Now is the Time to Transfer Your Y-DNA and Autosomal DNA Information

On Thursday, Ancestry.com™ announced that the company will no longer sell Y-DNA and mtDNA tests. Even worse, the results from past Y-DNA and mtDNA tests will no longer be available after September 5, 2014. Ancestry.com apparently will erase all of its customers’ Y-DNA and mtDNA test results. Anyone who has Y-DNA data stored on Ancestry.com probably will want to transfer that data to a different matching service, preferably well before September 5.

Family Tree DNA sent an email message to all Group Administrators to remind them what Family Tree DNA offers. I would also suggest non-Administrators will also want to move their own data. Information and pricing may be found at https://www.familytreedna.com/landing/ydna-transfer.aspx.

29 Comments

I wonder if this has to do with the FDA and their ongoing spat with 23 & Me? Maybe Ancestry is aware of upcoming issues with American based DNA testing companies and is proactively deleting their records to avoid trouble?

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    No, the “spat” with 23andMe is regarding their misrepresentation of their atDNA test as a medical test and using an accredited medical laboratory to perform it, put that large testing facility’s licensure into jeopardy. Ancestr avoids medical inference and uses their own laboratory, specific to DNA testing.

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The title of your post suggests transferring autosomal results but you don’t say why. It seems that Ancestry is getting rid of the Y and mt tests to focus on the autosomal test. Or have you heard otherwise?

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    Yes. Read the announcement from Family Tree DNA for details. I don’t have it in front of me at the moment but it says something similar to “…and Ancestry.com’s future plans for autosomal DNA are not clear.” I agree. If Ancestry.com is willing to cut back extensively and abruptly walk away from many of its services, I have no confidence in their future commitments to DNA. In contrast, companies such as 23andMe and Family Tree DNA are solely DNA services and obviously are committed to those business plans. They also might change their offerings in the future but it is hard to imagine they would ever drop out of the DNA business entirely.

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    I don’t think we need to be in a state of wondering about Ancestry’s commitment to atDNA testing; they did, after all purchase SMGF’s DNA related facilities and database (GeneTree). If any of the three major companies chooses to bail out, I’d choose 23andMe since their testing is currently contracted out to an accredited medical lab, LabCorps, and performing ANY unapproved medical test puts LabCorp’s accreditation in jeopardy. And, beyond the building of a presumptive medical DNA database, 23andMe isn’t interested in genetic genealogy.

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    I don’t think it is prudent to rely on questionable information from an Ancestry DNA competitor to speculate in the future of Ancestry’s autosomal DNA testing.

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I’m not impressed with this decision by Ancestry. It seems to be for purely commercial reasons because they’re continuing with the autosomal DNA testing. I had Y-DNA testing done by Ancestry a few years ago but following this decision I’ve now had to download the results to a CSV file. However, I think to upload the results to another company’s database I’m going to have to pay another fee.

And how much confidence can we have that Ancestry will still be supporting autosomal testing in a few years’ time? These results are far harder (perhaps impossible?) to transfer than Y- or mt-results. If they’re going to do DNA testing they need to commit to the long term.

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At least we can still receive DNA kits from FamilyTreeDNA in Canada, AncestryDNA does not ship to Canada and possibly other countries. The old Ancestry yDNA site did allow you to register and post your different markers on their site which was useful in searching for possible matches. Now it seems FamilyTreeDNA is the main lab for testing and comparing on sits like ysearch and mitosearch.

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I’ve only been doing family research for about 3 years but had my DNA (plus my elderly Mother, my son and my Father’s only surviving sibling) done by Ancestry. What are these other DNA tests, and do I need to do them as well?

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    I would have ALL tested by FTDNA. That way you not only have the more accurate results but also samples to use for other tests as they may become available. You can easily transfer any of the Ancestry results to FTDNA, for a small fee, but especially for your mother and your father’s sibling, even getting the $50 basic Y-DNA or mtDNA would give you a sample that will be kept for future use.

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I submitted yesterday for their MyFamily download. Got back the email today and tapped the download button, which took me to MyFamily, had to log in, and NO link found, only the button to again request a download link. Hope they do a better job with the DNA results.

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I don’t think the FDA challenges are the reason, or at least not the only reason. They announced they are discontinuing or dropping a total of 5 services at this time. I think its the new owners streamlining and dumping what they think are loss leaders , or have lost numerical following enough to keep up their profit targets. There have been a lot of grumblings about the Ancestry DNA results , and if Ancestry decided they don’t want to expend the funds to develop and continue to improve that particular service ( surely they have to contract with laboratories somewhere), I think they are shedding everything they see as extraneous. My question is about those of us who purchased Ancestry DNA kits in the recent round-the-country visits their representative made. Can we still submit them for analysis between now and the cut off date? And my suspicious mind is tickling- did they know this closure was coming and sent the reps round the country to sell off the kits to save some of their investment before it was too late. That might explain why they were so insistent that we register our kits as quickly as possible. Hmmmm.

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    You’re right about the FDA challenges. That was directed at 23andme because of the medical info they were providing. It doesn’t affect Ancestry or FTDNA.
    You’re wrong, however about recent sales. The Y and mt tests (the ONLY ones being discontinued) haven’t been sold for months (maybe a year or more?). They’ve been planning this for a while. The autosomal test isn’t going anywhere. Hopefully, after trimming the fat, Ancestry will focus on giving users better tools to help organize and analyze our matches.

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I would also be very interested in finding an alternative to MyFamily.com. I need a site that is user friendly and a place to post/store family photos and information, preferably accessed by invitation (password) only. I will check out Spokt.com as recommended by another poster, but would welcome other suggestions too.

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No, the spat between 23andMe and the FDA is about using their atDNA test as a medical test when it is not approved for that use, and having the test run by a large, accredited medical lab, putting that lab’s licensure at risk.
I think Ancestry’s decision is based on the waning popularity of their Y and mt tests and an increasing focus on autosomal testing. Their Y test never had the advantage of participation in surname groups or large scale matching that FTDNA’s has, hopefully participants will transfer their tests to FTDNA. I’m nowhere near as concerned about Ancestry removing these tests from their test menu as I am about their deleting all results from past testing. My opinion, but that seems cheap or petty.

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I donated DNA to Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation some time ago. At one point they too where telling those who had records in their database to take the information (and run ? ). It seems there is a need to keep your own DNA information yourself. The large players are not interested in holding it for you.

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Confused! I thought my Y-DNA test results were already with FamilyTree but I thought I ordered the tests via Ancestry. I also did the autosomal test and Ancestry seems to indicate they are keeping that data.

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Is there any explanation for this? Aren’t they in effect charging their customers, who have already paid the freight, to move their data to somewhere it remains safe?

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Informational – National Geographic genome project DNA results can also be shared with Family Tree DNA.

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What about mt-DNA transfers?

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I, too, don’t know why they would delete any results they already have on their site. It doesn’t seem that it would cost them much to leave them there for access to those who paid for them. 23 & Me has left online the medical info for anyone who had it done before the FDA ruling. Having paid for those results, they should leave them. Ancestry is breaking their contract with those who paid for the tests they are discontinuing. On the other hand, I think it’s nice they are letting you have your results in a download which I don’t think was available before. I specifically asked for that when I had my test done which was the newer tests and they said you can’t get your own results other than what they post on the site. I wasn’t able to download my results yesterday but I may just have gotten the autosomal. 23 & Me is cooperating with the FDA to form some standards. They do medical research as well as the DNA kits, so what they did was not as terrible as the FDA tried to claim.

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Can you “transfer” your Autosomal DNA results to and stil keep results with Ancestry?

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    Absolutely. You transfer to FTDNA and/or GedMatch and actually get useful matching tools instead of possible matches on questionable trees. I transferred my data and still have Ancestry DNA but rarely bother to access it unless a match is also on FTDNA or GedMatch

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I would suggest Ancestry needs to go on a course on customer relations, both inside and outside of the USA. It would not cost them that much to retain these DNA results on file for a year or two, so we have more time to contact the customers who have tested at Ancestry, get their results transferred across to FTDNA. And then we have to convince them to spend more money and get a new DNA sample so that they can be more useful in the FTDNA database. I know we are talking about 12 affected individuals in one of my surname projects.

Also Ancestry does not sell its autosomal products outside of the USA. In my mind it suggests they recognise the European family history community would laugh at the imprecision in their clustering technology based on autosomal DNA segments. In Europe Ancestry DNA is conspicuous by its absence. What it does have is a nice DNA button on its main search screen that the gullible press.

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Our DNA genealogist says you can currently transfer your information from AncestryDNA to FTDNA for only $19. Well worth it so you can continue to be notified of matches! Here’s more info on that: http://genealogistsblog.legacytree.com/2014/06/a-change-in-dna-test-offerings-by.html.

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I’m confused. As a female was I not getting only mtDNA and they aren’t transferring that? What do they transfer if I ask that it be sent to FTDNA and how do I ask for the results myself?

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Melinda Pennington June 23, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I just called ancestry.com and was told that I have a Autosomal DNA test with them. Ancestry.com said those tests will not be going away from ancestry.com aft Sep 5th so I can just leave there on their site at ancestry.com.

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