AncestryDNA (aka DNA.Ancestry.com)

Ancestry.com, the new behemoth of the industry, dove straight into DNA testing in a big way with the introduction of an Autosomal test. With the introduction, they retired the testing capability and databases they had acquired with SGMF and others over the years. It almost seems they use the DNA test as a lost leader for marketing. They sell the test, typically on a sale price, and pour all the resultant revenue into advertising the test even more across most television networks. They have had an exponential growth of test results in their match database as a result. Not only passing the elephant in the space within 2 years (23andMe), but on track to double the size of all others combined. Their catch is they do not support contacting testers or viewing their trees, even if public, unless you have an Ancestry search subscription. Hence, they get their monthly revenue this way and use the test database as a source of future customers to target and entice to buy into the document database access.

Ancestry has acquired a number of companies and services over time. Likely the biggest still kept in service is the Rootsweb database of genealogical trees and forums. Access to the DNA portion of their product portfolio is direct via the URL DNA.Ancestry.com. AncestryDNA is simply a shortened, modified form representing this product area.

AncestryDNA pluses:

  • Includes minor (1,000+ SNPs) testing of the Y Chromosome to get a rough Haplogroup
  • Performs extra processing to try and remove false analysis from collision / common value regions
  • Looks for matching between DNA and GEDComs (genealogy trees) and reports on these
  • Looks for likely common early ancestors between larger groups of weakly matched testers

AncestryDNA minuses:

  • Most tested do not seem to be interested in genealogy nor have developed trees; access to trees of matches only if you have a subscription
  • Contact of matches only available through archaic Ancestry.com member messaging system; not normally usable but even less so for non-subscribers
  • No Chromosome browser or matched segment analysis; as it is even hides the total match strength behind obtuse UI mechanism
  • No real support for Autosomal group analysis (in-common-with matches)

AncestryDNA common:

  • Download of RAW data file (Autosomal and yDNA)
  • Match lists (Autosomal only)
  • Can have multiple match kits under one login for easier management