Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Genome Mate: Match Details Page

The Match Details page is the main page to use for documenting what is known about about a particular DNA match. It is opened when a DNA segment on the main page is selected.

Match Details Page
Before explaining this page in detail, let's take a moment to talk about how Genome Mate stores information. There are two types of records kept.

  1. Relative record - retains data about a relative such as surnames, email, family tree link, etc.
  2. Match record - retains data about an individual DNA segment match between the profile person and a relative
Ideally, there should be one Relative record and multiple Match records, one for each segment on which the profile person and the relative are related.  In practice, there may be multiple Relative records because of different key values from the testing companies but these may be merged into one record on the Relative Details page.  The matches for each company cannot be merged but duplicates are easily identified on the main page as they are colored according to source.

The Match Detail pages is for a single DNA segment match between the profile person and the relative. At the top of the page will be the relative's name, segment data and the source (23andMe, FTDNA, etc) of the match.  Starting left to right:

Column 1:
  • Relative - Name to be displayed for the Relative
  • Contact Name - free field to enter name of relative's contact
  • Phone - free field to enter contact's phone number
  • Relative Note - Note to be displayed with relative information
  • Family Tree - URL of relative's family tree with clickable link to open it in a browser window (for Windows users only as it crashes on a Mac)
  • Email - Email address of the relative's contact with clickable link to open the default email client and format a form letter (for Windows users only as it crashes on a Mac)
  • Match Key - this is a read only value showing the key for the relative for this match source (23andMe, FTDNA, etc.).  Right click to copy key to clipboard.
  • Match Note - Note to be displayed with individual DNA segment
  • ICW Group - Anything can be entered into this field to group common DNA segments.  However, if known, it should start with M for maternal and P for paternal.  There are radio buttons for quick entry.
  • Research Comments - this is a free field for entry of information or correspondence with a relative.
Column 2:
  • Profile Overlaps or Triangulated Matches - If triangulated matches are available, they will be displayed in the top box and clicking on the circle icon next to the title will toggle the profile overlaps display. Otherwise, only profile overlaps will be displayed.  Right click on box to copy to clipboard.
  • Enter Surnames - The surnames of the relative's ancestors should be entered here separated by a comma.  They will be stored in the Relative's record.
  • Surnames in Common - This is a list of the surnames found in common with the Profile person's ancestors from loading their gedcom in Profiles taking the ICW group into consideration.  Right click to copy to clipboard.
Column 3:
  • Connection Information - When a common ancestor is found between the Profile person and the relative and confirmed through triangulation on the current segment, the MRCAs can be selected here from the Profile person's list of ancestors.
  • Possible Connections - This is a list of the profile person's ancestors associated with the Surnames in Common.
  • Gedcom Compare - This opens a page to compare the Profile's ancestors to those of a gedcom from the Relative.
  • Connections Details - This is a read only box.  Hovering over a name in Possible Connections will display more detail about that person.  Clicking on the All Details button will display more information about all the names in Possible Connections. Right click to copy to clipboard.
  • Segments Overlapping - This is a read only list of relatives on the same side of the family who also have a match on the same segment of at least the minimum segment length (set in Options).  It shows common surnames between these relatives.
Bottom Buttons:
  • View Relative - Opens the Relative Details page
  • Add ICW - Alternative way to collect ICW data for 23andMe and GedMatch
  • Delete ICW - Allows deletion of ICW data for the Relative
  • Delete Segment - Delete's the current match record open
  • Delete Matches - Deletes all of the Relative's match records and their relative record.
  • Update Segment - Global update feature to set all matches for a relative to the opened match record values.  Back up your data before using this.  It will update and close the page.
  • Hide Match - Indicates whether to display this match record on the main page
  • Save or OK - Saves changes and closes page
  • Cancel - Closes page without saving


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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Genome Mate Overview

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.  See Genome Mate Home Page for details on installation.

The purpose of this overview is to link together the documentation for each function and update it as individual pieces are available.

Main Page

Main Page with Graph Option

The main page of the application is made up of four sections:

  1. Chromosome Map
  2. Navigation Bar
  3. Filter Bar
  4. DNA Segment Graph or Table

Chromosome Map

At the top of the main page is a plot of identified common ancestors for the selected profile and chromosome.  It is generated automatically when a DNA segment has been identified as maternal or paternal AND the common ancestors between the profile person and their relative have been selected.  See blog on Chromosome Map Segments for detailed information.
  • Left click on a segment to display overlapping DNA segments
  • Right click on a segment to open Segment Details page

Navigation Bar

The navigation bar is used to access various functions and reports within Genome Mate. Starting left to right:
  1. Database:  To set up new or change between existing databases
  2. Profiles:   To set up new or change profile data including the loading of a gedcom
  3. Surnames:  List of profile's surnames with option to add alternative spellings
  4. Ancestors:  List of profile's ancestors as loaded from gedcom
  5. X List:  List of profile's X chromosome donors as loaded from gedcom
  6. Relatives:  List of Relative records imported with access to a Relative's Details page
  7. Segments:  Graph or Table of all 23 chromosomes with access to Segment Details
  8. Import Data:  Functions for importing data from 23andMe, FTDNA and GedMatch
  9. Backup:  Backs up the current database to a selected file location
  10. Restore:  Restores database from a selected backup file
  11. Options:  Set application defaults, export data and compare gedcoms
  12. Support:  Frequently asked questions and support email address
  13. Donate:  Paypal donations for application development and support on the internet

Filter Bar

The filter bar is used to determine which DNA Segments are displayed in the graph or table. From left to right:
  1. Profile Name:  Selects whose profile data to display
  2. Chromosome:  Selects what chromosome data to display for the selected profile
  3. Search:  Searches relative names and match keys 
  4. Surname:  Searches relative surnames
  5. Maternal:  Displays DNA segments with 'M' as first letter in ICW group
  6. Paternal:  Displays DNA segments with 'P' as first letter in ICW group
  7. Both:  Displays both Maternal and Paternal segments
  8. Hidden:  Toggles if should display DNA segments that have been marked as hidden or that do not meet the display settings in Options.
  9. Source:  Toggles whether what source (23andMe, FTDNA, GedMatch, CoA) of DNA segments to display.
  10. Graph:  Toggles whether to display the graph or table.

DNA Segment Graph or Table

In this section, DNA segments are displayed based on the filter options selected.  On the graph these are the options available:
Match Details Page:  Click on one of the DNA segments to access Match Details
Reset Filter:  Press ESC key to reset filters
 Individual DNA Segment Line Options:  
Overlapping Icon:  Left click to show just segments whose start and end points overlap this one or right click to show overlapping segments page.
Profile:  Name of the profile person for the DNA segment
  ICW Icon:  Hover mouse over this icon to see what overlapping segments have relatives in common with this one.  Left click on icon to set an ICW group value for all of the ICWs on the overlapping segments.  Right click to use this match's ICW to set the value for all of the ICW's on the overlapping segments.
ICW:   This is the ICW group value that can be assigned on the Match Details page or by using one of the ICW Icon options listed above.  The ICW group must start with M for maternal or P for paternal, if known.
Chr:  Chromosome number
Start:  Start point of DNA segment between profile person and relative
End:  End point of DNA segment between profile person and relative
cMs:  DNA segment centimorgans 
Plot:  The segment plotted on the chromosome using start and end points

 Additional Resources


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

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Genome Mate: Profiles Option

In Genome Mate, data is presented from the perspective of the profile person or the person who submitted the DNA sample.  For example, in my family, I manage kits for my siblings, a maternal uncle and a paternal cousin, each of whom has a profile in the application.  The very first time, Genome Mate is opened it will require that a profile be created before continuing (Enter Profile Name > Add > Close).

Profiles Option

Profile Name

The profile name is a key field in the individual DNA segment matches between the profile person and their relatives.  If 23andMe is one of the sources for DNA segment data then it is important to enter the profile name exactly as it is on that person's 23andMe profile or change the 23andMe profile name to match before importing data.  Do not use special characters!

To change the profile name, type in a new name then Close.  All of the associated match data will be modified to reflect the new name.

GedMatch Kit

If there is also a GedMatch Kit for this profile, enter the kit #.  This is the key field required to import GedMatch data.

Load Gedcom File

While loading a gedcom file is optional, it is required for the Surnames, Ancestors, and X List options as well as to provide surname comparisons in the Match Details page.

Only gedcom file format version 5.5 with UTF8 characters is supported.  If your software doesn't support this format, try reformatting it with the free RootsMagic Essentials app then importing it.

Some common issues with the gedcom import are having multiple ancestors linked to the same person or trying to use a format other than 5.5 such as 5.5.1.  It doesn't hurt to try a different format but the app may not process it correctly.

When new family tree data becomes available, just load the new gedcom and it will replace the old data in the application.

To load a gedcom:
Profiles > Select Profile Name > Load Gedcom File > Select gedcom file > Select the person in the gedcom who is the profile person > Yes > Close
Note that the profile person must be in the gedcom.  The application strips out the direct ancestors of the profile person along with their birth, marriage, death and residence events and uses this information to populate the surname, ancestor and X donor lists.


To delete a profile, select the profile name and a Delete button will be displayed.  Pressing the Delete button will provide an option of also deleting the profile's DNA match data.
Yes:  Deletes profile and all segment matches
No:  Deletes just the profile and leaves the segment matches so they can be display in Profile Overlaps on the Match Details screen.  However, since there is no longer a profile defined, new match data for the old profile person will not be added.  (This is an obsolete feature.)


Close will check to see if the app has at least one profile or if the displayed profile name has been changed then close the dialog.  Note that profile names are displayed on the first drop down list on the main page and DNA segment data is displayed for the profile selected.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Genome Mate: Database Option

Genome Mate initially creates a database in Silverlight isolated storage but should there be a need for multiple databases or placing the data on a different drive, a separate file can be designated by selecting Database on the main page.

Database Option

Create New Database

This will create an empty database but data in your Silverlight database will be retained.
Database > Create New Database > Enter Database Name > Select location and filename for database > Save > Enter a profile name > Add > Close
The new database is ready to use.

Change Databases

This will point the application to an existing database or even a backup file as the data format is the same. Data in the Silverlight database is retained.
Database > Change Databases > Select previously saved or backed up file 

Revert to Silverlight Database

This will point the application back to the Silverlight database.  Data in the file currently being worked will be retained.
Database > Revert to Silverlight Database


Remember that data is stored locally on your computer so use the Backup function to save your work on an external flash drive.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Genome Mate: Chromosome Map Segments

Chromosome Map Segments are a visual representation of the DNA segments that have been mapped to common ancestors.   It happens automatically when sufficient data has been added to Genome Mate.

 The Basics

This section will provide the information required to get the chromosome map at the top of the page to display.  It requires three sets of data:

  1. Family History File:  Profiles > Select Profile Name > Load Gedcom File > Select filename > Select the name of the profile person listed in the Gedcom > Yes
  2. Identify Segment Source:  Each chromosome is made up of one part paternal DNA and one part maternal DNA so the chromosome map segment must be identified as having come from your father or your mother.
  3. Identify Common Ancestors:   For the relatives on the DNA segment in question, identify common ancestors.
With these three pieces of information, the chromosome map segment can be created:
  • In Genome Mate > Click relative's match on the main page to open the match details page > Select ICW Group (M or P) > Select Confirmed Paternal > Select Confirmed Maternal > OK
Genome Mate will automatically create a temporary map segment for the match identified. If you change it, it will be automatically changed.  I use temporary segments to track a possible origin of a DNA segment when I find a common ancestor with one relative but have yet to triangulate it with another.

Some useful shortcuts:
On the chromosome map at the top of the page:
  • Left click on a segment to see all of the matches overlapping that segment
  • Right click to see what relative or relatives were the source of the segment and possible segment surnames

Working With Map Segments

The information contained in this section is entirely optional and not required for either the application or the chromosome map to work correctly.

Segment List:  On main page, Select Segments

The Segment List displays the paternal and maternal map segments that have been defined using the criteria discussed in the previous section. For each chromosome, the map segments are layered by the generational distance from the profile person.  In other words, a father's segments would be plotted first then overlayed with the grandfather or grandmother's segments and so on.  To see an individual layer, click on the generation's color in the lower right hand corner.

Export permanent map segment data by clicking on the CSV File button.

There are cases where manually adding a segment may be desirable.  For example, I have a very well defined section of DNA that is associated with my Native American heritage but zero matches on that section so I added a segment manually as a note to myself.  Using the Add Segment button will create a permanent segment in the generation specified.

Smaller map segments can also be filtered out by the Minimum Segment Overlap value set in Options.  Check the Hide Segments box to do so.

Right Click on Map Segment to View Description
Open a description of the Map Segment by right clicking on one of the segments on the map or optionally changing to a table view and selecting the segment.

The Segment Id is assigned automatically using either M for maternal or P for paternal plus the chromosome and the segment start point.  Information on the segment, the relative or relatives whose match created the map segment and the surnames associated with the MRCA are listed. 

To make this a permanent segment, click Save.  Additional documentation will be retained if added to permanent segments.

There is also the option to Mark  or set the ICW group of all segments whose start and end points fall within the map segment's range to the Segment Id.  For a relative's match to be marked, it must be on the same side of the family as indicated by an M or P in the first position of its ICW group.  This is used to filter surnames on the Match Detail page.

Not shown is the Delete button that is available when a segment is permanent.  Use this to remove unwanted segments but be aware that a temporary segment may replace it, if the underlying data has not been corrected.