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YDNA Printable Certificates -- Moved or Removed?

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  • YDNA Printable Certificates -- Moved or Removed?

    I had a member of one of my genealogy societies ask me something so I went looking on my brother's test so I could explain how to find it and I couldn't find what she had asked about. I did my brother's test back in 2017 and since then have mostly just looked at the new results when they arrive.

    Back then there were some YDNA Printable Certificates you could download as PDF files. One had the haplogroup and the values for the level you tested at while the other two were about haplogroup migration. I think there was also an explanation document. I do not see this button on the dashboard and I have looked all around where I can think it may have been moved but I have yet to find it. I know the Y-STR Results button gives most of the information but it is not in the "pretty" certificate format that my gene pal was looking for to print for her son's cousin. Can anyone tell me if this feature was discontinued or if not discontinued where the access to it is located now? Thanks.

  • #2
    I read somewhere about a month ago that the certificates had been removed, for both Y-DNA and mtDNA. It's too bad, as they were nice to have available, and displayed the information well. For those who hadn't noticed and/or didn't download the .pdfs of the certificates, the information on them included:
    • Date of the certificate
    • Your name
    • Your haplogroup, for the level to which you tested
    • Your Sample # (kit ID #)
    • For Y-DNA, it showed the SNPs for which you were positive, OR, showed the STR marker names and the values you had for each.
    • For mtDNA, it showed your rCRS Values differences at each level (HVR1, HVR2, Coding Region differences from rCRS)
    FTDNA no longer has a page in the Learning Center describing any of these certificates, but via the Wayback Machine, we can see a 2008 example of a Y-DNA certificate from the last time the "Certificates and Reports" page was archived. This post from a former FTDNA forum administrator back in 2011 explains the policy at that time. I don't think FTDNA will mail a certificate nowadays, but you can contact them using the Customer Support link at the top right of this page, and see what they say.

    In lieu of the Y-DNA certificates, as you mentioned you can check your results as explained on the Y-DNA Y-STR values page, and also the Y-DNA – Haplotree & SNPs page explains SNP results if the person had that type of test. But, it's not the same as having a nice certificate for your brother, or your genealogy society's member. Perhaps you can use the information and make up a certificate using a template, or print on a paper with a decorative certificate border.

    I'm usually pretty good at saving information for the accounts I manage, and have several who had either Y-DNA or mtDNA (or both) tests done. But for one who had mtDNA FullSequence done, apparently I missed downloading the certificate for mtDNA. While you can find the rCRS Values differences for mtDNA under "mtDNA > Mutations," for some it is hard to understand.

    Perhaps FTDNA will bring back the certificates, if enough interested people who want them would ask about it. It would have been nice if FTDNA had given a warning that the certificates were going to be discontinued, so people who wanted them could have had a chance to download them. I just sent in a support request to see if there's any way to get the one I'm missing, and ask why they removed them (I can guess - bottom line, somehow).

    Last edited by KATM; 22 May 2021, 05:05 PM.

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    • #3
      The "Data Download" link under the Y-DNA section on the dashboard page will not download any file, but instead go to the Y-DNA Haplotree where your SNP is located (exactly the same as the "Haplotree & SNPs link). The button for Y-STR Results" gives the STR values and results in rows by panels tested; you could try saving that page as a .pdf, but it would cover several printed pages. The link at the bottom of the "Y-STR Results" page is to download a .cvs file of the same markers, however many were tested, but in one wide spreadsheet format.

      Also, for those interested in mtDNA, the "Data Download" link shown for mtDNA downloads a .cvs file with a list of mtDNA SNP positions and results (example: position 195, result T). We might as well either take a screenshot of our "mtDNA - Mutations" page, or save it as a .pdf (if your browser allows it, or you have "Print Friendly" or similar tool). The latter page is better than a spreadsheet list, for general viewing at any rate. At the bottom of the mtDNA - Mutations page is a link to download a "FASTA" file of your mtDNA results, but unless you have a specific need for it (such as to submit it to GenBank), or enjoy reading a bunch of CATG letters (if you convert it to a text file), it's not helpful for the average user.

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      • #4
        Thank you both for responding.

        Yes it would have been nice for some warning that this or that will be discontinued. Luckily when I got all my test results the first thing I did was I download or screen capture everything I can, and again if I have an upgrade done. I usually advise doing this when I present on DNA to our gene society. The certificates (which I believe were auto-generated) were a great way for anyone but especially elders to see and understand how they and a cousin for example are the same or just a little different. I know the info is still there but it is harder for the less experienced to find and use and understand.

        Yes, I too noticed the Y-DNA download button was not working as it has in the past.

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        • #5
          I'm very glad that you give this advice when presenting to your genealogy societies. No matter at which company one tested, it is very important to download data (at first, and regularly in the case of match lists), and do screen captures in order to save information. We never know when things will change. This applies not only to match lists and matching segment data, but also raw data files, myOrigins maps from Family Finder (or similar elsewhere), etc.

          It's also good advice for adoptees who have DNA matches, so if they get a close match, the first thing to do would be to save all they can about the match (screenshots of family trees, surnames and locations, and Chromosome Browser segment data). Once they contact that close match, there's always a chance that the person may remove data, or turn off permissions to share.

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          • #6
            GoneResearching and others who may be interested: there is hope for the return of the discontinued certificates. I heard back from a Customer Support Information Specialist, who said that they are being redesigned and they hope to bring them back later this year. Apparently there were some bugs occurring with the certificates, which are being fixed.

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