How to explore your MyHeritage DNA matches
Expert tips on making the most of your DNA matches from MyHeritage to contact your DNA cousins and explore common ancestors in your family tree.
If you’ve tested with MyHeritage you can also upload your raw data for free to Gedmatch, providing you with more matches. And if you tested with other another DNA test provider, upload your raw data to MyHeritage free of charge and take advantage of the 42 ethnicities and one million test users which the company offers, to help you make the most of your test results.
Also consider using Promethease, who offer the facility of uploading your DNA results to their database for $5, for which you receive a personal report of health information based on your results.
MyHeritage has a number of tools which can help you review your matches, finding people with shared surnames and showing you the percentage of shared DNA and your estimated relationship.
Over the coming months the company will be improving its matching algorithm tools and anyone who tests with MyHeritage will benefit from these tools when they become available.
When you receive your DNA results, you’ll be directed to a DNA Match Review page (see image opposite) which shows data relating to each match, taken from both DNA and family trees. The page includes:
1. Smart matches
Smart Matching™ is a MyHeritage technology that matches people in your family tree with people in other family trees that users all over the world have created on MyHeritage. If your test shows that you share a percentage of DNA with someone, and your trees also have Smart Matches, it increases the likelihood that you are related and makes it easier for you to understand how you are related. You can contact the match to share your family tree research and hopefully find out more about the ancestors you share.
2. Ancestral surnames
If you and a DNA match share ancestral surnames, this section of the report will diesplay the ancestral surnames you have in common – those surnames that appear in both your family trees, going back ten generations. MyHeritage recommends that genealogists copy the list of ancestral surnames and use it when they email possible DNA matches, to easily show how you and a match might be related.
3. Shared DNA matches
Shared DNA Matches are people who share DNA with both you and your DNA Match, meaning both of you have the same person in your list of DNA Matches. MyHeritage uniquely display – in one chart – how both you and your DNA Match are genetically related to the same person.
Shared Matches helps you cluster our DNA Matches; each cluster may indicate matches having the same common ancestor (or ancestors). You can then work with your matches to try to determine who that common ancestor is.
4. Pedigree charts
These show the main individual and their direct line of ancestors, i.e., parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Pedigree charts are especially helpful when looking for common ancestors and for identifying common names, which can provide an idea of how you are related. Note that women appear in the pedigree chart with their maiden name, if applicable.
5. Shared ethnicities
The Shared Ethnicities section compares the Ethnicity Estimate of your DNA Match to your own to find similarities. This section is only displayed on MyHeritage this way – and MyHeritage offers a breakdown of 42 different ethnicities, more than any other major commercial DNA testing company. Here you’ll see the exact percentage breakdown of your ethnicities side-by-side with your DNA Match’s ethnicities, and those you share will be highlighted in purple.
To discover more about MyHeritage’s DNA tests and services, visit their website.
Your Guide to DNA, in association with MyHeritage has everything you need to know about DNA and family history.
Discover fascinating facts about using DNA to enhance your family tree, with expert content from previous issues of Family Tree magazine; explore the major DNA tests and what they can tell you; and find out about the latest DNA projects.