MyHeritage DNA Adds a New Filter

Diahan Southard

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MyHeritage DNA has added a new filter which looks at shared DNA between you and a shared match. Read more about how this small tool is a big deal!

Even small tools can make a big difference.

MyHeritage is famous (or they should be!) for giving us multiple kinds of filters for our DNA matches to help us find our Best Matches (the matches who have something to do with the current genealogy research question). And they have just added a new one!

This new filter, or rather a sorter (is that a word?), is on the Shared Matches list. To find the Shared Matches list, click on any DNA match, then scroll down until you see the Shared Matches. This is a premium feature at MyHeritage, which means you have to have either a MyHeritage subscription, or you need to pay the unlock fee if you transferred your results. Remember that the Shared Matches list is the list of DNA matches in the database that share DNA with you and with this match you clicked on. So if you clicked on Jake, your second cousin on your dad’s side, then the list will be other people who share DNA with you and Jake, and therefore are likely to be related on your dad’s side.

Your shared matches at MyHeritage DNA are sorted by an interesting algorithm that takes your total amount of shared DNA with the shared match, and Jake’s total amount of shared DNA with this same match and adds them together. The table is then sorted by that number, with the largest amount of combined DNA at the top. With this new sorting feature, you will now be able to sort your match list by those that share the most DNA with you, OR by those who share the most DNA with Jake.

This is a very powerful feature.


I thought you would never ask! It is powerful because one of the very most valuable things you can know about your matches is how they are related to each other. What you want to look for are matches that are more closely related to your match than they are to you. For example, if you sorted your shared matches with your second cousin Jake by how much DNA they share with Jake, you might find a match like L.P. A match with just initials, and no tree posted. You are sharing 72 cM with this match (that’s a good amount!) but you have no idea who this person is. However, when you sort your list by those sharing the most with Jake, L.P. pops right to the top and you see that L.P. is Jake’s grandson! Now you know exactly who he is without ever contacting him or seeing his family tree.

Here’s an example to show how June is related Judy. You can see that Judy is June’s sister, which helps better understand their relationship.


This tool is going to be especially useful if you have endogamy – where your family lines intermarried for generations and so everyone on your match list shares DNA with everyone else on your match list. But this sorting feature will help you see the shared matches that share the most DNA with you, so you can more easily find your Best Matches.

Take the MyHeritage DNA Tour with Your DNA Guide

DNA test results are exciting, but they can also be a little confusing. A lot of people get lost. You don’t want that to happen at MyHeritage, where there are SO many tools and other features that can give you insights, like the one we’re writing about here.

The MyHeritage DNA Tour with Your DNA Guide is your personal walk-through of your results at MyHeritage. It’s a series of online video tutorials with a companion workbook. You’ll learn to navigate your way confidently around your MyHeritage DNA test results so you’ll better understand what your DNA is telling you about your roots. You get permanent access to your Tour–come back to it whenever you want–and we’ll even update it when MyHeritage makes major changes to their platform. (Yes, that happens!)

Take the MyHeritage Tour

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<a href="" target="_self">Diahan Southard</a>

Diahan Southard

As founder and CEO of Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard has been teaching people how to find family history answers in their DNA for several years, and she's been in the genetic genealogy field since its infancy. Diahan teaches internationally, writes for popular magazines, consults with leading testing companies, is author of Your DNA Guide–The Book, and producer of Your DNA Guide–the Academy, an online learning experience.


  1. Mary Wible

    Hi Diahan,

    I used your match labeling system on Ancestry with two known second cousins. We share the same great grandparents, so I had twice the proof that things work. I also manage my brother’s tree, and I labeled them the same. So, this works well and makes so much sense.

    Now, I am stuck not knowing any 2nd cousins in the other three branches, BUT I do know of 3rd cousins. Can I use them for the other sets of great grandparents?

    Also, would a 3rd cousin 1x removed work the same as a 3rd cousin?

    Thanks so much.

    • Diahan Southard

      Using shared matches with 3rd cousins will give you people that are related through your 2x great grandparents, not your great grandparents. If you don’t have any 2nd cousins to use on a line, what you can do instead is find two different known 3rd cousins who are related to you through different 2x great grandparents. While not exactly the same as working with a 2nd cousin, it is a good substitute (and let’s face it, reality is that very few of us have the perfect ideal situation anyways!). A 3rd Cousin 1 removed will work as a substitute for a 3rd cousin ONLY when YOU are the older generation compared to your cousin. If your cousin is the older generation, then your generation of connection would be your 3x greats, not your 2x greats. I know that’s a little confusing to wrap your mind around! We have an article explaining more about generation of connection here.


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