MyHeritage Update

In my first job as a grocery store clerk, I learned that most customer service issues can be solved if you just make the customer feel heard. Even if you never actually resolve their issue, if they feel like you listened, they leave happy. Such is the case for MyHeritage. For months after the launch of their in-house DNA testing product in the fall of 2016 their DNA matching algorithm had problems. Even a year later, the late summer and fall of 2017 several reports of discrepancies between the match lists of parents and children were alarming. And yet, the genetic genealogy community was patient. Patient because MyHeritage had so far delivered on every promise they had made to the community. They had delivered a competitive Origins product, adopted a stringent privacy policy, and let everyone upload their DNA for free!

In January of 2018 all that patience paid off. MyHeritage updated their matching algorithm and recalibrated all of the DNA matches in their system. The result was a much more robust depiction of our relationships with others in the database. Most users saw a dramatic increase in the total number of matches, and a significant decrease in the number of false positives – or matches that are on your match list, but shouldn’t be.

Additionally, to the delight of many genetic genealogists, MyHeritage launched a chromosome browser. This tool allows you to see the locations on the DNA that are shared with your match. Many genetic genealogists like to use this tool to help them visualize the shared DNA, and group their DNA matches. 

While you can just transfer your DNA into MyHeritage for free if you have tested at another genetic genealogy company, there is value in having your actual DNA sample in more than one location. We never really know what the future of DNA testing or our testing companies will hold. So having your DNA sample at more than one testing company might prove to be advantageous. 


Originally published on January 2018 on