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Monday, September 8, 2014

Is it Done Yet? Our Experience with DNA Testing at Ancestry.com and FamilyTree DNA

As noted in an earlier post, Ancestry.com's retirement of its Y-DNA and mtDNA testing at the beginning of June 2014 prompted us to get off our butts and actually perform and mail in the various DNA tests we had purchased that were still valid. (We had one Y-DNA and one mtDNA test from Ancestry.com that had not been performed/processed at the time of the retirement announcement and these were refunded to us.)

At that time, I thought I would keep track of the tests' progress and give a run-down of what we experienced between the two companies involved -- Ancestry.com and FamilyTree DNA -- since we performed and mailed in the tests at the same time. I delayed making this post a bit longer to include our experience with an autosomal transfer order.

So what tests did we do?
We had two AncestryDNA (autosomal) tests purchased prior to the Ancestry.com retirement announcement. (Note: AncestryDNA, the autosomal test, was not retired by Ancestry.com just the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests.) One test was purchased in 2013 and the other in 2014. I also had an mtDNA test purchased in March 2014 with an FamilyFinder (autosomal) upgrade purchased in June 2014. All of these tests were purchased on sale.

At the end of this August, I ordered one Autosomal Transfer from FamilyTree DNA. This allowed me to upload the raw DNA data from another company's compatible test (AncestryDNA in this case) to a FamilyTree DNA FamilyFinder test. Shockingly, I purchased this transfer at regular price and not at a sale price.

So from the time of purchase to the time of results this is what we experienced.



Test
AncestryDNA (autosomal) the newer kit - Me 
Spit Tube with pre-paid box for return to Utah
AncestryDNA (autosomal) the older kit - Sister
Spit Tube with pre-paid padded envelope for return to Utah
FamilyTreeDNA (mtDNA and Autosomal Upgrade) - Mom
Swabs with padded envelope for return (not pre-paid) to Texas
Autosomal Transfer
from AncestryDNA to FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder - Sister
No physical test, just uploaded raw data that I downloaded from AncestryDNA
Purchased Test
April 27, 2014
Jan 6, 2013
Tues., April 1, 2014
Fri., August 29, 2014*
Shipped
April 30, 2014
(3 days after order)
Jan 11, 2013
(5 days after order)
Wed., April 2, 2014
(1 day after order)
n/a
Purchased Upgrade (no test kit sent/uses swabs from first test)
n/a
n/a
Tues., June 17, 2014
n/a
Took Test
Tues., June 24, 2014
Tues., June 24, 2014
Tues., June 24, 2014
n/a
Activated Test Online
Wed., June 25, 2014
Wed., June 25, 2014
n/a
n/a
Postal Mailed Test
Wed., June 25, 2014
Wed., June 25, 2014
Wed., June 25, 2014 
Fri., August 29, 2014
(technically, I uploaded the data it was not postal mailed)
Received Test / Email Confirmation of Receipt
Thurs., July 3, 2014
(I saw by signing in)
Email: Thurs., July 3, 2014 3:30 p.m.
Expect results in 6-8 weeks
[est. Aug 14 – Aug 28]




 
(0 day – start counting
or 8 days from mailing)
Thurs., July 10, 2014

Email: Thurs., July 10, 2014 5:40 p.m.
Expect results in 6-8 weeks
[est. Aug 21 – Sep 4]

[Note: email received after I sent email at 4:36 p.m. regarding “missing test”]
(0 day – start counting
or 15 days from mailing)
Thurs., July 3, 2014
(I saw by signing in)
Email: Thurs., July 3, 2014 9 p.m.









(0 day – start counting
or 8 days from mailing)
No email received other than confirmation of sale email which had no directions on how to proceed next. 

Note: From a prior phone call to customer service in regards to a couple things, I learned that autosomal transfers results generally take 3-4 business days
Received by Lab
n/a
n/a
Wed., July 9, 2014
(6 days from test received
or 14 days from mailing)
Fri., August 29, 2014
Batch Assigned
n/a
n/a
Thurs., July 10, 2014

Family Finder 3-4 weeks
[est. July 31 – Aug 7]

mtDNA full seq.
(HVR1, HVR2, and mtDNA coding region) 6-8 weeks
[est. Aug 21 – Sep 4]

(0 day – start counting
or 7 days from test received
or 15 days from mailing)
n/a
Processing Test
Thurs., July 3, 2014 ?begun
Thurs., July 10, 2014 ?begun
Thurs., July 10, 2014

Mon., Sept. 1, 2014 (noticed 1:25 am) (technically said Sent)

(0 day – start counting
or 3 days from uploading)
Results Arrived
Fri., July 18, 2014 found results on My DNA Page at 10:38 p.m. (email found later was sent at 10:21 p.m.)

 






AncestryDNA
(16 days from test received
or 24 days from mailing)
[approx. 2 weeks + 2 days
or approx. 3 weeks + 3 days]
Mon., July 28, 2014 email found later was apparently sent at 5:27 p.m., found email about 6:45 p.m)

 






AncestryDNA
(19 days from test received
or 34 days from mailing)
[approx. 2 weeks + 5 days
or approx. weeks + 6 days]
Thurs., July 31, 2014 FamilyFinder
(found 2:35 p.m. by logging in)
[email arrived 9:11 p.m.]

Mon., Aug. 18, 2014 mtDNA
(found 9:40 p.m. by logging in)
[email arrived 10:44 p.m.]

FamilyFinder
(21 days from batching
or 28 days from receiving)
or 36 days from mailing)
[approx. 3 weeks
or approx. 4 weeks
or approx. 5 weeks + 1 day]

mtDNA
(39 days from batching
or 46 days from receiving)
or 54 days from mailing)
[approx. 5 weeks + 4 days

or approx. 6 weeks + 4 days
or approx. 7 weeks + 5 day]

Fri., Sept. 5, 2014
(noticed around 12 p.m.)
[email arrived 9:12 p.m.]









Autosomal Transfer
to FamilyFinder*
(4 days from “Sent” to process
or 7 days from uploading)

*Obviously, this was started late on the Friday before the holiday weekend so the time from uploading reflects this.



So how long did it take?
As far as the return postal mail time, based on two of the test kits (one from Ancestry.com, one from FamilyTree DNA) there was no difference in mail time. I'm not sure if the delay with the older AncestryDNA test came from the post office's end or from Ancestry.com's end with kit intake. (Ancestry changed its test kit packaging.) I never got an answer from Ancestry.com's DNA customer service with regards to the delay. The results just magically appeared one hour after I sent in the query about the missing test.

As far as the time it took to receive results from when the company received/batched the test, despite the one AncestryDNA test going AWOL for one week both AncestryDNA test results were returned well before the 6 – 8 week estimate. The FamilyFinder test results from FamilyTree DNA also came in on time as did the mtDNA test results. Though both companies start their estimated time “clocks” when a test is received or batched, I have included the timing from mailing because I have a feeling that is how some will perceive the length of their wait for results.

With the autosomal transfer, there likely was a delay due to the time I ordered the transfer (late afternoon on a Friday) and that it was the start of a holiday weekend. Though the data was sent to processing by the wee hours of Monday morning (the holiday.) From that point it was 4 business days so I'm considering this delivered as promised.

Of course if there is a really a good sale and if a lot of those tests are performed and turned in promptly it may take longer than a company’s normal estimated time until results are received.

So what did I find out? 
I'll do a short post about my first look at the results next.

©2014, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

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