Ancestry.com has not been actively selling Y and mtDNA tests for some time now. However, today Ancestry announced the official discontinuance of those tests and that as of September 5th, their Y and mtDNA data bases will also be shuttered – meaning that the results will no longer be accessible for those who tested or for anyone wanting to do a comparison.
This is very sad news indeed for the genetic genealogy community, especially given that Ancestry has in the past purchased other vendors such as Relative Genetics and incorporated their results into their data base.
For anyone who tested their Y DNA with Ancestry, now is the time to transfer those result to the Family Tree DNA data base, now the last vendor left standing who provides those tests along with a comparison data base. This is easy to do and you can be a part of the Family Tree DNA community, availing yourself of their surname projects for only $19.
If you want to see your matches, you can upgrade your kit from Ancestry’s 33 or 46 markers to Family Tree DNA’s standard markers for another $39 at the same time you transfer your Ancestry results. This also has the added benefit of having your actual DNA in the lab at Family Tree DNA where it will be archived for 25 years. I’m already hearing moans from people whose family DNA is only at Ancestry, and the original tester has passed away.
In fact, if you don’t transfer your results from Ancestry now, or before September 5th, you will lose your opportunity as your Y and mtDNA results will no longer be available at Ancestry in any format, according to their FAQ.
Ancestry states that this change does not affect their autosomal DNA testing, and in fact, that’s where they want to focus, at least for now. Unfortunately, the shuttering of their Y and mtDNA data bases calls into question their commitment to the genetics aspect of the genealogy industry. Autosomal DNA testing will be a priority as long as it’s profitable, just like Y and mtDNA has turned out to be.
I would suggest while you are transferring, you might also want to take advantage of this opportunity to also transfer your Ancestry autosomal results to Family Tree DNA for $69. You can fish in a second match pool and Family Tree DNA offers many tools to participants that Ancestry does not offer.
If you’re not inclined to transfer your results to Family Tree DNA, at least avail yourself of the two free data bases, www.ysearch.org for Y results and www.mitosearch.org for mtDNA. At least your results won’t be entirely lost forever.
I understand that Ancestry doesn’t want to sell the Y and mtDNA products any longer, but I would think that maintaining the current Y and mtDNA data bases in a static state for the tens of thousands of people who have spent a nontrivial amount of money DNA testing, and allowing comparisons, would be well worthwhile in terms of customer loyalty if nothing else. Customers are viewing this move as abandonment and a betrayal of their trust, and it begs the question of what will eventually happen to autosomal results and matches at Ancestry. If you’re going to test at Ancestry, make sure you also test at Family Tree DNA so your actual DNA is available there as well.