Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DNA Heritage ceases operations and transfers databases to FTDNA

The genetic genealogy world just got a little smaller with
the closing of the DNA testing company DNA Heritage,
which was founded in 2003 by the well-respected Alastair

DNA Heritage customers received the following
email regarding the transfer of assets to FTDNA:

Dear Customers,

Today we have signed an agreement with Family Tree DNA
to transfer the DNA Heritage database, and also the
Ybase domain, site and database. In a few weeks time,
the DNA Heritage domain will also be transferred.
Customers within the DNA Heritage database will be able
to opt-in to be uploaded into the FTDNA database.
Family Tree DNA will organize this opt-in process.
New orders can then later be taken through Family Tree
DNA. Project Funds for Surname Projects will remain
intact in the transfer.

In recent months sales have lowered which impacts the
rate at which we can cover the costs of the lab process.
With no immediate rise in sales, this became
unsustainable so we started the process of finding
a suitable company that could a) absorb the customer
database and b)continue testing at the same markers.
The number of companies that are able to do this is
limited but we hope that our past customers will be
happy with the transfer.

Because of the income from the sale of assets, testing
will resume at our current labs and we shall complete
all those in process, and also for those that have

Customer tests will be handled thus:

If we have your sample and it is paid for, then we shall
get results out to you as soon as is possible. This
means that YSTR samples will be about 3 and a half
weeks or less, and mtDNA samples about 5 and a half
weeks or less.

If you have pre-paid and are about to return your sample
kit, then please do as we will test it.
If you have pre-paid and not yet received a kit, please
email us so that we can send a fresh kit out.

We have received recent orders but we haven't yet sent
out kits for. We shall contact these individuals to
provide the option of testing.

If we have had your DNA sample for less than 6 months,
we still have your DNA. However, this won't be
transferred over to Family Tree DNA and will be
discarded after the 6 month period.

As before, all testing will be through Sorenson Genomics
(YSTR tests) and/or Alpha Bio Labs (mtDNA) with which
we have had a relationship for several years.

On a personal note, it will be good to move on from
something that I started back in 2002. It was then a
nascent field, a period of rapid development, and an
exciting time to be pushing forward the understanding
of DNA testing within the public realm. I've always
enjoyed the fact that, through DNA, people are able
to form connections with their kin, wherever in the
world they may be. I also love that the results of the
tests often challenge a person's sense of history and
perception of themselves as they see that they are
linked to a much bigger family tree encompassing
every corner of the globe.

It's been a fascinating journey and I wish you all well.


Alastair Greenshields
DNA Heritage

Questions should be directed here.

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