Thursday, March 21, 2013

AncestryDNA Autosomal Raw Results Now Available

Those of you in my class Tuesday night heard me say that I suspected some major changs were on the way in the short term for those of us who had taken Ancestry's autosomal DNA test. Yesterday afternoon I had it confirmed by a friend that today Ancestry would finally allow us to download our raw DNA test data from the website. And, in fact, minutes ago I did download Gayle and mine's results, all 700,000 plus SNPs.

So what does that mean in the short term? Not much until the software people get on board and make available interfaces and common areas were we can compare our results with our DNA cousin matches. Now that the rest of the world can see the SNPs we had tested at Ancestry, I don't feel it will be long before we all are talking about RS position numbers, chromosome #s and allele 1/2 results among friends and relatives.

Now a little background as a reminder about this DNA test. AncestryDNA’s test is an autosomal DNA test. That’s the kind of test that works across genders and helps you find cousins with whom you can exchange genealogical information to try to identify common ancestors and fill in gaps in your family tree.

Unlike YDNA, you don’t have to locate sons of sons of sons to test and only get results in the male line, and unlike mitochondrial DNA, you don’t have to locate daughters of daughters of daughters and only get results in the female line. With autosomal DNA, you can test the son of a daughter of a son against the daughter of a son of a daughter and get good results.

But unlike either of those tests — where you can get matches with people who descend from common ancestors many many generations ago — autosomal DNA pretty much punks out about 250 years in the past. While it’s possible to find matches to eighth or ninth cousins, you can only expect to find matches reliably back to the fourth or fifth cousin level.

I will have more about this tonight at the beginning of class and if you are a Tuesday night person, you are welcome to sit in the first part of the class for this how to do all this.

If you can't wait for tonight you can get the gory details on downloading your raw data at

CU All Soon