DNA Tidbit #4: Filter Matches by Country at MyHeritage

How many of you have ancestors who lived in other countries, either now or at one time? I see all those hands popping up! Me too.

At MyHeritage, you can filter your DNA matches by country.

If you’ve tested elsewhere, but not at MyHeritage, you can upload your DNA from another testing company to MyHeritage, here. Step-by-step instructions, if you need them, are here.

DNA Tidbit Challenge: Sign on to your MyHeritage account and filter your DNA matches by location.

It’s easy.

After opening your DNA match list, click on the filter icon to expose the filter options, then the down arrow shows available locations where your matches are from.

This is NOT where their ancestors are from – but where the tester themselves are from.

In my case, finding people who live in either the Netherlands or Germany and match me means there’s a good chance that they are from my mother’s Dutch or German lines since they immigrated to the US in the 1850s and 1860s.

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Glancing through my match list, I notice two who share a surname I recognize. Of course, I want to determine if these people match my mother’s side of the family.

Although Mom passed away long before MyHeritage began DNA testing, I do have her results at FamilyTreeDNA so I transferred them (free) to MyHeritage as well. You can click here to transfer.

If your parents haven’t DNA tested, and can’t, other close relatives such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. will be useful too.

I clicked on “Review DNA Match” to review my matches information.

The first person doesn’t match my mother nor any recognizable close relatives from my father’s side, so this is likely an identical by chance (IBC) or false match.

The second person does match my mother but has not elected to compare matching segments. Unfortunately.

The common surname in their tree doesn’t reveal a common location, and their tree is very small, so my only clue left is the “Shared Ancestral Places” map.

The grey pins are my ancestors, and the black pins are my match’s ancestors.

Notice that we have clusters of ancestors in close proximity, some about 10 miles apart.

Without more robust tree information or without the ability to view DNA segments and look for triangulated matches, I’m not able to go further, at least not without contacting this match.

If my match enabled segment viewing, I would be able to paint this match at DNAPainter and likely know which line we share in common. I’ve written about how to use DNAPainter, here.

DNA Privacy Settings

Here’s how to enable segment viewing.

Your DNA Privacy settings at MyHeritage are located under the down-arrow by your profile name.

Next, click on “My DNA Preferences” and make your selection.

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The MyHeritage focus in Europe pays off handsomely for people whose ancestors hailed from there – or testers who live there today. Lots of Europeans test with MyHeritage.

I have 300 matches from the Netherlands and 221 from Germany. The MyHeritage feature that allows me to sort by location is very useful. I’ll be reviewing each of these matches.

I have fewer matches on these lines overall because those immigrant ancestors have fewer descendants in the US to test – so the ability to find matches to people who don’t have US lines is a real boon. If the match is valid, that narrows the possible common ancestors immediately.

In fact, I just noticed a Dutch match with 11 common surnames and a Theory of Family Relativity.

Hot diggity – look here. Those purple pins should be colored gold because they are common ancestor locations in our tree.

This person matches and triangulates with my mother and first cousin as well. I know what I’m doing for the rest of the day!

Now, it’s your turn.

What interesting tidbits can you find when filtering by country? Do you have people in unusual countries that you don’t recognize who match you? Check it out!



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8 thoughts on “DNA Tidbit #4: Filter Matches by Country at MyHeritage

  1. Both of my maternal grandparents were part Frisian, both born in Wilhelmshaven at a time of rapid growth and industrialization, around 1900. With my FTDNA kit uploaded to MH I get 610 (German) and 225 (Netherlands) out of a total 4,528 matches (1,599 are iin the USA). Both my parents were born in Germany, although different regions. The only people testing and matching me, with rare exception, are people who can only be a variation of a 3rd or 4th cousin (half, 1X removed, etc.) or furher back. I don’t get any impressive results, clusters, matches with any of the 36 or so surnames I have ID’d on my tree. It’s really odd that I have not made more progress in figuring out HOW I’m related to folks who also test. I have solved about 10 matches only… now that I think about it… because at least one of a given cluster of shared matches communicated with me… and they are all American and one Aussie. — Interestingly, I have matches in almost EVERY European country. THAT surprised me… how spread out DNA can get (part of this is due to some distant Jewish ancestry). I’d REALLY love to be able to identify and dismiss IBC matches and I’d love it if a European person would help me solve a mystery or two. I have been unable to identify even ONE match as definitively through my paternal line. I’ve only had ONE German lady try to help me out. We seem to have a shared ancestor with the name Moulin from the 1600’s… a name that sticks out in East Frisia. She has a very impressive and PUBLIC tree at Ancestry. (Germans are often VERY protective of their tree privacy. No surprise there. Of course they don’t mind taking info that I offer freely to my matches. I can see I’m the source in some of the search results I get at MH. Sigh.)

  2. If you look on the Overview page, you can see the list of countries with your matches. For me, the USA has the most matches, followed by Great Britain, France, and Germany. I also have many matches from Hungary and Sweden. (My ethnicity is Ashkenazi Jewish with Sephardic Jewish via my matrilineal line.)

    Guess which countries have the highest percentage of Ashkenazi Jews. Israel, of course, is in 1st place but Hungary is in 2nd place! The USA has only about 5-7% with AJ ethnicity.

  3. I need help! I finally watched your presentation on Auto Cluster @MyHertaige (Oct 2020). It was wonderfully done! thank you. When I do the auto cluster. I only have 2 coloured squares. I can only see one large square. It have 97 people. I have a large database over 150,000. Acadian endogamy. I’m trying to figure out my Father’s bio dad. My father’s mother side also matched with my Dad’s bio father side. So hard to work out. I do not have my dad’s DNA. I only have my mothers. I have only 34 matches there.

    Main test was done at Ancestry, I have upload to My Heritage, FTDNA and Gedmatch. How can I get more coloured squares?
    My highest match with my fathers bio side does not have a tree. What I have learned is that her family was large and not all of the siblings were from the same father. So that has added to my challenges LOL!
    Thanks Carolyn

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