How To Use MyHeritage For DNA And Genealogy
MyHeritage offers a wide range of DNA and genealogy features that I use regularly:
- DNA relatives
- Ethnicity estimates
- Online family trees
- Photo enhancement apps
Our website has many articles and tutorials on getting the most from these features. This guide pulls together links to everything we’ve got.
What To Consider Before Uploading DNA Or Testing With MyHeritage
Are you researching your family history? One of the main benefits of MyHeritage is access to your DNA relatives and their family trees.
How many DNA matches will you get?
I estimate MyHeritage to be the third largest DNA database in the consumer DNA testing market. The latest figures are over 5 million DNA customers.
But you’re probably wondering how many DNA relatives are you likely to see. It will probably show thousands if you have European ancestry.
I compared my totals across all the major DNA websites in an article on which DNA kit is best for Irish heritage. MyHeritage came in second to Ancestry.
Who is behind the company?
You should always check the background of any company that you place your DNA with.
The company is based in Israel but was purchased in 2021 by a U.S. investment firm.
How far back does MyHeritage go?
MyHeritage released a new ethnicity feature in late 2020 called Genetic Groups (more on these later). These use a timeline that goes back to 1600.
On the DNA side, your relatives can go out to about 8th cousin. This is about nine generations.
How Does MyHeritage Compare With Other DNA Testing Companies?
Here are our in-depth comparisons of MyHeritage and the two big DNA testing companies.
Health risk reports
MyHeritage used to provide health reports as an add-on. But they seem to have discontinued this service.
This may be related to their purchase of Promethease, which tries to predict health risks based on DNA. Read more in our article on who owns Promethease.
How Much Do The DNA Features Cost?
I transferred my DNA results from Ancestry to MyHeritage (click for the guide) for free several years ago.
If you’ve tested with 23andMe or other major companies, you can also follow our guide to upload your DNA to MyHeritage for free.
The free tier shows you your DNA relatives. There’s a one-off cost of about 30 dollars to get all the ethnicity and DNA features.
Buying A MyHeritage DNA Kit
MyHeritage DNA kits tend to be cheaper than its major competitors. It’s also a cheek swab, whereas many other providers need saliva samples.
The standard price is about 80 dollars, but they discount this price often throughout the year.
Family Trees On MyHeritage
The biggest benefit of MyHeritage is that many of your DNA matches will have family trees on the website.
I recommend that you also create or upload a family tree to the website. You can do this with a free account which lets you edit up to 250 people.
Before you do so, check out our article on MyHeritage tree privacy. It’s a little different to other websites, and you’ll want to be sure you get the settings right.
Once your tree is on the site, you should follow our guide on linking your DNA to your MyHeritage tree. This gives you access to more features.
Do you have a much bigger tree and don’t want to pay a genealogy subscription on MyHeritage? I suggest you upload a smaller version of your tree e.g. your direct line.
Our articles and tutorials on MyHeritage family trees
- How to upload a GEDCOM file to MyHeritage
- How to change the name of your family tree on MyHeritage
- How to split a MyHeritage tree
- How to export your tree from MyHeritage with a GEDCOM file
- Our tips for using Smart Matches on MyHeritage
MyHeritage compares your DNA results to a reference database of samples from around the world.
The section in this article on comparisons with competitors has links to detailed reviews. In my opinion, the broad ethnicity analysis from MyHeritage has fallen behind its major rivals.
However, I’m very impressed with a recent feature that drills down to small regions and communities. They correctly identified my Irish heritage down to the county level.
Using MyHeritage With Other DNA Sites
An earlier section has links on how to transfer your DNA results to MyHeritage.
If you do so, you’ll probably recognize some names amongst your DNA relatives on several sites. It can be really useful to identify common matches across the websites.
Check out our article with multiple ways to find your Ancestry matches on MyHeritage.
Other MyHeritage Tools
MyHeritage has some cool extra features that you won’t find on the other DNA sites.
MyHeritage For Adoptees And Others With Unknown Parentage
The general advice to adoptees and other people searching for birth family is to fish in as many ponds as you can.
Read our guide on the best DNA tests for adopted adults. Using MyHeritage is part of our recommended strategy.