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A delay and a sale

It’s been a busy few days in the DNA world, with an announced delay of a delay in one change at Chilling with AncestryDNA and the launch of a summer sale at Family Tree DNA.

The Chilling with AncestryDNAdelay

Chilling with AncestryDNA’s decision to alter its match criteria in an effort to reduce the number of false positives at the outer edges of its DNA matching system has a lot of people up in arms. And one of the big factors was that a short timeline was set for implementing the change, meaning those who wanted to retrieve data from matches about to be deleted had to scramble.

So there’s been a delay.

An announcement from Ancestry explains the changes in the matching criteria and in the timing: “Our updated matching algorithm will increase the likelihood you’re actually related to very distant matches. As a result, you’ll no longer see matches or be matched to people who share 7.9 cM or less DNA with you unless you’ve messaged them and/or included them in a note, or added them to a group (including your starred group). This means you will have fewer DNA matches and ThruLines™. Based on customer feedback, we are delaying this change until late August so you have time to review and determine if you want to save any very distant matches by sending them a message and/or including them in a note or group.”

Now… The Legal Genealogist is not in the “the world is ending” crowd on these very small matches.1 For the vast majority of users (including the vast majority of those bemoaning the change), this will be a good change, eliminating huge numbers of most-likely-false positives and allowing people to focus on matches that are much more likely to produce sound genealogical conclusions.2

But there are users who don’t agree.3 And if that includes you, you have a little more time to act.

What you’ll need to do is take advantage of this delay, go through these small segment matches, and preserve the matches you want to save in your match list by:

• Sending each of those matches a message or
• Adding each match to the default group Starred Matches (under the “Add to group” link at the right) or
• Adding each match to a custom group you’ve created (such as “small segment matches”).

While you’re reviewing the matches, if there’s a ThruLine or other genealogical information you want to save, making a screen capture would be a good idea, since — as far as we know right now — keeping the match in your match list does not mean keeping the ThruLine.

The Family Tree DNA sale

Meanwhile, over at Family Tree DNA, the summer sale has been launched with some terrific sale prices on types of DNA tests that are extremely useful for genealogy and unavailable anywhere else.

FTDNA summer sale

The sale pricing is:


New Tests Regular Price Sales Price
Family Finder $79 $59
Y-37 $119 $109
Y-111 $249 $219
Big Y-700 $449 $399
Full Mitochondrial Sequence (FMS) $159 $139
Upgrades Regular Price Sales Price
Y-12 to 37 $79 $59
Y-12 to 67 $149 $129
Y-12 to 111 $199 $159
Y-25 to 37 $49 $39
Y-25 to 67 $119 $99
Y-25 to 111 $189 $149
Y-37 to 67 $89 $69
Y-37 to 111 $139 $109
Y-67 to 111 $89 $79
Y-12 to Big Y-700 $399 $359
Y-25 to Big Y-700 $389 $349
Y-37 to Big Y-700 $339 $319
Y-67 to Big Y-700 $279 $259
Y-111 to Big Y-700 $239 $229
Big Y-500 to Big Y-700 $209 $199
mtDNA to (FMS) $119 $79
mtPlus to (FMS) $119 $79

Bundles get an extra $9 off.

Prices are good through August 31, and you can get more information and order summer sales tests and upgrades at Family Tree DNA.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “DNA round-up,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 2 Aug 2020).


  1. See Judy G. Russell, “Chilling with AncestryDNA,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 19 July 2020 ( : accessed 2 Aug 2020).
  2. See generally Blaine T. Bettinger, “Losing Distant Matches at AncestryDNA,” The Genetic Genealogist, posted 17 July 2020 ( : accessed 2 Aug 2020).
  3. See e.g. Roberta Estes, “Plea to Ancestry – Rethink Match Purge Due to Deleterious Effect on African American Genealogists,” DNAeXplained, posted 19 July 2020 ( : accessed 2 Aug 2020).
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