All Matches Now FREE at Family Tree DNA for Transfer Kits

Family Tree DNA just sent the following e-mail to the project administrators regarding the new Ancestry and 23andMe file upload ability. It’s full of good news! This information is in addition to my article this morning, available here.

Exciting new points are that ALL of your matches are free for transfer kits, not just the first 20 matches. In addition, the matrix feature is free too, so you can see if your matches also match each other. Great added free features and a reduced unlock price for the rest of Family Tree DNA’s nine autosomal tools.

Did you already upload your results, but never unlocked? Now you can unlock for just $19.

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Dear Project Administrators,

You’ve all been waiting for it, and it’s finally here – transfers for 23andMe© V4 and AncestryDNA™ V2 files!

Here are the details, point by point.

  • Customers can now transfer 23andMe© V4 and AncestryDNA™ V2 files in addition to the 23andMe© V3 and AncestryDNA™ V1 files that Family Tree DNA accepted previously. MyHeritage and Genographic transfers will be supported in the coming weeks.
  • Family Tree DNA still does not accept 23andMe© processed prior to November 2010. A Family Finder test will need to be purchased.
  • 23andMe© V3 and AncestryDNA™ V1 now receive a full list of matches and the ability to use the Matrix feature FOR FREE. For only $19, the customer can unlock the Chromosome Browser, myOrigins, and ancientOrigins.


  • 23andMe© V4 and AncestryDNA™ V2 receive all but the most speculative matches (6th to remote cousins), also for free. After transferring, if the customer wants to receive speculative matches, they will have to submit a sample and have a Family Finder run at the reduced price of $59.
  • Matches should take somewhere between one and 24 hours to appear, depending on the volume of tests in the autosomal pipeline.
  • myOrigins update will be released in the coming weeks. Until then transfers will include only broad populations.
  • Additionally, all previously transferred files that have not been unlocked will receive their matches and have access to the Matrix feature for free as long as the release form is signed.  These kits will be also be able to unlock the other Family Finder features for $19. If the transfer was on a kit with another product where the release form has already been signed, then the matches will appear with no further action necessary.
  • The Autosomal Transfer webpage has been enhanced to include a new image and a FAQ section. The FAQ section is displayed towards the bottom of the page.


  • If a customer tries to transfer the same autosomal file a second time, a message will be displayed that the file is a duplicate and will list the kit number of the original kit.
  • The main Autosomal Transfer topic in the Learning Center has been updated. This topic contains the most recent information and now includes all transfer subtopics on the same page. Additional FAQ information will be added to this topic as needed in the future.

Click here to get started!!!



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53 thoughts on “All Matches Now FREE at Family Tree DNA for Transfer Kits

  1. I don’t see how the is good, When I took the FTM DNA, I expected to find out more about my family, but I was told I had to pay more to do a family find…and now they won’t let me upload to GEDmatch..without paying anothe $79.00…What a bunch of Crooks…


    • Rosemary – you’re really confused. You can upload your raw data file to GedMatch for free anytime, from any of the vendors, not just Family Tree DNA. FTDNA does NOT charge you to do that. The only thing that costs $79 is to do a new test AT Family Tree DNA. You can Transfer your kit TO Family Tree DNA for free from other vendors and get your matches for free, plus ICW. If you want to use the more advanced features, it costs only $19, which is a lot less than testing over again if you’re already tested elsewhere.

    • While some of the FTDNA tests are expensive and I’ve spent a lot of money with them I downloaded and uploaded my FTDNA results to GEDMatch for free with no extra charge from FTDNA. FTDNA has always been honest in there representations of their services to me.

      Ancestry however is another thing altogether. They design there records database to encourage users to make their trees online at their site and and soon as your subscription runs out you have no access to the actual images of records you attached to your tree only obscure and arcane references to those online records. Further more, if often creates a new person when you tell it to merge a person and on and on.

      Finally, despite the very large sums of money it makes from it’s own DNA tests and record images archives and serving as gatekeeper between different researchers they feel compelled to make users pay for a test at their site again (and aggravating do another swap) rather than just upload results from FTDNA or 23andMe or whereever and then process the results for free are something reasonable like $20.

      And unfortunately Ancestry is the only site were you know most people that you have a genetic match with will also have a GEDCOM online to try & assign DNA segments to specific couples. Without those GEDCOMs having a chance to do that autosomal DNA genealogy is a bore and a waste of time.

      Yes, I’ve complaints about FTDNA too. eg, I’ve triangulated on GEDMatch and FTDNA but trying to extend the list of dna testers that triangulate on the FTDNA site as far as I can tell is basically working through a list of your matches manually when I should be able to find the 1st triangulate and mark it in the user interface as triangulated and then tell FTDNA backend SW to go find all others who triangulate with that triangulate and add them to the UI display. That’s basic functionality that is missing for genealogy researchers.

      2nd – navigating through and searching the GEDCOM trees of few people who have uploaded to FTDNA is a mess and fails. Why can’t I say compare my gedcom and my triangulated DNA matches GEDCOM for people or surnames in common? Or if I can where on earth has the form to submit to compare those trees been hidden?

    • Rosemary Doyle is right. After wasting a Sunday morning trying to figure out how to download my DNA raw data (which I easily did at Ancestry) I finally put a help desk ticket with I did this especially since I had that “PENDING: wait 24 hours” message coming up which was described as a bug by other people. (The ONLY reason I got that far with the “pending” message was due to a kind website (wish I could find them now to give them credit) who directed me via a link to my download folder on FTDNA: . Bookmark that URL people, for real.)

      This morning I got a message from the FTDNA support team via email that I indeed DO have to pay more to get Family Finder to have the ability to download my raw data (my fathers Y-111 kit data). Family Finder is an added cost. You cannot get your raw DNA data without Family Finder, apparently.

      I figured $359 was enough to spend on one test, but I was wrong. (When I spend a couple grand on a handful of tests I do not think I should have to spend more.) I do not believe in paying companies to have an absence of directions (or bad directions), and then attempt to rip customers off with hidden costs.

      What is worse is the fact that it was so hard to just figure out where to go to download it, and then it was not clear after that what was going on. Maybe if others had Family Finder already paid for they wouldn’t know how ridiculous it was for the two of us, or at least me. FamilyTreeDNA explained on their website how to download everyone ELSE’S raw data and upload it to THEIR site, but nothing clear on how to download raw data from them. I walked away thinking that FTDNA doesn’t want me downloading my raw data and uploading it elsewhere otherwise they would have explained it.

      Rosemary Doyle is not “really confused”, and it is confirmed that I can’t download my raw data “for free anytime”. Our experience is confirmed as valid.

      To say I am bummed is an understatement.


      • Lesley, I’m sorry, but you are confused. First, the 24 hour message tells me that you are UPLOADING your autosomal DNA from another site. That’s fine, but it also means there is no autosomal test to download FROM FTDNA. You do NOT have to pay anything to download your father’s 111 marker data. You can see it all easily on the Results page. You do not need a Family Finder test to download your fathers Y DNA results.

  2. “myOrigins update will be released in the coming weeks.” About a year after they said it would come. Any idea what new reference populations will be added?
    I don’t expect ethnicity updates every six months, but around three years or more is quite a long time (May 2014 for FTDNA, November 2013 for 23andme, September/October for AncestryDNA).
    I think that myOrigins was a disappointment (especially for non-European ancestry) when it came out and hope this one will be an improvement.

  3. On Tues, Feb 14th and today, Feb 16th, I tried for several hours to use the FTDNA Matrix on several of my kits. It was very slow and didn’t work at all about half of the time so it appears to me that FTDNA needs to make sure their functions are working properly before they keep expanding. They keep getting slower and slower and sometimes things do not load at all. I have purchased 20 kits from them over the years as well as 3-4 Big Y kits and I find it very disturbing for them to be so slow. I have also tested with the other companies. It is wonderful that they are doing this but they also need to provide good service to those of us who have been around for a while.

  4. Roberta, I have a Family Finder already at FTDNA. Would it be interesting and informative to set up another account and submit my Ancestry raw data for comparison?

    • I did that with a 23andMe v4 kit. The cutoff appears to start with the 4th to distant cousin bin, so I ended up with 549 matches vs 2276 (with an Ancestry v1 transfer). My shortest longest block with the v4 transfer was 12.5 cM vs 7.69 cM.

  5. Roberta, If you add a parent to ftdna , should not the logical approach be to give the same Ydna /Mtdna marker to this parent instead of leaving it blank?
    warm regards

  6. This sounds good for customers from other companies. However, I had 200 new matches yesterday with no idea why. I was told they came in with the first download date for my account. I don’t know how to isolate this huge batch of people. In addition, I now have duplicate matches. FTDNA needs to communicate better with their customers.

      • I don’t want to be negative. There is no way I can tell who is new because FTDNA used an old date, the date I got my initial download. I’m stuck. I would appreciate any ideas you might have. Thank you.

        • I just looked at my matches and I have 16 yesterday and today, so I’m assuming that these are my new matches due to transfers, although I have no way of knowing for sure. Do you have any new matches listed from yesterday and today? I’m not sure why yours would show differently, but I would suggest you call support to see or submit a support contact from the website.

  7. I’m really pleased to see this, Roberta. I tested my oldest daughter last year on Ancestry in order to be able to “fish” in that pond. Didn’t realize about the V1 and V2 issue until I tried to transfer her raw DNA to FTDNA. Now I have just done this and am waiting for the processing!! Didn’t see the option to unlock it for $19. I assume that is coming. Thanks for your news this Friday morning, 2-17-2017. Cool date.

    • Finally figured out that I had to click on “myOrigins” and then had the opportunity to pay $19 and unlock it. Did that yesterday about noon and the processing was finished late last night. Will look forward to the new myOrigins.
      All is well.

  8. “myOrigins update will be released in the coming weeks. Until then transfers will include only broad populations.”

    Finally! Well, I guess the new region didn’t mesh in too smoothly and FTDNA spared us the beta glitches. I better take a screenshot of the old version while I still can. I’m curious to see whether my Central Asia and Scandinavia DNA, which comes from neither of my parents, will find a more logical fit in the new categories.

    • Yep!!! Finally is right, long overdue. Hopefully they get this Anatolia mess figured out, seems like a lot of people have those type of results, same with your Central Asia results.

      • I hope it’s decently better because after the update gets released, we probably won’t see another update for another 2.5 or 3 years.

        Credit to FTDNA for having one sooner than 23andme and Ancestry since those companies’ last updates
        (excluding, if I recall correctly, 1 or 2 very minor “algorithm tweaks” at 23andme where results changed by a few tenths of a percent, such as in December 2014 where they phased parents’ results with children in “Split View” so the parents’ results also got affected instead of just the children. As far as I know, Ancestry hasn’t done an “algorithm tweak”)
        were in November 2013 and September/October 2013 respectively.

      • I have Anatolia DNA too, but my father has more, so whatever it is, it’s not completely out of the blue. My mother has Finland and Siberia, although I have more than her, but at least she has some. But Central Asia and Scandinavia is spontaneous from my generation, neither of my parents have them.

  9. Hi Roberta, Do you know if you have to pay the $19 unlocking fee before you can get the $59 FF deal? “23andMe© V4 and AncestryDNA™ V2 receive all but the most speculative matches (6th to remote cousins), also for free. After transferring, if the customer wants to receive speculative matches, they will have to submit a sample and have a Family Finder run at the reduced price of $59.” Thanks.

    • Assuming you’re downloaded your file from either Ancestry or 23andMe, that’s the file that you upload to Family Tree DNA. The file contains your raw DNA data and they compare that to the same files of other people who tested to see who you match. You need to upload that file to FTDNA.

  10. Pingback: MyHeritage – Broken Promises and Matching Issues | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  11. Hi,
    I found an old Roots article on the internet today (2007) re Moore families in Virginia. You stated a William Moore line as being yours and said this had been proven by YDNA. My maiden name is Moore and our ancestors lived in NC as far back as we can find. (Benjamin Moore abt1810). We have about 8 male cousins who have tested ydna with Family Tree DNA. All of our guys tested haplogroup IM253 and one of them did an additional SNP test and is now at IZ238. Do you share your Williams ydna results? I am trying to root out Moore lines that are not mine. I just found out ydna results for a descendant of James Moore…colonial governor of SC. Not mine either. 🙁
    I sure do like your blog! Thanks for all the hard work and sharing. My favorites were the bulls and the shower on your trip. Funny!! Thanks for any info you can share. Elaine Moore Lunsford

  12. I tested through 23andMe and have been pleased by the details of the results. I thought I’d transfer my raw data to FTDNA, just to see if there would be any further detail as to ancestry. I was terribly disappointed in the lack of breakout by continent. I paid the $19 to unlock, but again it showed my 80% European as exactly 80% British Isles. Which company is correct?

  13. Unfortunately, Roberta, this is more bad news for our CORNWALL project. Austosomal transfers now cannot access their ‘speculative matches’. That means they get 60-250 matches compared with everyone else’s 1000-3000. Which means the rather accurate heuristic method we have been using to evaluate their ‘Cornishness’ doesnt work for them and they have to be excluded from the process.

    • For most people, the best matches are the only ones they work with anyway. However, in your case, they will need to retest on the same platform that FTDNA uses. The problem isn’t that FTDNA is withholding matches, but that the difference in the platform means they don’t get speculative matches, only the best matches. Nothing FTDNA can do about that – Ancestry and 23andMe both changed their chips and went to custom.

  14. Roberta, several transferees have decided they want to be retested with Family Finder at FTDNA – but unfortunately it doesn’t work. You get a message saying you’ve already taken this test (when you haven’t). I’m trying to sort it out with the firm.

  15. Reading the above,I suspect the answer is that you have to ask for a new kit with a new number, though how you can then obtain the discount is elusive.

  16. If I encourage my family that has tested with to transfer to FTDNA they will have the benefit of both sites? Does remove their test results from and they now will only have access to FTDNA or do they retain and gain FTDNA in addition?

    • The only thing you do at Ancestry is to download your raw data file. Ancestry does NOT delete your results when you download your raw data file. When you upload your file to FTDNA, you then get your matches there for free – but for the advanced features, you need to upgrade with the $19.

  17. How long does it take for an autosomal transer to process? When I uploaded mine, it said check back in 24hours. Okay. Its been 36 hours and still says check back. Anyone have some thoughts on this? I’d sure appreciate it!

  18. Hi Roberta heard you in Dublin last month and was so inspired that I did a DNA test at Ancestry! I have now uploaded to FTDNA and unlocked the advanced tools. I have also uploaded to GEDmatch. Do FTDNA update the matches? I have had a few new matches on Ancestry but none on FTDNA so far. I also uploaded the triangulation tool on FTDNA but understand that is not working due to privacy issues. any update on when that will be available? Many Thanks

    • Yes, FTDNA updates matches. You should probably test directly at FTDNA though because due to chip incompatibility you only get your closest matches when you transfer from Ancestry to FTDNA. Usually only about 20% of your closest matches . Most genealogists want all of their matches. As for the triangulation tool, I know that FTDNA is working collaboratively with Goran, the creator of he tool. I don’t know when it will be available again.

  19. I want to send my Uncle in Canada a dna kit. How can I do this? Do you have s Canadian branch?
    Thank you,
    Sharon Cooper Bryan

  20. Hi. I am kind of new to DNA testing and all the other good stuff. My question is. I transferred my autosomal DNA from Ancestry to FTDNA, so I have a kit #. A few weeks ago I had my uncle test for Y-36, I am managing the info and page (I paid for the testing). Is their any way that I can link these two accounts?
    Thanks in advance
    Tracey Little

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