I mentioned FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA) rolling out a limited free update several days ago in this blog post: http://upsdownsfamilyhistory.com/2014/10/familytreedna-to-offer-limited-free-transfers-from-ancestrydna-and-23andme-full-transfer-39
I checked this morning and the free transfer is now live. I went to https://www.familytreedna.com/products.aspx and scrolled down a bit.
If you click on the Try It Free button, you wind up here. You need to fill out the name, choose gender, accept the Terms of Service and click on the blue Try It Free button. You can find FTDNA’s Release Form at https://www.familytreedna.com/img/FTDNARelease.pdf. A link to and FTDNA’s Terms of Service are also below the blue Try It Free button.
For existing FTDNA customers, it is a bit different and I cover it below the new customer part.
After entering your information and clicking Try It Free, you go to this screen:
If you are not sure how to use your Raw Data from AncestryDNA or 23andMe, click on the How do I access my raw data files with Ancestry.com or 23andMe? above the The default is AncestryDNA, but you can click on 23andMe to get the directions for 23andMe. Ancestry acknowledged some issues with people receiving the link with the link to their Raw Data results so if you do not get an e-mail from Ancestry, call them.
AncestryDNA Raw Data
23andMe Raw Data
Getting your Raw Data from 23andMe is a lot easier because it is available directly through your account. Note: only 23andMe’s v3 chip qualifies for the transfer. The v3 chip was used November 2010 through early December 2013.
If you don’t know which chip your 23andMe kit was processed or you tested near where they switched from v2 to v3 or v3 to v4, there are a couple of ways to find the chip. Once you download your 23andMe file; v3 chip files are roughly 7.83 MB in size and v4 chip files are around 5 MB. A more complicated way is to look at chromosomes: Chromosome 1 for v3 starts at 82154 (rs4477212); v4 starts at 734462 (rs12564807), and v2 starts with position 742429 (rs3094315).
If you tested with 23andMe’s v4 chip, I urge you to contact 23andMe and ask them to create a v4 to v3 converter. The major downgrade from the v3 chip to the v4 chip made it incompatible for a transfer to FTDNA. If 23andMe does not create one, maybe an enterprising individual, group, or company could create one.
Existing FTDNA customers
If you are an existing FTDNA customer, click on the Already have a FamilyTreeDNA account and it takes you to a log-in screen.
After logging in, you get something like this screen. In my case, I have already tested with FamilyFinder and FTDNA does not allow me to re-test (note the black up arrow). However, I can add a kit for another person (red up arrow).
After clicking add or gift another kit, I get this screen. I need to choose the person’s gender. If they are an existing FTDNA customer, you are going to need their FTDNA kit number and password to continue.
What Happens Next?
Per Lisa Janine Cloud at FTDNA, the first round of results should take around an hour and an e-mail notice sent to the registered e-mail address. Once processed has finished, you see your top 20 matches and an estimate of how many matches you have if you upgrade to full results. In addition, you get access to the Chromosome Browser and the Family Finder Matrix, but you do not get access to the MyOrigins ethnic results.
You will not be able to contact your top 20 matches and your results will not show up in their searches unless you upgrade.
Two ways to upgrade to full results (one is FREE!)
1) Pay $39 or 2) get four other people to upload their raw data. The other people do not have to pay to upgrade their results to count towards your four. Also, they get referral links they can use to get four referrals for a free upgrade.
After hearing of FTDNA’s original $69 autosomal transfer when it came out, I suggested in several Facebook groups a smart move would be for one or more of the Big Three (FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and/or 23andMe) to offer a cheap, preferably free, way to transfer from the other companies. While there is some crossover with people testing at two or all three companies, many only go with one company. Using GEDmatch helps to catch some who only test at one company, but most do not upload to GEDmatch so you miss out on the other companies if you don’t test with all three. Glad to see FTDNA was the first to try it. I doubt AncestryDNA or 23andMe will take the same route, but they are missing out on a great opportunity.