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Ancestry DNA Test - What do you get if you are not an Ancestry subscriber?

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  • Ancestry DNA Test - What do you get if you are not an Ancestry subscriber?

    Can anyone tell me what happens if a person who is not a subscriber to Ancestry purchases a test there? It seems like I read somewhere that you don't get full access to your own results. But the test has so few features that I'm not sure what there is to deprive non-subscribers of.

    Or do they simply bombard non-subscribers with daily invitations to subscribe.

    I need to know so that I can inform someone else.

  • #2
    No idea. I am an ancestry subscriber who gets bombarded with invitations to test but am not allowed to do so as I live in Europe. Very irritating policy that they have.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
      Can anyone tell me what happens if a person who is not a subscriber to Ancestry purchases a test there? It seems like I read somewhere that you don't get full access to your own results. But the test has so few features that I'm not sure what there is to deprive non-subscribers of.

      Or do they simply bombard non-subscribers with daily invitations to subscribe.

      I need to know so that I can inform someone else.
      I have an Ancestry.com account, but am not currently a paid subscriber. And I haven't ordered Ancestry.com's DNA test. So, what I'm about to write is not first-hand knowledge.

      But my understanding is that if you take their DNA test and you're not a subscriber, you will get all your matches. However, you won't have access to their trees, since you're not a subscriber. Those who take the test and are subscribers do have access to their matches' trees. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

      Since Ancestry.com doesn't give you segment information (which FTDNA and 23andMe do give) to back up their estimates of how closely related two matches are, access to matches' trees is necessary to further research. So, that means that you're totally blind, if you don't have an Ancestry.com subscription, unless the match responds to your messages and gives you access to his or her tree.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LynCra View Post
        No idea. I am an ancestry subscriber who gets bombarded with invitations to test but am not allowed to do so as I live in Europe. Very irritating policy that they have.
        Yes, that must be very irritating. It's almost like they're taunting you - "you could take this great test, if only you lived in the U.S."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
          I have an Ancestry.com account, but am not currently a paid subscriber. And I haven't ordered Ancestry.com's DNA test. So, what I'm about to write is not first-hand knowledge.

          But my understanding is that if you take their DNA test and you're not a subscriber, you will get all your matches. However, you won't have access to their trees, since you're not a subscriber. Those who take the test and are subscribers do have access to their matches' trees. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

          Since Ancestry.com doesn't give you segment information (which FTDNA and 23andMe do give) to back up their estimates of how closely related two matches are, access to matches' trees is necessary to further research. So, that means that you're totally blind, if you don't have an Ancestry.com subscription, unless the match responds to your messages and gives you access to his or her tree.
          Actually, with a guest account, you can't even message people either, unless they message you first. So not only can you not view your matches trees but you can't even contact your matches to ask for an invite. You would have to cross your fingers and hope your matches contact you.

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          • #6
            Do you have the use of the surname and location search features if you don't have a subscription?

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            • #7
              You are able to see the public pedigrees for your matches even if you don't have a subscription. They show you 7 generations of the tree on the match page, there is an option to view the full tree beyond this but I don't think you will be able to view beyond 7 generations if you don't have a subscription. I am basing this on my past experience as when I first did the AncestryDNA test I didn't have a subscription (I do now). Also I could contact matches directly even without a subscription through the "Send Message" button in the match detail page. I am not sure if you would have access to the location and surname search (my guess is you would), that feature wasn't there when I didn't have a sub so I can't say for sure.

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              • #8
                I am not a subscriber and I have had the Ancestry DNA test. I get full access to my own results. I do not get bombarded with daily invitations to subscribe. I can't remember if I had to unsubscribe from emails. That's a very simple task though.

                As travers said, I do get to see 7 generations of my matches' trees, if the tree isn't locked, and if they even have a tree. Many times they don't have one. Other times they have a tree that is unlocked and it only has four generations.

                As travers said, I do get to contact my matches through the Send Message button with a green background. I am able to converse with through those messages. I can't contact them through the orange contact button. Only subscribers can do that.

                I have had matches invite me to their tree which allows me to see their full tree.

                I have not seen a way to search by location or surname.

                I think everyone should get a DNA test there to get their matches to also test with FTDNA so the FTDNA chromosome browser can be used along with comparing matches at FTDNA and so they also get a Y-DNA37 or Y-DNA67 test and some SNP tests and join surname and haplogroup projects.

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone! One more question. It looks like we have a new feature at Ancestry. At least I never noticed it before. It's under settings - Sharing DNA results.

                  Does anyone know if that's available to non-subscribers also?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
                    Thanks everyone! One more question. It looks like we have a new feature at Ancestry. At least I never noticed it before. It's under settings - Sharing DNA results.

                    Does anyone know if that's available to non-subscribers also?
                    I think that setting allows you to share your Ethnicity Estimate only and not the Matching information. I shared mine with my sister and that was all she could see anyway and she was a non subscriber. Anyone else try this and have a different outcome?

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                    • #11
                      I have about 12,000 matches at AncestryDNA & about 225 leaf hinted matches (meaning the MRCA has been found in the trees). About 50% or so of the 12,000 have no trees at all.

                      I know from personal discovery that the matching standard at Ancestry is a lot lower than at Family Finder. I have invited & paid some of my matches to do autosomal transfers. Some of them don't match me in Family Finder, but usually do match some of my older relatives.

                      Family Finder offers a lot more in tools & analysis than Ancestry. So, other than a huge number of matches, what special services does Ancestry have to offer? The answer may surprise you & I find it well worth the price of participation:

                      I can test hypotheticals. I add speculative lines of ancestry to my tree & kick back & see if the added speculative ancestors (always marked with a ?) give me new leaf hints. About 2/3 of the hypotheticals have yielded new leaf hints & if there are several of them, I consider that line of ancestry to be a lot more likely.

                      Timothy Peterman

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                      • #12
                        Timothy,

                        I have a few brick walls where there is plenty of circumstantial evidence but no record to prove. I also enter speculative ancestors into my Ancestry.com tree marked as such. I have entered a few separate trees with the speculative ancestor families. This approach has also paid off for me. And, yes, this is not possible with FTDNA. Another feature of Ancestry.com is that you can see when the match last logged in. Most are recent, but there are a very few that are not. I suspect that my FTDNA matches do not check their results very often. I also like the Ancestry feature of viewing all names in a list where you can see at a glance where they were born and where they died. Now, if we can just convince them of the need for tools like the chromosome browser . . .

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                        • #13
                          Moberly et al

                          The new feature at AncestryDNA of sharing your matches is open to non-members. I am not sure to what extent the sharing involves.

                          From the Ancestry.com forums, Aug 5
                          I apologize for the confusion. The people you share your DNA results with do not need to have a paid membership. They will need to have (or create) a free registered guest account, but they do not need to have a subscription.

                          Thanks,

                          Rebecca R.
                          Community Moderator


                          That said, the new feature is extremely buggy. Many people have sent invitations but the intended recipient never received them. Other people have received the invitations but the invitation was missing a Share button.


                          I have sent two invitations including to myself as a test. Nothing so far has been received even after multiple attempts.

                          I agree with Timothy Peterman that AncestryDNA, major warts and all, is worth tolerating due to the huge number of matches (11000 plus). Altho some of my matches at AncestryDNA have 0 cM in common at Gedmatch and that makes me have some serious doubts. So I do take my matches from AncestryDNA with a major grain of salt. I try (sometimes successfully) to get my more interesting matches to test with FTDNA or at least upload to GedMatch.

                          btw, Timothy, I have seen your name on one of my match lists. Forget exactly which one.

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                          • #14
                            I just tried the sharing feature with another subscriber. It appears to be working. I just did a very quick check. I can see his matches and search them.

                            If anyone tries with a non-subscriber, let me know if you can see and search their matches. I'm not interested in other people's ethnicity results.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LynCra View Post
                              No idea. I am an ancestry subscriber who gets bombarded with invitations to test but am not allowed to do so as I live in Europe. Very irritating policy that they have.
                              Do you mean the European Union as a policy? Or is a specific country in the EU on non-EU country forbidding your tests?

                              I think it's as likely or more likely that Ancestry.com and their DNA testing company's lawyers and management decided not to offer the tests because of the EU's personal data privacy laws but the privacy laws can't prevent you from testing for your own personal education if the involved companies don't publically publish or share that data with other people or businesses. If the EU or a country in Europe is preventing such tests then they have over stepped their bounds.

                              But it is true ancestry.com web site's pretty much useless without a subscription. What do you do once you're almost done with research in the documented portion of your family tree? All I really have left to do is attach census images to the relevant people in my genealogy file. I can do that in a month when I'm ready to.

                              I've seen some of the analysis of these ancestry.com DNA ancestry tests and they mostly misrepresent DNA evidence of ancient migrations and population interbreeding as very recent representations of nationalities and ethnicities. They need to get better analysis.

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