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How You Can Help

If you or someone you know is wanting to help assist in the identification of unknown decedents or perpetrators of violent crime, your DNA testing can help investigative genetic genealogists make that identification. From there, that identification gets passed along to Law Enforcement as a “tip”. For individuals who have already taken a mail-order DNA kit through AncestryDNA, 23andMe, or any of the other websites, you can download your raw DNA file and upload it to GEDmatch and “opt-in” for law enforcement matching.

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Downloading your AncestryDNA Data File


Place your cursor over the “DNA” option on the black ribbon of the Ancestry home page and click “Your DNA Results Summary.”



From your DNA Summary page, click the “settings” button in the top right corner.



From the settings page, scroll down to “Test Management”. You will find an “Actions” section which gives you the option to download your DNA data. You will be requested to enter your Ancestry password, and a DNA Link will be sent to the email address you have attached to your account. We recommend saving your DNA data file to your desktop for easy access. 

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Downloading your 23andMe DNA Data File


After signing into your 23andMe account, select the drop-down menu to the right of your username in the top right corner. After the menu drops down, select “Browse Raw Data.”



Select the “Download” page from the ribbon. 



Scroll down to the “Request your data download” section of the “download” page, and agree to the terms and conditions, and select “submit.” You will receive an email with a download link to obtain your DNA file. We recommend saving your DNA file to your desktop for easy access.

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Uploading Your DNA Data File to GEDmatch 


Create a free account at 


After creating your account, navigate to the “Upload DNA” option in the homepage ribbon. A prompt will appear asking you if you need help. 



You will fill out the appropriate questions and agree to the terms and conditions. From there, you will browse for your DNA data file and select “upload”. It takes up to 24 hours to receive your full results. You will be given a number that is unique to your DNA kit. 


"Opt-in," "Opt-out," "Research," and "Private" are the four types of privacy settings you can select when uploading your kit. By choosing the "Opt-In" option, you are helping us and others identify deceased individuals and perpetrators of violent crime. These settings can be adjusted at any time. To ensure you are properly opted in, you should see the Police Icon below.


Thank you.

Your DNA file will now populate if you are a DNA match to any Law Enforcement kits. Your opting in is truly appreciated by investigative genetic genealogists, law enforcement departments utilizing these techniques, and even more appreciated by the families who receive closure from learning the truth about what became of their loved ones. 

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