Welcome to DNA Beginnings. This exciting, upcoming series will be focused on the new DNA tester who may also be a novice genealogist and is unsure of quite what to do.
People ask, “Where do I even start?”
If this is you, welcome!
Which Vendors Will Be Covered?
This series will consist of one article for each of the four main DNA vendors:
Each article will cover two primary topics:
- In-common-with or shared matches between you and other people
- Why each match type is important.
- What matches and shared matches can tell you
- How to make use of that information
For those who are ready – at the end of each article, I’ll include links with instructions for using more advanced tools at each vendor.
While you’re waiting, you can upload your DNA data file from some vendors to other vendors, for free! That way you’ll have matches to work with, in multiple places. You’ll match different people at each vendor who are related to you in different ways. You never know where the match you need will be found – so fish in multiple ponds.
If you’ve tested at any vendor, you can download your raw DNA file. Downloading your raw DNA data file doesn’t affect your DNA file or matches at the vendor where you tested. The file you’re downloading is just a copy of the raw DNA file.
Just don’t delete the DNA test at the original vendor. That’s an entirely separate function, so don’t worry.
Uploading your raw DNA file to another vendor, for free, saves the cost of retesting, even if you do have to pay a small fee to utilize that vendor’s advanced tools.
Which Vendors Accept Upload Files?
Which vendors accept raw DNA data file uploads from other vendors? The chart below shows the vendors where you’ve tested on the left side, and the vendors you want to transfer to across the top.
To read this, people who have tested at FamilyTreeDNA (from the left column) can upload their raw DNA file to MyHeritage, but not to 23andMe or Ancestry. Note the asterisks. For example, people who tested at MyHeritage can upload their DNA file to FamilyTreeDNA, but only if they tested after May 7, 2019.
|From to >>>>>||FamilyTreeDNA||MyHeritage||23andMe*||Ancestry*|
|23andMe***||V3, V4, V5||V3, V4, V5||N/A||No|
|Ancestry||V1, V2||V1, V2||No||N/A|
* Neither 23andMe nor Ancestry accept any DNA file uploads from any vendors. To receive matches at these two vendors, you must test there.
** FamilyTreeDNA accepts MyHeritage DNA tests taken after May 7, 2019.
*** Vendors do not accept the early 23andMe V2 file type used before December 2010.
None of these vendors accept files from LivingDNA who uses an incompatible DNA testing chip, although LivingDNA accepts upload files from other vendors.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Transferring Your Raw DNA Files
I wrote articles about how to download your raw DNA file from each vendor and how to upload your DNA file to vendors who accept DNA uploads in lieu of testing at their site.
- Ancestry Step by Step Guide: How to Upload-Download DNA Files
- 23andMe Step by Step Guide: How to Upload-Download DNA Files
- MyHeritage Step by Step Guide: How to Upload-Download DNA Files
- Family Tree DNA Step by Step Guide: How to Upload-Download DNA Files
You’ll save money by transferring your DNA file instead of testing at each vendor.
Transfer your file now and get ready to have fun with our DNA Beginnings articles!
Share and Subscribe – It’s Free
Feel free to share these articles with your friends and organizations. Anyone can subscribe to DNAexplained (this blog) for free and receive weekly articles in their inbox by entering their email and clicking on the little grey “Follow” button on the upper right-hand side of the blog on a computer or tablet screen. Hint – if you received this article in your email – you’re already subscribed so you don’t need to do anything. If you’re not subscribed already, just filling the info and click on “Follow.”
Every genealogist and genetic genealogist starts someplace and DNA Beginnings is a wonderful opportunity. The first article in the series will be arriving later this week!
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 Uploads
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
- MyHeritage DNA – Autosomal DNA test
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload – Upload your DNA file from other vendors free
- AncestryDNA – Autosomal DNA test
- 23andMe Ancestry – Autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder – Genealogy software for your computer
- MyHeritage Subscription with Free Trial
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – Genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
- Legacy Family Tree Software – Genealogy software for your computer
- Charting Companion – Charts and Reports to use with your genealogy software or FamilySearch
- RootsMagic Software – Genealogy software for your computer
- Newspapers.com – Search newspapers for your ancestors
- Genealogical.com – Lots of wonderful genealogy research books
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – Professional genealogy research
Thanks for doing this! I been “doing” genealogy for quite a while, but have limited understanding of the DNA testing.
How does this work and what is the price
It’s free. I publish the articles. Assuming you’ve taken a DNA test at one of those vendors, you just follow along, step-by-step. All of my blog articles are free. If you decide to order a DNA test, I would appreciate it if you use my affiliate link where I receive a small amount for a referral sale. But that’s it – and that’s how I can keep the blog articles free for everyone all the time. If you subscribe to the blog, which is also free, that means the articles will arrive in your email box. Your email address is never used for anything else.
I tried to enter my email to receive the new blog, but link doesn’t work. Not able to enter email address. ???
Did you receive this article in an email? If so, then you’re already subscribed. It’s not a new blog, just a new series of articles on this blog.
Yes, I did receive it through my email. Thanks for explaining. I didn’t want to miss these articles.
You’re all good then!
I had the same problem
If you received this article in your email, you’re already subscribed.
Looking forward to learning something about this. Have been a bit overwhelmed!
I’m new to your site….. When does DNA beginnings work???
I’ll publish the first article in a few days. I publish 1 or 2 articles each week.
I’m not a total beginner but still excited for this!
I’d did not receive this in my email but through a forward in a Genealogy Facebook group. I tried to click on the email link and it didn’t work. Can it be sent to my email?
You have to enter your email on the blog page and then click on follow. That’s the only way it can come to you via email.
Is dna-explained.com the blog page? If not, how do I access it?
Thanks Roberta…I’ll be recommending to my DNA network here in Sydney that they subscriber and encourage others to do the same!
Thanks. It will be fun.
I tried to signup to subscribe and I couldn’t. Could you send a link?
Here’s the link. https://dna-explained.com/
On the right hand side, you’ll see where it says “email address.” Type your email address in that box, then click on the Follow button below. That will subscribe you.
I am really interested in understanding how to use Haplogroup to further my Genealogy research as my maternal line has a pretty solid brick wall when I get to 1800 Virginia.
I started with 23andMe first, but was only provided with a group to “H1”, I found out afterwards that FamilyTreeDNA was the better test resulting with a group to “H1au1a”.
I am interested to find out how to use the additional data, such as :
H1au1a – Genetic Distance
H1au1a -> H1au1b – is there any value in understanding the relationship between these groups, etc.
Thank you and I am looking forward to this article series.
Have you seen these articles? https://dna-explained.com/2021/05/06/using-mitochondrial-haplogroups-at-23andme-to-pick-the-lock/ and https://dna-explained.com/2021/05/01/where-did-my-mitochondrial-dna-haplogroup-come-from/ and the mitochondrial series at https://dna-explained.com/mitochondrial-dna/
I haven’t, I will look at those – thank you!
Yes please where and when
On this blog. I published the first article last week.
I have been a long time admirer of your work. I have a question. When major companies try to explain your autosomal DNA results, is it possible for them to make mistakes? That is, can they see results from someone whose ancestry is Celtiic, Anglo-Saxon, and African-American and mislabel it as Celtiberian, Visi-Gothic, and Moorish? One being Celtic Britain and the other Celts from Spain, the Anglo Saxon being from Britain, and the other from a Germanic people who invaded Spain, possibly originating from Gotland in Sweden; and the last West African slave descendant in America as opposed to MAURitainan or MORoccan (Moorish) descent who came to Spain as well? Since many more Iberian peoples that exist today than there are Melungeon peoples, there will be a far larger sample size of the Iberian peoples. Is it possible they might mistakingly classify one as having an ancestor from Iberia when one has no ancestors from Iberia? I thank you in advance. vh
Yes, ethnicity is an estimate and each vendor develops their own software.