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Old 8th March 2013, 10:39 PM
Macarthropod Macarthropod is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Uploading 23andMe raw data to FTDNA

I am primarily interested in the genealogy aspects of DNA testing and have done tests with both AncestryDNA and 23andMe.

I've had some decent results through AncestryDNA, as it has allowed me to confirm some distant grandparents whom I was fairly confident were ancestors despite gaps in the paper trail; it has also given me info that has allowed me to get my family tree back a generation or more through various cousin matches.

I've had a lot less luck with 23andMe. I LOVE the Ancestry Composition info, which surprised me on two counts (it showed a smidgen of Sub-Saharan African blood and a slightly smaller smidgen of East Asian blood, neither of which I expected given what I know of my family tree but both of which seem plausible...and fascinating), so my $99 was well spent just for that info.

However, although I now have more than 525 relative matches through 23andMe, including one who may be a 2nd or 3rd cousin, most of them (including the mysterious close cousin) are anonymous matches who may no longer be actively participating or who have no apparent interest in even responding to private messages. I've even had several promising public matches that have not responded to messages, which has been more than a little annoying. So far, I've had only one confirmed family connection through 23andMe.

Almost all of my confirmed cousin matches on AncestryDNA so far have been through a single grandparent, a grandfather whose ancestry stretches into colonial America on both sides of his family; my other three grandparents were descended from 19th-century German immigrants, and cousin matches through them have been exceedingly rare. I only have one match that seems certain; I have a second that seems promising, as I've been matched to the same person by both AncestryDNA and 23andMe, and our only common surname is through one of my German grandparents. However, neither of us has been able to connect them, so it's possible we're wrong about the match.

ANYWAY, I'm wondering whether it would be worth my $89 to upload my raw 23andMe data to FTDNA. My understanding is that if you have colonial ancestry, there are likely to be a decent number of matches, and, more importantly for my purposes, FTDNA users are much more likely than 23andMe users to be responsive and interested in genealogy.

However, I've heard that FTDNA has been having some issues with importing data and that people have been waiting months to get any results (my 23andMe results are Build 37, which I think is the most recent Build and which I think FTDNA has been upgrading to, which has been part of the problem with recent imports?). I've also read conflicting reports about the usefulness of FTDNA matches when compared with AncestryDNA and 23andMe.

So while I know this territory has been covered before, I'm wondering whether anyone cares to offer advice regarding whether uploading my 23andMe data would be useful or whether my money might be better spent on the National Geographic test or on a full Family Finder test at FTDNA (I'm female, so the current sale on the Y test doesn't do me any good, unfortunately)...or if I should stop spending money on this stuff altogether.
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