Genetic Geneology - The DNA Reveal

MyHeritage DNA: Raw Data Uploaded

Image of MyHeritage DNA Ethnicity Estimate
MyHeritage DNA Ethnicity Estimate

I finally got around to transferring  raw DNA data from AncestryDNA  to MyHeritage DNA. The nudge that I needed was a clarion call from genealogist Shannon Christmas  that MyHeritage DNA had added a chromosome browser , improved its matching algorithm, and that  he had received a great number of additional DNA matches.

The MyHeritage company extended the invitation to transfer raw data from other autosomal DNA testing services for free over a year ago in 2016. MyHeritage DNA currently has more than 1.075 million people in the DNA database. I have shared my experience with some of the other testing platforms in an earlier post, “DNA Testing for Genealogy. Autosomal Testing Demystified”.

Every time I receive the results from one of these tests or uploads, it’s as if I have thrown a party where the guests show up in the form of ethnicity estimates. When compared to previous parties (test result reveals), I usually experience the following:

  • The guests are sometimes familiar but arrive in a different quantity/percentage.
  • They may arrive disguised, having a different name or are categorized within another group.
  • Sometimes guests that I have seen previously, do not attend. This test it was South Asians.
  • Sometimes there are new guests. In this case, East Africans including Maasai and  Italians.

My point being, every test is going to give you a slightly different estimate that is  based on the samples that are contained in the reference database of that testing platform.  I have provided additional autosomal DNA test results for the same family member . As you can see, all four tests results, including the one from MyHeritageDNA , vary slightly.

A post on the  MyHeritage blog  states the following, “We are planning an update to our ethnicity reports in the next few months to improve their accuracy too. Stay tuned!” I am not sure that there will be changes to the way that they arrive at the estimates or to the way the information is presented.

I am still familiarizing myself with the interface that displays the matches. But here is a quick rundown of my experience so far:

  • I like the feature that shows you the ethnicities that you have in common with a match.
  • I wish for a chromosome browser that would allow me to scroll over that chromosome segment and get the ethnicity  and the name(s) and of the match(es). A bonus would be to also provide  the name of the ancestor on that segment! To my knowledge, no testing company provides this, though 23andme came closest to providing the ethnicity and name of match(es) and then turned it off. 
  • I still have not determined if it is possible to filter the matches by parent. 
  • I wish that each match did not take up so much space and that more matches per page could be displayed. Provide the ability to collapse the match in order to see more matches per page.
Overall, I like the information that MyHeritage provides . As one of my colleagues advised, one should swim in as many ponds as possible if relying on DNA matches to aid in family research.
Other Autosomal DNA Testing Results for same family member


Image of myFTDNA My Origins
myFTDNA My Origins
AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate
AncestryDNA Ethnicity Estimate
23andMe Ancestry Composition
23andMe Ancestry Composition
GEDMATCH MDLP K23b Admix Proportions
GEDMATCH MDLP K23b Admix Proportions

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