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Why You Should Transfer Your Raw DNA to Other Sites

Updated: Nov 8, 2019

I have discussed before the benefits of testing with AncestryDNA when you want to get started with genetic genealogy to learn about your ethnicity estimates and find matches. One major benefit of testing with AncestryDNA is the ability to transfer the raw DNA results to other sites like GEDmatch, Family Tree DNA, and MyHeritage. Although many people like to compare their ethnicity estimates across sites, the major benefit of doing so is to increase opportunities for finding matches.

You can download your raw DNA from AncestryDNA through settings on your DNA home page.

I’m happy to provide a recent personal example of how transferring my DNA, in this case from AncestryDNA to MyHeritage, resulted in finding a new branch in my family tree. When I started researching my paternal grandfather’s family, I knew absolutely nothing. After several hours of research, I’d learned that his mother and my great-grandmother, Rose Glazer, was one of about ten children, several of whom immigrated to the United States and settled in the Boston area. Until recently, I had only discovered four siblings of my great-grandmother through a combination of records including census records, ship manifests, naturalization papers, cemetery photos, and DNA. Fortunately, several Glazers were fairly close matches to me on AncestryDNA according to their trees, although I could not figure out exactly how we were related at the time. One match responded that he was indeed connected to the Glazers, but I received no more information. Conducting my own search to find his direct ancestors, I knew we were related through his maternal line, but I was unable to figure out how she was related to my family either. Until recently.

AncestryDNA match
My initial unknown Glazer connection on AncestryDNA.

When I received the weekly DNA matches email from MyHeritage, I scrolled through the matches for the accounts I manage. I was pleasantly surprised when a familiar last name popped up as a fairly close match to my father. It was the mother of the AncestryDNA match!

The mother of the AncestryDNA match to me on MyHeritage.

I emailed her, and she replied immediately. Through the information she provided, many of the records I had found previously connected to various Glazers in the Boston area began to fall into place. In the end, I found another brother of my great-grandmother that had migrated to Nebraska! She was his granddaughter, making her my father’s second cousin.

WWI Draft Registration
My great-grandmother's brother's WWI Draft Registration Card.


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