The landscape of genetic genealogy is forever morphing.
I’m providing a quick update as to which vendors support file transfers from which other vendors in a handy matrix.
Come join in the fun!
Testing and Transfer Strategy
Using the following chart, you can easily plan a testing and transfer strategy.
- After May 2016, V2, if no speculative matches, reupload or retest
- Dec. 2010 – Dec. 2013 V3 fully compatible, Dec. 2013 – Aug. 2017 V4 reupload or retest, Aug. 2017 and later V5 compatible
- GedMatch has been working to resolve matching issues between vendors’ chips, autosomal only, no Y or mitochondrial
- LivingDNA does not have functional matching, has recently changed chip vendors, transfers do not receive ethnicity or ancestry results
- Customer must extract file before can upload (changing soon to be auto-extract)
- Files must be in build 37 format
- Autosomal transfers are free, but payment for advanced tools is required at most vendors
My recommendations are as follows, and why:
- Y DNA (males only) – Test at Family Tree DNA – they are the only vendor that provides full testing and matching
- Mitochondrial DNA – Test at Family Tree DNA – they are the only vendor that provides full testing and matching
- Ancestry and 23andMe – Neither vendor accepts transfers, so if you want to be in their data bases, you’ll need to test there
- Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage – their tests are equally transferrable to each other, with full quality, so test at one and transfer to the other.
- LivingDNA – Transfers will receive matching when that feature becomes fully implemented, but will not receive ethnicity, Y or mtDNA haplogroups. For those features, you must purchase their test. For those seeking matches, many people in the UK test at LivingDNA and may not test elsewhere. Currently matching is not functional (I have 2 matches, one of which is my mother.)
Autosomal transfers and matching are free at the vendors who accept transfers, but payment for advanced tools is required.
- Family Tree DNA – $19 one-time unlock fee for advanced tools
- MyHeritage – $29 one-time fee for advanced tools or a subscription, which you can try for free, here
- GedMatch – many tools free, but for Tier 1 advanced tools, $10 per month
All great values!
Please note that as vendors change testing chips and file formats, other vendors who accept transfers will need time to adapt. I know it’s frustrating sometimes, but it’s a sign that technology is moving forward. The good news is that after the wait, if there is one, you’ll have a brand new group of genealogy matches – many holding clues for you to decipher.
I’m in all of the databases, so see you there.
-Updated October 27, 2019
I receive a small contribution when you click on some (but not all) of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.
Thank you so much.
DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- Family Tree DNA
- MyHeritage DNA only
- MyHeritage DNA plus Health
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload
- 23andMe Ancestry
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
- Legacy Tree Genealogists for genealogy research