New! in Genetic Genealogy: MyHeritage DNA Autosomal Testing

By Allison Dolan


MyHeritage today debuts MyHeritage DNA, an international, mass-market, home-testing autosomal DNA kit it says “is simple, affordable and will offer some of the best ethnicity reports in the world.”

The $79 (plus shipping) kit includes a cheek swab to collect cells from the inside of your cheek. Testers mail the sample to the MyHeritage lab (located in the United States) for analysis, wait three to four weeks, and view results on the MyHeritage website.

This post includes a few screenshots of what results look like.

MyHeritage DNA Test Results
Results initially include ethnicity results, which map your ethnic origins, and DNA matches among other testers at MyHeritage DNA. Additional features are planned for the future.

Good news! When I asked whether a chromosome browser would be available, spokesperson Brandon Weinstock answered “Yes, sometime in the future.”

DNA Matches & Family Trees

MyHeritage DNA match list

According to the press release, “MyHeritage provides its DNA customers with features not offered by most competing services including 23andMe, such as viewing family trees of the majority of their DNA Matches to pinpoint the connection path, and automatically identifying which surnames and geographical locations they have in common.” Viewing family trees of matches will be free.

Until now, Ancestry DNA was the only service that combined DNA test results with test-takers’ family trees, and test-takers on that site need an subscription to view their matches’ trees.

DNA testers at MyHeritage DNA can add a family tree to the site and link it to their test results. MyHeritage trees are free for a limited size (250 people when I last looked); upgrading to a Premium or Premium Plus subscription lets you add more people and media storage.

Illustration showing where a matching person might be on your family tree, based on the amount of shared DNA.

Ethnicity Results & Founder Population Project

Ethnicity map of your genetic origins

Ethnicity results currently can include 25 ethnicities, but MyHeritage expects to increase that number with its Founder Population Project, also unveiled today. “More than 5,000 participants have been hand-picked for this project by MyHeritage from its 85 million members, by virtue of their family trees exemplifying consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity for many generations.”

Once the Founder’s Project participants’ DNA is analyzed over the next few months, MyHeritage will have a DNA data set for more than 100 ethnicities. By comparing this data to the DNA of new testers, MyHeritage will be able to provide testers with ethnicity results with greater resolution that what’s currently available. When available, these improved ethnicity reports will be provided at no additional cost to current MyHeritage DNA customers.

What You Should Know
According to the site’s Informed Consent agreement, MyHeritage testers can opt in to allowing their results and family tree data to be used for a study “intended to assist academics or researchers to better understand the human species, learn or confirm certain facts and make predictions about future trends.”

MyHeritage DNA is integrated with the site’s other services on its DNA and mobile platforms. A new, stand-alone mobile app called MyHeritage DNA also lets you explore your results.

If you’ve tested autosomal DNA with another service, such as Ancestry DNA, Family Tree DNA or 23andMe, you can add your results to your MyHeritage tree to find matches among the site’s other members.

MyHeritage DNA is available in all major countries except France, Poland and Israel. Now that it has its own testing service, MyHeritage will no longer offer DNA tests from third-party companies.