MyHeritage – Broken Promises and Matching Issues

For additional information and updates to parts of this article, written three months later, please see MyHeritage Ethnicity Results. My concerns about imputed matching, discussed in this original article, remain unchanged, but MyHeritage has honored their original ethnicity report promises for uploaders.

As of July 2019, these issues have been resolved.

Original Article below:

My Heritage, now nine months into their DNA foray, so far has proven to be a disappointment. The problems are twofold.

  • MyHeritage has matching issues, combined with absolutely no tools to be able to work with results. Their product certainly doesn’t seem to be ready for prime time.
  • Worse yet, MyHeritage has reneged on a promise made to early uploaders that Ethnicity Reports would be free. MyHeritage used the DNA of the early uploaders to build their matching data base, then changed their mind about providing the promised free ethnicity reports.

In May 2016, MyHeritage began encouraging people to upload their DNA kits from other vendors, specifically those who tested at 23andMe, Ancestry and Family Tree DNA and announced that they would provide a free matching service.

Here is what MyHeritage said about ethnicity reports in that announcement:


Initially, I saw no matching benefit to uploading, since I’ve already tested at all 3 vendors and there were no additional possible matches, because everyone that uploaded to MyHeritage would also be in the vendor’s data bases where they had tested, not to mention avid genetic genealogists also upload to GedMatch.

Three months later, in September 2016, when MyHeritage actually began DNA matching, they said this about ethnicity testing:


An “amazing ethnicity report” for free. Ok, I’m sold. I’ll upload so I’m in line for the “amazing ethnicity report.”

Matching Utilizing Imputation

MyHeritage started DNA matching in September, 2016 and frankly, they had a mess, some of which was sorted out by November when they started selling their own DNA tests, but much of which remains today.

MyHeritage facilitates matching between vendors who test on only a small number of overlapping autosomal locations by utilizing a process called imputation. In a nutshell, imputation is the process of an “educated guess” as to what your DNA would look like at locations where you haven’t tested. So, yes, MyHeritage fills in your blanks by estimating what your DNA would look like based on population models.

Here’s what MyHeritage says about imputation.

MyHeritage has created and refined the capability to read the DNA data files that you can export from all main vendors and bring them to the same common ground, a process that is called imputation. Thanks to this capability — which is accomplished with very high accuracy —MyHeritage can, for example, successfully match the DNA of an Ancestry customer (utilizing the recent version 2 chip) with the DNA of a 23andMe customer utilizing 23andMe’s current chip, which is their version 4. We can also match either one of them to any Family Tree DNA customer, or match any customers who have used earlier versions of those chips.

Needless to say, when you’re doing matching to other people – you’re looking for mutations that have occurred in the past few generations, which is after all, what defines genetic cousins. Adding in segments of generic DNA results found in populations is not only incorrect, because it’s not your DNA, it also produces erroneous matches, because it’s not your DNA. Additionally, it can’t report real genealogical mutations in those regions that do match, because it’s not your DNA.

Let’s look at a quick example. Let’s say you and another person are both from a common population, say, Caucasian European. Your values at locations 1-100 are imputed to be all As because you’re a member of the Caucasian European population. The next person, to whom you are NOT related, is also a Caucasian European. Because imputation is being used, their values in locations 1-100 are also imputed to be all As. Voila! A match. Except, it’s not real because it’s based on imputed data.

Selling Their Own DNA Tests

In November, MyHeritage announced that they are selling their own DNA tests and that they were “now out of beta” for DNA matching. The processing lab is Family Tree DNA, so they are testing the same markers, but MyHeritage is providing the analysis and matching. This means that the results you see, as a customer, have nothing in common with the results at Family Tree DNA. The only common factor is the processing lab for the raw DNA data.

Because MyHeritage is a subscription genealogy company that is not America-centric, they have the potential to appeal to testers in Europe that don’t subscribe to Ancestry and perhaps wouldn’t consider DNA testing at all if it wasn’t tied to the company they research through.

Clearly, without the autosomal DNA files of people who uploaded from May to November 2016, MyHeritage would have had no data base to compare their own tests to. Without a matching data base, DNA testing is pointless and useless.

In essence, those of us who uploaded our data files allowed MyHeritage to use our files to build their data base, so they could profitably sell kits with something to compare results to – in exchange for that promised “amazing ethnicity report.” At that time, there was no other draw for uploaders.

We didn’t know, before November, when MyHeritage began selling their own tests, that there would ever be any possibility of matching someone who had not tested at the Big 3. So for early uploaders, the draw wasn’t matching, because that could clearly be done elsewhere, without imputation. The draw was that “amazing ethnicity report” for free.

No Free Ethnicity Reports

In November, when MyHeritage announced that they were selling their own kits, they appeared to be backpedaling on the free ethnicity report for early uploaders and said the following:


Sure enough, today, even for early uploaders who were promised the ethnicity report for free, in order to receive ethnicity estimates, you must purchase a new test. And by the way, I’m a MyHeritage subscriber to the tune of $99.94 in 2016 for a Premium Plus Membership, so it’s not like they aren’t getting anything from me. Irrespective of that, a promise is a promise.

Bait and Renege

When MyHeritage needed our kits to build their data base, they were very accommodating and promised an “amazing ethnicity report” for free. When they actually produced the ethnicity report as part of their product offering, they are requiring those same people whose kits they used to build their data base to purchase a brand new test, from them, for $79.

Frankly, this is unconscionable. It’s not only unethical, their change of direction takes advantage of the good will of the genetic genealogy community. Given that MyHeritage committed to ethnicity reports for transfers, they need to live up to that promise. I guarantee you, had I known the truth, I would never have uploaded my DNA results to allow them to build their data base only to have them rescind that promise after they built that data base. I feel like I’ve been fleeced.

As a basis of comparison, Family Tree DNA, who does NOT make anything off of subscriptions, only charges $19 to unlock ethnicity results for transfers, along with all of their other tools like a chromosome browser which MyHeritage also doesn’t currently have.

Ok, so let’s try to find the silk purse in this sows ear.

So, How’s the Imputed Matching?

I uploaded my Family Tree DNA autosomal file with about 700,000 SNP locations to MyHeritage.

Today, I have a total of 34 matches at MyHeritage, compared to around 2,200 at Family Tree DNA, 1,700 at 23andMe (not all of which share), and thousands at Ancestry. And no, 34 is not a typo. I had 28 matches in December, so matches are being gained at the rate of 3 per month. The MyHeritage data base size is still clearly very small.

MyHeritage has no tree matching and no tools like a chromosome browser today, so I can’t compare actual DNA segments at MyHeritage. There are promises that these types of tools are coming, but based on their track record of promises so far, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

However, I did recognize that my second closest match at MyHeritage is also a match at Ancestry.

My match tested at Ancestry, with about 382,000 common SNPs with a Family Tree DNA test, so MyHeritage would be imputing at least 300,000 SNPs for me – the SNPs that Ancestry tests and Family Tree DNA doesn’t, almost half of the SNPs needed to match to Ancestry files. MyHeritage has to be imputing about that many for my match’s file too, so that we have an equal number of SNPs for comparison. Combined, this would mean that my match and I are comparing 382,000 actual common SNPs that we both tested, and roughly 600,000 SNPs that we did not test and were imputed.

Here’s a rough diagram of how imputation between a Family Tree DNA file and an Ancestry V2 file would work to compare all of the locations in both files to each other.


Please note that for purposes of concept illustration, I have shown all of the common locations, in blue, as contiguous. The common locations are not contiguous, but are scattered across the entire range that each vendor tests.

You can see that the number of imputed locations for matching between two people, shown in tan, is larger than the number of actual matching locations shown in blue. The amount of actual common data being compared is roughly 382,000 of 1,100,000 total locations, or 35%.

Let’s see how the actual matches compare.


Here’s the match at MyHeritage, above, and the same match at Ancestry, below.


In the chart below, you can see the same information at both companies.


Clearly, there’s a significant difference in these results between the same two people at Ancestry and at MyHeritage. Ancestry shows only 13% of the total shared DNA that MyHeritage shows, and only 1 segment as compared to 7.

While I think Ancestry’s Timber strips out too much DNA, there is clearly a HUGE difference in the reported results. I suspect the majority of this issue likely lies with MyHeritage’s imputated DNA data and matching routines.

Regardless of why, and the “why” could be a combination of factors, the matching is not consistent and quite “off.”

Actual match names are used at MyHertiage (unless the user chooses a different display name), and with the exception of MyHeritage’s maddening usage of female married names, it’s easy to search at Family Tree DNA for the same person in your match list. I found three, who, as luck would have it, had also uploaded to GedMatch. Additionally, I also found two at Ancestry. Unfortunately, MyHeritage does not have any download capability, so this is an entirely manual process. Since I only have 34 matches, it’s not overwhelming today.


*We don’t know the matching thresholds at MyHeritage. My smallest cM match at MyHeritage is 12.4 cM. At the other vendors, I have matches equivalent to the actual matching threshold, so I’m guessing that the MyHeritage threshold is someplace near that 12.4. Smaller matches are more plentiful, so I would not expect that it would be under 12cM. Unfortunately, MyHeritage has not provided us with this information.  Nor do we know how MyHeritage is counting their total cM, but I suspect it’s total cM over their matching threshold.

For comparison, at Family Tree DNA, I used the chromosome browser default of 5cM and 5cM at GedMatch. This means that if we could truly equalize the matching at 5cM, the MyHeritage totals and number of matching segments might well be higher. Using a 10cM threshold, Family Tree DNA loses Match 3 altogether and GedMatch loses one of the two Match 2 segments.

**I could not find a match for Match 1 at Ancestry, even though based on their kit type uploaded to GedMatch, it’s clear that they tested at Ancestry. Ancestry users often don’t use their name, just their user ID, which may not be readily discernable as their name. It’s also possible that Match 1 is not a match to me at Ancestry.


Any new vendor is going to have birthing pains. Genetic genealogists who have been around the block a couple of times will give the vendors a lot of space to self-correct, fix bugs, etc.

In the case of MyHeritage, I think their choice to use imputation is hindering accurate matching. Social media is reporting additional matching issues that I have not covered here.

I do understand why MyHeritage chose to utilize imputation as opposed to just matching the subset of common DNA for any two matches from disparate vendors. MyHeritage wanted to be able to provide more matches than just that overlapping subset of data would provide. When matching only half of the DNA, because the vendors don’t test the same locations, you’ll likely only have half the matches. Family Tree DNA now imports both the 23andMe V4 file and the Ancestry V2 file, who test just over half the same locations at Family Tree DNA, and Family Tree DNA provides transfer customers with their closest matches. For more distant or speculative matches, you need to test on the same platform.

However, if MyHeritage provides inaccurate matches due to imputation, that’s the worst possible scenario for everyone and could prove especially detrimental to the adoptee/parent search community.

Companies bear the responsibility to do beta testing in house before releasing a product. Once MyHeritage announced they were out of beta testing, the matching results should be reliable.  The genetic genealogy community should not be debugging MyHeritage matching on Facebook.  Minimally, testers should be informed that their results and matches should still be considered beta and they are part of an experiment. This isn’t a new feature to an existing product, it’s THE product.

I hope MyHeritage rethinks their approach. In the case of matching actual DNA to determine genealogical genetic relationships, quality is far, far more important than quantity. We absolutely must have accuracy. Triangulation and identifying common ancestors based on common matching segments requires that those matching segments be OUR OWN DNA, and the matches be accurate.

I view the matching issues as technical issues that (still) need to be resolved and have been complicated by the introduction of imputation.  However, the broken promise relative to ethnicity reports falls into another category entirely – that of willful deception – a choice, not a mistake or birthing pains. While I’m relatively tolerant of what I perceive to be (hopefully) transient matching issues, I’m not at all tolerant of being lied to, especially not with the intention of exploiting my DNA.

Relative to the “amazing ethnicity reports”, breaking promises, meaning bait and switch or simply bait and renege in this case, is completely unacceptable. This lapse of moral judgement will color the community’s perception of MyHeritage. Taking unfair advantage of people is never a good idea. Under these circumstances, I would never recommend MyHeritage.

I would hope that this is not the way MyHeritage plans to do business in the genetic genealogy arena and that they will see fit to reconsider and do right by the people whose uploaded tests they used as a foundation for their DNA business with a promise of a future “amazing ethnicity report.”

I don’t know if the ethnicity report is actually amazing, because I guarantee you, I won’t be paying $79, or any price, for something that was promised for free. It’s a matter of principle.

If MyHeritage does decide to reconsider, honor their promise and provide ethnicity reports to uploaders, I’ll be glad to share its relative amazingness with you.



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232 thoughts on “MyHeritage – Broken Promises and Matching Issues

  1. One bit of advice for anyone considering using MyHeritage (it is useful for East Europe research), is to buy your subscription through BPay so at least you haven’t directly given them your credit card. Then immediately cancel your recurring subscription, both with MyHeritage and in your BPay account. That way there’s no chance of them billing you again.

    Note: this may not work if you’ve used their trial offer, you may need to directly give them your cc number. Might be best to use one of those travel money credit cards.

    • Boy howdy! I learned this the hard way. They resubscribed me without warning, then when I called then immediately after seeing the charge on my CC, refused to refund me. They permanently lost a customer.

      • I’m sorry that happened. I’ve been caught out with Ancestry that way, though when I called them at least they offered me 50% back by way of a future subscription. At least I’ve learnt my lesson regarding subscription services, always cancel them immediately so you don’t get any surprises down the track.

  2. This code they sent is in valid. Unreadable number. Monday I am contacting service and sending kit back,

  3. I completed MyHertiage, but was shocked. I am part American Indian but the ethnicity list did not show this not even 0.01%.

    • That is common with many of the DNA companies. At best, ethnicity is a “guesstimate”. The pool of American Indians is still small.

      • Me too and I have a copy of my grandmother’s Dawes roll for verification. I could apply to become a member of the Choctaw Nation, I have a 1st cousin that applied and was accepted. We are 1/16th, but according to My Heritage 0%…..HUM PROBLEM?

    • Know what you mean. The majority of my grandfathers family going back several generations were from Stone Mountain Georgia—–following the Trail Of Tears. My grandfather and his siblings even resemble –high cheekbones -darker skin., but myhertiage is like yours 0.01%….

      • My Heritage results are a mess.I am totally dissapointed.I do not recommend them.They can not answer my questions.

    • same here. We traced our lineage back 6+ generations to an Aboriginal tribe, but zero north american content. 89.7% euro, 1.3% middle east. Complete b.s.

    • Same here, they claim they don’t have access to tribal dna info. But yet don’t disclose that useful little bit of information when selling the kit.

  4. I am completely lost. I was excited to do MyHertiage kit to find out if I Truly had Natiave American (Cherokee Hertiage) as I was always told by my mother. My Grandfather my mother’s father was from Stone Mountain Georga. As most of his family was. I can follow so many of his family was. Well imagine how disappointed I am when I did myhertiage DNA results came back saying I am 96% European mostly Italian. And only 1.8 American. That is so crazy, There are no dates or ways to follow a trail. So Disappointed . All These results are from so far back it is like when Rome Ruled??????

    • I did not mean not being proud to be of Italian heritage, not true, just wish I could somehow just be able follow some kind of dates instead of Stone Hinge.

      • They seem to have problem with the native American ancestry. My grandmother was on the Dawes roll because she was 1/4 Choctaw and I had 0% native american ancestry but did have 1.5% japanese ancestry. No idea where that came from. I smell a rat!

      • robertajestes
        Thank you so much for the info it is greatly appreciated. Yup I to made the same error chose the newest company,oh well live and learn

    • Same happened to me I got 0% on American Indian “Navajo” relatives told me I am I’m sad an disappointed about that, I’m happy with the rest though

      • I recommend not taking MyHeritage’s estimates at face value and using a different DNA testing company to compare results. I first took the Ancestry DNA test and got a percentage of Native American that was somewhat consistent with my family’s oral history, but when I got the MyHeritage results, it showed no trace of my Native DNA. I take neither of these tests literally, after all both companies do insist that they provide only “estimates”. But in my case, MyHeritage just seems to be farther off the mark with theirs.

  5. In the last 6 months my wife and I sent samples to both MyHeritage and AncestryDNA. The results were different, on a huge scale, between the two companies. I suspect that the Ancestary folks were closer but I don’t know that for a fact. We do know something of our heritage already hence the leaning towards AncestryDNA. So, those people that send in their DNA, do some research first before you pick the “organization. Disappointing to say the least.

    • My experience is that Ancestry is very accurate, According to my genealógical investigation.

  6. Can anybody tell me how long it takes to receive the results after one has uploaded their results to MyHeritage? It took forever with my first kit in December…

  7. MyHeritage is a rip off. I have a multitude of Scots and Irish names in my family yet test said I was 100% north and western Europe. Additionally, have discovered others received the exact same bogus report as me. Avoid this scam.

    • I think there could be a good explanation to why you show up with Northern European heritage. Vikings traveled to the UK (Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales) and settled on the island. They took local names. So this could explain why you have Scottish/Irish names in family, but still DNA show you are related to Northern Europeans (Scandinavian Vikings).

      • Based on this logic you could send everyone a circle around the Mediteranian area where the Garden of Eden was located.

      • Slv Cathrine is correct. It’s well known that there are Viking settlements in the British Isles. My DNA and family tree also reflect this. It’s a very interesting history that I highly recommend reading about.

  8. Pingback: MyHeritage Ethnicity Results | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  9. Scam. Don’t know how they are getting away with sending generic reports on DNA swabs that are obviously incorrect.

  10. I uploaded my FTDNA raw files this week. I think I lucked out. Although I only have 15 matches, one of my matches is a new cousin on my Jones line who I’ve never come across before. Turns out we share great great grandparents.

    I do miss a chromosome browsers. It leaves much to be desired without that utility.

  11. I paid £80 for DNA search some months ago and the last I heard was they were ‘processing’ my DNA sample. Since then I have heard nothing. I have emailed and as I live in UK sent letter to UK office and again no response. I am disgusted!

  12. I really don’t trust the MyHeritage DNA results. They are telling me that I am 40 percent Italian and Iberian, which I know for a fact could not be true. Stranger still, I have my daughter’s and sister’s DNA out there also, and I admit that they do correctly identify them as my full -blooded relatives, However, they then go on to give my sister six (6) additional matches that apparently do NOT match either me or my daughter. Wouldn’t all three of us share these matches between us?

    • Not necessarily. You and your sister both inherited half of your parents DNA but not the same exact half. So you will have some different matches. That’s why we encourage everyone to have their siblings test.

      • Roberta,
        I can attest to this! I have known 3rd cousins who tested. I was surprised when their results came in. I match the brother but not the sister.

  13. Thanks, Roberta. I never thought of it that way, and I see that the same is true on GedMatch as well. Very interesting!

  14. I had my Dna test with Ancestry and My Heritage. I think that Ancestry is very accurate. But, my experience with My Heritage is totally negative.The results with My Heritage are bizarre and they do not have answers for me.

  15. First they sent a map with a circle saying I was 100% North and West European. When I told them of all the Scot Irish surnames in my family they claimed that my ancestors apparently moved from there to the British Isles. Then when I discovered they had sent the same map to others I complained. Now as an insult to what intelligence I have they emailed me saying they had upgraded their tools and that I was 31% Scot Irish.

  16. I was extremely disappointed in My Heritage as I thought it would provide more information as promised. I will never recommend My Heritage to anyone. They just want to sell you other more empty promises.

  17. My experience at MyHeritage…

    I have tested myself, my son, my mom, and my dad on FamilyTreeDNA. I recently uploaded all of our raw data into MyHeritage. First let me state the obvious:

    1) My parents are my actual parents, matching on FamilyTreeDNA and Gedmatch shows that
    2) My parents are not related. Verified this by FamilyTreeDNA and Gedmatch
    3) My son, is my actual son, matching on FamilyTreeDNA and Gedmatch shows that
    4) My son’s father and I are not related
    4) My son shares a lot more DNA with his grandmother (my Mom) than his grandfather (my Dad). He’s one of those rare statistical anomalies.

    Here’s what I found on MyHeritage:
    1) Many instances where I share more DNA with a match than one of my parents (these matches are in the 80+CM range)
    2) Many instance where my son shares more DNA with someone than I do (these matches are in the 80+CM range)
    3) Many instances where one of my parents shares a significant amount of DNA with someone (>100 CM) and I do not share any
    4) Finding SEVERAL matches (large matches) to me that aren’t matched to either my parents or my son

    All of those instances listed above are impossible and should not occur but yet they do occur and not just once, but many times. If the match discrepancies were for matches that were really small, I might just think that was noise or something, but these are literally all of our top matches. There is something bad happening over at MyHeritage…

  18. IT sucks! – I can not even upland the results to the tree I added into MyHertiage yesterday when the results were in – I have worked and worked all day to upload

    I can’t upload it on to the sister site either I have been a member of since Nov. 2009
    only Family Tree DNA; 23andMe® or Ancestry®, can be loaded into GENI a site they totally own but their own DNA kit can not be this is WRONG!

    I am very disappointed and feel like I have been taken down the pea patch by MyHeritage!

    This has soured me on DNA testing

  19. Pingback: Ethnicity and Physical Features are NOT Accurate Predictors of Parentage or Heritage | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  20. Just got an email from MyHeritage with my free ethnicity report. It’s got a cute video with music to match the countries of origin.
    They said,
    “Because you uploaded the DNA data to MyHeritage, you are entitled to receive the Ethnicity Estimate for free! This is unique among the major DNA companies!”

    I question it’s accuracy because it is quite different than my 23andMe results. I’ve been researching my family lines for 20 years the old fashion way and have never found any Italians, except my uncle Rudy who married my mother’s sister, (not a blood relation, I hope.) They reported that I was 41.6% Italian! At 23andMe only 8.6% Italian.

    • I just got my video also. It is “cute” but quite different from what FTDNA shows. I will say they did pinpoint Scot/Irish/Welsh which I fully believe I am just because I look Irish (red hair and blue eyes). Haven’t proven any Scots yet but do have a few who came directly from Ireland. It was much more detailed than the FTDNA and don’t know who to believe at this point.

      • I know my direct male lineage goes back at least six generations, in the same county in Scotland (Renfrew) and for some reason it’s not showing up in any of the sites I’ve uploaded my raw DNA data to, from 23andMe. As far as they go is Northern Europe and Britain.

    • I had the same result: According to My Heritage, I am 23.3 percent Italian and 18.3 percent Iberian! I have traced my genealogy back to the 1600s on both sides, and everything is English, Irish, German and some Eastern European with just a smattering of Iberian .The same is true of my sister and my daughter, and our DNA results through corroborate those results. We are all fair-skinned.

      Now, I’m not saying there could not be any Italian or Iberian in there, but if there is, it would go back more than 300 years, and in that case, wouldn’t the percentages be much lower than 22 and 18 percent?

      At this point, I’m not sure which of these ethnicities is right. I did enjoy the video, though.

  21. I haven’t received my results, I hope my results are good, because I haven’t read anything too positive

  22. I was reading ur post and remembered that at the time I uploaded my raw data to MyHeritage they gave me lotsa matches. However, some time ago, all my hundred matches disappeared like smoke and now I only have 5 – 3 being real relatives – mother, and 2 cousins – whose shared number of cMs is equivalent to that given me by FTDNA. Discrepancies lie in the ethnicity grounds though. In spite of the percentual by continent being similar to the FTDNA one, the continental breaking is way too different – e.g. FTDNA gives me 30-odd Center-West European, no Scandinavia; MyHeritage gives me 23.2 Scandinavian, no CW European…

    • I just don’t know in your case between the big 3. Everyone’s estimates vary between them. Which one is better for an individual relative to ethnicity often depends on comparing their results to known genealogy.

      • Got it.
        I have been following your posts trying to make sense of genetic genealogy because you, however technical it is, make it understandable for ppl like me who are not in the field of genetics.
        One of those posts tells us how to calculate the supposed percentages we’ve got from our ancestors. That’s the reason why the results of both Myheritage and FTDNA puzzle me when they tell me I have, like, huge porcentages of non Portuguese, when my tree and proven genetic relations show me that at least in the last 6 generations all my Europeans are from Portugal.
        Anyways, let’s wait for the developments of the Science 😉
        Thanx for your posts!

  23. Wish I would had read this before I ordered my kit. Sad to think that information I will be receiving about my ethnic roots may be totally bogus. How would I know otherwise?

  24. Thank God I read your review before handing over my $$ to thieves & liars. Also, the fact that MyHeritage is subpar and still trying to convince audiences to purchase their disservice makes me furious. Again, thanks!

  25. My Heritage DNA results are so wrong. They are saying I am 51% Italian and I have no Italian in my family. We have Greek. Ancestry and FTDNA both came back with my correct results and not a trace of Italian. My Heritage matches are very questionable because I uploaded my raw results again to see if they still came back with the Italian and they did but at a slightly different percent. I now have two of me on my account and we don’t even get the same DNA family matches.

  26. I read your whole article and I must’ve met it is a little over my head. I recently had my DNA done at heritage and got back my Ethnivity report and lots of matches. Are you saying that this is all bogus and I can’t trust the Ethnicity report I got and that I need to do it all over with ancestery or family
    Please let me know because I really wanted to have good information thank you

    • Read my article titled Which Erhnicity Test is Best. All ethnicity tests are estimates but some are better than others. This one is not one of the better ones.

  27. Got an email from Heritage. Uploaded my autosomal file. Ethnicity is terrible. So bad that I will not look further on their site. As far as I am concerned FTDNA, though not perfect, is the only game in town…..

  28. I did my DNA test through My Heritage, and although I have traced back my families to the 17th century–Bohemia, Prussia, and Alsace–my test came back 49% Scandinavian, 1% Iberian Peninsula, and some Italian and Greek. Their map shows Germany, Bohemia, and France suspiciously blank. I cry bogus, and am glad I bought this sham of a test on sale.

    • Could we get our money back… I too can trace back to 1600s – early all my parent’s lines to Germany, Prussia, Alsace, Switzerland and it shows 65 % France/German/Swiss wihich I agree with but also 15 % Baltic Eastern European – which I can guess would be certainly possible because one branch of family came from Berlin, then 10% Iberian and 5% middle eastern. Do you know how far back they go? Like what century?

  29. Received a phone call from My Heritage 2 days ago trying to convince me to upgrade my status. Severe language barrier but he was persistent and I played a long. Told him that if he was looking at my tree like he said he was that if he could find the 1889 California birth certificate for my grandfather then I would pay the year subscription. Such a joke. He couldn’t and I was serious. Kept pushing the US Census and I told him I had all those without paying.
    The DNA maps were far too generic for my taste. Wish there was a way to get a test on my deceased parents. I’d use another service.

  30. thank you for the great detail in your summation on these tests! I wait a few more years before I test!

  31. Pingback: Concepts – Imputation | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  32. I just now got my online ethnicity report from MyHeritage. I didn’t know it was offered for free – I really don’t care. $79 was a bargain, and that small of a amount didn’t get in the way of trying things out just out of curiosity. Anyway…

    I know my family’s ancestry because my dad and I did some really good records research and found stuff going as far back as the early middle ages (700 – 800 CE) because my family lines are in the government and military (they kept good records), and by golly, the results from MyHeritage were spot-on. Now, I’m talking west Asia, the middle-east and eastern Europe.

    I never expected MyHeritage (or any DNA testing firm) to give me family specifics from twelve hundred years ago (which is what my dad and I uncovered in our work, which included sifting through the national archives of foreign governments), but I was pleased to see that MyHeritage could at least pin-point my origins to the Trans-Caucasus region between Turkey, Iran, and Russia (we’re originally from the Republic of Georgia). They also reported that I have about 3.7% Ashkenazi Jew and 4% Italian in my ancestry. Having known where that comes from really impressed me wit MyHeritage’s analysis.

    I am sorry to see so many stories of disappointment on this site, but my experience was very fruitful and rewarding. Consequently, I felt the need to share it with you.

    Thank you.

  33. Hello, just received my DNA results from your firm and they are almost completely different from the ones I have received from of your competitors. In fact your results seem somewhat questionable considering what I seem to know about my family. Can this be explained without casting blame as there must be a reasonable explanation.
    Thank you

  34. My Heritage has my mom and I matching 50%. ok But when you look at her match with me they have one set of ethnicity than they do when my match with her. She is either English, Sardinian, Italian and Iberian which is what they say about me on the former. On the latter she is Italian, Greek, Bulkan and British, while I now become Western European, Italian and Welch. Now my actual families are Swiss, French Italian. In the French there could be Iberian and British too, but very minute. My mom is French Swiss and Italian. Of course what we find is a small part of what we are. But this is crazy that they have 2 different groups of ethnicity for mom and me. Now they are new, however I had mentioned that I was thinking of doing it with 23 and me. The sales person said their DNA testing is with 23 and me. Not! Now everyone we match with have a very limited tree or no tree a all. Sounds very wrong to me. They do not give you the raw data so that you can test it our on Gedcom. Some of my matches suggested for me to do that as they had 23 and me.

    • You can download your raw data from MyHeritage. They do not test at 23andMe. Maybe the person meant that they allow uploads from 23andMe. In any case, download your data file and upload to Family Tree DNA and/or GedMatch.

      • Please tell me how to download our raw data from My Heritage. It’s the one thing I have been really cross about since sending in three people’s kits, that I can’t download the actual results but have effectively given them to My Heritage to sell on to whomever they please…

        • To the best is my knowledge, MyHeritage does not sell your DNA. I suggest contacting them for instructions. That’s what I would have to do if I couldn’t figure something out.

      • I have the same problem. I followed the step-by-step instruction published by My Heritage and even had someone try to “walk” me through the process—which was not helpful because they’re reading off the exact same step-by-step process. Bottom line, once we get to the part where I’m supposed to see “download” option, the option is not on the list. The support person was at a loss as to why I do not have that option. I suspect they took out the download option because most people just transfer their raw results to other websites and not sign up for their more expensive options.

  35. My results from MyHeritage:
    70.1% English
    17.6% Scandinavian
    10.9% Italian
    1.4% Ashkenazi Jewish

    Sounds pretty cool, I like the “dash” of Ashkenazi, they’re some pretty smart people.

    Having said that, two of my grandparents were Romanian (Transylvanian) Saxons. Their ancestors came to what was Hungary in the 12 century, they stayed pretty clannish, and then at the turn of the previous century they came to America. Even if the “German” showed I’d be happier with the results. No “Eastern European”, no German, no Saxon.

    No hint of any Italians or Scandinavians being claimed on either side of the family as far back as anybody knows. My father’s family self-identified as Scottish (clan Sutherland) on his mom’s side and Alsatian/French on his father’s side. They were not fond of “the English” and I’m doubtful they had any significant roots there.

    I was thinking about trying another one, but IMO this was pretty much wasted money. I’m EXTREMELY skeptical of the results.

  36. I downloaded my 23andme raw data and just submitted it to MyHeritage. Once it’s processed and I download it and upload it to GEDmatch? I recently signed up at WikiTree but since 23andme uses the new V5 chip, I had to use GEDmatch Genesis which WikiTree doesn’t accept.

  37. The results I received doesn’t match my family history, they said I was Nigerian and other African ancestry, plus only 6.7 percent British and 1.3 percent Filipino. I have two great grandmother’s that one is half native American and one full blooded. I didn’t get any my family is British and Native American and some Creole. Maybe some Asian but no Nigerian.

  38. So after reading all that. Do I need to pay to see my dna heritage results. I’m confused. And if I have to pay I will not be opening it for results.

  39. Just found this article. Been trying since last week to find out how my maternal Uncle can have Central and South American ethnicity since both his parents are from Poland and the families go back to Poland. My Heritage says I have none.; but, I understand that part since we don’t have any.

    I up-loaded originally 4 tests from Family Tree DNA including my maternal Uncle and Paternal Aunt; and then, retested with MyHeritage only my husband & myself. Yesterday I was told I have to write to them so today I will. This ethnicity they offer is definitely erroneous since I can’t have more North African as a percentage in myself than my Uncle since there is absolutely no North African in my paternal Aunt’s background. Also, how can they say my Uncle has South America in his results and I have none.

    I’m waiting to see what their answers will be.


  40. My Heritage is not accurate at all. What I thought was strange is that they match me with only 6 people who appear to be half black and half central american with only about 16% European. The Percentages and a few of the ethnicities are wrong. I only uploaded my raw data from Ancestry. I know that Ancestry, Gedmatch and Dna Land are accurate. They have pinpointed I am 19% Native American 14% Spanish & 13% Italian. According to My Heritage estimates, I am now 28% Central American. I have no Italian dna and I’m now only 6% Spanish and 8% East European. Strangely I’m now 2% Scandinavian which makes no sense. No one in my family was ever Scandinavian. My Heritage did pinpoint that I had traces of West Asia, and Arab/Egyptian dna. Those traces often pop up in companies I upload my raw data to. So I may have had ancestors years ago of those ethnicities. One thing I do know is that Ancestry, Gedmatch, and Dna Land actually match me up with the right people and right ethnicities. I wonder if all Hispanics who test through My Heritage always get central american for their Native American dna. That is misleading because not all Hispanics get their are Native Americans from Central America.

    • Similar experience for me. My father was Peruvian and most Peruvians have some native American. What Ancestry came back with for me was 13% Native American which matched up with what I knew from the familys oral tradition (although Peruvians are fairly close lipped about Indian blood since it usually connotes lower socio economic status) My paternal grandmothers family was Spanish going back anywhere from 2 to 4 generations Peruvian. Photos of my grandmother when she was young suggest a much higher percentage of native American than she would ever dare admit. But all I have to do is look at my dozens of first cousins who become brown as coffee in the summer, while I with my 50% Irish and British Isles and Scandinavian burn under a 40 watt bulb!

      Now comes MyHeritage which puts me at 24% Central American for which I am certain there is no foundation whatsoever.

  41. Damn it, I just order several kits as xmas gifts for my family, as they were 50% off and I thought it would make a cool family gift. Now all of their phone lines are down, impossible to contact them!
    I assume that their systems couldn’t handle the sale, really bad PR!

  42. Here’s an update from what I wrote on October 26, 2017 at 9:55 am that’s above.

    I made a big enough issue that My Heritage had one of (per them) geneticists call me back. We had a long friendly discussion. He proceeded to tell me that their estimate of South and Central American blood was “white noise”. He never went any further to explain how they could have that in 2 Polish peoples’ son’s blood except to say it could go back to various migrations hundreds and thousands of years ago. Considering that FamilyTreeDNA does say anything other that Eastern European in their analysis I’m no more confident that I was before calling in trusting anything that My Heritage has to say regarding their ancestry estimates. This article explains (at least to me) why they could be so off — and yet — they continue to stick by their findings. For me (at least) this was a total waste of my money, except for the learning experience.

  43. MyHeritage has updated their matching system, and has rolled out a chromosome browser. While ethnicity ESTIMATES vary from website to website, for those of us who have been doing genealogy a decade or more, the money’s in the matches. This is relatively young and definitely changing science. So far, I’m pleased with the changes.

  44. I wish I had read this post earlier before I chose this company. I began to get scared because I ordered a DNA kit and sent it at the beginning of Jan, waited til after New Year because of the holidays, then they still don’t show this received so I contacted them for an approximation of time frame to show received and they have failed to get back with me. I just sent them another email and next one will be where I tell them where I used to work before I retired. Criminal investigation for the Feds, so….They are not messing with a rube. I know exactly who to contract and will if they don’t deliver what they promised. I also made the mistake of purchasing an annual premium site because I thought it would be interesting. Now I’m worried.

  45. I did the test and I have Iberian and Italy/Greece but no African traces. I uploaded my data into My Heritage and it shows no Iberian or Italy/Greece but traces of African and show dna matches and people’s profile of African descent. I know that I am Iberian. Is it possible that it has made a mistake and I am not related to the people it says I am?

  46. First they renewed without my knowledge. I wanted to discontinue. In my DNA explanation there were ethnicities not in any other DNA tests. I’ve had 3 others. After the initial DNA explanation but I talked to a customer be service rep. I be said you guys got be some things wrong. I said what you be found something no three other be companies did not? Then I was given by a match but my be DNA chart was different than the first one!!! Yes! I e mail 2 x & called once. No ans. I want my info off . I want a refund. Good luck. :(.

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