Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ancestry.com Officially Retires Y-DNA and mtDNA Testing

Ancestry.com announced today that they are officially retiring five of their sites and/or products as of September 5, 2014. These include Mundia, Genealogy.com, MyCanvas, MyFamily and, of special interest to my readers, the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests (now being called LegacyDNA). The sales of these tests have been halted, effective immediately.
I don't think the news about the retirement of the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests will come as a big surprise to most of us since Ancestry.com has been focusing their resources on the AncestryDNA autosomal DNA test and have been backing away from promoting the direct line tests for some time. As has been noted by many in the genetic genealogy community, it has become increasingly difficult to find the ordering interface for these tests over the last year or more.

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:


This option is available for customers who have 33 or 46-marker Y-DNA results from a third party company that used the Sorenson's laboratory (this includes tests performed by Ancestry, GeneTree, and Sorenson's SMGF). You may use this option to upload your results to the Family Tree DNA database. The $19 fee will provide you with a Family Tree DNA personal page which will allow you to:
  • 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?
A: No.

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.

11 comments:

  1. I do Wish the Stored samples could be used for Autosomal Dna. That is the only place that has my deceased Fathers DNA.
    Theresa

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    Replies
    1. I agree, stored sample should be offered return to the family, especially if the person is deceased.

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    2. I second your wish, Theresa. Three members of the project I coordinate are deceased; the ability for next-of-kin to have their relatives' samples tested for autosomal DNA would be a nice option. I imagine, however, that processing/verifying legal kinship for hundreds of samples (or more) may present too much of a logistical hurdle, much less sending samples back to kin thus identified.

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  2. Very good questions you asked CeCe.

    Ref: ".. The stored DNA associated with these tests will be destroyed. .."
    Although I do not have any DNA samples at Ancestry, the fact that they will not return any Samples could be an issue for folks who submitted a test for relative that have since passed away. Maybe that circumstance could be a special case for returning those samples to an interested relative.

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  3. CeCe, I'm confused about whether the $19 transfer test will put their marker results into the public project DNA results worksheet? Or will these only be available to project admins who administer a separate website where they build their own results table? I use ftDNA's results sheet for my data. I want to know if the $19 transfer will put results in it. Thanks
    Ginger

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  4. Hi Ginger,
    Yes, the $19 transfer allows the results to be added to FTDNA projects. According to the product page, " your uploaded results will be available to the administrator and included on the project's public page..."

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  5. I sent AncestryDNA Support an e-mail today:
    First of all, I'm pretty annoyed that your company would take my money (quite a bit as it happens - have a look at my purchase history) and six years later, unilaterally decide to delete my data.

    Paternal Lineage Test (Y-46) - Upgrade
    Barcode: A10179716
    Status: Complete (12/17/2008)

    Maternal Lineage Test (mtDNA)
    Barcode: A10179728
    Status: Complete (12/18/2008)
    -----------------------------------------
    Second, I've been pouring all my resources into FF DNA testing near-and-far members of my family, to help focus on the brick walls.

    I can't afford to subscribe to your search service at the same time however, so when a "Subscribe Now!" screen pops up, you can imagine my frustration.

    After supporting your company big-time for years, can't I expect some loyalty and service from your end? Please, give me a break!

    ---------------------------------------
    Thanks for your consideration.
    R/

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  6. It's great the the info can be transferred to FTDNA for only $19!

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  7. I'm a very angry Y-DNA project administrator, trying to sort out options for our participants--one of them deceased. "Upgrading" to FTDNA's 37 marker kit would leave out 13 markers tested by Ancestry (~46 markers), duplicate 33, and only give us 5 we didn't have. I fail to see how this is an upgrade. Also, with Ancestry's test my branch of the surname showed results of 14-15.3-16-17 on the 464a-d markers. A participant who tested with both companies got 14-16-17-18 at FTDNA but 14-15.3-17-18 at Ancestry. Can you tell me without prejudice how much this 16/15.3 distinction matters, or do I need to order a consultation? :)

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  8. Hi Sue,
    The upgrade referred to the $19 transfer versus the $58 option. It did not mean an upgrade from Ancestry.com's test. Family Tree DNA can only do what they can to try to make this situation a little less painful for Ancestry.com's customers. The $58 option just fills in the markers needed to be comparable to their 37 marker test. If you were to order a brand new 37 marker test, it would be at least double that cost, so it is a good deal considering the options. Personally, I think the value of 15.3 is important because it is distinctive for your branch/project. If I remember correctly, FTDNA has promised to start reporting those. In the meantime, I think they will tell you the results if you inquire. I would call and ask them about it to be certain. Their customer service and project admin support is terrific.

    I don't take any paid clients right now. :-)

    I wish you the best of luck with this painful transition. (In the end, I think you will be pleased with the excellent admin tools and support.)

    CeCe

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  9. I read your posts from June 30 and July 11, 2011 about Ancestry's buyout of GeneTree, my favorite source for y-dna testing. Sadly, the SMGF website no longer loads. There was a lot of good information there, including a y-dna database that allowed saving of marker sets for future comparison, unlike FTDNA's "number one database" ysearch.

    I asked FTDNA's Helpdesk about the inconsistency on 464a-d. After several vague messages that didn't address my questions, I got this reply: "I checked with one of our transfer specialists and microalleles will not be transferred, and instead would be rounded down. I am sorry for the inconvenience this causes."

    Less precision seems like more than an inconvenience to me. I'm hoping another company will step up using the Sorenson Genomics model. Hegemony is not good for the market.

    ReplyDelete