MyHeritage Updates Theories of Family Relativity – Who is Waiting for You?

I always love to receive e-mails from Daniel Horowitz, Genealogy Expert at MyHeritage, because I know there is always something good waiting for me.

Today, it was the announcement that MyHeritage has refreshed the Theories of Family Relativity database again. The last time was mid-May.

If you recall, Theories of Family Relativity (TOFR) provide you with theories, aka, hints, as to how you and other people whose DNA you match may be related to each other – through which common ancestor.

According to Daniel:

Since the last update, the number of theories on MyHeritage has grown by 64%, from 20,330,031 to 33,373,070! The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 28%.

MyHeritage reruns the connections periodically and updates customer results.

By signing on to your account and clicking on “View Theories,” you can view only the matches that have an associated theory.

I have a total of 67 theories, 5 of which are new.

In my case, I create a note for each match, so I can scroll down my match list and easily identify which people have new TOFR

click to enlarge

You can see in the screenshot that my match, David, has a note, indicated by the purple icon, but Sarah does not. She also has a “New” indication for the TOFR which will remain for 30 days.

I’m excited. I can’t guess based on the 13 people in her tree how we might be connected, which is a little game I like to play, so I’m going to have to click on “View Theory” to make that discovery.

click to enlarge

Aha – William Crumley through daughter Mary who married William Testerman. I’m glad to see this, and I suspect this new connection may be due to the fact that I optimized my trees to enable TOFR to make connections by adding all of the children and grandchildren of my ancestors, with their spouses. This facilitates the “spanning trees” connections, indicated by the red arrows above, where Mary Brown “Polly” Crumley 1803-1881 connects in another tree with Mary Brown 1803-1881 and then further down that tree, James Harold Mitchell 1899-1961 connects with James Harold Mitchell born 1899-deceased. In other words, the theory is that these are the same people and those connections allow us to “cross and connect trees” and walk down them like a genealogical ladder.

Now, of course, I need to verify the connection both genetically and genealogically as well as reach out to my new cousin.

Sarah only has 13 people in her tree. She might be a new researcher. I’d like to provide her with my articles about our common ancestor, assuming the connection verifies. There were multiple William Crumleys and there is a lot of misinformation out there, waiting for unsuspecting genealogists. Maybe my articles will help her avoid the sand traps I landed in and who knows what information she might have to share. Like, if there is a graveyard on her Testerman ancestor’s property – which might be where William is buried. You never know and hope springs eternal!

If you already have DNA results at MyHeritage, sign in, and see if you have new Theories of Family Relativity.

If you don’t have DNA results there, you can transfer from elsewhere for free by clicking here and then either try a trial MyHeritage subscription, here or unlock the advanced features that include TOFR for $29. Or you can order a DNA test from MyHeritage, here.

We don’t know in advance when MyHeritage is going to refresh the database for new TOFR connections, so it’s important to be in the database when that happens.

If you’d like to know more about Theories of Family Relativity, I wrote about how to work with them here, here, and here.

Have fun!!!



I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Products and Services

Genealogy Research

26 thoughts on “MyHeritage Updates Theories of Family Relativity – Who is Waiting for You?

  1. Do you have to be paid up to see those? There are none for any of the kits I have registered there. And my sister and I are ethnically not related. She’s Swedish and I’m Russian.. We USED to be English and German which is what our paper tree is. No English and No German in our ethnicity now 😉

  2. I will have a look on My Heritage – it sounds interesting.

    I got my 3.0 update from FamilyTree and it still makes no sense, It is still very broad and general. Instead of 100% British Isles they threw in 7% North Western Europe this time with no details or particulars. Based on my family tree and my matches on ancestry, the results on FamilyTree make no sense.

    I, as well as many of my cousins, have African DNA on many chromosomes according to 23andme and my son also received this same DNA and has been tested on a couple of sites. In fact, almost all of my cousins on one branch have this same DNA from the same part of Africa and we know the origins of this ancestor. This DNA also shows up in identical amounts on ancestry as well as 23andme and is conformed by ThruLines matches to this ancestor on my trees who share this DNA.

    I was hoping that if I got a reasonable update on FamilyTree that it would inspire me to do Y or Mt DNA there this fall but the update does not inspire confidence in their system at all.

      • I realize this, but if they are so far off on something so basic, and so critical for people who may be trying to find ancestors who may have been born in a time of slavery, it is hard to want to deal with them even if they are quite good at Y and Mt DNA.

        Not being up to date on this makes it seem like they think Africa does not matter and if it is hurtful to someone like me who does not have a lot of this DNA left, imagine how it makes others feel.

        I would love to find out where my maternal line goes. It seemed to be heading towards the Huguenauts, for my last known ancestor on my maternal line, but who knows? Her husband’s folks seem to trace back to France near Germany and one family they lived near, who I am also descended from claim this lineage, but her last name and parents are not known for sure. it may explain why my grandma who was born in Indian Territory liked to recite French poems, but then the neighbors used to tease and say which kids looked the most Indian as well, so I have no idea.

  3. It seems more useful than what I think about the awful Ancestry Thrulines which is often ridiculously wrong. My Heritage DNA has been pretty accurate for me…Ancestry, every other update is off…this last one is now back to being pretty accurate for me.

  4. Way back when atDNA was just beginning you wrote an article outlining how our tree on Ancestry would be best to be reduced to direct ancestors only. This is what I did and it currently has a bit over 400 individuals – this is my “public tree” there. Currently my “private tree” from which the private was pruned is over 20,00.

    From what I read here you have included your entire tree on My Heritage. Do you now suggest to do the same with Ancestry? I have no shortage of cousins on Ancestry as it is but I’m speculating that my private tree, if made public might pull in more 2nd and third level cousins – what do you think?

    • No, not my entire tree. My direct ancestors, their children and grandchildren. I have about 40,000 in my entire tree. This is a fraction.

  5. As a word of caution for everyone: Since the theories are also created from persons in other trees, I do have a number of obviously wrong theories. I had corrected my tree, but other users have not and so the connections via an ancestor, which I know is wrong, do show up on my list, though I do not have this “wrong ancestor” in my tree.

  6. I had previously uploaded my DNA and GEDCOM at Myheritage, but I do not currently have a paid subscription. Previously, I know I was able to see Theories of Relativity (I only had 1 or 2), but now, they are gone. I have gone through every page – it does not appear on my DNA page, my matches page, or DNA tools page. It appears that they have made theories of relativity for paying subscribers only.

  7. Roberta: You say that…”Sarah… has a “New” indication for the TOFR which will remain for 30 days.” So, what happens after 30 days? Do they remove the TORF that they had placed? So, if I check my site only every 2-3 months, I may miss a TORF that had been placed and removed after 30 days? …or they just remove the indication, but the TORF will remained there? Do they ever remove the TORFs?

    Thank you Roberta for all your teachings!

    • Just the “new” box disappears. The TOFR could disappear in another update if a critical piece, like another tree, disappears.

  8. Sadly, I still do not have any Theories. This is frustrating because I had hoped My Heritage might open some doors for me. I keep waiting for more people to test, though!

  9. I was very excited to see this, but when I went to My Heritage it turned out that all my Theories of Relativity had disappeared. I originally had a small family tree with just my direct ancestors. After attending a My Heritage webinar, I decided to upload my whole family tree. I downloaded a gedcom from Roots Magic and uploaded it to My Heritage.
    I contacted them about my Theories of Relativity and apparently because I had deleted my original (small) family tree and uploaded a new (big) one, my Theories were all wiped out. They said that is the way it works. They are working to try and find a way around this, but as of now if you delete and upload a new tree you are out of luck!

  10. Pingback: Triangulation Resources In One Place | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

Leave a Reply to Roberta EstesCancel reply