AncestryDNA & 23andMe Transfers to Family Tree DNA $49

Family-Tree-DNA logoBig news, especially for AncestryDNA customers.

Beginning today, Family Tree DNA will accept AncestryDNA raw data files!!!  Secondly, any raw data file transfer, from either Ancestry or 23andMe is $49 for a limited time.  Family Tree DNA states that this is an introductory offer, but they don’t say how long this offer extends, so if you’re interested, do the transfer now.  If you have already taken the autosomal test at Family Tree DNA, called Family Finder, you don’t need to transfer autosomal data from any other company.

If you’ve taken both the 23andMe test and the Ancestry test, and want to know which one to transfer, Family Tree DNA says that there is no functional difference, so either is fine and they are equivalent.

You can see more information and transfer your data directly at this link:

Why would people want to do this?

One reason is that this allows you to swim in different pools where there are new genetic cousins to match and meet.

However, Family Tree DNA as compared to each company has some additional benefits.

First, as compared to 23andMe, people who test at Family Tree DNA are genealogists, and they tested for genealogy and not health traits, so they are more likely to reply to communications and they are more likely to know something about their family history.

Also, you don’t have to “invite” people at Family Tree DNA and wait for their acceptance to share.  Everyone is sharing there, unless they opt out.

Third, for people with whom you have a confirmed relationship, you can see who the two of you match “in common.”

As compared to Ancestry, there are lots of reasons to transfer your data

Family Tree DNA has a chromosome browser, entirely lacking at ancestry, that allows you to confirm your genetic match, not just a genealogy “shaking leaf” match.

Family Tree has a surname search option so that you can search for matches that share common surnames.

Family Tree provides you with e-mail addresses of your matches instead of forcing you to go through a messaging system.

Family Tree DNA allows you to download your matches and their chromosomal segment data to build spreadsheets to further work with and triangulate your data.

Family Tree DNA’s ethnicity percentages are much more realistic than Ancestry’s.

In other words, the tools that Ancestry lacks, which are all tools other than “tree matching,” Family Tree DNA has.  If you don’t understand why these are important, this article about why Ancestry needs a chromosome browser will help you understand that your tree matches may not be your genetic matches.

This is a great time to dive right into the Family Tree DNA autosomal pool.  The water is fine so come on in and invite your Ancestry friends.  Maybe you’ll find out exactly HOW you are related to them, and it may not be the line you think!

61 thoughts on “AncestryDNA & 23andMe Transfers to Family Tree DNA $49

  1. Is it advisable or even necessary for someone who has done autosomal testing through to upload their raw data to FTDNA if they have already undergone Family Finder testing through FTDNA? I assume that the raw data from each company’s testing should be the same but would appreciate anyone telling me if I am wrong in making this assumption.


  2. Thanks for letting us know. Interested to see by how much people think this will increase the database at FTDNA?

    Another point is I worry they take on more work than they can deal with in a timely manner at FTDNA. Could this further increase the backlog or are they taking steps to remedy this? (I’ve got 3 FF kits pending & I had to wait months over the deadline on the last one).

  3. Another very important reason for transferring data to Family Tree DNA is to be able to join their DNA projects! I co-administer two projects that include autosomal dna results, one locality based and one based on a common ancestral couple. Projects make it so much easier to find cousins and work with the data!

  4. Is it possible now that Familytree is able to transfer Ancestry DNA and 23 andMe that they can finally record combined tests done at separate times into one data base so it show that a subscriber of Familytreedna did have their Y 67 done and then later did subscribe to Family Finder. Both Tests that were done were done by Familyfinderdna and they would be recorded on either category showing that they had taken both tests. as if they had taken them at the same time. Would appreciate a responce to the above thank you.

  5. Roberta when I downloaded from 23andMe this is the file name: genome_Janice_Full_20130607195022.txt
    But when I try to upload to FTDNA this is what it says: Whoops, looks like we found an error: The file you uploaded does not appear to be have a .txt file extension. Please rename your file to have a .txt file extension or pick a new file and try again.
    I have emailed them, but I thought you might have a suggestion.

    • I found problems with files that I opened when I was uploading and downloading files. Otherwise, I have no idea. You did the right thing to contact Family Tree DNA.

  6. This statement in you post:
    “If you have already taken the autosomal test at Family Tree DNA, called Family Finder, you don’t need to transfer autosomal data from any other company”
    implies that the tests all return the same data? Is this correct?

    • I don’t believe that there is any significant difference between the raw data from the various tests. Furthermore, I don’t think that Family Tree DNA has the capability for anyone to have multiple autosomal raw results on file.

      • I just received confirmation from Bennett Greenspan at Family Tree DNA that as far as transferring results, there is no difference between the 23andMe file and the Ancestry file, so either one works equally well.

        • But in any case, there is no need to upload if I have taken the Family Finder test, right? I just asked FTDNA about my upload of Nat Geo 2 to their site. I cannot find any reference to it on my Home page (or anywhere) and their Haplogroup page doesn’t reflect their results. As a matter of fact, the haplogroup page suggests that I take the Geno2 test?

          • No, no need to upload if you have taken the FF test at FTDNA. You need to contact them about your haplogroup page. There have been some issues with transfers. On the haplogroups and SNPs page at the top in the bar, there should be a long list of SNPs that were tested if the transfer worked correctly.

  7. Good Morning, Roberta;

    I have very much appreciated all of the blogs, messages you are sending. It represents a huge amount of work on your part and it is very valuable to someone like myself “learning the ropes” of both computers and gen. genealogy.

    I have been considering testing with 23 & me to more specifically identify my mixed race ethnicity. However, I do not want medical testing nor do I want to make my dna info available for medical research/other uses without full disclosure & informed consent. I am currently a subject in two medical research studies at clinics in the province where I live.

    I have found, (as you articulated so well), their site to be difficult to navigate and sometimes ambiguous. My full sequence mt DNA and complete autosomal results are already with FT DNA. Given my concerns, would you recommend I also test with 23 & me?

    Again, thank you for making your extensive work available and accessible. I will be working on it through the summer.

    Best regards,

    Bonnie (Magee) Smith

    Date: Fri, 7 Jun 2013 23:06:08 +0000 To:

    • If I were you and had these concerns, I would simply take the autosomal test at Family Tree DNA.

      I believe you can opt out of much of the medical stuff at 23andMe, like seeing your medical results but if you read their consent, you are granting consent for a great deal simply by testing there.

      I would simply test at Family Tree DNA who does not do anything with your DNA other than test it for you.


  8. Anyone know if AncestryDNA plans to accept 23andMe raw data imports in the future? This topic was discussed on a recent DNA panel but I did not hear the response of the Ancestry rep.

  9. Roberta, Thanks for all the info that you have been emailing out. My question is: When I click on the link to download my info from Ancestry I get what is on the attachment for options. They are all for Family Tree & i don’t see an option for Ancestry or 23&me. Am I missing something or am I overlooking something. The only one for $49.00 is mtDNAplus. Thank you again for all you info. Jerry Pfab

    R1b1a2 R-M269

    >________________________________ > From: DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy >To: >Sent: Friday, June 7, 2013 4:06 PM >Subject: [New post] AncestryDNA & 23andMe Transfers to Family Tree DNA $49 > > > > >robertajestes posted: “Big news, especially for AncestryDNA customers. Beginning today, Family Tree DNA will accept AncestryDNA raw data files!!! Secondly, any raw data file transfer, from either Ancestry or 23andMe is $49 for a limited time.Family Tree DNAstates that th” >

  10. For those who are concerned on HOW to transfer your 23andMe results to FTDNA Family Finder, here is a link that explains it graphically. Its from April, so I hope the prompts are still the same.

    Another advantage for FTDNA vs 23andMe. Family Finder results load or sort instantly. At 23andMe, I spend a lot of time (so it seems) looking at an hourglass, before their pages load.

  11. What can you do if you took the autosomal test from Ancestry and they don’t supply raw data? I took it June 2013, having learned online only AFTER ordering the test that — unlike its competitors in autosomal testing — Ancestry didn’t supply raw data. A week or two later, Ancestry had a big announcement (!!!) … they would now supply raw data (!!!!) … FOR AN EXTRA FEE (!!!!!!!). Is my only option to just ignore the useless and vague Ancestry results and cough up $99 to FTDNA or 23andme to do it from scratch?

    • Are you certain that is the case? I think that you can download your raw data for free from for free. It may be FTDNA that may be charging you for uploading the results to its site. In any event, if you feel that you have received from Ancestry are “useless and vague results,” prepare to be disappointed after you upload your raw data to FTDNA. The only significant advantage will be that you will now have a chromosome browser, which you may or may not find is worth the upload charge. The downside is that you will find a much smaller percentage of your matches on FTDNA will have a tree to review than on Ancestry and you can also expect a smaller response rate on FTDNA from the matches that you contact. I tested at FTDNA much earlier than I did on Ancestry but was able to confirm more matches on Ancestry in one week than in one year at FTDNA after receiving my results. You may simply want to download your raw DNA results and then upload them to for free.

  12. Is it correct that FTDNA does not accept 23andme data that was analysed after the latter changed thier protocols in November ’13 in response to the FDA?


    • Hi. That’s actually 2 separate things. 23andMe had already designed and was planning to implement their v4 chip which nearly halves the number of markers tested. So this was not in reply to the FDA issue – the timing was coincidental. They started using that chip in December and because it tests so few genealogically relevant SNPs, it’s not compatible with the Family Tree DNA test. Family Tree DNA can utilize only the v3 chip full sequence files.

      • Roberta,

        Thanks for replying to this old thread.

        Well, that kind of sucks. I don’t see anywhere on the 23andme site that mentions anything about the change to V4 and what that really entails. I just assumed that they did the same test as before, but simply stopped doing the data analyses for health.

        I have sent my sample to them, but it has not been delivered, and now I have to quickly decide whether to cancel the test, or not.


        • I think they wrote about it on their blog. In essence, they stripped out many, just under half, of their SNPs in order to make it “more efficient to run.” They are still doing the medical analysis, because they are still selling the data, but they simply aren’t showing it to you.

      • Ha ha, this keeps getting better… Selling the data without showing it to the specimen? A classic.

        Sure, I bet they did write about it on their blog. However, since I only visited their site for the first time last week, that didn’t really jump out at me. Incidentally, I now see that you have another post about the poor design of the 23andme Web site. I see what you mean now. I wish I had found your post before I paid for my sample 😉

        I think I will try to cancel my test, but I suspect I will be lucky to get a “partial” refund.


  13. I have done the testing with 23 and me, well before December, so I assume it was with the “v3chip” whatever in the world that means. How do I go about getting my genetic information from 23and me to begin with, what am I asking for, and how do I get it to family tree dna? I was very surprised to see some of the numbers here, like family tree dna has 3 times as many genetic profiles as 23 and me? My interest here is finding a child I believe I fathered long ago and who was adopted by a faith based agency in a closed adoption. I think if he was aware of the possible choices he would have had testing done, so I want my data as available as possible.
    Any advice would be welcome and I so appreciate this whole effort toward transparency.

    • There are three chip levels at 23andMe, v2, v3 and v4. V2 is old and v4 is very new, just since December. Only v3 is compatible with Family Tree DNA. You can transfer your data for $69, or you can simply retest at Family Tree DNA for $99 and they will archive your DNA and you can order other tests as well. If you want to be in as many data bases as possible, you can also test at Best of luck.

      • Thank you very very much. I will get tested at both. If I find him I’ll write it up for you.
        Ralph Mathews

      • My DNA is at FTDNA, along with my Dad’s, but only did the sex chromosomes. Want to do Family Finder to get more info. What kind of results does one get from FTDNA? Do they show percentages of ethnicity like Also can I transfer DNA to for more info of which I’m a member? Thank you.

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  15. Maybe a little late to the party here, but…

    The pools of DNA sources – Do all of these DNA organizations share their data with each other? Suppose I do a test with Ancestry, someone else does a test with 23andme, and a third person does a test with FTDNA. We all know we are blood related, but would we see the results of that through these companies, or does someone have to do the test with each one to reach the maximum amount of possible relatives?

    • No, the companies don’t share with each other. You can transfer your results from Ancestry to Family Tree DNA, and if you tested before Nov. 2013 when the v4 chip was introduced, you can transfer your 23andMe results to Family Tree DNA as well. There is a cost, but it’s less than a new test at Family Tree DNA. There is however, a free comparison site called You simply download your result from the vendor where you tested and upload to GedMatch. Of course, the challenge is convincing everyone else who tested to do the same thing.

  16. So in looking for possible relatives, you pretty much have to do DNA testing with all companies, because you’d have no idea what company possible relatives used.


  17. Update: Family Tree DNA Transfers Free Preview and price drop to $39
    “As Senior Director of Product Michael Gugel shared at the conference, for the first time ever, people that have taken an AncestryDNA™ or 23andMe© (V3) test can transfer into the FTDNA databases for free by visiting and following the instructions to upload their raw data file.

    Within an hour or two, we provide a preview of what’s waiting if they transfer by showing the top 20 matches along with an estimate of the total number of matches in the FTDNA database.

    Full functionality can be unlocked by either paying $39 or recruiting four other people to upload, thus unlocking the rest of the matches. “

  18. I have the FTDNA and a cousin in another did another test and had it transferred to FTDNA. We do NOT show up as related? Why not? When FTDNA runs the matches is it only matching from what they already had before the transfer? Why aren’t we showing as cousins??????

  19. I had my test done at Ancestry and the composition was NOT as reported by my family. Specifically I AM SURE that my great great grandmother on my mother’s side was of Irish ancestry and equally AS SURE that my father’s father is a Cherokee! Well when I got my results from ancestry I was reported as less than 1 percent native american, and none of my european ancestry was Irish!

    Not convinced of accuracy I did the free upload and free 1st 20 matches from Family Tree DNA and VIOLA one of my first two matches is of total Irish ancestry, and a few down show North Carolina/Virginia area which is traditionally Cherokee Nation. Whilst DNA is DNA racial break down information was ALL WRONG for me!

    You can transfer your raw data to FTDNA using this link for free

    Please do tell if the ancestry information is more accurate with FTDNA that with

  20. From this article it seems for a small fee you can transfer your DNA from Ancestry to Family Tree DNA and get more and better matches and be able to send email to your
    Matches without going thru the message system….

  21. Hi Roberta, thanks for this! If my brother takes a dna test at ancestry and uploads the raw data ( I have already done this, as a female) but will he be able to see his y-dna matches or just more autosomal?
    Thanks, Helen Holshouser

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