I have uploaded my raw DNA results to four sites for free: GEDmatch, MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA, and Living DNA. This article gives you tutorials on uploading to each site.
I also purchased DNA kits from Ancestry and 23andMe. These two companies do not currently accept uploads from elsewhere. However, I have a workaround for you that partly gets around this limitation.
Before I transferred my DNA results to these sites, I examined their history, their owners, and their policies on privacy and co-operation with law enforcement. I recommend that you do the same, and we’ll give you pointers for further reading.
Who Have You Tested With? Here’s Where You Can Upload Your Raw DNA
Find your DNA kit in the top heading of this grid. Every site listed beneath it is where you can upload your raw DNA.
Let’s separate the above information into separate lists – if that’s easier for you to work with.
Where can I upload Ancestry DNA results?
- Living DNA
Where can I upload 23andMe results?
- Living DNA
Where can I upload MyHeritage DNA results?
- Living DNA
Where can I upload FamilyTreeDNA autosomal results?
- Living DNA
Where can I upload Living DNA results?
GEDmatch explicitly lists Living DNA as one of the kits it will accept.
How To Download Your Raw DNA Results
We have step-by-step guides on downloading your raw DNA.
Follow the links below for a choice of pictorial guide or video walkthroughs.
History And Ownership Of Each DNA Site
You should know something about who you’re trusting with your DNA.
You may know that GEDmatch and FamilyTreeDNA started out as small companies run by genealogy enthusiasts. Be aware that both were purchased in recent years by larger corporate entities.
MyHeritage is still run by the founder but has taken major outside investment. And LivingDNA has quite a back story.
We have articles on the ownership and history of each of these DNA sites, and I advise you start with a quick read – and do further research if something doesn’t sit quite right with you.
Security, Privacy, And Law Enforcement Policies For Each DNA Site
We have a section in each upload guide that discusses aspects of privacy and security for each site. We also take a look at the policies toward law enforcement agencies using their sites for criminal investigation.
Some people don’t like the idea of unfettered access by law enforcement to their DNA results. So, you should be aware that some of the sites actively encourage co-operation with law enforcement agencies. While other sites insist that specific court orders are obtained before they provide access.
Check out these sections of our guides. You should also read the privacy policies and the terms & conditions of the site where you’re putting your DNA.
- Is GEDmatch safe? (privacy and law enforcement)
- MyHeritage and law enforcement
- FamilyTreeDNA and law enforcement
- Living DNA and law enforcement
Step By Step Guides To Uploading Your DNA Results
We have an upload guide for each of these four sites that accept raw DNA results from elsewhere.
You can either follow the pictorial steps, or each article also has a walkthrough video.
- How to upload your DNA to GEDmatch
- How to upload your DNA to MyHeritage
- How to upload your DNA to FamilyTreeDNA
- How to upload your DNA to Living DNA
A Workaround To Uploading To Ancestry Or 23andMe
You probably know already that you can’t upload raw DNA results to Ancestry or 23andMe. Both companies have accepted uploads in the past, but don’t take them anymore.
I have two articles that detail a workaround to uploading to each of these sites. The key is to upload to GEDmatch, and you may be thinking…umm, so what?
The point is that, unlike the other sites, GEDmatch gives you enough information to tell where your DNA relatives tested. It’s not always obvious, but I’ve got the details in each article.
So, let’s say you tested with Ancestry and are wondering if it’s worth paying over one hundred bucks to buy a 23andMe kit. You can examine the subset of your 23andMe matches who have uploaded to GEDmatch.
So, by comparing to your Ancestry matches over there, you can make a rough guess as to what you’d get on the original site. If all you’re seeing are low centimorgan matches on GEDmatch, then you may want to save your hard-earned cash for something else.
Here are the two work-around articles:
Other DNA Sites
There are other sites than the ones I’ve mentioned here that will accept your raw DNA. I’ve only written here about the sites that I use myself for my genealogy research.
DNA.land is an exception. I uploaded my DNA to that site in its original academic guise. But then the founders of the site decided to take it down a different commercial route.
The founders acted in the best interests of their customers and deleted all DNA results before asking customers to re-upload with a new set of terms and conditions. I decided to wait to see how the site developed before I uploaded to them again.
I mention this to underline that you should keep an eye on both the history and direction that sites are going if you intend to upload your DNA there.