Tag Archive | myheritage

MyHeritage’s Theory of Family Relativity

It seems as if every DNA and genealogy company is unveiling wonderful new features this week at RootsTech 2019 which makes me wish I was there. It will take me many posts to cover all the ones that excite me!

MyHeritage has just unveiled a cool new feature called the “Theory of Family Relativity.” The idea is to look at your tree and other trees in their database to see if the computer can figure out how you are likely to be related. When you click on the big pink View theories button at the top of your DNA matches page it will show you just the DNA matches for whom it thinks it has found the relationship.

What is exciting and different about this offering is that when you click on the “View theory” in the listing for a match it offers you several paths to view a graphical representation of the possible relationship including percentages of accuracy. It also indicates the trees or records the deduction was made from. Here is how it shows that with a known 5th cousin of mine. I had not known that she had tested nor had I been in touch, although I knew her family.


If you go to the match page of a match that has a theory, it will show you a compact view of the expected relationship at the top of the page without the tree names and percentages however it includes a click point to see the full theory.

Continue reading

MyHeritage DNA Matching: Excellent Enhancements

MyHeritage has kept its promises: tree matching, pedigree display, a place for notes, and best of all, a chromosome browser. Plus the cousin matching is finally quite good, at least for your closer cousins, and includes some triangulation.

A very nice new feature is the Ethnicities Map, a menu item under DNA, which gives you the common groups for any modern day country you select. Since a question I commonly receive from family members is “Why doesn’t my known German ancestry show up?”, it is great to be able to show them this map:

A picture says it better than telling them that in the DNA, northern Germans look Scandinavian, southern Germans look Italian, eastern Germans look East European, and western Germans look French. My maternal ancestors lived at the crossroads of Europe!

Uploading your results from another DNA testing company is still free at MyHeritage and you get many of the DNA features. Personally I have just a data subscription and a small tree (there is a 250 person limit for unpaid members). In a few weeks I will create an account for a cousin and see if this works as well as it is supposed to for completely free members.

After the recent change, the segment details for my matches to my close family are very similar to what I see on GEDmatch and 23andme, same chromosomes, similar sizes, slightly different boundaries. This is a wonderful improvement!

Since my ancestors are all fairly recent immigrants from Norway and Germany, I was hoping for some international matches when I uploaded my DNA results to MyHeritage last year. In practice, as usual, there were no Germans (testing is not popular there), but plenty of Norwegian cousins that I already knew about, plus a few new distant ones.

However, I did recently get a new close cousin match (1C2R-2C1R), Melissa from New Jersey. I will use her match to investigate the new improved DNA matching.
Continue reading

Another Wonderful Jamboree is Over

What makes the SCGS Jamboree so special? For me it is DNA day and all the attention paid to DNA at a first rate local genealogy conference. Of course we genetic genealogists also have the I4gg conference, which is returning to San Diego this coming December 9-10.

Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage and Kitty

This year at Jamboree I made sure to go to presentations from the two newest DNA testing companies: MyHeritage (the European answer to ancestry.com) and LivingDNA. I also visited their booths and talked with both groups.

I also enjoyed finally meeting DNA expert Debbie Kennett and listening to her talk (both the lovely British accent and the presentations).

Daniel Horowitz made a convincing case for the future DNA features at MyHeritage (chromosome browser, family tree matching, etc), so yes get your DNA results uploaded there while it is still free! If your recent ancestors are not from North America, it might make sense to use that site for your tree and DNA testing. Plus the test is a cheek swab which is easier for old folk. Yes, GEDmatch takes uploads of the DNA results from MyHeritage and I just saw my first kit starting with an H in a one-to-many.

On the other hand, if you have British roots, LivingDNA may be the test for you and it is also a cheek swab. They have built on the academic research for the people of the British Isles, so can pinpoint the areas of Britain and Ireland that your ancestors came from. They are gathering more data from other countries but currently my Norwegian and German ancestors seem to have a large presence on the British and Irish coasts (think vikings and Saxons) but I will save those results are for a future blog post.

Continue reading

MyHeritage DNA matching is here!

The first release of a new feature, is always exciting but just as often it is also disappointing because it is missing functionality that you expected. I am told that the things I missed the most – search by surname, sorting options – will be implemented, but I did not get a commitment on getting a place to put notes.

MyHdropDownIf you previously uploaded your DNA kit, you can now see your DNA matches at myHeritage by clicking on the tab Discoveries and then on DNA Matches in the drop down (the red arrow in the image is mine as usual). When you have more than one kit there is a drop down to select which kit’s matches to view (a tiny down arrow to the right of your name after the words DNA matches for).

Your matches appear in an attractive list, each in its own box with some information. My known second cousin John is shown below. Scrolling to the bottom gets more matches. There is no paging yet.

If you have not yet uploaded your DNA then go to your tree and find the person whose DNA test you wish to upload. Click on the words Upload DNA data and then follow the instructions.

MyHeritage announced the release of this DNA matching feature in today’s blog post at
where they explain that they are using imputation (DNA.land uses a similar technique) to match people from all different companies and chip versions and that they are confident in their accuracy.


So how do these matches look? My close family looks fine. Dad, myself, my brother, and a second cousin who uploaded his data. Cousin John is listed as a second cousin to my brother and myself but he shares 294.9 cM with a largest segment of 81.5 over at GEDmatch. Somewhat different from the image above where his largest segment is close enough at 81.1 but the total is lower at 211. Perhaps that is because I used my brother’s ancestry kit. Checking my own match with him, there is also less shared DNA at MyHeritage (188cM) than at 23andme (283 cM). Even if we remove the 14.4 cM on the X from that total.

But the less close matches are not looking quite so good.

Continue reading

MyHeritage is now doing the family trees for 23andme

So what is the impact of MyHeritage doing the family trees for 23andme? We can all agree that the previous family trees at 23andme were difficult to use. So this has to be an improvement, right? Maybe not.

To try it, I connected my own 23andme account to my existing MyHeritage tree and then looked at it from my aunt’s account, after logging out of MyHeritage. It was hard to find it on my profile. All the way at the very bottom were the words Family Tree next to which were the linked words View Kitty Cooper’s Family Tree. When I clicked on it I saw this:

Oops. My Dad is set as the home person. Maybe Google can help me figure out how to change that. Clicking on the image above will take you to my tree so you can judge for yourself how well you like it.

MyHeritage is an excellent site in many ways, but to take advantage of the record matching you have to buy a premium membership. Also if you want more than 250 people in your tree, payment is required after those first free 6 months for 23andme folk. The premium or data membership gives access to many European records not on ancestry and also some newspaper articles I have not seen elsewhere.

For me, the biggest issue with MyHeritage is having no pedigree view on the family tree. When generation after generation had eight or more children, their tree view is very unwieldy.

In the rest of this post I will walk you step by step through setting up your 23andme tree at MyHeritage which you must do by May 1, 2015 to take advantage of the offer.
Continue reading