Managing your FTDNA Account

After you have ordered and paid for a DNA test with FTDNA they give you a personal webpage account in which you are offered various options.  How you select these options is for you to decide.  However these sophisticated options govern your privacy and how much value you obtain from this Study;  alas finding and understanding them is not straightforward and the default settings are not optimal.
The following advice will help you to make most appropriate use of your investment for both yourself and for our Study. 
                    Note:  -  Details below may change from time to time. 
                                -  Wording below in bold print warrants your special attention.
                                -  Remember to click the "Save" button after editing each page.
1.  Go to convenience you may wish to add this page to your list of "Favourites" or "Bookmarks".  Sign in with  your FTDNA Kit Number and password.
2.  From this personal page click "Manage Personal Information", or under your name in blue click "My Profile", or starting afresh, go to and "Sign in".
3.  Click “Account Information”:

            - “Contact Information”:  Some details are “required” (i.e. compulsory).
                   Note    1.  An option is provided at the bottom of the page for a second email address - this may be useful if you want to enable a relative to sight your account 
                                2.  Study administrators cannot update changes of e-mail addresses: you have to do this yourself, or ask FTDNA's Help desk ((001) 713 868 1438) to do it for you.
                                3.  Outdated email addresses will not receive bulk emails or Study Updates.

            - “Change Password”: facility if needed.                
            - “Beneficiary Information”:  Please consider completing this section so your investment will not be lost.  The procedure is extremely simple.  You can select a project admin if you wish.  
4. Click  “Genealogy”:
            - “Earliest Known ancestors”:  Please complete “Direct Paternal” data for your earliest confirmed paternal ancestor e.g. "Country":  United States;  "Name":  John Irwin b.c1820 PA, d.1870 TX. 
                   Note    1. The admin would appreciate a private email advising where it is thought this individual's paternal ancestors came from.  Additional genealogical data is not required, for workload and privacy reasons.  
                                2. This Study does not use “Direct Maternal” or “Ancestral Location” data.

5. Click “Privacy & Sharing”:
            - “Your Profile”:  Click “i” icon to show the data that will be shared with matches displayed on “Matches” page.             
            - “Matching Preferences”:  For “Y-DNA Matching” selecting “All levels” is recommended.
       - “Origin Sharing”:  This “Opt in” is irrelevant unless you are interested in Deep Ancestry.
            - “Family Tree Sharing”:  This gives options for your sharing of “my Family Tree” if you so wish.
            - “Project Sharing”:  -- “Group Project Profile”:  Please tick the box “Opt in to sharing”
                    Note  1. This enables you to share your DNA results (pseudonymized by using your kit number) and other data including your surname and country of residence on our public Results page.
                               2. Neither your name nor your email address will appear on public results pages including our project website
                               3. Only by sharing this data can you optimise your participation in our Study and can our Study achieve its Goals.
                               4. Opting in to sharing your results in public is now chosen by default for new members of the Study, but was not the default value for members who joined in 2015 through mid 2018.
                 -- “Coding Region Sharing”:  Not relevant to this Study.

6. Click  “Project Preferences”:  This page lists the Group Project(s) you have joined and the degree of Access you choose to grant to their administrators.
                    For the "Irwin Clan" Group Project (i.e. this Surname Study) please “Edit” and allow “Limited", or preferably "Advanced", access to all admins/co-admins
                    Note  1. You may join as many projects as you like, at no cost.
                               2. “Advanced" access enables admins to sight your postal address and other details, but not to alter any details, or, for example, to update your e-mail address.
                               3. Please do not allow “Minimum" access  (formerly "Group Project Access Only”), as this prevents administrators viewing and giving advice on your “Matches”.
4. The roles of the various Co-admins is given in the last item of "Administrative Matters" on this website.
5. You may click the "Leave" box at any time if you wish to leave this project/Study, but please also advise the Poject Administrator.
 7. Click  “Notification Preferences”:  The options ticked by default maximise your benefits of your FTDNA testing
                      Note 1. Keeping all the “Y-DNA” boxes ticked will result in many superfluous emails headed “We have found a New Y-DNA Relative”.
                                    Unticking the Y-12 and Y-25 boxes will avoid receipt of e-mails of little value.  
                                2. But be sure to keep “Projects” "Subscribe" ticked so as to receive ‘bulk’ emails.  

Notes on other "boxes" on your Personal FTDNA page:                                                

Y-DNA – “Matches”:  Note that most of the dissimilar surnames in these lists are “false positives” and that some “false negatives” are excluded:  Also upgrading to a higher resolution (i.e. to more markers) is often not the best investment (see > “Interpreting your DNA Test Results” and > “Choosing your next test”).

Y-DNA – “Ancestral Origins, “Matches Maps”, “Migration Maps”, “SNP Map” & Haplogroup Origins”:  These pages are of little relevance to this Study.  More focussed analyses are provided at

Y-DNA – “Haplotree & SNPs:  These pages are of great value once you have taken a SNP or BigY test.

Y-DNA – Y-STR Results:  This is the raw data of your personal Y-STR test data which is uploaded to your Y-DNA STR Certificate and, if you have ticked the Project sharing opt in box, to and

Y-DNA – Print Certificates: This enables you to print three certificates.

The FTDNA Help desk ((001) 713 868 1438 or your Study Administrator ( if you need further clarification.