Sunday, January 13, 2019

Using to Create DNA Match AutoClusters - Part I: Getting The Clusters

One of the latest autosomal DNA match analysis tools is the AutoCluster at  Several genetic genealogists have already written about it, so I'm late to the testing party, but for those who have not heard of it, or tried it yet, I want to share it with my readers.

I registered with and tried to perform an AutoCluster with my AncestryDNA DNA match results in early December.  It failed for many users for some reason, but by the end of December it was working for AncestryDNA so I tried again, and had success.  I will share my AncestryDNA AutoCluster results in another post.

I have also tested or uploaded my autosomal DNA on 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, LivingDNA and MyHeritage.  At this time, GeneticAffairs can work with AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe DNA test results.

1)  Here is the Genetic Affairs home page before signing in:

The home page says:

"Genetic Affairs automates the retrieval of new genetic matches for 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and AncestryDNA and presents all updates in a single email."

The process to automate the retrieval of your genetic matches is pretty simple as shown on the screen above -- Register with the site, Add website (your credentials - username and password - for your profile on the DNA site, Select the profiles you want to show in an Autocluster, and Receive results in mail.  

2)  After registering and/or signing in, I went to the Websites page.  In the screen below, it shows I have already added AncestryDNA to my list of DNA websites.

I want to add 23andMe as a new website.

3)  After clicking on the blue "Add New Website" link on the screen above, I was offered the choice of the three DNA testing sites available:

4)  I chose the  "Add 23andMe Account" button on the screen above, and then added my username and password for my 23andMe account:

5)  After clicking the blue "Add New Website" button on the screen above, I got an on-screen  message:

They are double checking to make sure I want to add the site.  I do, so I clicked on the "Yes, add Website" button:

It took just seconds to check my 23andMe credentials.  I clicked on the blue "Close" button on the screen above.

6)  The AutoScan settings appeared on the screen, 

The default settings are on the screen above, and the user can change them.  As the screen above notes, these settings are meant for regular updates and not used by AutoCluster.  I didn't change them here.

7)  I clicked on the small blue "AutoCluster" button on the screen above, and saw: 

Here is the screen to actually perform the AutoCluster analysis for my 23andMe DNA matches.  I edited the AutoCluster settings in "Approach A" to be a maximum of 250 cM and a minimum of 25 cM.  There are other approaches if a user wants to use them.  I've used the cM range to date.

I clicked on the blue "Perform Analysis" button on the screen above and saw:

Again, they want to make sure that the user is aware of what's about to happen.  The message above says:

"Would you like to perform a AutoCluster analysis using Approach A based on cM thresholds for profile?  The cost of this analysis is 25 credits."

It costs?  Yes, but the user gets the first 200 credits for free.  See their "Prices" page at

8)  I decided to do it, and clicked on the blue "Yes, perform AutoCluster analysis" button.

In seconds, the message above appeared on the screen.  I expect to find an email in my system within 30 minutes.  Sure enough, it appeared within 5 minutes.

All of the above, from log in to finish, took less than five minutes.

I will report on the 23andMe results in a separate post.

9)  My tentative plan is to not get an AutoCluster every month, but perhaps every 6 months on the sites that produce a lot of new matches.  


Disclosure:  I have no material connection to Genetic Affairs and am "just a user" of their service.

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Barbara Ware said...

I've only just skimmed over GeneticAffairs website. Do I understand that to use this tool, you give the GeneticAffairs access to your username and password to Ancestry, 23andMe, and/or FamilyTreeDNA.

Randy Seaver said...

Yes, Barbara, you do. They go in and capture all of your DNA matches that are within the bounds you set. You have to choose to do that. There's a tradeoff - if you really want to know what the clusters of your DNA matches are - like here are the Seavers, here are the richmonds, here are the Carringers, and so forth - then you trust them to do it right.

They don't get your actual DNA - only the fact that you match to all of your matches. You've already been identified to your matches - you show up on their match list also.

You can always go back into Ancestry, 23andMe and FTDNA and change your password if it bothers you. Or use Genetic Affairs only once in awhile. I've decided to not do it every month because there are not that many new matches in the range of 1st to 3rd cousins.