Managing multiple kits – and the new AncestryDNA change

 

There has been lots of brouhaha in the genetic genealogy community this week! AncestryDNA just announced some dramatic changes coming July 18th for people who want to manage multiple kits. In a nutshell, AncestryDNA kits that are registered on that date or later must have their own unique Ancestry account, with its own unique email. This can be a free account, and we can still manage those other kits, but it involves a bit more effort, especially initially.

I have some relevant links that I’d like to share here, in two sets. Before we think about the AncestryDNA policy change, we need to think about some implications of managing other people’s DNA results in general. So that’s the first set. And then we can learn more about the specific impact of Ancestry’s announcement and how to deal with those changes—for that, see the second set of links.

 

Managing Other People’s DNA

  • In 2014, the Genetic Genealogy Standards Committee developed and published standards—not for the testing companies but for us consumers. These are essential for those of us who manage or help with DNA kits and results for people besides ourselves. See the Genetic Genealogy Standards and download/read the PDF here.
  • At his Facebook group Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques a few weeks ago, Blaine Bettinger provided sample WORD documents called Informed Consent Agreement and Beneficiary Agreement to download and tweak as desired and then share with any DNA tester we are recruiting. These are certainly questions we should be asking people that we’re soliciting for DNA. Written consent is always a good idea, but at a minimum, we should be asking verbal permission if we want to take any of the actions listed in the consent. Blaine has given me permission to provide those documents here–see the links above. (Or if you do join or belong to the Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques Facebook group (a great one for beginners and more experienced folks alike), you can find these documents by selecting Files from the options at the upper left of the group’s Facebook page, and then scroll down to find the two called “Informed Consent Agreement” and “Beneficiary Agreement”.
  • Finally, last fall, our Central Indiana DNA Interest Group had a round table discussion on testing extended family and I posted observations about that on my blog here. I think we raised some good points about considerations when managing multiple kits.

The Change at AncestryDNA

 

What now?

Right now, if you have any AncestryDNA kits in hand that you just haven’t given out yet, you can register those kits before July 18th to your own account, and they will still be managed as they have been. The change affects kits registered July 18th and after. I just did that with my one extra kit: named the person Pending Relative, and for now, indicated it was a male born the same year I was. AncestryDNA sent me confirmation that it was now registered as P.R. and admin by me. I can change that info later when I actually do have someone test. I did not link it to a tree – no reason to do that until the sample is sent in, whenever that happens, or when the results are in.

If you’ve been planning to get more AncestryDNA kits, they’re still on sale at Amazon for $79 and if you have Prime, see if the free shipping will get them to you by July 17th, so you can register them immediately.

I know I have one relative who has her kit already but hasn’t sent me the registration info, and likely won’t before the deadline. So I’ll get to experience the new changes soon. But considering how complex some of the genetic genealogy is that we do (remember being a newbie at GEDmatch.com?), I think I’ll get used to it pretty quickly.

Ann Raymont © 2017

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5 thoughts on “Managing multiple kits – and the new AncestryDNA change

  1. Pingback: Reality Check—Changes at AncestryDNA – The DNA Geek

  2. Robert S.

    Ancestry over-reacting yet again and I mean the company not the customers. Adding more steps, and you will need to monitor the new accounts for e-mails from matches which in addition to having to create new accounts for the new testers can quickly become a bigger headache than it’s worth. They already have in place protections that were more than adequate for what this new change is supposed to address. Why reinvent the wheel unnecessarily? It may not be the DNAgeddon some have suggested, but it’s also not as easy as the anti-DNAgeddon crowd wants us to believe.

    Damage control is something Ancestry needs to learn how to do since this has already caused more lost customers and I see MyHeritage being the biggest benefactor of this loss although it may be a few months to a year or longer before they are able to take full advantage of Ancestry’s faux pas.

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  3. Elizabeth Jobst Nuffer

    why keep complicating things. i have a older brother who did his DNA last fall. he never comes up on my list. but he comes up on my 1st cousins. i am losing faith in these tests. i thought it was a waiting for update thing. very disappointed and not happy with changes. were is my match for my brother.

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  4. John S Lynes

    OK I did a DNA test on my mother back in June 2017 , as I under stand I have control of her DNA and I am the administrator and genealogiest in the family, but her DNA hasn’t come back yet. What happen if it did not take and you have to send me another kit.and we have to do this all over again she is in her 90’s and doesn’t do e-mail or any genealogy. That’s not fair to a 90 year old woman who has granted permission and has done the test once already.

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