As the AncestryDNA service has grown, we are increasingly hearing about families taking DNA tests together. Family members want easier and more powerful ways to collaborate with each other to make discoveries in their family story, all while still maintaining control and privacy of their own information. We recently made some changes that allow for better and more varied roles in managing, collaborating, and viewing DNA results—as well as a change to how DNA kits are activated to increase personal control. In this post, we’d like to share more details on these improvements and hopefully answer some of the questions you may have.
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.
One of the benefits of the improved roles is enhanced privacy controls for customers who want others to manage their DNA results. As of July 18, 2017, our process for activating multiple DNA kits will provide DNA test takers enhanced control over their information by limiting activation to one test per account. The one exception to this is parents who will continue to be able to activate tests for their minor children.
If you are a customer who currently manages multiple DNA kits in your account you’ll continue to have access to those DNA results and there’s no action for you to take. If you have other family ready to get started on their own, these simple steps will help them begin their DNA journey.
We know that change can take a little time to get used to, so please feel free to reach out if you have questions. We hope you’ll agree that these changes maintain the features you love while also making improvements that enhance individual choice and control.
For additional information and frequently asked questions please check out our support center. Feel free to leave questions below in the comments as well.
**UPDATED 7/13 at 6P MT**
Based on questions posed in the comments section, we wanted to provide more clarity to some of your most frequently asked questions.
Q: I am the genealogist in the family and I need to see several family member’s DNA results, but I don’t want to manage multiple logins.
A: You can manage multiple DNA tests from your account. The person providing the DNA sample can give access to their test results to other Ancestry account holders. This is done on the Settings page accessed from the DNA Results Summary page. Once access has been given, you can view, collaborate or manage the results from your own Ancestry account, depending on what role you are assigned. For example, if you are named the Manager of a test, member messages about the test results will be sent to you.
Q: After I activate my test or someone else activates their test, can I still link the results to a tree on my account?
A: Yes, you can still easily attach results from multiple tests to your tree. First, the person must give you access to his or her results as an Manager or Collaborator. Options for giving access to a test can be found under the Settings page accessed from on your DNA Results Summary page. Once you have been given access as a Manager or Collaborator, you will be able to link the DNA test to a tree on your account.
Q: Does anyone have to pay for another account to have a family/friend activate a DNA test?
A: No, neither you nor the person activating the kit needs to pay for another account. The person taking the DNA test must create their own free account to activate their test and will be prompted to do so during the activation. Here is a help article in the support center that gives more details on how to do that.
You can also help that person by sending them an email to get them started, see here for more details.
Q: If I have multiple DNA tests on my account, what happens to them?
A: The tests remain associated with your account. We recommend providing the person who took the test with access and control of their results.
Q: My grandparent doesn’t even have an email address or a computer, how can he activate a kit?
A: We encourage you to help your grandparent create a free account for their DNA results. Just as an elderly relative may need help properly providing a sample, or securing the tube cap. Learn how to create a free account here.
As noted above, the DNA Owner may invite you to access – and even manage the test results at any time. Learn how to invite others here.