I wrote in a previous about how to download DNA segment data with particular matches, but I haven't explained how to download raw DNA for the purposes of uploading to other sites. I've asked many relatives to do this, so I felt a tutorial would be warranted to help them and others who have this exact question.
All the commercial sites allow you to download your raw DNA. Why would you do this? Because it's the best bang for your buck and it maximizes your chances of finding family. If you test at AncestryDNA or 23andme, you can download that data and transfer to sites like Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), MyHeritage, and GEDmatch for free (FTDNA requires $19 to unlock all their tools, MyHeritage $29). However, raw DNA cannot be uploaded to either AncestryDNA or 23andme. Typically, I ask people to download from AncestryDNA because they are the only ones without a chromosome browser, and I need that chromosome information to analyze matches more effectively.
So what do you do?
On Ancestry, go to the DNA home page and in the top right corner, click on Settings.
Next, scroll all the way to the bottom of the settings page to "Actions." Where it says, "Download DNA Data," click on "Download." Ancestry will ask for your password and confirmation that you understand what you're doing. After reading, check the box and confirm.
You will receive an email from Ancestry that tells you your DNA is ready and to download. Download the file, but do not open it/unzip it.
Now that you have your DNA file from Ancestry, what do you do? FTDNA, MyHeritage, and GEDMatch each have a page to transfer your DNA.
Fill out the information and join.
Choose the platform from which you downloaded your DNA (in this case, AncestryDNA).
Drag, drop, or browse for that file you downloaded from AncestryDNA (likely still in your downloads if you're anything like me).
It will take a few days, but all set!
Fill out the requested information and create your account.
Follow the directions (graphic shown above) and click upload.
It will also take a few days.
For GEDMatch, just click "join for free" to register and follow their directions for uploading the kit. You will be sent a confirmation code to register and then you can upload any kits you want. You can decide whether you want law enforcement to have access and whether you want them just to be "research kits" that are kept private from others on the database. Make sure to read the terms of services for anywhere you upload!
And that's it! Happy downloading and transferring! Please let me hear your feedback. I may do one for 23andme next.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interesting in exploring your family history. Free initial consultations.
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