If you’re one of the one million+ public participants in the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project, launched in 2005, you probably already know that testing has ceased and the website will be discontinued as of June 30th. Your results will no longer be available as of that date.
I wrote about the closing here and you can read what the Genographic project has to say about closing the public participation part of the project, here.
However, this doesn’t have to be the end of the DNA story.
You have great options for yourself and to continue the science. Your results can still be useful, however…
You MUST act before June 30th.
Please note that if you control the DNA of a deceased person who did not test elsewhere, this is literally your last chance to obtain any DNA results for them. If you transfer their DNA, you can upgrade and purchase additional tests at Family Tree DNA. If you don’t transfer, the opportunity to retrieve their DNA will be gone forever.
Three Steps + a Bonus
- Preserve Your Results – Sign in to the Genographic site and take screenshots, print, or download any data you wish to keep.
- Contribute to Science – Authorize the Genographic Project to utilize your results for ongoing scientific research, including The Million Mito Project
- Transfer Your Results – If you tested before November 2016, you can transfer your results to FamilyTreeDNA and order upgrades if a sample remains
Here are step-by-step instructions for completing all three.
First – Preserve Your Results
Sign on to your account at The Genographic Project. You’ll notice an option to print your results.
Scroll down and take one last look. Did you miss anything?
Your profile page includes the ability to download your raw genetic data.
Your Account page, below, will look slightly different depending on the version of the test you took, but the download option is present for all versions of the test.
The download file simply shows raw data values at specific positions and won’t be terribly useful to you.
Generally, it’s the analysis of what these mutations mean, or matching to others for genealogy, that people seek.
At the very bottom of your results page, you’ll see the option to Contribute to Science.
Click on “How You Can Help.”
Second – Contribute to Scientific Research
The best way to assure the legacy of the Genographic Project is to opt-in for science research.
You can learn more about what happens when you authorize your results for scientific research, here.
Checking the little box authorizes anonymized scientific research on your sample now and in the future. This assures that your results won’t be destroyed on June 30th and will continue to be available to scientists.
The Genographic Project celebrated its 15th birthday in April 2020. Genographic Project data, including over 80,000 local and indigenous participants from over 100 countries, in addition to contributed public participation samples, has been included in approximately 85 research papers worldwide. Collaborative research is still underway. There’s still so much to learn.
Dr. Miguel Vilar, the lead scientist for the Genographic Project, is a partner in The Million Mito Project. The anonymized mitochondrial results of people who have opted-in for science will be available to that project, and others, through Dr. Vilar. Please support rewriting the tree of womankind by opting-in for scientific research.
Those words, “in the future” are the key to making sure this critical opportunity to continue the science doesn’t die.
If you don’t want to scroll down your page, you can access the scientific contribution authorization page directly from your profile.
To contribute to science, Click on the “My Contribution to Science” tab.”
You’ll see the following screen. Then, check the box and click on the yellow “Contribute to Science” button. You’ll then be prompted with a few questions about your maternal and paternal heritage.
Contributing your results to science helps further scientific research into mankind, but transferring your results to FamilyTreeDNA preserves the usefulness of your DNA results for you and facilitates upgrading your DNA to obtain even more information.
Transferring also allows you to participate fully in The Million Mito Project which requires a full sequence mitochondrial DNA sample.
Third – Transfer Your Results to FamilyTreeDNA
If you tested before November 2016 when the Genographic Project switched to Helix for processing, you can transfer your results easily to Family Tree DNA.
If you don’t remember when you tested, sign in to your account. It’s easy to tell if transferring is an option.
If you are eligible to transfer, you’ll see this transfer option when you sign in.
Just click on the “Transfer Your Results” button. If you don’t want to sign in to Genographic to do the transfer, just click on this transfer link directly.
You will then see this no-hassle transfer option on the Family Tree DNA web page. Because FamilyTreeDNA did the laboratory processing for the Genographic Project from its inception in 2005 until November 2016, all you need to do is enter your Genographic kit number and the transfer takes place automatically.
Please note that if you DON’T transfer NOW, the Genographic Project is requesting the destruction of all non-transferred kits after June 30th, per their website.
As you might imagine, preserving the DNA of a deceased person is critical if they didn’t test elsewhere and you have the authority to manage their DNA.
In order to support The Million Mito Project, Family Tree DNA is emailing a coupon to all people who transfer, offering a discount to upgrade to a full sequence mitochondrial DNA test.
After you transfer to Family Tree DNA, be sure to enter your earliest known ancestor and upload a tree. Here’s my “Four Quick Tips” article about getting the most out of mitochondrial DNA result, but it’s sage advice for Y DNA as well.
Bonus – Upgrade Transferred Kits
If you transfer your Genographic results to FamilyTreeDNA, you can then utilize the DNA sample provided for your Genographic DNA test for additional testing
Different versions of the Genographic Project testing provided various types of results for your DNA. In some versions, testers received 12 Y STR markers or partial mitochondrial DNA results, and in other versions, partial haplogroups. You can only transfer what the Genographic provided, of course, but once transferred, you can order products and upgrades at Family Tree DNA, assuming a sample remains.
This is important, especially if you control the kit for a loved one who has now passed away. This may be your only opportunity to obtain their Y, mitochondrial, and/or autosomal DNA results. For example, my mother passed away before autosomal DNA testing was possible, but I’ve since upgraded her test at Family Tree DNA and was able to do so because her DNA was archived.
Please support The Million Mito Project and other academic research by:
- Choosing to contribute to science through the Genographic project and
- By transferring your results to Family Tree DNA so that you can learn more and upgrade
Both options are totally free, and both equally important.
Time is of the essence. You must act before June 30th.
Don’t let this be goodbye, simply au revior – the legacy of your DNA can live on in another place, another way, another day.
I receive a small contribution when you click on some 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
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
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- 23andMe Ancestry – autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder – genealogy software for your computer
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- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
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- Charting Companion – Charts and Reports to use with your genealogy software or FamilySearch
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – professional genealogy research
The qualifier “If you tested before November 2016” is only applicable to Americans, because FTDNA was no longer doing the NG Geno 2.0 testing after that date.
The rest of us were still being tested by FTDNA right up to the end last year, and so still able to be uploaded.
Yes, you’re right. Thank you.
I am already on FTDNA for me, my mom, my brother and my uncle. Do I just sign up for the group?
If you have taken the full mitochondrial, you don’t need to do anything.
Thanks for another helpful and informative post, Roberta, I appreciate you. I did the Geno 2.0 several years ago when I first got into DNA testing, on myself, one cousin and my uncle. Since then, I have tested 18 family members at FTDNA, and we’ve done the Y on some, the full Mito on myself for my mother’s line and on my dad for his mother’s line (he has many more matches than I’ve ever had). So there is no need for me to do any transferring, is there? I also had a computer guy come over and he turned the results from there into a pdf, so I have that saved on my computer. Reading over it, I see that at some point, they apparently did some changing, as some of what I had (and had saved) is not the same as what is on there now, which is interesting. I also did the “help science” parts, and rereading that, realized that I’d done my Boatright line info before we knew that we had a NPE back in 1863, so I went in and deleted what I thought I knew, on that paternal line.
Nope, you don’t need to transfer.
First thank you for doing the myheritage facebook live yesterday. I definitely learned a few new things!
My husband and I did the NG project back in 2005, We also uploaded our results to Familytreedna the same year.(still have all certificates to prove it LOL)
However, I was trying to login to NationalGeographic to make sure that my dna was saved for research purposes – wasn’t sure if there was something/anything else I needed to do there. Either way I cannot log in (obviously have not been there is 10 or more years) and it is nor recognizing my email (which I have had since the beginning of email LOL).
Anything else I should/could be doing?
Mvilar@ngs.org is Dr. Vilar’s email.
Thanks, Roberta, for the reminder. It’s June 30 and I’m double-checking I’ve consented to the science project(s), downloading my results, etc. etc. for both Geno 1.0 and Geno 2.0 A poignant moment, really; in 2006, the Geno 1.0 test was my first DNA test. Interesting to see the expanded knowledge from version 1 to 2: in the first, my mitochondrial haplogroup was T. In the second, T2b2, and now at FTDNA with the full test, it’s even more refined than that!
It is. Bittersweet for sure.
How could you do this? I am devastated. It never occurred to me that all this data would be deliberately destroyed and we received no notice of it. My father has passed away and his information is gone forever.
If you still have his GPID and he tested before Helix, you can still transfer it to Family Tree DNA. Call them.
The whole episode was very disappointing to me. My entire family tested through NG after 2016. Of course I’m disappointed at the financial loss, only utilizing and enjoying the results for about two years or less. There’s so much they should have done differently. I didn’t have any idea that the project ending would mean the destruction of all results, website etc., and I think it was a bit deceptive of them to keep taking tests if they were planning to do that. Moreover, I really disliked how it ended. Taking screen shots and printing that screens (which did not all seem to print correctly) left us with such a low quality product as opposed to them putting the data on a nicely designed PDF document for example. I’m disappointed they couldn’t negotiate more DNA data transfers to other companies which I would have even agreed to paid some fee to do if were reasonable. Very unfortunate the only option for transfer to FTDNA only applied to the pre 2016 tests.
A lot of changes happened after they were sold.
I bought the Geno20 DNA kit. Then I was sick for several years, and the kit got misplaced and forgotten. I just found it. The back of the package has a sticker that says Item:4595, Exp:052619. The website says the project is over so I assume the kit isn’t valid anymore. I hate to see my money wasted. Is there another project that I can get a credit for?
I think you’ll just have to consider it a contribution to science. You could call Nat Geo and ask about a subscription maybe.
I did my swab in may 2015. How do I get the results?
i went to the genographic.com web site and it is not working
I have my order number and my participant ID also.
That program was discontinued.
I had no idea this had been discontinued. I just found the kit box during a house move.
I assumed the results would simply be around for my lifetime because National Geographic is a brand I expected to last and to behave with more decorum than this.
National Geographic was, unfortunately, divided up and sold off in pieces.
I sincerely hope I can get my results under FW8C456VPD Genographic Project, unable to find them on my own.
I thank you in advance for your Kind response and assistance
I don’t believe so, but call the FamilyTreeDNA support line with that number and ask.