I participated in a conference call detailing these changes with bloggers yesterday where we were given an opportunity to ask questions. I asked several about the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests, as follows:
Q: Will the entire Y-DNA and mtDNA site interface be retired? Will you be able to view and contact your matches?
A: The entire interface will be retired, including the match lists and the ability to contact your matches.
My comments: If you have tested there, I strongly encourage you to contact your matches before September 5th (and so does Ancestry.com) because you will not have another opportunity to do so. You can download your raw data (CSV file) until September 5th by going to www.DNA.Ancestry.com and upload to other services like Family Tree DNA. FTDNA has a transfer program for Y-DNA tests here. For $19 you will be able to upload your results to the FTDNA site. Here is the description of their transfer product:
- Join Family Tree DNA projects freely, but you will not receive matches or a haplogroup prediction.
- Your uploaded results will be available to the administrator and included on the project's public page for comparison with other project members.
For an additional $39 you can get a new kit from FTDNA. If you tested 33 markers at Ancestry.com, then you will have the additional markers filled in to be equivalent to FTDNA's 25 marker test or if you tested at the 43 marker level at Ancestry.com, then you will receive 37 marker results from FTDNA with this additional test. At the very least, I encourage you to add your results to the free Ysearch site (note the conversion needed) and Mitosearch site.
Q: Are there any Y-DNA or mtDNA test still in the queue and, if so, will these be completed or refunded?
A: There are a small number of Y-DNA and mtDNA tests still in the queue. If you are one of these, then you will be receiving an email detailing your options. Ancestry.com encourages you to call their customer service to discuss this.
Q: What will happen to the stored DNA samples associated with these tests?
A: The stored DNA associated with these tests will be destroyed.
Q: Can the stored DNA be returned to the testers or their families rather than being destroyed?
Q: Can those stored samples be used to upgrade to an autosomal DNA test before they are destroyed?
A: Ancestry.com does not currently have anything in the works for doing this.
An additional question was posed by another blogger regarding whether the halpogroup designations that are populated on testers' Ancestry.com user trees will remain. They are going to get back to us about this.
For more information about the other four site retirements, please see Randy Seaver's GeneaMusings, Thomas MacEntee's GeneaBloggers and/or the Ancestry.com official blog.