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.
Then click on “Manage Test Settings” to the right of the orange “View Results” box. You’ll see the following screen.
Click 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.
The e-mail will arrive, and you will need to click the link in the e-mail, shown below, to activate the download.
Clicking on the e-mail link “Confirm Data Download” takes you to the next step on Ancestry’s website, below.
Clicking on the green “Download DNA Raw Data” link shows the following:
Shortly, your browser will do whatever it does to ask you if you want to save or display the file.
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!