DNA testing is becoming more and more advanced as time goes on, and there are a variety of companies that are competing with each other to offer the best services and results.
As there are new scientific discoveries being made about the past, more relevant information comes to light that can tell us all about our past ancestors and where they came from.
Our DNA can tell us so much about ourselves that we didn’t already know, and it can reveal so many interesting facts about our history.
The information that DNA testing provides can lead to new discoveries, finding family, and learning about where we came from.
MyHeritage is no exception to this, and the company offers many different services for you to choose from to aid your search into the past. You can look at their research, family tree, and DNA testing services to find all of the information that you are looking for.
What is MyHeritage?
Before we get started on looking at all of the amazing features and services that MyHeritage has to offer, it can be useful to know more about the company itself and its aims.
MyHeritage is a unique platform where family members can meet for the first time online, communicate with each other, and share their own stories and experiences.
This is one of the best ways to preserve our heritage by joining forces and sharing information. The company’s DNA testing services make it easy for anyone to start their journey into the past and learn all about where they came from.
They use smart matching to match family profiles via family trees and have record matching to connect people together automatically.
There is no limit to the discoveries that you can make through MyHeritage, and there is a superior search engine where you can explore billions of historical records. These records can create a paper trail that leads back into the past to help you learn more.
All of your information is private and secure, and you can control your settings to limit who can and can’t access your information.
How Does it Work?
MyHeritage has DNA kits available that allow you to be able to test your own DNA and reveal valuable information about your past, family history, and ethnic origins. When you purchase a DNA testing kit, you will receive it in the post within a few days.
Included with the kit, you will find a cheek swab that is easy and straightforward to use. The test itself takes just two minutes, and you will need to use a swab to collect a cheek-swab sample. Unlike most other kits, you do not need to provide a saliva sample.
Next, you will need to mail your completed sample to the MyHeritage DNA lab, where they will analyze your results. It will take between 3 to 4 weeks for your results to be ready, and then you will be able to view all of your results online.
When the DNA lab at MyHeritage receives your DNA sample. Experienced lab technicians will be able to process your individual sample using modern scientific technology.
Within the lab, your DNA will be extracted in order to translate the biological data into digital raw data.
You will be able to access this raw data later on through this digital form, and it will be able to calculate your ethnicity estimate and determine where your DNA has originated from around the world.
Your DNA will also be compared to other people’s DNA so that you can find out about close and distant relatives that you might not even know that you had.
In order to maintain industry standards, MyHeritage uses the Illumina OmniExpress-24 chip along with hundreds of thousands of selected probes to be able to capture the greatest amount of genetic variation.
This helps to facilitate research. The lab itself is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, which highlights that all of the lab technicians and analysts have specific qualifications that allow them to do their job.
The lab also has the highest level of credential that is possible in the United States for this type of laboratory.
MyHeritage is tasked with keeping your personal data safe and secure, and they use certain resources to ensure that your DNA data and other personal data are secured and protected by multiple layers of encryption.
This company does not sell your personal information and will not use your data for any purpose without your consent. You have access to the privacy settings for your DNA, and you can control them as you wish.
You are also the only person that will have access to your raw DNA data, and you are able to request that it be deleted at any time.
MyHeritage DNA Testing Kit
Now you know what is involved in taking the text, you can find out all about what you will be tested for and what your results will look like. The DNA test will help you to discover relative matches by comparing your data to the millions of other people that have taken the test.
You can also find out all about your ethnicity, and you will be provided with a percentage-based ethnicity estimate that is based on 42 ethnic regions from around the world. This is a percentage of your ancestral background that shows the origins of your ancestors.
Such ethnicities can include Japanese, Irish, Welsh, Jewish, and so many more. There will be a list that shows you all of the regions that both sides of your family originally came from and the percentage of your DNA that comes from each place.
MyHeritage uses a DNA matching feature that will use your data to find other matches. Comparing your DNA with others allows you to find both close and distant family members with whom you share genetic sequences that indicate a possible relationship.
The more DNA that you have in common with one person, the more likely you are to be closely related. If you only share a smaller amount of DNA, then you are more likely to be distantly related.
MyHeritage DNA Health Kit
The health kit that is provided by MyHeritage will assess how your genes could be affecting your health. Your results will include a comprehensive polygenic and monogenic risk report and carrier status report.
These reports will show you which health conditions you might be more likely to develop throughout your lifetime and which health conditions that you may be a carrier for. If you are a carrier of a health condition, you may be likely to pass this condition on to your children.
Those that have purchased the MyHeritage standard DNA testing kit can actually upgrade to the health testing kit so that they can access the information and features that come with the health test without having to be tested again.
This service is available at an additional cost, but it might be worth it to find out more valuable information.
The MyHeritage DNA Health test will tell you how your genes can have a potential impact on your health and maybe even your other family members.
You will be able to find out whether or not you are at genetic risk for developing different health conditions like heart disease and some forms of cancer.
You can also find out if you possess specific DNA variants that highlight you as a carrier for certain conditions. Being a carrier means that you may not develop the condition, but you can pass it on to your children.
The test covers a wide range of conditions, but it is not able to cover every single health condition that there is. You might never develop a condition that you are more likely to get, and you can also go on to develop a condition that you are at very low risk for.
These health results offer information and guidance, but they do not mean that you are destined to develop any medical conditions. However, they can help to better prepare you for the future, especially if you are a carrier for a specific condition.
You can go on to speak to a genetic counselor after you receive your results to gain more clarity on the subject and discuss any concerns that you might have. They will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Subscriptions and Paid Services
MyHeritage has a range of subscription services that are available to choose from. You can use these services to gain more insight and information that is relevant to you and your past.
The family site subscriptions will give you complete access to the features and tools surrounding building your very own family tree, as well as other advanced DNA features.
With this subscription, you can take full advantage of different features that the site has to offer, like smart matches.
There are two different types of family site subscriptions, which are Premium and Premium Plus. Just as you would think, you get more with the Premium Plus services than the regular Premium service.
This also comes at an extra cost, but you will get more for your money. We will give you all the information about the two types of subscriptions below so you can weigh up the pros and cons before making a choice.
The Premium subscription provides you with the following features:
- Priority customer support
- Smart matches
- Advanced DNA features
- Family tree size of 2500 people
The Premium Plus subscription provides you with the following features:
- Unlimited family tree size
- Priority customer support
- Smart matches
- Advanced DNA features
- Tree consistency checker
- Instant discoveries
As you can see here, the Premium Plus subscription offers more features than the other, but it is also a much more expensive option.
The Data subscription provides you with full access to all of the features that are available on the MyHeritage website that relate to researching historical records through services like SuperSearch and Record Matches. You can:
- View high-resolution scans of original historical documents through SuperSearch
- Confirm or reject record matches
- Extract information from your tree via SuperSearch or Record Matches
- Save records directly to the profile pages of those on your tree
The Complete subscription is the most superior choice available on MyHeritage, and it will give you access to all of the amazing and useful features that the website has to offer. This includes:
- Unlimited family tree size
- Priority customer support
- Smart Matches
- Advanced DNA features
- Instant Discoveries
- Tree Consistency Checker
- 12.6 billion historical records
- Recording Matches
- Saving records to your tree
Essentially you will get all of the plans rolled into one, with access to everything that is available to utilize.
The final subscription that is available to purchase is the health subscription, which allows users that have purchased the MyHeritage DNA Health testing kit or those who have upgraded to the health package to use additional features.
You will receive access to new health reports as soon as they are released, and you will also have unlimited access to all of the advanced DNA features like the viewing of family trees of DNA matches, viewing shared matches, and shared ethnicities.
You can also use advanced tools such as the chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and Theory of Family Relativity.
Researching Through MyHeritage
When you pay for a subscription with MyHeritage, you can gain access to some or all of their research facilities on their website.
In terms of looking at different historical records, you can look at a variety of historical documents. The documents that you can search for include:
- Birth, marriage, and death certificates
- Census records
- Immigration records
Another unique feature that you can find in terms of research is to be able to hire a professional to research for you.
The Theory of Family and Relativity
This feature will help you to make the most of your DNA matches by using genealogical information from all of the collections that are available at MyAncestry.
You can make use of billions of historical records and family tree profiles to find out how you and those that you match DNA with could possibly be related. You will need to have taken a DNA test to use this feature, but it can help you to find out lots of new information.
By using this feature, you can get access to leads that explain your relationships with people that you have matched with from looking at collections of family trees and other records of use.
This can help you to save time while researching by giving you access to knowledge at your fingertips. You can examine the matches that you have been given and verify them yourself.
You can do this through additional research or by talking to a family member that you know or have met through this process.
The Theory of Family Relativity is based on an extensive data graph that connects data from all of MyHeritage’s databases.
Each part of this graph will depict a blood relationship between two people. These are all theoretical results that are based on your DNA, and the number of matches that you get will depend on the size of your family.
The more people that use MyHeritage, the more likely that you will be to get more results. As more historical records are discovered, more information will be available to access.
The only downside to this feature is that it is based entirely on theoretical research, and not all of the results are likely to be accurate.
If you have no way of verifying the matches that you do get, this information could be completely useless to you. The matches you are given might not always be accurate, and while they can sometimes be helpful, they might not be for everyone.
AutoClusters is a relatively new genealogy tool that will group DNA matches together that are likely to descend from common ancestors.
This information is displayed in the form of a chart for easy access, and it is straightforward to use. It allows you to explore your DNA matches more efficiently in groups, which is much easier than individually looking through every person.
AutoClusters will organize all of your DNA matches into groups of people that were more likely to have descended from common ancestors. This means that they came from the same place and descended from common people.
This makes it much easier to verify people in groups or to discard groups that have no relevance. These groups will be color-coded in a chart and listed, so you can choose which you would prefer to look at.
Chromosome Browser for Shared DNA
The Chromosome Browser for shared DNA is a visual tool that allows you to locate the parts of your DNA that you share with a DNA match.
These parts of your DNA are the sections of DNA that are the same among two different people. This means that you likely descended from a common ancestor.
You can use this feature to find out what parts of your DNA do and don’t match.