MyHeritage DNA offers a complete genealogy package that includes DNA testing and matching, as well as free family tree software. It presents your results with fun animations with music and lets you see where your ancestors lived on the globe.
MyHeritage DNA is a consumer DNA testing service specializing in genealogy, family history and family trees. A software engineer named Gilad Japhet developed MyHeritage or My Heritage in 2003. This was his second attempt at developing family history software. The first software was a family tree builder that helped people trace their roots.
The company is based in Or Yehud, Israel, and most of its users live in Europe. This means that the MyHeritage database is mostly made up of people of European descent. People in the United States also use the site, especially Europeans.
Although MyHeritage is available worldwide, the number of people using the site from Asia, South America and Africa is small compared to their European customers.
The site includes genealogy services that allow individuals to research ancestry and family history using their MyHeritage account. These documents are obtained from publicly available historical records databases and include:
- Newspaper articles
- Family photos
- Immigration information
- Death certificates
In addition to the tools that enable traditional genealogy research, MyHeritage also provides an additional genetic genealogy service based on its own DNA test.
MyHeritage DNA testing is a new service introduced in 2016. DNA data can be matched with other users’ data in their database to find possible family connections based on genetics. Users who have taken a DNA test can view their results online or through the MyHeritage app.
The MyHeritage website receives millions of visits per day, but reports are limited. For more on our MyHeritage review, keep reading.
Sequencing.com also offers a DNA testing kit and free downloads of raw DNA data for a wider range of comprehensive genetic genealogy information.
MyHeritage DNA testing for US customers is contracted to Gene By Gene, a genetic testing laboratory located in Houston, Texas. This is the same lab that does testing for several other DNA testing companies, including FamilyTreeDNA (also known as FTDNA).
FamilyTreeDNA is actually owned by Gene By Gene. This close relationship between FamilyTreeDNA and Gene By Gene may raise privacy concerns due to news in 2019 that FamilyTreeDNA was giving access to its DNA databases to the FBI.
The Gene By Gene laboratory used by MyHeritage is CLIA certified and CAP accredited. These are two important certifications that mean that the laboratory has been validated by regulatory authorities and that the testing performed is of consistently high quality.
It is not known which labs MyHeritage uses for customers living outside the US. The certificates of these laboratories are also unknown.
What does the MyHeritage DNA test analyze?
MyHeritage offers autosomal DNA testing, which means their test provides data on chromosomes 1-22 and the X chromosome. It is important to note that the MyHeritage DNA test does not provide any mitochondrial chromosome data. Their test also provides very limited information about the Y chromosome.
Children receive autosomal DNA from their father and mother. Because it is a mixture, it can be difficult to identify relatives from past generations, especially those living five or six generations back. Autosomal DNA testing is sufficient for basic genealogical research, but does not allow for in-depth ancestry analysis, which requires mitochondrial chromosome data and, for males, Y-chromosome data.
MyHeritage does not verify mtDNA and jDNA.
Mitochondrial chromosomal DNA, also known as mtDNA and chrMT DNA, is passed from mother to each child. This allows mtDNA to be used to trace a person’s maternal ancestry.
Y chromosome DNA, also known as YDNA and chrY DNA, is passed from father to son. This allows YDNA to be used to trace male parentage. Because women do not have a Y chromosome, YDNA paternal lineage testing is only applicable to men.
Unfortunately, the MyHeritage DNA test only provides autosomal data. The mitochondrial chromosome contains a wealth of useful information for both genetic genealogy and health that is not included in the MyHeritage test. Their DNA test also does not provide comprehensive information about the Y chromosome. The Y chromosome contains important genetic genealogy and male health information.
Benefits of a MyHeritage subscription
MyHeritage offers an annual subscription called the Full Plan. As a subscriber, customers can use their DNA matches to obtain advanced family tree information. Complete genealogy records such as census records, death certificates, birth certificates, and marriage records can also be viewed. A comprehensive database contains a large amount of data that can easily be placed on a family tree.
MyHeritage pricing overview
- MyHeritage is priced at $79 for the Ancestry-only DNA test and $199 for the Ancestry + Health DNA test.
- Subscribers pay $299 per year.
- Searchable access to historical records costs $189 per year.
- An extended family tree subscription costs $129 per year.
MyHeritage Privacy Overview
MyHeritage collects personal information from its users. The information is used solely for family tracing, DNA analysis and reporting. Credit card data is used for paid services.
Informed consent is the only way to share DNA data for scientific research.
The only people who have access to customers’ personal information are people who work at MyHeritage. MyHeritage notes that these individuals have undergone extensive background checks and training to ensure the security and privacy of personal information.
DNA sharing can be turned off by turning off DNA matches and DNA results.
MyHeritage Customer Support Overview
This is our review for MyHeritage Customer Support. We encountered technical difficulties during DNA testing. We contacted customer support and received a solution within 30 hours.
We found their customer service to be professional and courteous. They were willing to help and successfully helped resolve the technical issues we encountered.
A toll-free number is available to call MyHeritage from many countries, including:
- The United States
- Most European countries
Summary of our MyHeritage review
MyHeritage is a DNA testing company that specializes in genealogy. They have a comprehensive database with mostly European records, making it a great option for individuals with European ancestry. Downloading raw DNA data from other test providers is free and can be used for DNA matching to find new relatives and information to build a family tree. The site allows you to create family trees with features that will automatically place family tree information in the right places.
MyHeritage sells DNA testing kits on their website, but they also sell them on Amazon. The prices are not different from the website and are negotiated between their site and Amazon. MyHeritage runs sales on its DNA tests, mostly around the holidays.
The site has an easy-to-use interface, and customer support is prompt and helpful. This makes MyHeritage a great option for people who may not be tech-savvy but want to research their ancestry with the site’s extensive database and innovative genealogy tools.
Official website: MyHeritage.com