Upcoming Changes to Kit Registration at AncestryDNA: Keep Calm and Carry On

Some AncestryDNA users who have tried to register a new kit in the past couple of days are getting this message:


AncestryDNA is running a trial for a forthcoming system in which each new DNA test, with the exception of those for minors or legal wards, will have to be registered in a separate account. My gut reaction was that this was going to be a huge imposition, akin to having to log in to each DNA test separately at Family Tree DNA, so I did some digging.

I contacted AncestryDNA‘s customer support and got this reply (used with permission):

Based on this statement, AncestryDNA is making this change to ensure that each person who tests has agreed to it or is legally authorized to give permission for the tester. For those of us who administer multiple tests, this will be an inconvenience, but it’s not the end of the world.

To avoid panic in the genetic genealogy community, I thought I’d address some of the concerns I’m seeing expressed.

  • They’re just doing this to make money. — Well, they’re a for-profit company; they’re supposed to make money! We want them to make money so they’ll continue to invest in new features, like the soon-to-be-released Genetic Communities. However, if this change affects their bottom line, I suspect it’ll be slightly negatively. First, some potential users do not have access to a computer or aren’t computer savvy enough to register their own kits. Second, the negative publicity about this change may drive some customers elsewhere, although 23andMe is the only major testing company to allow one person to administer multiple tests in the same account.
  • They’re trying to force people to buy an Ancestry subscription for each new DNA tester. — No, you don’t need a paid subscription to do the DNA test. If a relative doesn’t want to manage their own account, they can “share” the results with you and you can do (almost) everything from within your account.  See below for instructions on how to share.
  • You need a subscription to share. — Not true.
  • We’ll have to log out and in every time we want to look at a different test, like at Family Tree DNA. — No, see above. The tester can share the DNA results from their account to yours.
  • I already manage several DNA tests and don’t want to have to create separate accounts for each. — If a DNA test is already managed in your account, that won’t change.
  • We’ll have to build and maintain copies of the same tree in each account. — No, you can either share your family tree with the new tester’s account or the relative can share their DNA results with your account. If they make you an editor (see below), you will be able to attach their test kit to the tree in your account.
  • The test taker doesn’t have an email account. (Yes, there are still people without email, like my mom.) — If the tester agrees, you can create a new email account for them. The tester would then set up their account using this email address.  I successfully set up a dummy Ancestry account for myself this way, and I did not have to enter payment information.
  • Maternal/paternal filtering won’t work. — Yes, the filtering will still work.
  • But my relatives and I really want everything in one account! — No problem.  Once the new account is set up and you’ve accepted the “editor” invitation, they can make you the administrator of the kit. You and they will essentially swap roles: you become administrator and they become editor.  This is how I manage several of DNA tests already.


Cutting to the Chase

This will be a hassle for those of us who manage multiple DNA tests at the request of our relatives, but I think it will be a minor one in the end. The person who takes the test will have to set up an account and share their results with you. If they want you to manage everything, they can use a sibling to your email address to set up their DNA account and give you their login information. Ultimately, this policy change puts the liability on those of us who manage other kits to ensure that we are acting with the full knowledge and consent of the people who test. That’s not a bad thing.

The main drawback I see, aside from the additional steps in setting up access, are that member messages to new accounts we manage will go to their Ancestry mailbox, unless we are given administrator status.  If they used a sibling email address to set up the account, you’ll get a notification, but you would have to log into their account to reply directly.  I suspect I will get around this by messaging back from my own account (rather than the managed one) and copying the incoming message into my reply so I have the entire conversation in one place.  Given how rarely I receive unsolicited messages, this will be a minor imposition.


How to Share

Log in to your DNA account (dna.ancestry.com), and click on the black SETTINGS button at the top right of the main DNA page.

On the next page, scroll down to the section on Sharing DNA Results, and click the green button that says INVITE OTHERS TO ACCESS DNA RESULTS.

On the pop-up screen, enter the user name or email address of the person you’re inviting, decide whether they should be a “guest” (allowing them to see your ethnicity results and matches) or “editor” (allowing them to make notes and attach your DNA results to a tree) and send the invitation.

If someone invites you to their results, you’ll get an email with a link. You’ll have to enter your login information again (even if you’re already logged into your Ancestry account) as a privacy protection, then you will have access at the level they selected for you.

Easy peasy.  No need to panic.

UPDATED TO ADD:  Current reports are that the trial of this new system is only being applied to a subset of accounts and that it will only last 2 days.  If you are trying to register a new DNA test and get the message above, you may want to try again tomorrow (25 Feb 2017) or the day after, when the trial is over.  I haven’t heard when the full roll-out will be, so if you have kits you’re planning to register in your own account, you may want to do that now in the window before the changes are permanent.

CORRECTION:  A previous version of this blog suggested using, with the tester’s permission, a sibling email address to your own (e.g., myemail+relative@gmail.com) to help your relative set up an account.  I tried that and did not receive a welcome email from Ancestry, so this method may not work.

103 thoughts on “Upcoming Changes to Kit Registration at AncestryDNA: Keep Calm and Carry On”

  1. It doesn’t change how we manage the accounts, it’s just more work for the administrators. People will continue to activate test kits for their family members as they do today, just under a different account. Many tests are taken by family members that have no real interest in seeing the results, they rely on who is administering the account to tell them the results. In my opinion this has very little impact in preserving personal security.

    1. Practically speaking, I agree. This is a liability thing for Ancestry. It puts the responsibility for any problems on those of us who manage other accounts, which hopefully will make us better stewards of their results. (Not that most of us aren’t good stewards, of course.)

    2. I am SO glad I did this with my elderly Aunts before this change. They do not live anywhere near me so this would have really been the pits. UGH!

      It just makes it more complicated for those us with distant relatives.

      1. The change hasn’t taken place yet. Ancestry hasn’t announced when it will take effect or what the final form will be.

      2. Sure is a mess for everyone including us 76 year old elders who never had computer classes, we do not know all the tricks, all we do is pay, pay & pay some more!!

        1. If you’re having trouble, call their customer support. They’ll be happy to walk you through it.

    3. I pay for a subscription and it should cover my FAMILY including my husband. He has a separate account and had a DNA test, but he can’t get to the matches or DNA circles without a subscription, so don’t tell me it was for ‘privacy’ reasons – it was to make more money, period. Bottom line, pure and simple. I am NOT going to pay for an additional subscription and i am not renewing mine when it runs out because of this. I will just use a different site.

      What stops someone from setting the account up for their husband and logging into it to do the research? Nothing. So the ‘privacy’ concern is a bunch of bull.

      1. Your husband can give your account manager rights over his DNA test (under DNA settings > “DNA Ethnicity and Matches Access”), then you and he can do all of your research seamlessly in your (paid) account.

      2. This is the same problem my Husband & I are having over my paid Account. My husband was never on the account. But they charged the DNA kits to my charge account and sent the kits to my husband, I am still wondering how they got paid!!

  2. Ancestry has now shown they are not committed to, well for want of a better word, ancestry. I certainly am not going to invest money in tests that I don’t fully control. Certainly in some cases, I may have full control over the kit owners ancestry account, and in those cases it would be worthwhile to continue. But if the kit owner actually has control over their DNA, then the research is dead. My lovely daughter allowed me to buy her a test, and she has shared the results with me, and attached her DNA profile to the 9,000 member tree, but she won’t download to Gedmatch or forward to me any of the emails she gets from her matches, which she just deletes. And that is her right. But that is the future.

      1. And what if we do have permission from the tester to control that DNA results, etc with their permission and mutual access, though the administrator is NOT the test taker? Seems to me that Ancestry.com is poking their noses where it doesn’t belong, all for the sake of profit margins. Simple fact is, yes, the DNA sample(s) belong to the tester … Period. But if they want (say for example) another person to have full control over the test, who the hell is ancestry to butt in and do this? And no where did Evan imply that he doesn’t have permission from the tester who supplied the sample.

        1. And what if the DNA tester doesn’t want to create a new acct. on Ancestry, but wants the person requesting the DNA sample to be done, to deal with the whole matter? My late father didn’t like computers, didn’t even have an email. We’d be lucky if he stayed on the telephone for ten minutes, on a good day. Our late father did the DNA testing at FTDNA because I asked him to help me. He wanted me to register and manage that kit. I have quite a number of kits at Ancestry, under my acct. and recently one of those testers has passed away. If Ancestry.com were to say, to me, that the tester now has to create a new account for their DNA results … well good luck with that! He’s dead. I am the Administrator for his DNA results on AncestryDNA with his permission. AncestryDNA just lost any further business with me as far as submitting any new tests to their database.

  3. It is still possible to transfer control of a newly activated kit.
    Create a share at the editor level.
    Once the new “editor” accepts, you can then log back in and change them to administrator of the kit.
    The old administrator then becomes an editor.
    There is no need to create or connect a tree from the new kit’s account.
    That avoids more of the hassle, even if there are a few more hoops to jump through on the front end.

  4. My current understanding is when you have a free account you can only see basic information about the matches. If your relative shares the matches with you can you see all the information about the matches since you are a paid user? I see no benefit to this whatsoever. Instead of creating a chromosome browser they have come up with this plan to increase their revenue. I believe in making money! I hope this backfires. Two weeks from now I was going to buy 10 test to test all my aunts and uncles on my fathers side. No way will I do this now.

    1. Yes, I can see all of the information on DNA tests that are shared with me. For example, an adoptee I helped let her Ancestry account lapse after we found her birth father. (She already knew her birth mother.) She can no longer see her DNA Circles, but I can.

    2. I agree with you, Robert Wells. The whole problem with this change is that you can only see basic info on the matches and if you’re not a paid member, you can’t send messages, only respond to ones you receive. It is more about money and trying to gain more paid subscribers. I also hope it backfires. I do understand and agree with the liability issue, however, if someone has consented to spitting into that little vial for the person who activates and sends in the kit, then one would assume, they are aware that person is administering their results. I do think less people will test if they are required to create their own account instead of the family member requesting they test being able to administer it.

  5. Seems to me the only gotcha might have to do with where people’s contact messages go. If someone see’s Mom as a match and messages her, it will go to her subscriptionless Ancestry profile, right? As an editor on her results, I don’t think you’ll get these messages. So you would have to logon as her periodically to see them. Or, [per Angelia Roberson] you could set yourself up as an editor, then logon as Mom and transfer the kit to you. Then the messaging should work.

    1. If Mom registers the account using a sibling email address for you, you’ll get the messages. And, yes, Angelia described how you can transfer full admin rights, so that should get around the messaging problem.

      1. I know im late to the party …. but …
        1. What is a sibling email address?
        2. Has anyone come up with a workaround for this issue ??
        3. Would registering my grandparents test kits as “my child” work ??

        1. Registering your grandparents as your minor children would violate the Terms of Service. I recommend that you simply use their email addresses, or, if they don’t have email, help them set up free accounts through gmail or some other service. If they want you to handle all of the day-to-day management of the DNA, it only takes a few minutes to set that up.

  6. I really do believe that it will result in somewhat less sales. Because some people would never make the purchase due to lack of interest or for financial reasons, I have done so on their behalf to ensure that their DNA is on record. I would have the kit sent to me and I would activate and then forward to the subject. After spitting, they mailed the kit and the results came to me and everybody was happy. Now, before you say that they should activate it themselves on their account, let me tell you that I’ve tried that, too. I had a kit sent directly to the subject and they activated it and now will not share it with me. In fact, they haven’t even looked at the results. So, because I can not be assured that the kits purchased by me will have their results shared with me, I will not be making any more purchases of that type. I call that a loss in many regards.

      1. If you are referring to a legal obligation, this particular situation actually has all of the elements of a contract. However, more importantly, I believe there is a moral obligation to abide by one’s word, don’t you?

  7. Any thoughts on what happens when the person dies? I’m sure ancestry has something in the terms and conditions. As we all rush to test to test family members I had never really considered we might loose the ability to find new matches.

      1. They’d still be in the pool but would their account still be active? Can Ancestry keep the account in force even after the person is deceased?

        As mentioned above – how is someone without Internet supposed to do this? We all know several workarounds but following Ancestry’s directions to the letter will be problematic or impossible if we follow the recommendations to test the oldest generation.

        As for testing minors – will the new protocol allow you to admin your minor child’s kit without having to set up a new account and transfer the kit?

        1. From what I understand, yes, minor children will be in the parent’s account. Of course, the question arises of what happens if a child comes of age and there is a conflict over who manages the results. I’ve come across several DNA tests for people who had since died, so the accounts stay in force.

          Of course, the big issue is dealing with people who don’t have internet access or email (like my mother). No easy solutions there.

  8. I’m sure if you had a family member do a dna test that they gave you permission to activate it. I have been an Ancestry.com member for quite some time, (World explorer). I believe if Ancestry does this change, I will cancel my subscription.

    1. Of course, that is your right. I’m not sure how canceling your subscription will help your genealogy research, though.

      1. There are other fish in the sea. I’ve had better results finding living kin around the world using MyHeritage. HistoryLines is a newbie, with potential. Ancestry might be the biggest in town, but others are waiting and in some ways better.

        1. Absolutely, there are other companies out there. Most serious genealogists, however, will want to “fish in all of the ponds”. This post explains how the new system is anticipated to work for those who plan to test at Ancestry.

  9. One thing to note… yes the sibling gmaIL account works with adding a plus sign. I use it with the ftdna kits I admin. However I think an email with the + sign does not work with the ancestry system (ie, you won’t get notifications or pasword resets from the system). Which would pose a problem as well as you wouldn’t be able to download raw dna data, be notified of messages, get tree shares etc.

    1. I was able to set up a dummy account today with a +whatever email address, and I think you’re right about not getting emails. I have yet to receive a welcome email to that account. Personally, the only reason I would consider doing (or recommending) this is if the tester didn’t have access to their own email account (like my mom … bless her luddite heart) and explicitly asked me to. Once the tester has transferred admin control, the emails will come to the admin address.

      I will edit the post to reflect that the +whatever emails do not seem to be going through.

      1. Once upon a time, I set up a new account using the same email address. Email address was the same but the User ID was different. It doesn’t look like you can do that now.

  10. Thanks for taking the time to post the instructions. When I called Ancestry they did not state that the mother / father filter would work, but indicated they would pass on the problem/concern. I’ll assume you already work this way and have tested it though. At any rate, the payoff, versus the expense, and now the aggravation of getting it configured properly for each user, makes this a no go for me going forward. Already frustrated with so many matches with no tree. Silver lining though – my husband is happy we won’t be buying anymore kits…:)

  11. I have to strongly disagree on one issue at least (here and in your posting at the DNAAdoption forum on the issue where you said this isn’t about profit for Ancestry) – Ancestry almost ALWAYS has a profit motive and I can’t see that profit motive always being good for the masses (that trickle down economic idea just isn’t valid in any form). But in terms of this issue – yes, it is profitable.

    Certainly the “account” for DNA is free. But you are missing the real point. It is NOT free to make a tree. Not at ALL free! If you want to really make something of your DNA you need the tree AND to see the tree of others. And what do you need to do that? An account! And that cost a pretty penny at Ancestry. If one person has an account with multiple kits they can have multiple trees and link those to each tree. So, my goodness yes, this IS about profit. Purely about profit. I am unlikely to have more kits, but this is a very bad idea. Elderly and deceased and uninterested relatives are the main (and valid) reason to admin kits. And Ancestry doesn’t give two flips about any of us, genealogy or anything else but making money.

    1. Yes, it is free to make a tree. If you don’t subscribe, you message other members and ask them to invite you to see their tree. Alternately, you can subscribe to the Ancestry Insights level of membership, which lets you see other member trees without an invitation but doesn’t give you access to genealogical records. I think it’s $49/year (but don’t quote me on that).

      That said, I have no problem with Ancestry — or FTDNA or 23andMe or MyHeritage or whomever is next down the line — making a profit. They provide services I want, and I’d like them to stay in business.

      1. How large can the tree be if someone has just done the DNA test and they arent a subscriber. I know someone who has done just this (results not in yet though) but they can’t make their tree any larger than 3-4 generations. If this is the case its not helpful for them or those who at matches to them.

        1. There’s no limit to how big your tree at Ancestry.com can be, even without a subscription.

  12. “Once the new account is set up and you’ve accepted the “editor” invitation, they can make you the administrator of the kit. You and they will essentially swap roles: you become administrator and they become editor.”

    What would happen if you then deleted the second account that originally registered the kit but is now an editor? Would the kit still be administered by your main account as if you had registered it there originally? So exactly the same outcome as what we can do now, just with a bunch of extra steps to get there?

  13. I’m glad I got my family members tested before this happened. Whew! What a pain. I would hate to pay to put someone in Ancestry’s gene pool, just to have them decide now that I paid for it, the won’t let me be privy to the results. It’s their right, true, but Hecks to tha Naw!

    1. That’s a risk we take when we buy a kit for someone else. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had any problems so far.

  14. Everything in business eventually boils down to legal exposure. After reading this post I better understand what is happening. Its a combination of a maturing policy, and a very poorly timed live test of some pending changes.

  15. well, I’m thoroughly confused. They have been saying that the more people *in my tree* that I test, the more I can learn about my ancestry. This would seem to me useless in confirming anything unless the person tested had a tree. I already know I’m related to *them*!

    I was going to have a male cousin take a test, but he’s not on Ancestry so I can no longer see the point.

    1. It’s true that the more known relatives you test (people who are already in your tree), the more you can learn about your ancestors. That’s because they may have inherited different bits of DNA from your shared ancestors, so they may have DNA matches through those shared ancestors that you don’t, and vice versa. By testing known relatives, you are casting a wider net, so to speak, to find relatives, confirm ancestors, and break down brick walls.

  16. Sorry folks, but this is absolute BS. I have paid for another person’s AncestryDNA kit, after seeking out that tester and their agreeing that I administer their DNA sample under MY Ancestry.com acct. And while, yes, the DNA samples are their property legally and ethically speaking. They sometimes would not know jack sh** about what to do with the matches or anything else other than smile or frown when they look at their ethnic prediction results on AncestryDNA. This is just another con job of a corporate jacking to gain more profits. And what if the DNA tester is elderly or passes away and or they do not want to do an ancestry account, but want a younger person in a family to administer their kit. I pay LOTS of money to Ancestry.com every month $35.00 a month for my account. All the DNA testing of 10+ people are registered UNDER MY ACCT. because I am the one doing the genetic research for several families. Who is AncestryDNA to begin f-king around with people’s DNA projects, so that it sabotages their research! While they want the registration to match those doing the kit samples, the fact and reality is, someone like me, pays for the kit, and registers that kit under MY account, and then invites the tester in to have full custody of their kit, but that we have mutual access to the results, to work with those results, to get at the genealogical genetic information. I am NEVER going to buy another AncestryDNA kit from Amazon.com if this is the way they choose to treat their customers! I will stick with Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.

    1. Under the proposed consent procedures, you can still administer all of the tests of family members the exact same way you do now. You and your relatives will just have to go through a few extra steps.

    2. AGREE! Typical Ancestry – create a solution in search of a problem. I wish they would just give us a basic chromosome browser and hire programmers who know how to slice and dice a database. It might actually be useful. Instead they worry about administrators and cause additional headaches.

      As for email, I’d create a special address for the testor that forwards to your email address. That way they wouldn’t be bothered with messages and you could still handle the details.

      1. To comply with the Genetic Genealogy Standards, please make sure that the tester agrees with everything that you do with their DNA results.

  17. Seems like just a CYA move by ancestry. They leave the back door open, you just have to work more to get the results under your aegis.

  18. I am planning to do my Grandchildrens DNA – I really don’t want them to have their own account. They are 5 and 7:

    1. In the case of minors, a parent should set the accounts up for them. The parent can then transfer admin rights to you if they prefer not to handle the accounts themselves.

  19. The timing of this policy revision suggests it also has something to do with the new data collection beta testing that just got underway. One DNA kit per account would be far reliable from a data integrity perspective than multiple kits on one account accessed by who knows how many people.

    1. I’m not sure I follow. Each DNA test is registered to one person, regardless of who administers the test. How is data integrity impacted either way?

  20. Although this may make administrating a little more difficult, I think it is absolutely the right thing to be done. Handled as intended, this process should provide safeguards for the DNA donor, the administrator and Ancestry.

  21. At Family Tree DNA if people wish to have access to multiple accounts via a single log-in this can be done by setting up a project and then adding your family members to your project if they are happy for you to do so. You can have a private project so that there is no public website. If you already have a surname project at FTDNA you can simply add Family Finder kits to your existing project. I’m much happier with the FTDNA system where each person has their own individual kit number and log in details and the individual chooses which projects to join.

    The proposed new system at AncestryDNA seems to make a lot more sense to me. It’s important that individuals have total control over their own DNA and their own accounts. I can imagine that the current system is open to abuse.

  22. I do not see procedure to “swap roles” – if someone has made me an Editor of their tree, how do I now get the Admin status so I can download their raw data to my email?

    1. Trying to explain what they must do to make me admin to a relative who can barely turn on their computer, has no tree of their own and can’t figure out how to accept the share I’ve made of my tree to them.

    2. Someone who has taken the DNA test would have to make you and editor of their DNA results (not tree). Once you accept the editor role, they will have an additional option to make you administrator. That option does not appear until you are an editor of their DNA results.

  23. I can understand the purpose of making each person who requires a DNA test to apply in their own name so that confidentiality is maintained. It is said that this can be done by setting up a new account by the person who has taken the DNA test, which I accept is without a charge. On the basis that this is in the name of protection of information like data protection. How will it stop a given person opening up another account on Ancestry under the name of their DNA connection and still working two accounts from their own computer? It seems to me that if the object of this exercise is to protect information for the person that the DNA belongs to then opening up another account isn’t going to do that.

    1. You are correct that someone could circumvent the privacy protections by setting up a new account for someone else. As a not-lawyer, I would think that puts a huge amount of liability on that person should there ever be a conflict about access to or ownership of the data.

      1. Considering the poor response rate from tested persons to matches, I doubt anyone is going to question ‘ownership’ of the data. If this another HIPPA directive, then it is HIPPA needs a lot of tweaking!
        This is all very inconvenient to serious genealogists. Guess I have sent my last test into an Ancestry lab.

        1. With more than 3 million people in Ancestry’s database, someone will eventually question the ownership of their data. It’s just a matter of time. We (the genetic genealogy community) should be willing to cope with a little inconvenience to ensure that the people who are kind enough to test for us are informed and protected.

  24. Looks as if Ancestry has made another big boo-boo! I have kits outstanding in some foreign countries with cousins there. They don’t begin to understand my language or the process of setting up accounts. The only PRACTICAL way to handle these is to let me administer the kits and do all the work. Then I can share the results with them and explain the tests.
    Ancestry, you worry too much about your CYA’s and not enough about your paying members!

    1. All of the DNA companies need to balance privacy with practicality. We shouldn’t dismiss the importance of both, even if it inconveniences us a little.

  25. I used a ‘sister’ email account to create a new Ancestry account and it worked. After reading your blog I did a search and found a youtube video that demonstrated how to use your current gmail address and add + whatever and Ancestry sent me an email confirming the change and the sister email arrived in my mail account. Thanks for the tip. I’ve never done this before.

    1. I set up two dummy accounts, one with its own email and one with a sister email. I got a welcome email from Ancestry for the former but not the latter, so I can’t promise that the strategy works. In any case, if you help someone set up an account using a sister address to your own email account, make sure that the tester understands the privacy policy and terms of service and that they’re okay with everything you plan to do with their results.

  26. Hello all. I literally purchased two Ancestry DNA kits a couple hours ago, and after reading this, my head is swimming with questions.

    I purchased a kit for each of my parents. They do not have Ancestry accounts, and wouldn’t really want their own. I have my own Ancestry account, and do not have a DNA kit associated with it.

    1. Would I be able to link my Dad’s DNA kit to my account?

    2. If I create an account for my mom’s kit using another email, I can make myself an Editor – but, I would have to recreate her side of the tree so I could find matches for her?

    3. And if I want to find matches for her, I would need to pay for another subscription?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. (1) Yes, you can link your dad’s DNA kit to your account.
      (2) If you are an editor of your mother’s kit, you can link her results to the tree you already have in your own account.
      (3) No, you don’t need to pay for another subscription. Just do all of your work in your account rather than hers.

      The key here is that your parents should understand and consent to what you’re doing with their DNA. I’m sure you’ve addressed that with them, so there shouldn’t be any problems.

  27. I have had an Ancestry account for many years. $200 bucks a year or something like that? I just auto renew.

    What I notice is that in almost all instances, anyone who does a DNA kit, is going to be sent to the SUBSCRIBE page. That page wants you to SUBSCRIBE to an account, and that person will pay )if they subscribe) as much as I do every year (or month..or more if they do the World option) assuming they just “subscribe”. because they don’t know any better, or they don’t phone a friend, or they forget you have been a member for X years, and maybe you know of some workaround…

    Your FREE account only lasts 2 weeks…

    So the way I see it, you do the DNA test, but you can’t see anything until you create an “account”, which is “free”…but “free” only lasts two weeks. (this is why creating a free account BEFORE you do the DNA test is pointless, because we Ancestry long timers know that DNA test will take MONTHS to process..)
    That is why Ancestry can’t force a “new” DNA Results only type of customer, to create a “FREE” account BEFORE they even get a DNA test kit.

    Even if in all of this, if there is some other option for a newbie to somehow get past some of the above, in every instance, Ancestry really wants the newbie to purchase a Subscription, because in 2 weeks their free trial ends…

    Really, the best way is for your “experienced” ancestry user to administer all tests.
    If Admin buys a kit(s), ships to themself, and pre-activates it, then sends along to Relative(s) A or B or C, the Admin understands how screwed up other peoples Trees are, or can be, and can prevent their relatives from accepting every stupid suggestion made by Ancestry, who match Cousin A to Relative A, said cousin, who even though from a DNA perspective may be an extremely close match to Relative A, actually has no knowledge of how screwed up some family trees are in Ancestry…and Cousin A decided to accept every link from every tree.

    If you really care about your tree, you all know now that you may not want to have a lot of “help”, or multiple editors of your tree, unless you know that all understand the Ancestry program well enough to prevent the tree from connecting to bogus links, from others out there who just accept as fact, every leaf that Ancestry throws at them.

    You need to be able to administer the tests; you need to be able to let your relatives see their results, and see who is in the tree, because really, after a couple of hours of looking, that is likely the last time they will look…

    But that means let’s say, 3 or 4 relatives who can see you years of hard work, anytime, and not have to SUBSCRIBE…which means Ancestry loses money..So Ancestry does their best, to “newbies”, to rope them in to the SUBSCRIBE option via their email links to DNA data, and hope that Relative A,B, o C don’t contact you…Because they can now pick up 3 new members, instead of 3 people who get to see data, but never have to pay.

    If I was Ancestry, I would just ask the Tree admin to maybe pay a bit extra, for the capability of giving people “access” to the tree and access to test results, instead of trying to sign up new members who are coming their way strictly by Ancestry DNA

    1. As I understand it, the number of DNA testers who end up subscribing is pretty low, so I don’t think many people are being pushed into subscriptions they don’t want.

  28. I bought kits for two very old 2nd & 3rd cousins. They do not operate or have computers. I just picked these spit kits up and planned to send them in and manage them with their permission. I am new to DNA and had not read all the communications regarding this change, so now I am stuck with two non-usable, expensive completed kits. No need to even send them in as I understand it. Is there any solution? I was hoping they would help me with my own DNA which I have submitted previously.

    1. As long as your relatives understand what you’re doing and give you permission, you can create free email addresses and free accounts for them at Ancestry, register the kits in their accounts, then transfer “manager” status to your own account. When I’ve registered kits for non-users of computers, I’ve asked them if they’d like their closer relatives (kids, grandkids) to control the accounts instead of me. Some say yes, and others have me manage them.

      1. My wife and I just mailed our DNA kits to Ancestry. Upon registering them online, mine went through just fine. BUT, since I have only one Yahoo email address, Ancestry won’t allow me to register my wife’s kit.

        Please advise. Thanks so very much,

        Nick in Tulsa, OK

        1. If it’s a gmail address, you can create a sibling email from the one you already have like this: myemail+mywife@gmail.com, where you replace “myemail” with the first part of your existing email address and “mywife” with whatever you want to use for her. The key is the plus sign after the first part of your existing email address.

          If your email is not a gmail address, you can set one up for her for free and use that one.

  29. HUGE disappointment with AncestryDNA! I have been recommending this test and will no longer do so. I activated and manage the DNA tests for my family (who don’t care to have an account) and tried to activate the last one for my father and now I can’t. He is almost 80 years old and has ZERO interest in creating an account. Plus I am the one who purchased the kit for my own research. By him spitting into the tube and giving it back to me to activate, that is his consent. Again, this is a huge disappointment and inconvenience for family historians and researchers.

  30. I am about to request my dna kit. I note that I can apply for a free account by notifying of the dispatch number on the kit. What I do not note anywhere is just how long this FREE account lasts. I have noted on the blog that this only remains FREE for about 2 weeks. This really does sound like a CON. This time period should be stated after the word FREE. I guess that after taking the dna test and waiting for the suggested 6 weeks or so, I should then join for a yearly subscription. Is there by any chance a reduced subscription rate for those persons who have purchased a dna test kit.

    1. The free account associated with the DNA test is permanent. It doesn’t expire.

      As a separate service, Ancestry offers access to genealogical records (like censuses, birth/death indexes, etc.), and that’s what the 2-week free trial offer is. You will get your DNA results without signing up for the 2-week trial, and you can sign up for the 2-week trial without doing a DNA test.

      My advice would be to take the DNA test, wait until you get your results to sign up for the 2-week trial, then decide after 2 weeks whether you want to subscribe to Ancestry’s records database on a monthly or yearly basis. As I said above, you’ll still have your DNA results, even if you don’t subscribe, because they’re separate products.

    2. One more thought: Ancestry is running a flash sale for Veteran’s Day. One day only, half price on memberships. Only $49 for six months of the US Discovery membership and $75 for six months of World Explorer. Those are great deals.

  31. I have a question. My husband had his dna done and it is linked to my ancestry paid account. Now, I have decided to do my own dna. I realize 2 dna kits cannot be on the same account, so I would like to unlink or remove my husband’s dna results from my account and link his to his own free account I have created, so I can then link my own dna results to my paid account, just so things are not backwards. The only way I can see to do that is to delete the dna from the account, but I am scared I will not be able to upload again to the new account. Will this be an issue?? Because the action cannot be undone, I am afraid to go through with it if this doesn’t work.

    1. Do not delete his results. There is no way to upload to Ancestry. Just create a new account, register your test in the new account, and give manager rights to your test to your established account. You will never have to log into the “new” account again.

  32. I am very upset by the “new” way I have to put on DNA tests. Very, very, very upset. I hope it is not some kind of Con thing in order to harrass the person who spit in the bottle to pay for a subscription. I just had my granddaughter do hers. I am just very, very, very upset. I am going to have ancestry help me get to be adminstator. I have quite a few on my tree now. But this “new’ thinks is a bunch of *(#$@@!!

    1. The new registration system isn’t a scam. It’s actually a way to ensure that the person who takes the test has full control over their own DNA, in compliance with the Genetic Genealogy Standards and with new legislation in Europe. Becoming an administrator requires a few extra steps up front, but then you don’t have to deal with it again, and if the person who tested wants to regain control over their genetic data, they can.

  33. So…. if i make an email address for my grandfather and the create an account for him and register his DNA kit…. I will be able to become the owner of the account ?
    Will I receive all of his emails and match results to my account so that I will not have to sign into his created account ?
    I have a Paid account…. if i do not sign up for the paid subscription for his account will i be able to use ALL of the paid features from my account on his account if I am the owner of his account ?

    1. Essentially, yes. Help your grandfather set up an email account and free Ancestry account, then go into his DNA settings and have him make your account the “manager”. You will be able to view all of his results as if you were the owner, and messages to that kit will come to you. All of the paid features in your account will apply to his kit. Technically his account will still be the “owner”, but your ability to access and use his results will be seamless.

  34. I’m not sure if anyone else has gotten into the same bind as I have… I’ll try to explain. I sent my uncle Jack an ancestry dna test. (he was the 1st one in my family to take one) I linked it to Jack in my tree under my account and email. Now when I click on DNA it shows my picture and says Hello, Jack. I have talked with and emailed with Ancestry and no one can help me fix it. I have unlinked the test from my tree, but still can’t get it fixed. Until I fix it I can’t take my own DNA test because it is showing that I already have. I don’t want to have to delete his DNA profile. Can I transfer the test to my mom’s tree to get it off of my profile? It is showing that I am the owner and administrator of Jack’s test. I have saved the raw data.

    1. Looks like your uncle Jack’s DNA test is registered in your account. If Ancestry’s tech support can’t transfer his kit to his own account, your best bet is to create a new free account for yourself, register your own test in that new account, then make your existing account the manager of your DNA test. It only takes a couple of minutes to do, and you should never have to log into the secondary account again.
      Instructions for how to make your main account the manager are here: https://thednageek.com/quick-tip-invite-someone-to-see-your-ancestrydna-results/

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