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Deceased cousin's DNA kit

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  • Deceased cousin's DNA kit

    I have a distant cousin who together in 2015, we took our DNA tests about the same time. However, he was not really involved with genealogy research, he took the test as a favor for us. Now, with the BigY700 apparent breakthrough, I updated to the Bigy. I am trying to contact my distant cousin, but he has not answered us, which is unusual. We have not heard from him in a couple of years, now we believe he may be deceased. His DNA upgrade to the Bigy700 is important to us. If we discover he is deceased, can we somehow become administrators to his DNA Kit. Being we are connected by a mutual 6x Great back in Ireland who was born about 1670, means a lot to the DNA program, and would hate to see his DNA evidence go to waste. How can we save and or upgrade his results.

  • #2
    Did the cousin name a beneficiary in the kit beneficiary data? Who paid for the kit? If the upgrade is ordered and a new sample is needed you need to know in advance if FTDNA will refund the upgrade cost. There are cases where they will not, but I don't know which ones.

    His current results will not be lost. I have a deceased cousin whose kit shows he is deceased but is data is still part of the project data.


    • #3
      Where IS the beneficiary information?? I have a definitely deceased project member and cannot locate his preference.


      • #4
        You must have 'Advanced' access to the kit. Sign into the kit or select it from the GAP. Hover over kit holder's name and click on 'Account Settings'. 'Beneficiary Information' is the third tab on the second line.


        • #5
          I suspected as much. How will a dead person give me Advanced Access?


          • #6
            Obviously, a dead person can't give you anything you don't already have, but they may have given that power to someone else. I had a 1st cousin who died, no will, no wife, no children, no parents surviving him. He lived in Alaska, his two surviving 1st cousins lived in Texas. Turned out he had named the other 1st cousin in some military record and Alaska was willing to give her access to his bank account and other information so any auto bill payments could be turned off and she could deal with other required action on his behalf.

            In your case, did someone have power of attorney, did the deceased have a will? If there is someone who received access to his belongings FTDNA will give them access to his kit and they, in turn, can give you access.

            As project admins we all need to encourage our kit holder to complete the beneficiary information.


            • #7
              Well, I'm being a little facetious. ;-) I do have a couple of leads, and gawd knows we all ought to be able to do a little research.

              I'm trying to straighten out a ...legacy peculiarity, left behind by my predecessor, who has gone on to the realm of celestial analysis and is herself no longer available for consultation, barring use of a ouija board.

              As far as I can tell, we have a small group segregated solely on the basis of pedigree. All I really need is to add EKP information and fold them in with their hitherto unsuspected cousins in the appropriate subgroup.


              • #8
                From the FTDNA Privacy Statement:

                "Only in the event that FamilyTreeDNA is notified about a deceased tester, will account information be shared with the specified beneficiary. In the case that a beneficiary is not specified and upon verification of the deceased user, ownership may default to FamilyTreeDNA."

                So it would seem that anyone who can submit proof that a tester is deceased in order to trigger the beneficiary access. If there is no designated beneficiary, I would think that FTDNA could be asked to assign the kit to an associated project administrator.


                • #9
                  I recently had a woman contact me wanting access to her deceased father's DNA. FTDNA would not give her nor me access to the kit. The woman and her mother lived in different over seas countries. The wife of the deceased member had what would be call 'Power of Attorney' in the US. She provided that document to FTDNA, they gave her access and she then gave access to the daughter. Thankfully FTDNA is very protective of our kits. More protective than we might like sometimes.


                  • #10
                    I really prefer a living family beneficiary —I think. I don't think he has siblings or offspring but his extremely ancient mother is still living, according to the obit.

                    On the whole, I'm glad all the companies chose to conform to GDPR requirements. I hope it will persuade more Brits / Western Europeans to test. Especially for this project!