Guest blogger, Alyson Gunner Johnson, shares a continuation of her previous blog regarding DNA resources. She shares her input on what she finds is her go to resources she has used to date. Please note this is her personal opinion, please respect her choices as we know eveyrone has a preference.
As promised in my first blog post, I am going to share with you how to get more DNA matches for FREE by downloading your raw DNA data file and uploading it onto other DNA testing sites and a 3rd party site called GEDmatch.
But first, I know the question has been asked – which is the best DNA company to test with? It depends on what you are looking for. I have found if you want health/wellness reports and physical traits info, then you should test on 23andMe. However, the number one most helpful test for adoptees to find their birth families is AncestryDNA – hands down!! This is because:
Ancestry has more DNA testees in their database (10 million +), which means
You get more DNA matches (as of 12 June 2018 I had 77,954 matches on Ancestry as compared to 5,605 on MyHeritageDNA, and 1,365 on FamilyTreeDNA on the same date)
With SOOOO many more matches than the other sites, you have access to more trees from your matches, and more of them are helpful (23andMe does not do trees at all; on FTDNA and MyHeritage a few of my matches have helpful trees). Now, this does depend on whether you have a subscription to Ancestry, since without one you cannot see your matches’ trees. Hopefully you know how helpful your matches’ trees are when trying to build your own tree.
While Ancestry does not have every DNA tool available, it does have some great ones, and once you have transferred your DNA to the other sites for free, you have access to their tools as well.
Ancestry allows you to give access to your DNA results and any trees you have created to others (like family and search angels) without having to give them your password.
Okay, now onto the technical, procedural type stuff.
DOWNLOADING YOUR RAW DNA DATA FILE
Here are some helpful directions based on which company your raw data is with. In all cases, download the raw data .zip file to your own flashdrive/computer.
Ancestry– go to your DNA HOMEPAGE, then click SETTINGS on the top right. On the next page click on DOWNLOAD RAW DNA DATA. You will then enter your password, check the box and click CONFIRM. You will then receive an email with a link to click on to download your raw DNA data file.
23andME– sign in, click on TOOLS < BROWSE RAW DATA < DOWNLOAD < SUBMIT REQUEST. You’ll get an email with instructions for downloading.
FTDNA – after signing in click on DOWNLOAD RAW DATA near the lower right corner. Scroll down and click on the latest build for Autosomal Raw Data.
Easy, right? Now for uploading. Please note you CANNOT upload raw data into Ancestry or 23andMe. You can only take their tests, not transfer your DNA in.
UPLOADING YOUR RAW DNA DATA FOR MORE MATCHES
Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)– the benefit here is getting matches to people who didn’t test with your original testing company, and you can see who matches you on the X chromosome (especially helpful if they’re male because then you match them on their mother’s line, as men only inherit the X from their moms.) To access their chromosome browser and other tools when transferring in, you have to upgrade for $19, but you can see your m