DNA testing has become a popular next step for the family historian along their genealogy journey. In this MyHeritage DNA testing review I will show you what this company has to offer and whether they are the right choice for you. Interested? Then please read on.
Genealogy is such a wonderful hobby isn’t it? I could be tracing my family tree for hours and not even notice.
Actually that is a bit of a lie considering when you stay up into the small hours knowing that you should be in bed. But you would rather try to find that elusive ancestor of yours.
It’s addictive isn’t it?
MyHeritage DNA Testing Details:
|Type of Test||Autosomal (atDNA)|
|How Tested||Cheek swab|
|Results Waiting Time||3-4 Weeks|
|Additional Cost||$10 for shipping|
|Genealogy records||Connect to MyHeritage’s large collection of family history records|
|Available In||United States, UK, Australia and worldwide|
|Place To Buy||MyHeritage DNA or Amazon|
|Also available for Amazon Prime customers!|
|Bottom Line||Quick Results|
Anyway I have digressed from discussing what this review is all about. It’s about taking that next step and finding out whether DNA testing is for you.
I can tell you that it certainly is. But is MyHeritage DNA for you?
Well keep reading as I will explore what this company has to offer, how does it compare to other DNA testing companies and whether you should buy this particular DNA kit.
Credit: MyHeritage DNA
Topics discussed in this post:
- What Is DNA Genealogy Testing?
- The Competition
- How To Take The Test and Getting Your Results
- Finding Your Ethnicity and Your Relatives
- What About Your Privacy and Is Your Information Secure?
- Other Peoples MyHeritage DNA Testing Reviews
- Pros and Cons
- My Final Thoughts
When you have finished reading this review why not check out The Best DNA Test For You To Buy guide where I cover the 5 best DNA testing kits on the market today!
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What Is DNA Genealogy Testing?
Before I do go onto the review I just wanted to take this time to discuss DNA genealogy testing. Just so that you are up to speed and know what it is all about.
There is no point buying a DNA kit if you do not know the fundamentals behind it. After all you want to get the most from it, don’t you?
First of all we have all heard of DNA. But do you know what it actually means?
Ok to be honest I actually did have to look this up. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and it is a self-replicating material. You will find it in every single living organism. And that includes you and me!
DNA is in every living cell of the human body. It is the building blocks of life and are essentially instructions on how we are built.
So, it can tell us all about our features, such as our eye color or our hair color. Not only that but it can tell you where your family came from, your origins.
We can find out more about our ancestors with 3 different kinds of tests. Each of these will tell us unique information about our ancestry.
3 different types of DNA testing!
- Autosomal DNA testing (atDNA) – This is the most basic of the DNA tests. It can tell you information about both sides of your family tree, i.e. it will look at your paternal and maternal ancestry. It is most accurate up to about 4 or 5 generations back.
- Mitochondrial DNA testing (mtDNA) – This test on the other hand looks solely at your maternal line, i.e. your mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, etc. A mtDNA test can look back up to about 25 generations.
- Y-Chromosome DNA testing (yDNA) – This test is similar to mtDNA as it can as well look far back into your family tree. However, with this particular test it just looks at your maternal ancestry.
MyHeritage DNA only offers atDNA testing!
Yes, that’s right. Currently MyHeritage DNA only offers autosomal testing.
I’m sorry if you are disappointed by that. I thought though that it was only best to describe the other forms of testing just so that you know what is available.
I will discuss alternative companies that you can go with in the next section if you are interested in conducted a full DNA test.
What can autosomal testing tell me?
Autosomal testing looks at both sides of your family, so you get atDNA from both your mother and father.
That therefore means that you get 1/2 from your father and the other 1/2 from your mother.
Take that a step further and you get 1/4 from your grandparents, 1/8 from your great grandparents and so on.
This number will drop to 1/64 when you go back 5 generations to your third great grandparents. This is as about as far back as you can accurately go before the results start to become less trustworthy as you will.
Please check out the Unexpected Ethnicity Results post from Ancestry which goes further into detail about this.
Despite this particular problem with atDNA testing it can still help you immensely with your family history research. So if you have hit a brick wall then this type of testing can help you to knock it down.
Plus there are other advantages of this testing and choosing MyHeritage DNA as I will discuss further on.
MyHeritage can certainly help you with your genealogy research. But how does it compare with other DNA testing companies that are currently out there that are vying for your attention?
DNA testing has become quite noticeable as of late what with the many TV adverts that we see all the time. Ancestry DNA is no exception to this and I think they are the forerunner in getting their brand noticed.
MyHeritage can actually connect your DNA results to genealogical records. In that regards it is similar to Ancestry as it does have a large collection of records for you to sift through.
Plus, there are over 90 million users worldwide who use this genealogy search website. And it the site is available in 40 different languages.
The great thing about the popularity of this site is that with your DNA test results you can get connected with distant cousins. And because MyHeritage is universal you can confer with your cousins in their language.
That’s if you speak it obviously. But the opportunity is there regardless.
And lastly, the speed that you get your results back is far quicker than what other DNA testing companies offer, typically 6-8 weeks.
MyHeritage DNA however can return your results in as little as 3-4 weeks. Which means you don’t have to wait too long to crack on with this particular type of research.
Comparing The Competition!
|23andMe||Ancestry DNA||Family Tree DNA||Living DNA||MyHeritage DNA|
|Tests||atDNA, mDNA and yDNA||atDNA||atDNA, mDNA and yDNA||atDNA, mDNA and yDNA||atDNA|
|How Tested||Cheek swab||Saliva||Cheek swab||Cheek swab||Cheek swab|
|Results Waiting Time||6-8 Weeks||6-8 Weeks||6-8 Weeks||10-12 Weeks||3-4 Weeks|
|Available||US, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, UK||US, UK and Australia||US, UK and worldwide||US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia||US, UK, Australia and worldwide|
|Bottom Line||Bonus Health Screening||Most Popular||Potential For More||Most Comprehensive Testing||Quick Results|
MyHeritage vs. 23andMe
23andMe do have its advantages over MyHeritage. They do offer all three types of DNA testing.
But unfortunately the mtDNA and yDNA testing is based on the results that you get from atDNA. So it’s not entirely accurate. That means therefore that these two companies are pretty much the same in that regard.
One thing that stands out for 23andMe is that you have the option of a health screening together with your DNA test. This does cost extra but is certainly worth considering as it looks at what conditions that you may pass on to your children.
On the other hand though 23andMe is not connected to any genealogical resource of records. So, if you want to get hints about your family tree when you have your DNA results then you are on your own in that regard.
MyHeritage DNA vs. Ancestry
These two companies are very much the same. They both started out solely as a genealogical records resource for the family historian. They then both branched out to offer DNA testing.
They also offer only autosomal testing. So you will get the same kind of results back from both of them.
However, MyHeritage breaks down the world into more regions than Ancestry does, currently 26. With MyHeritage it is 42 regions.
Having more regions will mean that you can zone in a little more with your MyHeritage DNA test results. What I mean by this is that you will be able to know where in the world to look for further information about your ancestors.
Coming back to the genealogy records for a moment. These two companies do offer a ton of records for you to search through. However, you can check out MyHeritage for free, whereas a large portion of Ancestry’s collection is paid subscription.
MyHeritage vs. FamilyTreeDNA
Originally MyHeritage sold FamilyTreeDNA kits. That was until November 2016 when they brought out their own product.
Although MyHeritage only offers autosomal testing your results will be more accurate than FamilyTreeDNA. This is because your results are broken down into more regions, 42. Presently this is the most for any company.
Both of these companies do have a large collection of genealogical records where you can find your ancestors.
So, they are both the same in that regard. Because of that fact they both have a large community of researchers which you can get help and advice from.
MyHeritage vs. Living DNA
Compared with Living DNA you do not have to wait nearly as long for your test results to arrive. That is because Living DNA conduct the 3 different tests on your sample compared only autosomal being tested by MyHeritage.
That being said the 10-12 week waiting period for the competitor is justified as you will receive very thorough results.
If you are passionate about your family history and want to know as much as you can about your ancestors then Living DNA will certainly help you.
However, they do not currently link your test results with any genealogical records, i.e. you will get no further help with researching your ancestry in that respect.
How To Take The Test and Getting Your Results
It will be far simpler for you if you first sign up to the MyHeritage website for free and then order the DNA test kit. You can do it the other way around if you prefer though.
You will need an account with MyHeritage so that you can receive your results. And by setting up an account you can also access many genealogical records that will help you with your research.
If you want other members of the family tested then that’s fine. MyHeritage make it very easy for infants, as well as the elderly to be tested. Which is why this company is a popular choice among genealogists.
Receiving your DNA kit!
When your test kit arrives and you open it you will see that it comes with instructions that will help you get the best possible sample and therefore results. There are also two cheek swabs included to retrieve your sample.
The procedure is to swab your cheek for approximately 45 seconds with both of the swabs. Once you have done this then you will carefully place them in the vials.
And that’s it. Pretty simple right?
You will need to activate your DNA Kit. To do this you will find a unique code on the box of your kit. You just enter the code after you log on.
This is to make sure that your account and your DNA sample are linked together. If you are doing the test for someone else, (infant or elderly for example), then you just select “Someone else” rather than “Mine“.
After you have carried out these steps you just return your sample in the pre-paid parcel.
Get the sample right!
Before you do provide your sample there are some activities that you will have to refrain from doing. This is to make sure that the scientists in the lab have a sample that is not contaminated in any way.
So before you do take the test please do not drink, eat or smoke at least 30 minutes prior to taking the test. Also, do not brush your teeth or chew gum.
And finally do not smoke or be close to anyone who is smoking.
Getting your results!
You can expect to receive your results back in about 3-4 weeks. This is by far the quickest out of all the DNA testing companies, and it is one reason why this particular company is a popular choice.
Like with other companies you will receive notification that your results are ready by email. Your DNA results can be accessed by logging into your MyHeritage. So as I mentioned previously it does help to first set up an account.
Upload your DNA results
You can also uses the services provided by MyHeritage DNA even if you have been tested elsewhere. So if you have been tested through 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or FamilyTreeDNA then you can upload your results from these companies.
The best part about this feature is that it is completely free!
Here is the link: MyHeritage DNA Upload Raw Data
Finding Your Ethnicity and Your Relatives
Taking your autosomal DNA test results MyHeritage can tell you where in the world that your ancestors came from.
And the level of accuracy is far greater for this company as they divide the world into 42 different regions.
Not only that but your DNA results can be compared to other members of this popular genealogy website. That means that you can potentially be connected with distant cousins.
Markers tell your story!
Scientists can determine, (with some level of accuracy), where your ancestors originated from based on your DNA. This is done by looking at thousands of markers within your DNA and then comparing against a sample.
These markers in your DNA can tell a number of things as I have previously mentioned. And they can also tell which region that your family came from.
The sample of people chosen are native to their region as their families have lived there for hundreds of years. And that is why they are chosen, so that you can be compared against them to see if you are similar markers.
It does all depend on the sample chosen and there is a chance of anomalies. People in the past did move, whether they were looking for work or escaping poverty or famine. So MyHeritage does try to sample people whose heritage did remain within the same location.
Your report can tell you what percentage you come from each respective region. From the example above the person is 96.3% European which can then be broken down even further. There is even a handy map that can clearly show your heritage.
Finding Your Distant Cousins!
Over the years I have learned a lot about my family history through many different sources. These have included genealogy search websites, archives, newspaper archives, joining a genealogy society and even visiting cemeteries to find the graves of my ancestors.
I have also had great success with collaborating with cousins. When I first started out tracing my family tree I did not know whether I would make these connections. Sure I wanted it to happen, but I didn’t know whether I would discover any living relatives.
Well it did happen and the help that I got from them was immense. They were able to tell me not only about our common ancestors but also about their family tree and their branches, to which I was also interested in.
The Chromosome Browser
This is a great tool that is included within the site when accessing your DNA results. This one-to-many tool will show you exactly how you are related to your matches.
It can show you what DNA you share with your distant cousins, as well as how many segments are shared and the largest segment as well.
Not only can you discover this information but also your DNA Matches are listed from within this tool. So from here you can actually connect with your cousins.
For more information please check out MyHeritage Blog post – New Improvements in the One-To-Many Chromosome Browser.
Connected only with cousins!
That is the beauty of DNA testing. You can be connected with your cousins. But it is a choice when you sign up to MyHeritage DNA whether you want this connection and whether you want them to see your DNA results.
Of course the only people who will see your results and be able to make contact with will be your cousins, your family. As I have just mentioned family can help you a great deal so if you want to know more about your ancestors then I do advise you to opt for this.
You can connect with your cousins via your email address. So you can have a lengthy chat with your cousins by emailing one another.
Update: Due to popular demand this feature is completely free for MyHeritage DNA users.
Your DNA matches!
When it comes to finding out where your cousin fits into your family tree you are on your own. However, in the example shown above you can see to some extent their connection to you, i.e. 3rd cousin once removed. That’s great because you have a starting point.
As well as showing you the level of DNA shared between you two you are also given more clues as to your relationship. This comes in the form of family trees that have been submitted my MyHeritage members. Just check these to see if you recognize any names, i.e. your ancestors.
Then take the next step by contacting your cousin and finding more about them and your shared ancestry. Trust me you will be surprised as to what you will discover. Genealogists are sharing so I am sure you will get invaluable help by connecting with your cousins.
Creating a family tree at MyHeritage!
To make it easy for you to see where you and your match connect you could start to build your family tree at MyHeritage. They make it really easy to for you. You just start to enter your information, then your parents and then your grandparent. You then take it from there.
What About Your Privacy and Is Your Information Secure?
Both the privacy and the security of your information is of paramount concern for MyHeritage. Obviously they want people to trust them and to take their DNA trust.
That is why your DNA results and information will not be shared with anyone.
MyHeritage even keeps your personal information anonymous within the lab. To the scientists that test your sample you are only known by your ID number. They do not know your name, your address or any other personal information.
You will though need to link the ID number of your DNA test kit to your MyHeritage account. But all of this is done over a secure network.
As I have mentioned in this review you do have the option of whether you would like other members to see you and connect with you. That is entirely up to you, it’s your choice.
But as I have noted if you do take this step then you open up the possibility of discovering even more about your ancestors as you liaise with your cousins.
Other Peoples MyHeritage DNA Testing Reviews
So there you have it. You can learn a lot about your ancestors as I have explored in this MyHeritage DNA testing review. But what do other people think about this kit? Did it work for them?
There have been more than 300 people at DNA Testing Choice, where most of them have given a most favorable review.
The biggest compliments received were in regards to the speed of testing, results excelled expectations, friendly and helpful customer service.
Despite gaining a very high rating there were some people who were not satisfied.
One lady in particular claimed that their profile was listed as male. A MyHeritage DNA representative then proceeded to advise the complainant what to do to resolve the issue.
Most people on the whole were happy with their results but there were a small number who claimed to have erroneous results. This can be put down by the sample that is used each time when comparing against a person’s DNA sample.
As mentioned in the review a person’s markers will show what regions they came from. And a different sample used for each of these tests may result in a different set of results each time.
Pros and Cons
✔ Short waiting period for results, 3-4 weeks
✔ Great to help you build an extensive family tree
✔ Break down brick walls
✔ Access genealogy records through the MyHeritage website
✔ Get ethnicity estimates about your ancestors
✔ Get connected with distant cousins
✔ Download your results and even upload results from other DNA companies
❌ Due to sampling there may be an anomaly with your results
My Final Thoughts
MyHeritage can help you to trace your family tree and help you break down any brick walls in your research. Getting a DNA test can help you with showing you where you should be looking for more information.
I like how they have broken the world down into 42 different regions, the second most out of all the companies. It does though fall short of Ancestry DNA which has at present 150 regions.
Joining the community and taking the test means that you also have the chance of connecting with your cousins, which MyHeritage makes it super easy. It does though all depend on whether your matches do want to share their information.
Despite that fact it is certainly worth considering opting for as your own family tree knowledge can and will grow because of it.
To get the most out of this test you do want to follow the instructions so that you can give the people in the lab a good sample. By doing so you will get accurate results, you will know your ancestors origins and you will be able to connect with distant cousins.
Do I recommend MyHeritage DNA?
I do recommend MyHeritage DNA for all the above reasons as it can tell you a lot about your heritage.
Sure you won’t know about your ancestors from 25 generations back but that is not what MyHeritage is all about.
They help you to discover your most recent ancestors and their origins. And also to help you make connections with living relations.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
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