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MyHeritage is a great DNA kit if you’re looking for international relatives. As the number one DNA testing service in Europe, it’s especially useful if you happen to be investigating your family history across the continent.
While it’s database isn’t anywhere near the size of AncestryDNA, it’s still rather impressive. And with a large number of customers located in countries other than the USA, the DNA testing company has more global data than some of its competitors.
In our MyHeritage DNA review, we’ll take a look at the company’s DNA testing process. Furthermore, we’ll run through the pros and cons of using this DNA testing service.
MyHeritage has several pricing options:
One thing that is surprisingly missing is return shipping. MyHeritage is the only service I’ve found that makes you pay for return shipping.
How to Send in MyHeritage DNA Kit
Activate Kit online
Log in to myheritage.com to activate your MyHeritage DNA test kit online
Open Test kit and lay out unopened swabs
Remove one cheek swab and swab inside of your cheek for 30-60 seconds
Put the vial and insert the swab
Put cheek swabs into the vial that came with your DNA testing kit and close the vial
Swab other cheek and insert into the second vial
Swab your other cheek in order to take an additional DNA sample and insert it into the second vial
Place both of the DNA collection vials onto the cotton pad that’s in the plastic bag and close it
Put the plastic bag into the envelope that was included with your DNA testing kit
Mail the envelope to the DNA lab. (you have to pay for this yourself!?)
Wait up to 3 to 4 weeks to receive your DNA results, accessible from the MyHeritage site or mobile app
MyHeritage did get hacked recently, but the hackers didn’t get away with much. Thanks to the MyHeritage team’s privacy protection policy, they were only able to steal usernames and passwords. No raw DNA data or historical records were taken.
MyHeritage plays a video that will break down your family history and ethnicity for you. This will show you the geographic location that most of your autosomal DNA originates from, as well as the places where you have the least DNA connections to.
From here, MyHeritage.com breaks down your genetic testing results into 4 different categories — Ethnicity Estimate, DNA Matches, Tools, and Health (only available with certain kits). These categories, found on the MyHeritage site and mobile app, are placed under 4 separate easy to access tabs.
Your ethnicity estimate includes a complete breakdown of your DNA analysis. They trace your family tree back through the generations in order to offer you a percentage based breakdown of your ethnicity. The accurate results include 42 different ethnicities from across the globe, allowing you a deeper look into your family history.
With MyHeritage.com’s smart matches, the DNA testing company compares your test results with others in their database, their online family trees, and other services (AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, etc). By doing this, the MyHeritage team is able to find new relatives or other individuals with whom you share important autosomal DNA.
You can look at other family members that are on the MyHeritage site as well. I didn’t have any close family matches (though I did on 23andMe and AncestryDNA), and I had a few extended matches (so far removed it wasn’t that interesting). This should give you an idea of the database size for MyHeritage.
The DNA results will find family members as far removed as your fifth cousin - which is six generations back. Due to this, you may end up with quite a few matches (hundreds and sometimes even thousands).
Do not get overly excited, as a large number of your new relatives may be pretty distant on your family tree. Some could even be false positives. In other words, concentrate on DNA matches that are close relatives up until your 4th cousins. Beyond this, use paper paths and genealogical documents to confirm relatedness.
The last tab, Tools, gives you 3 options:
MyHeritage has recently added a health section. You can purchase the DNA Health Kit for $99. It differs from other DNA tests in that they give you an oversight physician to determine if the test is right for you.
MyHeritage.com uses genetic testing to check for 36 different conditions. This DNA test kit checks for things like Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, the test results will let you know about your carrier status, and whether or not you’re likely to pass something like Tay-Sachs or cystic fibrosis onto your children
The steps to taking the health test are essentially the same as those for taking the ancestry test. After submitting your DNA sample, the test results should arrive in 3 to 4 weeks.
Similar to Ancestry.com, you can search public records to find your family members’ history. This is hidden behind a paywall, so if you want to be able to search public records, you will need to subscribe to the MyHeritage Data Plan.
Other family members DNA - The MyHeritage team lets you upload your family members' raw DNA data from sites like AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA. As a result, if you have a family member who has taken a 23andMe or AncestryDNA (or other company) DNA test, you can upload their raw DNA data to MyHeritage and look at commonalities.
Professional genealogy service - MyHeritage has partnered with LegacyTree, allowing you to hire a professional researcher to help you build your family tree.
In conclusion, the MyHeritage DNA Kit is easily on par with 23andMe and AncestryDNA. The DNA testing kit is well designed and easy to use. The MyHeritage site clearly lays out all of the information that you would be looking for.
If you want to save a little money and don’t mind the smaller database and paying for shipping, this test may be a good fit. While DNA testing companies like Ancestry.com and 23andMe may have more data and a better presentation, you still get quite a bit with MyHeritage DNA’s lower price tag.
Extras like uploading your DNA raw data make the site attractive. But things like paying for your own shipping make me hesitant to give a perfect MyHeritage review.