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 which manage your privacy and determine how much value you obtain from this Study. How you select these options is for you to decide, but 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.

  • After making any changes we recommend that you "Sign out" and "Sign in" again to check that your change has been implemented successfully.

  • Your admins cannot change these settings for you.

1. Go to For 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 "your name iand Kit niumber, then "Accoint Settings", or starting afresh, go to and "Sign in".

3. Click “Account Information” and select:

3.1 “Contact Information”: Some details are “required” (i.e. compulsory). Note:

  • An option is provided for additional email addresses - useful if you want to enable a relative to sight your account.

  • Administrators cannot update changes of e-mail addresses: you have to do this yourself, or ask FTDNA's Help desk ((001) 713 868 1438) for help.

  • Outdated e-mail addresses will not receive bulk emails or Study Updates.

3.2 “Change Password”: facility if needed.

3.3 “Beneficiary Information”: Please consider completing this section. The procedure is extremely simple. You can select a project admin if you wish.

4. Click “Genealogy” and select:

4.1 “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". Do not add additional information here. Note:

  • Please e-mail the Study admin advising where you think this man's paternal ancestors came from, and your own country of residence.

  • This Study does not use “Direct Maternal” or “Ancestral Location” data

  • Additional genealogical data is not required, for workload and privacy reasons..

5. Click “Privacy & Sharing” and select:

5.1 “Your Profile”: Click “i” icon to show the data that will be shared with matches displayed on “Matches” page.

5.2 "Investigative Genetic Genealogy Matching" (IGGM) (formerly Law Enforcement Matching). It is important you select the option that accords with your personal views on this matter.

5.3 “Matching Preferences”: For “Y-DNA Matching” selecting “All levels” is recommended.

5.4 “Origins Sharing”: This “Opt in” is irrelevant unless you are interested in Deep Ancestry.

5.5 “Family Tree Sharing”: This gives options for your sharing of “My Family Tree” if you so wish.

6. Click “Project Preferences” and select:

6.1 "Group Project Administrator Access": For the "Irwin Clan Surname" Group Project (i.e. this Study) please select the "pen" icon and allow “Limited", or preferably "Advanced", access to all admins/co-admins. Note:

  • Please do not allow “Minimum" access, as this prevents admins viewing and advising on your “Matches”.

  • “Advanced" access enables admins to sight your postal address and other details, but not to alter any details.

  • The roles of the various Co-admins is given in the last item of "Administrative Matters" on this website.

  • You may join as many projects as you like, at no cost.

  • You may click the "Leave" box at any time if you wish to leave this project/Study, but please also advise the Project Administrator.

6.2 “Project Sharing”: -- “Group Project Profile”: Please slide the box “Opt in to Sharing” to the "On" position. Note:

  • This enables you to share your DNA results (identified only by kit number), your surname and country of residence etc. on our public Results page.

  • Neither your name nor your email address will appear on FTDNA's public results pages or in our Study website

  • Only by sharing this data can you optimise your participation in our Study, and enable you to help our Study achieve its Goals.

  • 95% of our members have consented to share.

  • Unless/until you tick your "Opt in to sharing" box your results are deleted from the public version of our main results table and replaced with "not shared in public". You may however ask the Study Administrator at any time for a members-only version of our main results table that includes the details of all members. Such members-only versions must not be made public on web pages etc.

6.3 “Coding Region Sharing”: Not relevant to this Study.

7. Click “Notification Preferences”: The options selected by default maximise your benefits of your FTDNA test(s). Note:

  • Keeping all the “Y-DNA” boxes selected will result in many superfluous emails headed “We have found a New Y-DNA Relative”.

  • Unselecting the Y-12 and Y-25 boxes will avoid receipt of e-mails of little value.

  • At “Projects” please keep "Subscribe" set to "On" so as to receive ‘bulk’ e-mails.

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”, but that some “false negatives” are excluded. Note also that 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 after 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, if you have ticked the Project sharing opt in box, is uploaded to and to < "Latest Results Tables".

Please contact FTDNA's Help desk ((001) 713 868 1438 or your Study Administrator ( if you need further help.