Thursday, June 16, 2016

Family Tree DNA's Autosomal Transfer from AncestryDNA Affected by Recent Change in AncestryDNA's Test Chip

We talk about DNA testing quite a bit at our Let's Talk...Genealogy discussion group. There has been a recent development that you (anyone who has tested or is considering testing) should be aware of in case it applies to you.

One of the things we often mention is that it is possible to save some money on autosomal DNA testing. You do this by testing directly at AncestryDNA (hopefully when there is a sale) and then transfer your DNA test results data to Family Tree DNA by doing an Autosomal Transfer. An Autosomal Transfer is initially free but when unlocked is less than half the price of testing directly with Family Tree DNA yet it still gets your autosomal DNA into two different pools of potential matches.

Autosomal Transfers were possible with the AncestryDNA test chips and the 23andMe version 3 test chips.

Recently, Ancestry.com made a change to its AncestryDNA test chip and its file format. This updated version is currently not compatible with the autosomal transfer program at Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA is currently working on the problem so that those tested on the updated chip version can be accepted in the future.

What this means is that for the present time ...

If you recently tested at AncestryDNA you will not be able to do an autosomal transfer to Family Tree DNA until Family Tree DNA finds a solution to the problem.

If you had your AncestryDNA results prior to about mid-May 2016 and thus on the AncestryDNA version 1 chip, you are not affected and can still do an autosomal DNA data transfer to Family Tree DNA.

If you received you AncestryDNA results close to that "about mid-May 2016" time frame there is a way to check your test's chip version. 

If you have not already downloaded your test results data, do so by finding the "download raw DNA data" link under each of your test's Settings area. After following the security steps at AncestryDNA, locate the downloaded file on your hard drive. 

Make a copy of the zipped file to work with so you have an untouched compressed zip file which is needed to do an upload at some sites. In that working copy you just made, extract the txt file. Every test's download file has the same name.

Open a word processing program like Word. (Due to the size of txt file Notepad may take a long time or may not be able to open it.) From within the word processing program, use open file locate that working copy of the AncestryDNA.txt file. Open the file or just look at the preview pane after selecting the file.

The third and fourth line in the file explain the test. 
#Data was collected using AncestryDNA array version: v1.0
#Data was formatted using AncestryDNA converter version: v1.0 

If the third line ....
... mentions v1.0 then your test was done using the v1 chip.
... mentions v.2.0 then your test was done using the updated v2 chip.

That is all there is to check which chip version was used for your AncestryDNA test. You can delete the working copy of the zip and txt file. (Just don't delete your "master" untouched zip file of your raw DNA data file.)

Hopefully Family Tree DNA will be able to solve this for those who tested at AncestryDNA about mid-May 2016 and later.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!
LE

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