MyHeritage DNA offers DNA testing kits and a service which analyzes your DNA to help uncover your ethnic origins. This includes the ethnic groups and geographic regions you originate from. You may also find new relatives you never knew you had by finding others who share your DNA. MyHeritageDNA was launched by the online genealogy service MyHeritage in 2016. Before this and since 2008 MyHeritage had partnered with Family Tree DNA to offer a DNA testing service.
MyHeritage DNA has one of the cheapest DNA testing kits on the market at only $99 (or cheaper depending on the promotion). Once you receive the kit all you need to do is a simple cheek swab which takes less than 2 minutes. You then mail your sample to MyHeritage DNA and in about 4 weeks you will have your results.
The MyHeritage DNA test uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing. This test looks at chromosomes 1-22 which are inherited from both parents and recent ancestors. The test also looks at the X-chromosome which follows a special inheritance pattern. This test provides the raw data that helps MyHeritage DNA to calculate your ethnicity estimate and DNA matches for both paternal and maternal ancestral lines.
How It Works
To get your DNA testing kit you will first need to visit MyHeritage DNA's website. From there you can order your MyHeritage DNA kit and create a user account. After the kit arrives in the mail (usually by the next week) you can proceed with getting a sample which only takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.
In your kit you will find instructions, an activation card, a return envelop, 2 vials, 2 cheek swabs, a white protection pad, and a plastic bag (marked biohazard). First take the activation card and login to your account on the MyHeritage website. Activation is simply entering the barcode number on your account so that your sample and the DNA it provides is now tied directly to your account.
Next you will then remove one the swabs from its plastic cover and swab one of your cheeks for 30 to 60 seconds. You then open one of the vials, stick your swab into the vial (swab-end first), and then break the swabs handle at the marked black line. The vial contains a liquid which will help preserve your sample. Close the vial tightly so it can't leak. You then repeat this process for your other cheek with the remaining swab and vial.
After you have collected your samples and they are safely in the vials you can open the plastic bag and place both of them inside next to the included white pad (which protects while in transit). You then seal the bag and insert it into the return envelop and mail it to the MyHeritage DNA test lab. Once your sample is received, your results will be available to you in 3 to 4 weeks.
In this video you can see how easy it is to get your 2 samples ready:
During the period you are waiting for the results you can log into your account and track each stage of the testing process. 4 weeks may seem a long time but most other DNA testing services take 6 weeks. It is also nice to have the progress indicator on your account so you can see that things are moving forward.
MyHeritage values their customer privacy. They have made significant investments to ensure all of the information (account and DNA data) are secured by multiple layers of encryption. As the account holder, you can decide whether you would like to restrict other users of MyHeritage (who get DNA matches with your family tree) from viewing the profile details of yourself and the living people in your tree for whom the MyHeritage test found DNA matches for.
Services & Costs
MyHeritage DNA offers one DNA genetic testing service for $99 (prices are usually lower thanks to ongoing promotions). Shipping is extra at a cost of $12 and takes usually between 4 to 8 days for the kit to arrive. If you order 3 or more kits at once shipping is free. There are 2 main areas to the results report.
Native populations of different regions of the world share a unique set of genetic characteristics. MyHeritage DNA has established genetic models for 42 different regions of the world. With your DNA, MyHeritage DNA compares your data against their models to find out how much of your DNA comes from each region.
In the ancestral Ethnicity Estimate, you are shown all of your regions of ancestral origin on a graphical map. From here you can see the percentage of your DNA that derives from each of these regions. The higher the percentage is, the greater amount of DNA you share with the region. With the Ethnicity Estimate and if you have a Family Tree built, you can also view the family events of your direct ancestors on the map.
DNA Match Review
The great thing about DNA Matches is it is ongoing. As more and more people supply DNA samples the bigger the database at MyHeritage DNA gets and the more matches will be found. When new matches become available you will be notified by email.
On your list of DNA Matches you can click on one and view the details. Information includes the percentage of shared DNA (measured in cM as well), the number of shared segments (DNA that matches exactly), and what the largest shared segment is. The length of the segment is measured in cM which in genetics means centimorgan. This is a unit of measuring genetic linkage and is the distance between chromosome positions. The details also include your estimated relationship, for example: "1st cousin twice removed - 3rd cousin once removed". From here you can also view the persons family tree if he has made it available to the public and also contact the person by sending them a message. From here you can also filter the results of the DNA matches and perform comparisons. There are 5 main sections of the DNA Match Review page:
- Ancestral Surnames - The surnames of your direct ancestors (or the surnames of the direct ancestors of your DNA Match), which are retrieved from your family trees on MyHeritage. These indicate the families from which people have inherited their DNA
- Shared DNA Matches - These are people who are genetically related to both you and your DNA Match. Shared DNA Matches can increase the confidence in your DNA Matches and help you learn through which side of the family your DNA Matches are related to you. This includes matches on both the paternal and the maternal side with the closest relatives listed first
- Pedigree Charts - Show the main individual and their direct line of ancestors
- Shared Ethnicities - Compares the Ethnicity Estimate of your DNA Match to your own to find similarities
- Smart Matches - A match becomes a Smart Match when the family tree the match has built, and yours, share the same relatives.
With regards to the MyHeritage genealogy service and MyHeritage DNA, both services complement each other. DNA can be used to prove or disprove documented family tree connections. Family trees are also ideal for understanding the relationship path to DNA matches. While MyHeritage DNA allows you to build your own family tree by manually populating with your own information, this becomes much easier when you are a subscriber of MyHeritage as you will get access to their 8 billion historical records to help grow your tree quickly.
All prices in USD unless specified other wise. Prices may or may not include shipping, handling, and taxes. If available in other countries prices may be different. Costs were last checked on September 25, 2017.
Customer service is just 1 toll free phone call away and is offered in 17 different languages. For the phone number which relates to your country it is best to visit the MyHeritage DNA Contact Us page directly. For the most part MyHeritage DNA customer service is available 6 days a week (everyday except Saturday). Times it is open depends on the country.
MyHeritage DNA shares a help center with MyHeritage. On it you can search for questions to find answers and articles that relate to your issue. The articles include in depth answers along with photos which helps explain how to find things much easier. Support forums are also available with literately tens of thousands of posts. If you can't find your answer at the help center chances are someone else has had the issue and a good place to find help is the forum which is supported by other MyHeritage DNA users like yourself.
As with other services MyHeritage DNA also has pages on all of the major social media networks including Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
- If you have already done a DNA test with AncestryDNA or 23andMe, you can upload your DNA data from these service for free to see the MyHeritage DNA Ethnicity Origins and DNA Matches
- You can download your DNA data
- Your DNA results can be used to help populate your family tree on the MyHeritage.com genealogy website
Disclaimer: While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our information at Review Chatter we shall not be held responsible for any discrepancy. There is a possibility that the information provided here is outdated or wrong, please check with the companies website directly for the most recent information. As always you should read your terms of service before purchasing any product online or signing up to any online service.