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Introducing MyHeritage DNA - free webinar now online

While MyHeritage DNA may be the newest player in the genetic genealogy community, they have made a strong case for using their DNA services. I met up with their Director of DNA, Yoav Naveh and Product Manager, Dana Drutman this past week and recorded a webinar, "Introducing MyHeritage DNA" which is now available for free in the webinar library here.

The webinar includes:

  • An overview of MyHeritage DNA
  • A background to DNA,
  • How to take the MyHeritage DNA test (or upload raw DNA files),
  • Understanding your ethnicity breakdown results,
  • Understanding your DNA matches
  • The Future

Large international audience

The DNA results they present are similar to other testing companies - they present you with your ethnicity results and your DNA matches. What separates them from others is their large international customer base and their cross vendor matching. If their claims of having the largest international audience are true (and from what I know I have no reason to doubt this), there is a good chance that I will find new DNA cousins who still reside in the countries from where my ancestors left.

Cross vendor matching

MyHeritage DNA also permits the importing of raw DNA data from other providers (FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, AncestryDNAtm), meaning, if you have already purchased and taken a test elsewhere, you can import those results and take advantage of the matching to this large international audience. And since this is a free service, there is no reason not to do it.

"Watch Geoff Live!"

In fact, while I'm thinking about it, I'm going to do it right now. Since I've already imported my tree into MyHeritage (described here) I'm ready to go. On my profile page, I will click on the "Upload DNA data" link.

Dna1

It provides instructions on how to download the raw DNA data.

Dna2

The first checkmark is required, and as always, you should read through terms. From what I learned in Blaine Bettinger's recent webinar on AncestryDNA's Genetic Communities, I'm going to also check the Consent Agreement option.

Dna3

About a minute after clicking the Upload DNA data file button, I was brought to this screen.

Dna4

While I can see the "In progress" button, I'm kind of left wondering - what's next? My guess is I will receive an email when it is done processing, but if anyone at MyHeritage is reading this, perhaps add a "What's Next" paragraph explaining what I should next expect. Right now, I'm left wondering. I'm looking forward to my first "You've Got DNA Matches" email.

The Future

In the webinar, Yoav and Dana also provided a sneak peak into MyHeritage DNA's near future. They plan on adding:

  • a Chromosome Browser
  • Pedigree Charts
  • and Common Ancestors' Places.

I will be anxiously awaiting the results of my DNA import. Stay tuned!

Comments

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Geoff, thanks for your post on MyHeritage DNA. They truly promised a helpful service and benefits from our free DNA upload. There are problems, however. Have you considered how MyHeritage DNA uses erroneous methods to come up with their matches? Roberta Estes discusses this in her article on MyHeritage's "Broken Promises", a blog post about how they broke their promise to provide free ethnicity reports (which I think they've since corrected). It's their erroneous matching methods I speak of (which they have not corrected) that troubles me. Roberta's blog post also talks about matches issues at this link: https://dna-explained.com/2017/02/21/myheritage-broken-promises-and-matching-issues/

People should be cautioned that autosomal DNA is typically only good for matches from common ancestors who lived in the past 5 or 6 generations. At 25 years per generation, that's only 125 to 150 years ago (1867-1892). A great many people in the U.S.A. have ancestors who came to this country before then. They could not possibly find a valid DNA match to cousins in their ancestors' home country using autosomal DNA testing. Instead, they would need a yDNA or mtDNA test from FTDNA.com. By the way, I hope MyHeritage's "Common Ancestors Places" will be like Ancestry.com's "Genetic Communities." Such research has already been proven relatively accurate. Thanks for the Legacy Family Tree news of 28 Mar. 2017 which tells us about that http://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news/2017/03/learn-about-ancestrydnas-brand-new-genetic-communities.html

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