One of the major announcements this past week at the Family Tree DNA administrator’s conference was that Family Tree DNA will now be accepting, and encouraging, free data transfers from both 23andMe (V3 chip only) and Ancestry.com.
*For free, you will be able to see your top 20 matches, but if you want to contact those matches or unlock the rest of the Family Finder functionality and tools at Family Tree DNA, you’ll need to pay $39 or recruit 4 additional people to upload their files, whether they pay to join or not. Compared to retesting at $99 or the previous transfer price of $69, this is a great value.
Yesterday, I received this notification from Family Tree DNA that was sent to all project administrators.
As Senior Director of Product Michael Gugel shared at the recent 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 https://www.familytreedna.com/AutosomalTransfer? 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.
Here are some important points to know:
- We only accept the 23andMe V3 chip that was used on tests sold between November 2010 and approximately November 2013. There are a couple of ways to find out what chip was used for your test other than simply the timeframe. One is size; v3 chip files are about 7.83 MB where V2 and V4 chips are smaller. If you’re tech savvy, you can unzip the file and check chromosomes: Chromosome 1 for v3 starts at 82154 (rs4477212) where v4 starts at 734462 (rs12564807)and v2 starts with position 742429 (rs3094315).
- We do not have any plans to accept V2 or V4 chips. if you try to upload the wrong chip version, the system will tell you that the file doesn’t have sufficient data. Since neither chip contains enough of the SNPs included in Family Finder, we would have to impute too much data. Basically we’d have to make assumptions about the missing SNPs that we’re just not willing to make at this point.
Blaine Bettinger at The Genetic Genealogist wrote detailed instructions about how to do the transfer and what to expect, so take a look.
At the $39 price, or recruit 4 and it’s entirely free, this transfer becomes the best autosomal vendor value available today. I know that people are already taking advantage of this offer, because I’m seeing new people join my projects and their item purchased indicates “free transfer.”
Spending the $39 (or recruiting 4 additional participants) allows you to unlock and access the following Family Finder features:
- Full data base matching
- Ability to contact matches directly via e-mail
- Ability to join projects that accept autosomal participants
- Ability to see matches by and within projects
- Searching for matches by surname
- Searching for matches by ancestral surname
- Ability to view your matches family trees
- Ability to upload your GEDCOM file or create your family tree to facilitate surname matching
- Utilizing the “In Common With” tool to see who you and your matches both match
- Utilizing the Matrix to see if your matches also match each other, suggesting a common ancestor
- Seeing results on the Chromosome browser
- myOrigins ethnicity information
The more kits in the data base, the more matches, so don’t wait. You can’t lose by doing the free transfer and seeing what matches might be waiting for you.