A frequently asked question is “Can I transfer my autosomal DNA data from company A to site B?” Transferring is a great way to get into an extra database (or two, or three, or four) without the added time and expense of doing another test from scratch. Remember: the relative who might help you solve your next family puzzle may have already taken a DNA test at a different company than you; you need to be in the same database to find one another. But keeping track of which sites accept transfers from which testing companies can drive you mad. Take this diagram, for instance:
To which I can only say: BWAHAHAHA! If you can follow that, I’ve got a wiring diagram for a vintage BMW motorcycle I’d like you to take a look at.
The table below might be more helpful. To use it, find the company who performed your autosomal DNA test in the top row, then follow that column down to see which sites will accept transfers of your DNA data. As always, be sure to read the Terms of Service for each company/database before you transfer. (Note: I earn a small commission if you purchase through the links in this post. The cost is the same for you. Click here for more information.)
I hope you find it useful!
|If you tested at (1):||Ancestry
|23andMe||Family Tree DNA||MyHeritage
|You can transfer to||AncestryDNA (2)||—||No||No||No||No|
|Family Tree DNA (3)||YES||YES||—||Yes?||No|
(1) Note: I earn a small commission if you purchase through the links in this post. The cost is the same for you. Click here for more information.
(2) AncestryDNA and 23andMe do not accept transfers of DNA data, but their results can be transferred to most other sites. They are like Type O blood for genetic genealogy—the (almost) universal donors. As of this writing, their databases contain approximately 4 million and 2 million testers, respectively.
(3) Transfers to Family Tree DNA can see and contact their DNA matches for free. For a $19 fee, they can access additional tools, like ethnicity estimates and the chromosome browser. Testers who used the newer versions of AncestryDNA (v2) and 23andMe (v4) will not receive distant, speculative matches at FTDNA. If they want distant matches, they can purchase a new Family Finder test. Their database is estimated at over 500,000 people.
(4) MyHeritage transfers are free and receive a list of DNA matches. Ethnicity estimates are not included. (UPDATE: MyHeritage began providing ethnicity estimates to customers who transferred into their database in late May 2017.) The size of their database is not known.
(5) WeGene serves primarily an Asian market. They do not currently have relative matching but plan to add it in the future. The size of their database is not known.
(6) DNA.Land is a non-profit research site run by academics. They accept transfers but do not offer DNA tests themselves. They offer relative matching, ethnicity estimates, and reports on wellness and physical traits. Their database contains over 50,000 people.
(7) If AncestryDNA and 23andMe are the universal donors of autosomal DNA testing, GEDmatch is the universal acceptor. Transfers and most tools are free, including relative matching, ethnicity (admixture) estimates, phasing, and archaic matches. Additional “Tier 1” tools available for a donation of $10 per month. Their database contains more than 500,000 uploads.
NOTE: This post has been updated to include the database sizes as of May 2017, more information on the features available at each site, and a note that MyHeritage began providing ethnicity estimates to people who have transferred into their database after the original publication of this blog post.