Friday, May 16, 2014

Getting Started with Genome Mate using FTDNA Data

Genome Mate is a desktop tool used to organize in one place the data collected while researching DNA comparisons.  Besides data storage it has many features to aid in identifying common ancestors.  It can be downloaded at

The following guide was originally put together by George Cunningham and published with his permission.  It has been edited to reflect changes in the application.

FTDNA Getting Started Guide

There are four steps required to get all of the FTDNA data loaded into Genome Mate.  At no time does the app ask for your raw data file.  Instead, it asks for files that have already been processed by FTDNA and can be downloaded from there.

Step 1:  Create a Profile

  • First create a profile in Genome Mate for each kit that you manage
    • Profiles > Add new profile
  • Put in a name, any name will do, but
    • You are a good choice for the profile person.  
    • If your going to use data from 23andMe for the profile person, the profile name MUST match the 23andMe name.
  • Load a gedcom file for each profile if you have one.  If not just continue.
    • The gedcom file can be all of your relatives and more
    • Genome Mate will ask you for the name to associate with the profile person, and will strip out all but the profile person's direct ancestors.
    • The gedcom file format must be 5.5 in UTF8 format

Step 2:  FTDNA DNA Segment Data Load

Import Data Page
This data is the actual DNA segments shared with relatives.  It is downloaded directly from the FTDNA Chromosome Browser.
  • In Genome Mate > Import Data > Select Data Source FTDNA > FTDNA Family Finder Chromosome Browser CSV file > Select Profile > Follow the directions
Optionally, this file along with two others can also be downloaded via DNAgedcom.  It is recommended that the Chrome browser be used as it seems to work best.
  • On DNAGedcom > Family Tree DNA >  Download Family Tree DNA Data > Enter Kit # > Enter Password > Get Data
  • Wait for DNAGedcom to finish processing
  • Find zipped file in your download folder and extract file 
  • In Genome Mate > Import Data > Select Data Source FTDNA> Load Family Finder Chromosome Browser CSV file > Select Profile > Import Data from CSV File > Select file named {kit}_ChromosomeBrowser.csv

Step 3:  FTDNA Relative Email and Surname Load

This loads the Relative surname and email addresses into the Genome Mate Relative Details record.  It is download directly from FTDNA Family Finder Matches.
  • In Genome Mate > Import Data > Select Data Source > Load Family Finder Matches CSV file > Follow the directions
FTDNA Family Finder Matches is one of the files downloaded from DNAGedcom in Step 2. 
  • In Genome Mate > Import Data > Select Data Source FTDNA > Load Family Finder Matches CSV file > Import Data from CSV File > Select file named {kit}_Family_Finder_Matches.csv

Step 4:  Load FTDNA ICW Data

In common with (ICW) data can only be downloaded from DNAGedcom and is one of the files downloaded in Step 2.
  • In Genome Mate > Import Data > Select Data Source > Load ICW CSV file from DNAGedcom> Import Data from CSV File > Select file named {kit}_ICW.csv

Hints and Tips

  • There are two small arrows going in a circle to the left of your profile name. 
  • Left click to show overlapping segments.  Escape to return to the original screen.
  • Right click to bring up an overlapping segment dialog
  • Choose a Relative Name in the list of matches. 
  1. Choose a relative who matches you on more than one chromosome.
  2. Right click on it to show all matches
  3. Escape to return to the original screen.
  • Some Relatives will have a small symbol (Mark ICW segments) to the left of their name.   Hover (do not click) your mouse over the symbol. 
  • A series of colored bars will show you the relatives who are in common with the one you are hovering over.  

  • These people are related but not necessarily on the currently selected segment. 
  • Some ICW group symbols are in orange. 
  • The orange color means that the segment crosses a centromere, so the meaningful length is much shorter than the displayed length.   
  • If you hover over the symbol, it will show the length of the centromere. 

Backups & Restores 

The words of wisdom on creating backup files cannot be overemphasized.   Experimentation is encouraged, but make sure you have a safe harbor.


Genome Mate's continued development, support and enhancements on the internet are funded by your donations.  If you use the application, please consider making a donation through Paypal.

Copyright © Beckins LLC 2013-2014


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Step 2 for DNAGedcom - DNAGedcom asks what minimum cM before it will process. There is no guidance from above of what to put in there

  3. I can't even figure out how to make a profile or sign in? WTH???

  4. When I try to import the csv file from the chromosome browser it gives me an error. What do I do?

  5. Please direct inquiries to