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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 other public testing websites, you can download your raw DNA file and upload it to GEDmatch and “opt in” for law enforcement matching.

Downloading your AncestryDNA Data File


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



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



From the settings page, scroll down to “Download or delete.” You will find an option to download your DNA data. On the next page, you will click the checkbox that you understand the risk of downloading your DNA Data and continue. You will be requested to verify your account by entering your current password or having a code sent via email.  A DNA Link will be sent to the email address you have attached to your account when your requested data is available for download. We recommend saving your DNA data file to your desktop for easy access. 


Downloading your 23andMe DNA Data File


After signing into your 23andMe account, select the drop-down menu to the right of your username/profile image in the top right corner. After the menu drops down, select “Resources.”



Select “Browse Data" under Browse Raw Genotyping Data. 



On the ribbon above "Your Raw Genotyping Data," select "Download."  You will be asked to verify your date of birth before proceeding.  Check the box at the bottom and click "Submit request."  You will receive an email within 48 hours once your DNA is ready to download. We recommend saving your DNA file to your desktop for easy access.


Uploading Your DNA Data File to GEDmatch 


Create a free account at 



You will browse for your DNA data file for upload. You will then complete all donor information.  Then, you will be asked what your affiliation is to the DNA data to be uploaded.  If you are uploading DNA data for someone other than yourself, ensure that you have the individual's consent prior to doing so.  



After creating your account, navigate to the “Upload DNA” option in the homepage ribbon. 



"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.  Finally, click upload.


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.  For additional ways to help, we also encourage you to visit FamilyTreeDNA and DNA Justice.

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