|Jo-Anne Mountain, Bennett Greenspan, Diahan Southard,|
and Jake Byrnes, with moderator Blaine Bettinger
I'm in Burbank, California at the DNA Day preceding the Southern California Genealogy Society's annual Jamboree. Last night Ancestry.com made a timely announcement, which is on everyone's mind today. They announced that they are discontinuing their MtDNA and Y-DNA tests, to focus on the autosomal DNA testing.
I was with CeCe Moore and Judy Russell after the luncheon today for a minutes or two as they discussed their conversation during a group conference call with some bloggers and Ancestry. One was under the impression that the samples would not be kept, and the other thought that Ancestry stated that they were still considering what would happen to samples. Until there is public clarification from Ancestry, no one is sure what will happen to those samples. What is sure, is that you have only until September 5th, 2014 to download your test results before they are deleted from the Ancestry website.
But the controversy remains that no-one is clear on the fate of the samples already submitted to Ancestry. Bennett Greenspan repeated his company's guarantee twice today- that samples submitted to Family Tree DNA are kept for 20 years. This is important for people who submitted their grandparent's samples, and now their grandparent's have passed away. As new tests become available, they would like their grandparent's DNA tested again. Greenspan also gave the caveat that although the samples are kept, they are not always viable, or they do not always work with some of the newer testing. At least you can try with FTDNA, which is impossible if Ancestry destroys samples.
Now because of this new information from Ancestry, the classes today have been full of questions. Everyone wants to know if their parents and relatives can "bank" their DNA. According to Greenspan, his company is looking into this possibility. I have no idea about the other companies such as National Geographic, 23 and Me, Britain's DNA, African Ancestry, etc. Perhaps their representatives are discussing this right now in the other sessions still going on at this conference today?
In March we visited Spain. My father-in-law living in Madrid is elderly and suffers from Parkinsons, so we had him give a sample for the Ancestry Autosomal test. Now I'm wondering when we will be returning to Spain so I can bring an FTDNA test, or some other test because of this controversy. I don't know how long he will live, or if he will even live until we can get back to Spain. It is sad to thing this way, but it is important to consider.
I'm very glad I decided to participate in the DNA Day today as part of Jamboree!
"Ancestry.com Pulls the Plug on Several Sites" from Geneabloggers
"Ancestry.com Officially Retires Y-DNA and mtDNA Testing" from Your Genetic Genealogist
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Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo