Best GEDmatch Calculator (Complete Guide)

Now that I’ve written a review of every admixture project on GEDmatch I can step back and consider the best GEDmatch calculator for specific ancestry.

I’ve split this article into regions, as different calculators suit different backgrounds. Bear in mind that you’ll get the best results with any calculator if you are predominantly of one heritage. And some are better than others at dealing with mixed ancestry.

Before we get into it, I’ll remind you that the GEDmatch calculators attempt to analyze your ancestry based on older eras of human history. They are not suitable for more recent ethnicity, which is better analyzed by tools like the ethnicity estimates from Ancestry.com and the MyHeritage genetic groups.

How To Use This Round Up

Scroll through the article or check the table of contents to find the section which matches your known heritage. Each section links to a more detailed review of the calculator I’ve picked as the best for that region.

My choices are based on GEDmatch users who described their results and their known heritage on several different genealogy and anthropology forums.

The detailed review has links to the specific forum threads. Unfortunately, some people just post their admixture results and don’t describe their heritage. However, if you trawl through a few pages, you will find plenty of posters who give their background. It can be very useful to see discussions about similar results to your own.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For Western And North Western Europe

These are the regions I’m talking about:

  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Switzerland

So here’s the bad news. If your heritage is predominantly western or northwest European, then most of the calculators aren’t for you! There’s a simple reason for this: the motivations of the project creators.

Broadening Admixture Research

The admixture projects started to appear on GEDmatch in 2011/12. At the time, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA were the biggest providers of tests. A high percentage of customers were Americans of Western European ancestry.

The project creators were reacting to the fact that back in the early days of consumer DNA testing, the emphasis was squarely on Western European heritage.

There were also a growing number of academic genome studies that were based out of the United States. The project creators felt that there was too much focus on Western Europe, and other regions of the world were somewhat overlooked.

This makes all kinds of sense when you know the backgrounds of each creator. Dienekes of Dodecad has Greek ancestry, while Davidski of Eurogenes is of Polish background. Vadim of MDLP is Estonian. Zack of HarappaWorld and Dilawer of GedrosiaDNA have Asian heritage. And you can surely guess the origins of Etyopis of Ethiohelix!

Are Any Calculators Good For Western Europe?

Having said that, there are a few calculators that may be good for you.

In general, the Eurogenes project leans toward the east, but other Europeans report good results with these calculators:

The links above are to in-depth reviews of each calculator. I include further links to forums where people discuss their results.

In terms of my own experience, half my heritage is Irish. I’ve seen a few Irish testers sing the praises of PuntDNAL K13 Global, but it’s only okay-ish for me.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For Southern European

By Southern Europe, I’m referring to:

  • Portugal
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Spain

MDLP K23b gets good reports from people with southern European heritage.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For East European

The MDLP World-22 calculator should do well for these ancestries:

  • Armenian
  • Belarusian
  • Bulgarian
  • Eastern Polish
  • Latvians from Latgale
  • Lithuanian
  • Mordovian
  • Romanian
  • Russians
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Uzbek

You may also get good results from Eurogenes K13 and Eurogenes K15.

The links will take you to our detailed reviews of each calculator. Our reviews also have links to forum threads where people post their results, which may be similar to yours.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For West Asian Heritage

By West Asia, I’m referring to these territories (and there’s a few more):

CyprusTurkeyAfghanistan
ArmeniaAzerbaijanGeorgia
BahrainIranIraq
IsraelJordanLebanon
OmanQatarSaudi Arabia
SyriaYemen 

People report good results with Gedrosia K12 and Dodecad V3.

I’ll point out that the Dodecad project is the oldest on GEDmatch, and is considered to be the most outdated.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For South Asian Heritage

By South Asia, I’m referring to these territories:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

The HarappaWorld calculator was created to focus on Southern Asian heritage.

The PuntDNAL project is more recent. Its K13 Global calculator may give you good results.

Some people are happy with the MDLP World-22 calculator.

And you should read the section of our MDLP article on MDLP K23b. We have a link to a forum thread where there is some lengthy analysis by a commentator about the results and his South Asian heritage.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For East Asian Heritage

By East Asian, I’m referring to these regions:

  • China
  • Japan
  • Mongolia
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

You are going to have the same challenges as faced by people of African descent. There just weren’t enough DNA samples available when these projects were created.

However, some people report good results with Eurogenes K15.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For Indian Heritage

HarappaWorld is generally considered to be the best calculator for the many varieties of Indian heritage.

Best GEDmatch Calculator For African Heritage

The EthioHelix project creator is of Ethiopian heritage. I had a particular interest in this project, as half my ancestry is African.

The EthioHelix K10 calculator is for people solely of African ancestry. If you have other heritage, it will likely be lumped into the North African population.

EthioHelix also has calculators for a combined heritage of African and a “plus one”. You can pick from a choice of + France, + Japanese, and + Palestinian. I’ve got a breakdown at this link of the differences between each of these mixed calculators.

The K10 + French should be the most suitable for me. I found that the results were reasonable.

I also found that the PuntDNAL K8 African calculator had a good admixture breakdown for my African heritage. However, the Oracle results were poor.

You can also check out the MDLP K23b calculator, which has six African populations amongst the reference samples. The Dodecad Africa9 calculator was the first one aimed to explore African ancestry.

I’ll mention here that the Dodecad project creator warned that it was most suitable for people of solely African heritage. For people of mixed heritage, it would only work if the non-African ancestry was “West Eurasian”. Don’t worry, I explain that further in my detailed review.

More Articles And Tutorials

We have a range of articles about using GEDmatch. You can get a list on our GEDmatch category page.

If you want to be notified of future articles, we have a round-up in our monthly newsletter.

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2 thoughts on “Best GEDmatch Calculator (Complete Guide)”

  1. Thanks for the overview Margaret, I was hoping for something like that.
    Question, what if you are researching a person for which you don’t know the ancestry of a specific tested person, for instance a LE kit or Jane Doe person. In that case, only the tools on FTDNA/GEDmatch are available. I guess using the FTDNA myOrigins is then the best tool to get a general feel about the ancestry of that kit?

    Reply
    • I agree about leaning toward FTDNA. I can say that it’s got the European part of my heritage spot on at the country level, but the non-European side is only valid to the level of continent.
      If you get a mix of European countries with varying percentages, treat these as broad guesstimates.

      Reply

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