The recent announcement by Ancestry.com that they are discontinuing their Y and mtDNA products and associated data bases, combined with the opportunity to transfer your Y and autosomal Y DNA results to Family Tree DNA has raised the question of whether it’s best to transfer or retest. Let’s look at the various options, pluses and minuses, for each product involved. As it turns out, one size does not fit all. In other words, it depends…
However, the cost of retesting at Family Tree DNA, utilizing the Father’s Day sale, and yes, it’s valid for females too, not just men, is just $79.
So, should you transfer existing results or retest?
- If you retest at Family Tree DNA, you’ll have the added benefit of having your DNA archived there, available to you for other tests in the future. Archiving is free and is part of the service.
- If you retest at Family Tree DNA, you don’t have to deal with downloading files from Ancestry or 23andMe and then uploading them to Family Tree DNA. If you’re not a techie, this is a benefit.
- Ancestry has never been known for quality, so in terms of Ancestry, for a $10 difference, I would certainly retest.
- At 23andMe, if you tested either early (the v2 chip) or since November/December of 2013 (the v4 chip) you have no choice but to retest, because the results aren’t compatible.
In a nutshell, for a $10 difference, my vote would be to retest, unless, of course, the person isn’t available to retest then by all means, transfer the results.
If you’re going to retest, do it now while the price is still $79. The sale ends on 6-17-2014.
Don’t forget, the Big Y, which is a nearly full sequence of the Y chromosome, is also on sale for Father’s Day for only $595. The newly announced SNP matching in addition to the regular marker matching promises to add a second tool to those who are trying to determine family lineages. I suggest that someone from each of your primary family surname lines take this test. Mutations are being found every 90-150 years so this test holds great promised in combination with regular STR (37, 67 and 111 marker) testing.
You can transfer your Ancestry Y DNA results to Family Tree DNA for $19, and then upgrade to the Family Tree DNA standard marker test for another $39, for a total of $58.
If you transfer Ancestry’s 33 marker results, the $58 upgrade price buys you an upgrade to the 25 marker test. If you transfer Ancestry’s 46 marker test, the upgrade buys you a standard 37 marker test. Both of these upgrades include DNA matching to other participants. The $19 transfer alone, does not, just the ability to join projects.
The standard 37 marker test at Family Tree DNA today costs $169 without the transfer, so transferring is definitely the way to go on Y DNA. You save $111. Plus, with the upgrade, you will have the added benefit of having your DNA archived at Family Tree DNA.
For Y DNA, a transfer with the upgrade is definitely your best value. Don’t forget to do this before Sept. 5th because the Ancestry data base disappears that day. In fact, the sooner, the better, because some of Ancestry’s DNA data base features have already been discontinued.
Ancestry’s mtDNA test results weren’t compatible with Family Tree DNA’s, so you don’t have a transfer option. The mtDNA plus at Family Tree DNA which provides you with your haplogroup and matches in the HVR1+HVR2 regions is $59, but the full sequence mitochondrial DNA test is only $199. The full sequence test provides you with fully sequenced mitochondrial DNA results, about 10 times more locations than the HVR1+HVR2 regions, a full haplogroup designation and matching at the highest level. It’s definitely the best value and then you’re done with mtDNA because there are no upgrades beyond the full sequence.
My recommendation would be to purchase the Full Sequence test for $199 as the best value.
In short, here’s what we have:
- Autosomal – you can retest at Family Tree DNA for $79, $10 more than the $69 transfer price, which has several benefits.
- Y DNA – the transfer plus upgrade for $58 is your best value, saving you over $100.
- Mitochondrial DNA – there is no transfer option, so retesting is necessary.
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