Family Tree DNA accepting DNA results from other companies

By Diane Haddad

One of the major DNA testing companies announced it’s bringing back a useful feature to make DNA analysis between testing companies easier. Family Tree DNA will once again accept autosomal test results from rival testing companies 23andMe and AncestryDNA via its autosomal transfer tool.

The returning feature will allow users to upload raw data from 23andMe and AncestryDNA tests to Family Tree DNA database for free, giving AncestryDNA and 23andMe customers access to DNA matches and relationship estimates through the Family Finder—Matrix. For a $19 fee, 23andMe and AncestryDNA users can also unlock additional analysis tools, including a chromosome browser.

Until now, test-takers seeking DNA matches were mostly limited to the company they tested with. For example, if you tested with AncestryDNA, you would only receive DNA matches who also tested with AncestryDNA (and not with 23andMe, MyHeritage or Family Tree DNA). But with Family Tree DNA’s autosomal transfer, test-takers from 23andMe and AncestryDNA can now access another database of potential DNA matches, opening up new research possibilities.

While Family Tree DNA’s autosomal transfer is a useful tool, sharing DNA results between testing companies isn’t a new concept. MyHeritage, which launched its own DNA test in November, is also compatible with raw data from other companies, though it lacks some of Family Tree DNA’s more robust analysis tools. Third-party websites like Gedmatch also already allow you to compare results from multiple companies, but Family Tree DNA’s autosomal transfer works directly with the testing company and captures all its autosomal DNA test-takers (rather than just those who also uploaded their data to Gedmatch).

See the company’s website for more about the feature, and check out Judy Russell’s post on The Legal Genealogist. Learn more about DNA analysis tools in our book The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger.

» by Andrew Koch