The Big DNA Upset — Ancestry’s Change

Earlier this week broke the genealogy world by introducing a new policy surrounding their DNA tests. This news has caused many a person to express their views concerning the subject, and as any good genealogist would do, I’m jumping into the fray to separate fact from fiction.

Picture of DNA test

According to the new policy released by Ancestry on the 13th of July, :

“Every adult who takes a DNA test is the Owner of that test. The Owner is in the driver’s seat and can assign people to specific roles. The Owner can choose to allow a family member or a trusted friend to manage the test results and direct messages, be a collaborator or just the view the results. If you manage your own test, you will see your role on the test change from Manager to Owner within the next several days. Learn more about the roles an Owner may assign below.”

But what does this really mean for genealogist — professional, amateur and otherwise? And for the future of DNA tests.

This means that each user on Ancestry’s website can have ONE DNA test attached to their specific account.

This DOES NOT mean you won’t be able to access other accounts DNA tests. The user of that account can invite you to view their DNA test through easy instructions that you can find on Ancestry’s website, and Ancestry even gives you this handy chart on how to see the different roles that a user can have pertaining the DNA tests.

Dna Roles
Picture by

So what do we do?

First. Let’s calm out collective genealogical butts and see what this policy really means. You will still have access to all of your DNA tests. That isn’t going to change.

Second. This will give the access back to the owner of the test, which is where it should have been in the first place. If this is an issue for you, I would ask yourself….why? Is it

Is it the age of the user? Create a new ancestry account for them. That way they can access it, as well as their family members in the future. They can also give you access to the test. This doesn’t ban us from accessing the tests, it just gives the ownership back to the owner of the DNA.

Third. Embrace Change. Seriously, if you can’t flow with the changes, then what are you doing in this field? We may think that genealogy is a static and none moving field, but in reality, people die every day and we are continuing to change, add more and build our family trees. Technology changes and we can learn to embrace this.

Those are the facts and those are the opinions. Sound off in the comments below on how you feel about this change.

You can find The Hipster Historian on Facebook & on Instagram. #onfleekfamilyhistory




2 thoughts on “The Big DNA Upset — Ancestry’s Change

Add yours

  1. I didn’t test with Ancestry, so this doesn’t affect me at all, but the biggest problem I see with their new policy is that for families who have extensively tested, but have one administrator keeping track of everything (and I know of a couple who have 75 or more relatives who have tested), this will mean the admin will have to log in and out of every one of those accounts to keep up to date. That seems like a huge nuisance as opposed to just clicking from kit to kit in one account.

    1. As far as I know, this will not affect tests that have already been done, but tests in the future. I was concerned about that issue too, but I think it will let us keep what we already have as I have been able to access tests on my own account for several individuals still.

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