a full name: Claremont Eugene Park. And he matches me with a longest block of 9.36, so that I really do not want him left out. But I do not know what else to do because for some reason GMP labels his record as "Name Blank". Going back to the CSV file, there is nothing that I can see that is different about his line from any other line, and he most definitely has a name (which is not preceded by a blank). So I think there is a bug somewhere in GMP to flag this record as "Name Blank" when it clearly has a name. But I will forge ahead for now, leaving his record out of my database, since I can see now way to force it to be included nor to enter it manually. I saved the log file.

    So it is on to step 14. The Chromosome Browser import has 3,611 DNA segments to import, and the errors are rapidly increasing. But I know that most of these are segments that are below the minimum threshold and thus not really errors. It is interesting to realize that the vast majority of my matching DNA segments are below 7 cM. There are 497 triangulations. And here are the counts shown in the summary window: "< Minimum cMs": 3103, "< Minimum X cMs": 1, Added: 499, End Point Missing: 9, Triangulation Added: 497. The log file shows that the "End Point Missing" is for the title line in the CSV file. I saved this log file.

    And finally, I am still in step 14 but now uploading the ICW file. There are 2,985 triangulations, and 1 (probably the title line in the CSV file) immediately pops up as an error, but that stays at 1. And the final counts are: "Kit Relative Not Found": 1, Triangulation Added: 1492, Triangulation Updated: 1492. The log file shows no specifics for "Kit1 Relative Not Found" -- just blanks after the error message. I saved the log file.

    The "Database Statistics" button gives the following counts: Relatives-319 (note that this is 7 more than after the first import step), DNA Segments-497, Triangulations-1,989. And now clicking on the tab for the "Chromosomes" page, there is plenty there to see. So I do not know what caused the first try to fail. But the second try has clearly worked.

    Chapter 3: Chromosome Page - et seq

    I am still on Day 5, setting aside some other priorities, since I finally succeeded in loading my matches into GMP. Chapter 3 was mostly informational. I did have a problem with the "Segment Map" section on page 29, since it was referring to "if it has been populated" and "colors that were selected on the Segment Map" when there has been no prior reference to anything about these. After doing some digging, I realized that there needs to be a reference here to chapter 6 on the Segment Map, in order to make sense of what is being said here in chapter 3.

    So it is on to chapter 4 (Relatives Page) on page 30 of 173. ... Now up to page 37, and I realize that I really do need to download all my different trees and create one merged tree and upload my ancestors to GMP to really do this right. So this is the end of Day 5 for me. It will take a lot of work to prepare the GEDCOM for loading to GMP. So I am not sure how many calendar days will pass before Day 6.

    GEDCOM Upload (Chapter 5) - Failure due to bad merge - Then Success

    Day 6 has finally arrived, 9 calendar days after Day 5, since that is how long it took me to merge all of my many trees into one (my time is very limited. but it still took a great deal of what limited time that I had). The merged tree is on Legacy Family Tree, loaded there by using Family Tree Maker to download the master versions of all of my trees on Ancestry and then export them to GEDCOMs for merging into the one tree on Legacy. So I am now ready to go back to Section 2.1 on page 13 and do step 3 "Load a Gedcom (optional, but you can't set an MRCA without one) See 5.1 Gedcom Load".

    So it is on to Chapter 5. When I am done with this, I will go back to page 37 in Chapter 4 and resume where I left off. The first thing I will do is print out pages 41-80 of the user manual, since I had been working off of a hardcopy of pages 1-40 so that I could write notes on it as I went. And now that I am up to Chapter 5, I need the next 40 pages.

    Chapter 5 shows that I do not need to worry about stripping down my exported GEDCOM to just my ancestors, since "A process within Genome Mate Pro will limit the ancestors loaded just those direct ancestors based on the selected focus person". It also gives specific instructions for Legacy: select the "Generic" format for the export. It also warns that surnames such as McDonald will become Mcdonald, so that if you really want the D captialized, you have to change McDonald to Mc Donald prior to the load into GMP. I opted not to do that ... I have spent the last 9 days wrestling with the merges, and I do not see any problem with GMP doing this to the names, since I know what they are.

    After following the directions and clicking Load Gedcom on the Ancestors window, GMP is now going through the 526,918 lines of my GEDCOM file. It looks like it will take about half an hour. Well it took longer, but it is now processing 9.827 family records. It has now been an hour and a half since I clicked "Load Gedcom", and it is up to 7,591 of 9,827 families. ... OK, about 105 minutes after starting, I am now at step 5, selecting the profile person. And now the progress shows "Identifying direct ancestors ...". (I did check the list to make sure that it includes both ancestors on my maternal line and ancestors on my paternal line, and it does.) ... The identification is also taking a long time. But if it all is done right, then this one-time long step in the process will be worth it -- if it is all done right. ... The "Identifying direct ancestors ..." remains at the bottom. Certainly the total number of direct ancestors will not be known until it is done, but it would be nice to at least see a count of how many direct ancestors have been identified, so that you have some sense of progress instead of the unchanging message. It is now 2:10 since I clicked "Load Gedcom" and about 20 to 25 minutes since I designated the focus person.

    Finally, almost 3 hours after I clicked "Load Gedcom", step 6 of 6 is done. AND IT IS A FAILURE!!! All of my paternal ancestors have been loaded, but GMP has failed to identify even my mother as one of my ancestors, and she is not in my list of direct ancestors, nor are any of my other maternal ancestors. This is extremely frustrating. I have done everything correctly. I checked after the GEDCOM loaded and before I specified myself as the focus person, and the GEDCOM load did load my mother and all of her ancestors. But the step to identify direct ancestors failed miserably for 50% of my ancestry. I have no clue how to fix this. And Day 6 is definitely now ended in show-stopping failure -- a bitter result.

    Day 7 was spent entirely on trying to figure out what was wrong. I used Legacy to generate several GEDCOM files, all of which still failed to identify my mother. I even restricted the people exported to just me and my parents, so that I could speed up the testing of loads into GMP. Finally, I waded into the deep water of looking into the GEDCOM file that had been generated and eliminating hundreds of lines of irrelevant information (which should not have been there according to Legacy's "Export Items" list of "Groups of Items to EXCLUDE from Export" so that there is a problem with Legacy ignoring this setting, since I checked everything.

    After whittling 800 lines down to about 80, I could finally see that my father and mother had me as a child in marriages that did not have a spouse. Going back to Legacy, sure enough somehow in the merge a spurious unknown spouse had been created for each of them. So the first marriage in the GEDCOM in which I was a child had only my father and not my mother, which explained the entire problem. So it was not a Genome Mate Pro failure. Once I eliminated the spurious spouses, GMP identified my mother as my direct ancestor. So it is a GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) situation and not a GMP failure.

    But I still have to groan -- profoundly -- because the 9-day-long merge of all my trees has created a deformed database of 29,251 individuals in 9,825 families. So I am going to restore the pre-merge backup of my tree in Legacy and try to figure out a better way to do the merge. Thus endeth day 7.

    Day 8 dawned with a new idea of how to merge the eight family trees into one. Start with an empty database and import the largest tree into Legacy. Then delete any ancestors and their relatives whose master versions are in the tree for their nationality which will be merged in later. Then merge the files in one at a time, taking the time with each one to manually assure that the few people who connect the trees are properly linked and then doing the Legacy "find duplicates" feature to identify the true non-duplicates and add them to the non-duplicate list before merging in the next tree. It went much more smoothly and much faster than the way that I initially did the merge that resulted in an unusable database. I then created the GEDCOM of my own 238 direct ancestors, loaded it into Genome Mate Pro, and at long last my maternal ancestors are present after the "Identifyin direct ancestors ..." step. This is all that I can do on day 8. But I feel like a big step has been taken toward being able to use GMP effectively in the long run. There is still chapter 5 to finish and then the remaining part of chapter 4, and then chapters 6 and beyond. But for the first time, I really think that the mixture of my DNA matches and my direct ancestry is offering big potential for this all be worth it in the long run.

    Back to Chapter 4 and then more imports

    Day 8 (which is actually the 18th calendar day since Day 1) picks up in Section 5.3, the last section in chapter 5, is about alternate surnames. This can be left for later, if at all. So now I resume where I left off in chapter 4 on Day 5, which is in Section 4.4 "Family Comparison Tab" of the Relatives page. Actually it has been nearly two calendar weeks since I began Chapter 4. And I am finding that the Relatives page takes on new significance in my thinking now that I have the GEDCOM uploaded. So I am going to start again at the beginning of Chapter 4.

    I have been keeping match clusters in a spreadsheet. So I am taking one of those clusters and adding additional information for one of those matches to the Relatives page as my first test case. I have begun migrating one match's information over. My thoughts about my FTDNA-only matches in the test case led me to examine significant (12 cM and up) matches on the same segment in GEDmatch, which revealed three Ancestry matches who also matched on the same family of origin. I completed Chapter 4. But before I move on to Chapter 6, I will look into loading my Ancestry matches into GMP.

    I first tried the Google Chrome browser extension "AncestryDNA Helper". It installed easily. And the proper buttons (in particular the "Scan" button) appeared as expected on my Ancestry DNA insights page. And clicking on "Scan" began a scan, which ran for a long time. But when it finished, I could find no output CSV file anywhere on my computer -- not in the default download folder nor anywhere else. The AncestryDNA Helper page says that some people are experiencing this problem. So I have dropped this effort and am trying the only other way that I know how to load the Ancestry matches: the DNAGedcom Client.

    The DNAGedcom Client requires you to purchase a DNAGedcom subscription. But since this appears to be the only viable option for including my Ancestry matches in GMP, I paid for the subscription. Day 8 ended with my DNAGedcom account still showing "Your subscription level is Basic." So I will try again on Day 9.

    There was a gap of 3 days between Day 8 and Day 9. During that time, I used the DNAGedcom Client to download the three CSV files from Ancestry. Now on Day 9, I began the load, first with the M file. In looking at the GMP user guide table of contents, I saw section 14.7 "DNAGedcom Client for Ancestry Data" which said to delete columns N and O ("archived" and "note") before importing into GMP. So I used Excel to view the CSV file and save it to a different name, and it turns out that the two columns with those labels are now O and P. So I deleted those and saved the CSV file to the original name. The import went smoothly.

    The Ancestry A file was over 61,000 lines. So after starting the import, I used other windows to do work -- BIG ERROR. I must have hit the ESC key at some point while working on the other windows, and that aborted the run. This scared me, since I was not sure if I had corrupted my database (and I have to admit that I had been failing to do frequent backups which is highly recommended). A GMP Facebook post about this received a prompt reply that I can just restart the import. So I did and then spent several hours away from the computer to make sure it imported, and it did. I then imported the Ancestry ICW file.

    But Ancestry does not include any segment information. So I realized that what I need to do before going any further in GMP is to make sure that I have the results for all my matches from GEDmatch. (I could also do 23andMe, but 23andMe just does not provide good genealogical DNA matching, so that I decided that for now I will skip it and rely on those 23andMe people who have uploaded to GEDmatch.)

    The GEDmatch 1a Tier 1 "Matching Segment Search" went smoothly. But in the 1b "One to Many", I forgot the caveat about not using other windows, and once again I wound up with an aborted import. So once again, I started it and walked away from the computer for an extended period.

    GEDmatch import 1a finished fine. GEDmatch 2a "Chomosome Browser data from the GedMatch Tier 1 Matching Segment Search function" has the exact same instructions fo the import step as GEDmatch 1a. So I am importing that I imported in 1a. I do not understand why this is how it is done, and there is no explanation in the GMP user manual. But 2a is now done, so that it is on to 2b "Chromosome Browser data ... on the GedMatch One-to-Many page".

    2b went fine. 3 is one-to-one match comparison results. I am going to assume that this is only useful on an as-needed basis and skip the step. GEDmatch 4 is Triangulation, and I waited patiently for it to run in GEDmatch (took most if not all of the estimated 45 minutes), and then copy and pasted it into GMP. And every one of them came back with Kit 1 not found. Checking the Facebook page, I see that others have had the problem and the solution is to use the Chrome browser for the copy. So here we go again, this time in Chrome. And it works in Chrome. So Day 9 comes to an end with all my data (except those who are only on 23andMe) imported. Most of the lines in the Chromosome page are shaded yellow and some blue. On Day 10, I will find out the significance of this -- and what to do next.

    There will not be a Day 10. I have decided that I have sufficiently mastered the basics of reaching a critical mass of successfully loading DNA data and GEDCOM data and starting to work with a particular segment. So I am going to create a list of key lessons learned at the top of this page. And I will only update this page if I run into something else in Genome Mate Pro that deserves inclusion here.

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