Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Family Tree DNA now accepting 23andMe raw data uploads

The time has finally come for all of you who have been waiting. Family Tree DNA is now accepting raw data uploads from 23andMe. If you are already a customer of FTDNA, sign into your account from the home page and order from there to avoid creating a duplicate account.  If not, go to the product listing and scroll down to "Transfer Relative Finder" and order from there. They are offering an introductory price of only $50 to 23andMe customers with v3 results for both new and existing FTDNA customers. A discount will be offered to 23andMe customers on the v2 chip via a coupon code after an upload verification of the raw data file.

Transfer options are:
Option Price Project MembershipMatching
FTDNA Kit Import (V2) $50+$109 = $159 Yes Retest
FTDNA Kit Import (V3) $50 Yes Database Import
New Customer Transfer (V2) $50+$109 = $159 Yes Retest
New Customer Transfer (V3) $50 Yes Database Import

Results will be available in only one to two weeks after the v3 transfer is completed. For the discounted retest applicable to those with v2 files, the results will be available from two to five weeks after the sample is received.

This offer is applicable to all who have tested on the Illumina OmniExpress Plus Genotyping BeadChip that both FTDNA and 23andMe currently use for their autosomal tests. At this time, there are no other tests from additional companies that would fall under this description, such as deCodeMe.

The transfer customers will receive a standard FTDNA personal page and will be matched with already existing Family Finder customers. They will receive email notifications when new matches are loaded into their account. This offer also includes a biogeographical ancestry analysis.

From FTDNA's product description:

Results file with less than 700,000 SNPs (i.e. 23andMe's V2):
  • Is NOT compatible with our Family Finder product. In order to verify the compatibility, you will have to upload your file into our system. Please read our refund policy here, before you proceed and find your record incompatible. (Note from YGG- Files found to be incompatible because they are v2 files, will be refunded $40 of the $50 fee. This is easily avoidable by checking to make sure you know which version you were tested on at 23andMe before uploading.) 
  • Includes a one-time use coupon code to purchase our Family Finder product for an additional $109 plus shipping.
Results file with more than 900,000 SNPs (i.e. 23andMe's V3):
  • Is compatible with our Family Finder product.
  • Includes matches related within about the last 5 generations and predicted relationship ranges.
  • Provides percentages of your ancestral make-up (Native-American, Middle Eastern (including Jewish), African, West and East European).
  • Recommended for genealogists.
  • Great for confirming close relationships regardless of gender.
  • Please note, uploaded files are batch processed once a week. You will be notified by e-mail when your file has been processed.
IMPORTANT: Your results from Family Tree DNA compared to another company's results will be similar, however, they WILL NOT be exact. Due to Family Tree DNA's proprietary algorithm your matches, centimorgan totals, and centimorgan length will vary. 

This is great news for the genetic genealogy community and especially for adoptees! Under this fantastic offer, I strongly encourage all to be in both databases.

Order here. 
*Update - Remember to unzip your file and upload it as a .txt file not a .zip file!


[Disclosure - my company StudioINTV has an existing production agreement with FTDNA that has no bearing on the opinions I express. I also receive a small commission from FTDNA on non-sale orders through my affiliate link, which I use to fund DNA tests. I am currently serving in a volunteer advisory position for 23andMe, for which I may receive a small number of 23andMe kits for my DNA research.  Any opinions that I express here on my blog are my own and do not reflect those of management at either company.  I receive no other compensation in relation to any of the companies or products referenced in my blog.]


  1. So am I correct in thinking that Family Finder matches will span all data sets?

    So that even if I don't upload my 23andMe Data, I should still get NEW matches on my FTDNA FF Account, based on other people uploading their 23andMe Data, in cases where they don't have an existing FTDNA FF account, right?!

    1. That sounds right. :-) Better yet, if you can get all of your responsive 23andMe matches to come over to FTDNA too, you will be able to do better triangulation between them and your current FTDNA matches.

  2. Great to hear, especially the $50 offer. I wonder how long that will be available?

  3. It is taking forever for my file to upload.

  4. And after several, several minutes, my upload was not accepted. Also, I can't seem to open my raw data with notepad. I even tried downloading it twice. Both times, I extracted the text file and neither text file works. What could have went wrong?

  5. I have ordered but even though I have downloaded several times and tried different D-zippers. I have yet to be successful at uploading a .txt file as required---if someone else is please post.

  6. Will FTDNA support original participants? (e.g., I guess I might be a V1 with 500K bp)

  7. Lots of people are having trouble uploading the .txt file, including me. I have tried on my Mac with Firefox and my PC with IE with both older v3 files and brand new. Please report the problem to FTDNA through their Feedback button in your account. I have also emailed Bennett Greenspan.
    Some have had success uploading, but most that I have heard from have not.

  8. @pconroy - I believe so.
    @Valerie - We don't know, so don't delay! ;-)
    @Kevin - I would call FTDNA and ask them. That is a good question. My guess is - They will give you the discounted price ($159), but it is just a guess. Better to ask them to be sure.

  9. Oh, I thought it was just me. Have tried uploading numerous times with no success.

  10. We have already received many successful uploads. We are checking if there might be an issue that is affecting different platforms, although we extensively tested to make sure it works, before launching. Make sure you are not trying to upload the zip file.

  11. Hi Max, Everyone that I have communicated with on this subject who are getting error messages are attempting to upload a .txt file, including myself. Perhaps it is new v3 files that are failing, rather than v2 to v3 upgraded files. Thanks for commenting!

  12. Matt Dexter just posted in the FTDNA Forums:
    "FTDNA IT told me this morning they are "typing away" (fixing things).
    V3 only files have less total SNPs then V2 upgraded to V3; 967K vs. 996K. They're on it!"

  13. My file successfully uploaded!
    "Congratulations! The results file you uploaded was determined to be a V3 file with more than 900,000 SNP results. Please note, uploaded results files are batch processed once a week. You will be notified by e-mail when your results file has been processed.

    After your results file is processed you will be able to enjoy the many Family Tree DNA features and order additional tests to uncover more about your ancestral origins."

  14. I recall when trying to submit my 23andMe txt file somewhere else, that my computer just couldn't handle it. I sent my zip file to someone else who then forwarded it for me.

  15. "A discount will be offered to 23andMe customers on the v2 chip via a coupon code after an upload verification of the raw data file."

    Sorry Cece, this part is a bit confusing for me. Do I understand correctly that I cannot upload my V2 data? I am already a FF client and have not upgraded to V3 at 23andMe.

  16. I have both FTDNA Family Finder and 23andme Relative Finder v3 - is it OK to transfer my 23andme file to FTDNA? Will it affect my existing FF file? I can see that, with slightly different results, I may get some different matches?

    1. Hi Jim! No, FTDNA does not offer the option to upload 23andMe files to existing accounts that have already ordered FF. You could create a new separate account to do so, but it is probably a waste of money since FTDNA is only using the SNPs from 23andMe that overlap with their FF test and then applying their FF algorithm to those. I would imagine that only no-calls could result in slightly different results between the two. Some are trying it anyway, so I will wait to hear their reports before I strongly recommend against doing it. Thanks for commenting!

  17. Hi Helen, You do not need to upload your 23andMe data because you already have FF. The transfer option will not appear in your account at all, Initially, it did, but FTDNA has since fixed the glitch.
    To clarify - For those who don't have FF, but have only the v2 file from 23andMe - you can upload your v2 data to FTDNA for $50. They will then deem that it is incompatible with Family Finder and provide you a coupon code to order a Family Finder test for $109 + shipping, so v2 customers will receive new Family Finder tests for $159 after verifying to FTDNA that they have tested at 23andMe by uploading the v2 file.

  18. If you've already tested with both companies, is there really a need to transfer the 23andme results over to FTDNA?

    1. Sorry Mavis. I didn't see your comment before. No, there is no need to transfer your 23andMe data if you already have done Family Finder.

  19. Hey, Janet. I just ordered by test kit from 23andMe on 2/11. I'm not a member of FTDNA, yet. So, when I try to upload my test data to FTDNA, I'll get a discounted price? Thanks, Cindy

    1. The price went up to $89 after February 10. Still a pretty good deal.

  20. Great post! We are always on the look out for coupon codes and promotions, if anyone else stumbles on one, be sure to post it here:


  21. I have neither 23andme or FTDNA. What I do have is an extensive collection of genealogical files, collected in Ancestry.com, going back into the 1600s.

    Which test(s) should I get? Why?

  22. Hi CeCe,

    I've already done the 23andMe test and have my results. I'd eventually like to do the FTDNA Family Finder test as well, but I don't know whether I should transfer my 23andMe raw data file or send a physical DNA sample.

    I have a couple of questions. If two companies independently analyze my physical DNA samples, would they come up with EXACTLY the same raw data file? Would there be any difference in my Family Finder results if FTDNA created their own raw data file instead of importing it from 23andMe?

  23. I had my test done at Ancestry and the composition was NOT as reported by my family. Specifically I AM SURE that my great great grandmother on my mother's side was of Irish ancestry and equally AS SURE that my father's father is a Cherokee! Well when I got my results from ancestry I was reported as less than 1 percent native american, and none of my european ancestry was Irish!

    Not convinced of Ancestry.com accuracy I did the free upload and free 1st 20 matches from Family Tree DNA and VIOLA one of my first two matches is of total Irish ancestry, and a few down show North Carolina/Virginia area which is traditionally Cherokee Nation. Whilst DNA is DNA ancestry.com racial break down information was ALL WRONG for me!

    You can transfer your raw data to FTDNA using this link for free https://www.familytreedna.com/autosomalTransfer?atdna=mGuGbpp1PgJxZC6kBS9UEg%3d%3d

    Please do tell if the ancestry information is more accurate with FTDNA that with Ancestry.com