MyHeritage Launches Global DNA Testing Service for Uncovering Ethnic Origins and Making New Family Connections

The folks at MyHeritage have made a major new announcement this morning. As stated in the announcement, “…as MyHeritage DNA debuts an international mass-market home-testing kit that is simple, affordable and will offer some of the best ethnicity reports in the world.” I ordered my DNA kit immediately after reading about the new service.

The following is the official announcement from MyHeritage:

Unique Founder Population project conducted by the company expected to empower the highest resolution ethnicity analysis available on the market

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 7, 2016 — MyHeritage, the leading international destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announced today the launch of MyHeritage DNA, its global integrated genetic testing service. The move represents a major turning point for the DNA industry, as MyHeritage DNA debuts an international mass-market home-testing kit that is simple, affordable and will offer some of the best ethnicity reports in the world.

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With 85 million users worldwide, 2.1 billion family tree profiles, 7 billion historical records and availability in 42 languages, MyHeritage’s new DNA service further strengthens its position as a global leader in family history.

DNA is the hereditary material in the cells of the human body and it carries within it a unique genetic record. The MyHeritage DNA kit enables users to test their DNA to reveal valuable information about their family history and ethnic origins. The kit consists of a simple cheek swab and takes only a minute to complete, with no need for blood or saliva. The sample is then mailed to MyHeritage DNA’s lab for analysis and the user is invited to view the results on the MyHeritage website. In its initial version, MyHeritage DNA provides two main features: detailed ethnicity reports that map the user’s ethnic and geographic origins, and DNA Matches for finding relatives. Additional features and capabilities are planned for the future.

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MyHeritage DNA results include fascinating ethnicity reports, showing the percentage of the user’s DNA that come from different populations around the world. The initial reports currently include 25 ethnicities, but this will improve dramatically thanks to MyHeritage’s unique Founder Population project unveiled today — the largest of its kind ever conducted. More than 5000 participants have been handpicked for this project by MyHeritage from its 85 million members, by virtue of their family trees exemplifying consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity for many generations. In the next few months, the project will be completed, resulting in a rich DNA data set of more than 100 ethnicities that will enable MyHeritage to show users their ancestral roots with far greater resolution than other services. To this end, the company has been sending its DNA kits to project participants far and wide, from Uzbekistan to Fiji, from Greenland to South Africa, and every corner of the globe. Standard ethnicity reports are currently available, with the expert reports to be released at no additional cost to users following the completion of the Founder Population project.

DNA test results complement MyHeritage’s core offerings, including family trees and historical records — the tools traditionally used by family history enthusiasts. DNA can be used to prove or disprove a documented family tree connection, or answer the question of whether two people sharing the same rare surname are actually related. DNA is also indispensable for overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles in traditional research, as in the case of adoptees searching for their biological family without access to their adoption records. On the other hand, when DNA locates a match between two people who have the same ancestor or ancestors, family trees and historical records are often essential for piecing together the exact relationship path between them.

MyHeritage DNA is seamlessly integrated with the other services provided by MyHeritage on all web and mobile platforms, as well as offered on a dedicated standalone mobile app released today named MyHeritage DNA. Thanks to its expertise in family trees and its vibrant community, MyHeritage provides its DNA customers with features not offered by most competing services including 23andMe, such as viewing family trees of the majority of their DNA Matches to pinpoint the connection path, and automatically identifying which surnames and geographical locations they have in common. DNA can be a fascinating introduction to the world of family history, and customers who embark on this journey by taking a DNA test can easily use MyHeritage’s tools to further explore what made them what they are.

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“DNA testing is the future of family history,” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “We see DNA as a natural evolution of our business and look forward to harnessing it to reunite families, engage in new pro bono projects, and enrich the lives of millions of users.”

MyHeritage DNA kits are available at the affordable introductory price of $79 + shipping (prices vary by location). To order, visit the MyHeritage DNA website. MyHeritage has already amassed a significant number of DNA kits uploaded by its users from other DNA services, providing valuable matches on MyHeritage from day one. With the launch of MyHeritage DNA, the company will cease to offer DNA kits of other vendors. Users who have already tested their DNA on other services are welcome for a limited time to upload their DNA data to MyHeritage at no cost to benefit from free DNA Matches.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading global destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. An extension of the core MyHeritage brand, MyHeritage DNA offers technologically-advanced, affordable DNA tests that reveal users’ ethnic origins and previously unknown relatives. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage and MyHeritage DNA are available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

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10 Comments

The DNA testing sites are already spread out too much. Some matches on one site will never be seen by matches on another. Instead, everyone should test with one company and then upload the raw data to gedmatch.com
That’s a free service that makes it possible to share DNA results from different testing companies.

Liked by 1 person

    It will never happen. Aside from capitalism, there are too many people who have privacy concerns about GEDMatch and other such services. Only the most committed genetic genealogy enthusiasts use it, and that’s simply not the target market of these services.

    Most people don’t want to use their DNA to work on an expanded family tree, which is why the reply rate is so low for these services. The average consumer doesn’t care about their eighth cousins. They just want to know “Where do I come from?”

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    Can I upload raw data file from myheritage to gedmatch, I have not seen anywhere on their site that says they support it.

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    —> Can I upload raw data file from myheritage to gedmatch, I have not seen anywhere on their site that says they support it.

    It is mentioned on the MyHeritage web site at https://blog.myheritage.com/2016/11/myheritage-dna-your-questions-answered/ where the CEO of the company states:

    Q. Is the MyHeritage test compatible with GEDmatch?

    A. Yes. Any user will be able to export the DNA data and upload it to any website of his/her choice, including GEDmatch. Because of the chip we’re using, they should be able to process the results from day one.

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When I opened my email this morning, I thought I was still sleeping and having a a very bad dream. Israel, of all places, having a global DNA bank.”service”..

Doesn’t anyone remember what would have happened if all this was available in the 1940’s???
If we think the same thing won’t happen again , there is another Hitler lurking, waiting to jump in when the chance opens up. So we, personally, might escape but what legacy are we leaving our children and grandchildren our friend’s children and grandchildren and, in fact, everyone. If you think that you, personally will not get tested, so I am out of it – think again – maybe your cousin thrice removed who you don’t even know, does and the door is open to your doorstep. If you really are researching genealogy, you know how quickly you can find those facts. .

I hope I am wrong and putting this out to wake people up before they jump into what seems to be a great opportunity – whose opportunity is the important part.

Liked by 1 person

MyHeritage has a way to go before they will be up to par with the others. I put my parents and myself using our FT/Ancestry DNA results on MyHeritage and they have matches for me that don’t match either of my biological parents, which can’t happen.

Liked by 1 person

I would like to know the breakdown of ethnicity in the DNA information that My Heritage has, such as African American/Black testers, Jewish (both Ashkenazic and Sephardic), etc. Why test with a new DNA company if they don’t have enough comparrison DNA results.

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They may have announced it, but when I select DNA from their site, it says it is not available in my country (USA)

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