Downloading Ancestry’s Autosomal DNA Raw Data File

Well, the big day has finally arrived.  Ancestry has at last allowed us to download our raw data files.  To download yours, sign on to your Ancestry account and fly over the DNA tab.  You’ll see the selection, “Your DNA Home Page,”  Click on that.

ancestry download

Then click on “Manage Test Settings” to the right of the orange “View Results” box.  You’ll see the following screen.

ancestry download 1Click on “Get Started” in the right hand box under “Download your raw DNA data.”  You will then be prompted to enter your password to receive an e-mail to allow the download.

ancestry download 2

The e-mail will arrive, and you will need to click the link in the e-mail, shown below, to activate the download.

ancestry download 3

Clicking on the e-mail link “Confirm Data Download” takes you to the next step on Ancestry’s website, below.

ancestry download 4

Clicking on the green “Download DNA Raw Data” link shows the following:

ancestry download 5

Shortly, your browser will do whatever it does to ask you if you want to save or display the file.

ancestry download 6

I use Internet Explorer and download files are automatically saved in the “download” folder.  I renamed it and moved it to someplace where I can find it, hopefully.  The good news is that if I “lose” it on my computer, it’s easy to repeat this process.

Now, what can you do with this file today?  Not a lot.  You can compare raw data segments with others who might download their files too, but life will be a lot easier when tools like GedMatch can accept these files and do something with them.  There were also rumors last fall that Family Tree DNA would support uploads as well when Ancestry released these files, the same as they do with 23andMe raw data files.  Let’s hope so.

However, today will be the first day these organizations see the raw data too, so expect a bit of lag time before anyone can process or incorporate this information.  Of course, it goes without saying that we have to address issues pertaining to file layout and compatibility.

I’m hopeful that since Ancestry has the raw data files for everyone who has tested there, that they will do what the other two major players have done and create a chromosome browser where you can see who matches you on which segments and download that comparative information as well.  It’s not just the raw data we need, it’s the integrated tools to use it.  Hopefully we’re at the crawl before you walk stage and we’ll be walking soon!

28 thoughts on “Downloading Ancestry’s Autosomal DNA Raw Data File

  1. Wish we had an idea when gedmatch would be able to utilize the files for comparison to the ‘rest of us’. I know he’s a one man show though. But he seems to be keeping up better than some! ;)

  2. Hi, I recently had my Y-DNA12 test done at FTDNA and previously had my DNA testing done at Ancestry.com as well. I see now that Ancestry.com has released the raw data to it’s members. I had been comtemplating doing the 23andMe DNA test and then transfer those results to FTDNA. Do you think for now that I should wait and see if we are going to be able to transfer our raw data from Ancestry.com to FTDNA before I do any additional testing thru either company? thank you.

    • 23andMe is a much better company and a much better deal. They provide analysis tools that Ancestry doesn’t. Their ethnicity predictions are much better too. Given the choice of the two, I’d select 23andMe. Ideally though, I’ll fish in all 3 ponds.

  3. I just got my DNA results this afternoon and didn’t realize until later in the day that this raw data hadn’t been available before. Now I just have to figure out what I can do with this information. I also want to mention that I have a cousin who had a test from 23andMe which he gave me access to. They sure seem to have a lot more analysis available for their test results than Ancestry does.

  4. Well your worry has come true… the Ancestry.com DNA site is already down and completely shuts down the page when you click on DNA results page. … Someday !

  5. Pingback: Ancestry Needs Another Push – Chromosome Browser | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  6. Y-DNA influences phenotype more, because males can make more children. However, the autosomes that will spread will be of the father (most of times the fathers just have similar autosomes)

    Lots of companies make Autosomal results numerous to satisfy culturally emotional customers, in reality their 4 major autosomal poles:

    #1 Lineal Africans (never left Africa, only minority of Africans carry stayed in Africa Y-DNA), best example are the Dinka

    These guys autosomes are all over Subsaharan Africa & Slave population, despite the absence of Lineal Y-DNA, the reason is that most of E1b1 populations that expanded in Africa, killed the males & mated heavily with native females who were the majority, rapes left those children with their mom, in effect taking native females

    #2 Ethiopian Autosomes (these autosomes are the connection between Africa & the Southern Europe -also Coastal Levant, before the arrival of inlanders), these autosomes spread from Ethiopia into Subsahran Africa via E1b1a males & into the Med via E1b1b males. Most companies never test for this set in Southern Europeans or Mideasterners, instead they label Ethiopians as heavily mixed Africans & only count the minor Lineal genes as Africans. In reality North Africans draw near 30% Ethiopian autosomes, East Meds near 20% Ethiopian autosomes & South Europe near 10% Autosomes

    #3 Caucasian Autosomes (these originated in the South Caucasian regions, best example of them is the population that look similar to each other amongst Dagestanis & Georgians (Pale skinned, gracile, dark eyed, small stature), these Autosomes spread North to Europe & South to Anatolia, then East & West. Caucasian genes in Europe are heavily influenced by Ethiopian autosomes, as mixing was possibly survival in Sardinia (I2 & E1b1b), (South Balkan), possibly dark eyed Croatians & Bosnians are the best representatives of Caucasian autosomes in Europe. In the Mid East J1 & G Armenians & Assyrians carry good % of lineal Caucasian autosomes, it remains strong deep into Syria and interior Arabia it starts giving to Ethiopian autosomes in Coastal West Arabia & in Yemen/Oman southern coasts were lineal Africans slave autosomes mixed with Ethiopian-Caucasian autosomes. In Iran & North Caspain Caucasian autosomes are dominant in some regions until it gives away to Asian autosomes

    Asian Autosomes: possibly the most dominant autosomes today, majority in most Asia except the Middle East & Caucas, an important part of the gene pool in large parts of North East & Central East Europe, the leading autosome in Central-South America, (with regional exceptions) & important in North America, those autosomes spread with expansion out of Central Asia

    Now everything else is a mix of these 4 poles (repackaged to satisfy customers)

  7. Pingback: AncestryDNA Releases Raw Data

  8. I guess we all want to know the answer to the question of origin of our family, and we want it yesterday.

  9. Hmmm, it seems that this option has disappeared. I just checked my ancestry DNA tab and it is gone today although I do remember seeing this option before. I wonder what gives?

    • It was functioning yesterday (April 17th). Since I’ve had both myself and my son tested (months apart), I was interested to see the raw data, given that my 31% British ancestry has totally disappeared in my son, according to Ancestry.com (nothing suspect here, just Ancestry.com’s bizarre genetic ethnicity calls, my wife can trace her line a couple centuries back into Scotland and England and our son having NO British ancestry makes no sense).

      Anyways, the data looks very good.

      They provided results for 701,478 SNPs.

      All X and Y chromosome SNPs are homozygous, and all Y chromosome SNPs are perfect matches between myself and my son.

      Of autosomal SNPs, failures (no base call) account for about 0.2% of total and there are only 23 calls where my son has not inherited one of my alleles. Each of these 23 is one where we are both called as homozygous, but different bases between the two of us. Most probable error at these 23 is that the array called a homozygous allele when it should have been heterozygous. The 23 are random distributed along the genome with no linkage.

  10. Thank you for this helpful information. I did download the Ancestry DNA raw data, but if there was a “save or open” option, I did not notice it. I directly opened the downloaded file, which was a text file. This is not what is needed for uploading to GedMatch. I use a Mac, and when I downloaded FTDNA raw data, GedMatch had directions about how – and how not to – open the file in a Mac. Unfortunately, much of their site is down and I can’t check on it. Apparently I have to wait 7 days before I can do the download again. Any suggestions for getting it in the right form when I do?

      • The data files downloaded automatically into my “Downloads” folder on a Mac. The data files download as text, but they are tab separated data lines with a few comment lines (#….. lines) at the beginning. The files are in Windows format (have CR LF at line ends) rather than more common Unix format for Illumina data. You can open the file in Excel.

        I have not been able to upload to Gedmatch yet, so I don’t know if the file format has to be changed in any way. If anything, I would expect only to have to change the file extension from .txt to something else.

      • Thank you for explaining this. I am not a whiz at Excel, but I will give it a try. When Gedmatch gets the latest overload under control, I will try uploading. They have given good directions in the past. I just thought that I had ruined the download by opening it. I did try downloading the raw data a second time and in spite of the Ancestry statement that it could only be done once within a given period of time, it downloaded just as before.

      • I managed to do the uploads over the weekend. GEDMatch requires the files to remain as “zipped” archives, rather than be extracted as text files. They have (or had) a good explanation of how to do this on the GEDMatch website. Basically, Safari on the Mac will automatically un-zip and delete archives that you download, leaving you with only the text file. There is a setting that needs to be changed in Safari that allows you to save the archive, rather than the text file. Unfortunately, GEDMatch appears to have gone down again after some short up time over the weekend.

      • I heard from John at GedMatch earlier today and they opened it site up for Ancestry uploads, and the site went down. I do believe the word is “swamped.” They are viewing it as a “stress test.”

      • Thank you for this information! Somehow in the download of raw data from FTDNA, I was able to keep the file in the form required by Gedmatch. I think it was by retrieving it from the Downloads Folder, rather than through the little window of recent downloads – this time that didn’t work. I’ll look at Safari settings and try to find one that removes the automatic un-zip. Too bad about Gedmatch going down again, but they will be back (I hope!).

      • In preparation for GEDMatch coming back online, go to the Preferences… selection under your Safari menu, and in the “General” settings panel, DESELECT the “Open “safe” files after downloading” checkbox setting. Then download from Ancestry again. This will save the ***.zip file in your downloads folder. It is this ***.zip file that GEDMatch wants for upload.

  11. Need help reference the downloading from 23andMe to the FTDNA. I have recently received some of my results e.g. health overview from 23andMe. I have been informed that more time is needed to provide remaining ancestral results.
    So, do I have to create an ancestry account first or purchase a FTDNA kit even after already sending in my 23andMe DNA? It was a little confusing after going on the FTDNA website and it informing me to select a product e.g. mtDNAPlus.

    Thanks

    • There are three different companies that sell autosomal tests. 23andMe, Ancestry and Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA allows you to upload your results to their site from the other two, for a fee, which is less than retesting at Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA also sells tests that provide you with Yline (paternal) and mitochondrial (maternal) personal markers. For more on how these work, see this link – http://dna-explained.com/2012/10/01/4-kinds-of-dna-for-genetic-genealogy/

      It sounds to me like you are unsure of what you want to accomplish. If reading that article doesn’t help you clarify, call Family Tree DNA on the phone and talk to their customer service reps. Their phone number is on the bottom of their webpage under contacts I believe.

      • Hopefully the below question is clearer while I am awaiting a reply from FTDNA Customer Service Rep. I found the number but hard to get in contact with them do to the 15 hr difference.

        I am trying to “upload my 23andMe raw data files to FTDNA” so I can start the creation of my Family Tree and ancestral finder. Unless I have overlooked, I do not see steps on how to upload the text files. I have already download in text format to my computer. Can you assist with the exact steps of how to upload my 23andMe files to FTDNA.
        Thank you

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