Please forgive the “roughness” of this article. Our days here at MyHeritage LIVE are jam packed.
First, look online for the hashtag #MyHeritageLIVE to see postings of photos on social media by other people.
Don’t forget that the sessions are being livestreamed for free. The live stream is available on the MyHeritage LIVE website and on the MyHeritage Facebook page, so please tune in from 9:00 a.m. Amsterdam time on September 7th. If you need help calculating the time difference to your local time zone, you can use https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/.
The sessions will also be available at Legacy Tree Webinars soon after the conference.
I’m posting photos from my phone during the conference when I can on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DNAexplain/. To see more photos, check there and like the page, please.
Yesterday afternoon, four of us walked in the old part of the city, visiting a museum and enjoying the atmosphere and cuisine. I promise a nice newsy article soon.
We had so much fun just hanging out. That’s part of the wonderfulness of conferences and associated reunions. Martin McDowell, right, and Maurice Gleeson, left and I have been in 5 countries together now. Next year, maybe we’ll make it 6 or 7!
MyHeritage sponsored a canal tour for all conference attendees.
We had SO MUCH FUN. Amsterdam is a city of water, canals, boats bridges with flowers, bicycles and old buildings – and this picture has it all. It’s also the land of my ancestors so in essence, I’m coming home.
World Premiere – The Missing Piece
The conference started last evening with a movie and feel-good session about 2 sisters, both adopted having been abandoned in South Korea, discovering each other and reuniting.
The front row was a veritable who’s who in the (genetic) genealogy community. Everyone was excited about the movie.
Kim and Christine were adopted 47 years ago, one in the US and one in Belgium. It was unknown that they were sisters since they were discovered 6 weeks apart in a train station.
The never-before-seen movie follows their emotional journey.
They both traveled back to South Korea and met for the first time on the same train platform where they had been discovered.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
The sisters joined us. They had not seen the movie before, so they say it for the first time with us as well. We could hear them giggling.
It was very nice for conference attended to be able to talk to Kim and Christine.
Saturday – Conference Day 1
Gilad Japhet with Daniel Horowitz getting ready.
Gilad Japhet opened the conference with a lovely session that started out with a heartwarming story of reunification. Yes, another one.
MyHeritage has contributed 20,000 free tests for adoptes.
Gilad helps people himself, yes, personally.
Another MyHeritage pro-bono initiative is Tribal Quest. I can’t even begin to tell you how this speaks to my heart.
Next, Gilad spoke about MyHeritage Health and the benefits available to people who wish to take control of the factors in their life that they can. For the most part, predisposition is not fate – and we can influence factors to help prevent or screen aggressively for diseases.
MyHeritage will be adding more diseases and expanding their tests.
MyHeritage acquired both SNPedia and Promethease.
SNPedia is the wiki of SNPs.
Promethease is a search engine that searched SNPedia and reports their findings to you based on your DNA tests.
As of today, Promethease is free for the balance of 2019. You can upload your results and see what SNPs are in the database that may affect your results.
Do be aware that some vendors do not clinically verify their results, so false positives are possible and do happen.
In November 2019, two things will happen.
- People who have uploaded and stored their results to Promethease will have them uploaded into MyHeritage to expand their database by about 10%. If people do not want their results uploaded, they can delete them before November.
- Europeans affected by GDPR will be given an option to have their results uploaded into MyHeritage.
This will be good for MyHeritage users because the more matches, the more information can be gleaned.
MyHeritage has formed an education site.
I can’t wait to check this out.
Gilad reviewed Theory of Family Relativity. He mentioned that soon, they will appear and update spontaneously.
I hope they add a feature allowing us to dismiss incorrect theories and provide documentation as to why.
Better ethnicity estimates are on the way, and these are way cool.
Gilad explained that these will be in two parts, and that the regions will provide migration information every 50 years, the top surnames in that regional group, and a new features to be release slightly later that will be “beyond admixture” that will be specific enough to be able to identify Mormons, Mennonites and such.
If this is as good as Gilad thinks it will be, maybe it will actually assist genealogy and end the love-hate relationship genealogists have with ethnicity estimates.
Gilad says they will be particularly useful for people with European heritage.
MyHeritage is increasing their visibility in the Netherlands.
They are bringing lots of European records online.
MyHeritage is introducing new free-text matching technology to provide intelligent matching, not just work matching.
This was a great opening to kick off the day.
If you have not yet tested your DNA or transferred it to MyHeritage, now is the time.
- MyHeritage DNA (without Health) purchase
- MyHeritage DNA plus Health
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload\
Here’s a link to the article I wrote with step by step instructions about how to download your data file from other vendors and upload to MyHeritage.
Maya Lerner, VP of Product, left, above, offered a session earlier in the day that expanded on the products touched on by Gilad in the opening keynote.
In the afternoon she hosted a panel discussion that included Blaine Bettinger, myself and Yaniv Erlich. Interesting thoughts on the future of DNA. We all talked about better tools. Blaine and I agreed that our hopes are that one day, our DNA will tell us who our ancestors are. Photo is courtesy Yvette Hoitink whose session about finding Dutch records was lovely.
All I can say is that I’m glad she is my own personal Dutch genealogist. Fortunately for others, I don’t employ her full time and she has time for other people too😊
MyHeritage is bringing many Dutch collections online.
Yvette put her presentation online for you along with a handout!
Blaine talked about one of my favorite subjects, mapping chromosomes.
Any in case you’re wondering, yes, I did get permission for photography from the speakers and from Gilad personally for the conference as a whole.
I hope everyone is mapping their DNA segments to ancestral couples.
And of course the party in the evening. Beatlemania.
Here’s a teaser picture, but the rest will have to wait until the next article. I have to run because I’m missing sessions this morning, but thankfully I can watch them later at Legacy Tree Webinars.
I hope you’re watching the livestreams.
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