Sunday, February 05, 2017

Google Sheets for Collaborating and Visual Presentation of DNA Matches

When I am working with an adoptee or with any researcher to help them "see" their DNA matches and to get a handle on the amounts each one matches, possible relationships and groupings,  I've found that the Office Documents at Google are great.  I use the Spreadsheet for DNA matches.This is really just an adaptation of the technique I use when working with the information from my AncestryDNA Circles which I blogged about in my post from August 2016.  (Click below to get a better look--I have edited out the usernames and GEDmatch numbers to protect the privacy of those in the spreadsheet shown below )

I keep a template of this sheet and just make a copy when I need one to work with for another researcher.  You can adapt this to fit your needs but this is what works for me and seems to be the easiest to understand.  If you are working on your own matches you can start making the sheet...if not you will need to get the person to send you a share link to the DNA account with which you will be working.  If they don't know how to do that I have a blog post that I wrote about Sending a Share link to AncestryDNA test results.  Feel free to share that link with them if they need instructions on how to do that.  Also if they aren't at GEDmatch you might also want to refer them to the Upload to GEDmatch post.

1st Column =  Ancestry Matches User Name(or any username if you are adding those from another site)
2nd Column =  cM amount/  # of segments
3rd Column = Possible relationships--keeps you from having to constantly check chart)
There are many charts but I consult the ones at the shared cM project page.
4th Column = GEDmatch numbers--helps you to see who is already at GEDmatch and who it would benefit you the most to ask if they will consider uploading.
5th Column = Notes section--I put common surnames and notes on any patterns I see emerging in this section.
6th Column = ICW/Shared --you can use this section to color code groupings with the fill color feature if you want.  If you know the grandparent you could put PGF MGM etc. here.  You may not need this if you choose to color the entire rows for the groups.  I just have an alternating color applied here so I can read across the row without losing my place.  But coloring the entire row will work if you can to use a different color for each group of shared or ICW matches.

Once your spreadsheet is formatted to your liking, visit the DNA Insight page of the test you will be working with and click on See All Matches From the main match consult each match's page and click on the "i" to collect the amount of shared cMs for each matches you want to catalog.  Typically I only do this with an adoptee's matches that are 50+ cMs.  Also look at the shared matches and start filling in info if you notice any patterns of surnames.  Go ahead do this now while you are at their page.

Once you have the spreadsheet set up click on the SHARE button in the upper right and enter the email(s) of anyone who is going to be helping or observing and set their permissions.  They may view, comment or edit.

If you find this helpful, please share.  Also if you have ideas or comments I'd love to hear those as well.

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