Be Sure Your DNA Tests Are Connected to Trees at MyHeritage

As I’ve been preparing for the free seminar, “Turning AutoClusters into Solutions at MyHeritage” on Monday, May 24th at 2 PM EDT (US), I realized something VERY important that I’d like to share with you – in advance.

By the way, to watch the presentation live, just click on the Facebook MyHeritage page, here a few minutes before 2. If you’re busy, MyHeritage will record the session and you can watch at your convenience.

Upload Family Tests

It’s always important to test family members, or upload DNA files to MyHeritage if they have already tested elsewhere. You can easily upload additional tests from other vendors to MyHeritage, here.

Need instructions for downloading from other vendors or uploading to MyHeritage? You can find step-by-step instructions, here.

One of your best clues will be who else your cluster members match. Known relatives are a huge clue!

I did all that, but I <ahem> neglected a really important step after the upload.

Connect the DNA Test to the Right Person in the Appropriate Tree

I have no idea how I managed to NOT do this, but I didn’t and I made this discovery while working on my clusters.

  • As I checked the DNA tests that I manage at MyHeritage, I realized that none of them had Theories of Family Relativity. Hmmm, that’s odd, because some of them are my close relatives, and I have Theories of Family Relativity. They should too, given that we are using the same tree.
  • Then, I verified that all of these tests were connected to my tree. Good, right?

Those two facts, together, didn’t make sense, so I investigated further and realized that somehow, I had managed to create a single entry for each person, disconnected from everyone else in my tree. That lone person is who the DNA kit was connected to, but not to anyone else in my tree.

How did I make that discovery?

More importantly, how can you check each of the tests that you manage to be sure they are connected appropriately?

Even if you’re SURE you’ve connected them, please check. I discovered that I had connected them, kind of. But not properly.

Let’s look at each step so you can check too.

Are Your Tests Connected?

Click to enlarge images

At the top of your account page, select Family Tree.

If you have uploaded multiple family trees, be sure to select the CORRECT family tree where the person should be connected.

If you are related to that person by blood, then connecting them to the proper place in YOUR family tree is best. If you are not related to them by blood, such as an in-law or spouse or someone else entirely, then you can either connect them to the proper place in your tree or upload a separate tree for them. For example, my spouse and I do not have children together, so there will never be anyone who shares both of our DNA or ancestors. I uploaded a separate tree for his family so his family can see tree members that are only relevant to him.

After you click on Family Tree, on the left side, you’ll see the tree name and down arrow. If you click on the down arrow, the active tree is displayed as orange, and the other trees you have uploaded are grey.

Be SURE the tree the person should be connected in is the active tree by clicking the appropriate tree.

Find the Person

At the far right-hand side of your tree page, type the name of the person whose test you’re managing, by the name listed on the test.

If the person is NOT connected to a family in your tree, you’ll see something like the view above that shows their name but no appropriate relationship. The item blurred out below Charlene’s name is the year she was born based on what was entered when the kit was uploaded.

If the person IS connected appropriately, you’ll see the correct relationship to you.

If your relative’s relationship is shown appropriately to you, next, click on that person’s name to be SURE you’ve connected the DNA kit to that person.

When you click on that person, you’ll see their name displayed in their position in the tree, along with the DNA symbol.

If you DON’T see a DNA symbol on their tree placard, this may mean you’re in the wrong tree. It definitely means there is no DNA kit attached to this person’s profile in this tree.

For example, my husband is in my tree and in his own tree, but his DNA is connected to him in his own tree, not “him” in my tree. His name in his tree has a DNA icon and his name in my tree does not. If I accidentally connected him to his name in my tree, he would have no genetic tree-based tools because his ancestors aren’t in my tree.

DNA Symbol But No Family

If you see a DNA symbol on their placard in the tree, but no parents or family members, you’ve probably done what I did. Poor Charlene was connected to her own card in my tree, but not the Charlene where she belonged. I had apparently created a quick placeholder for her and then forgot what I had done.

When I saw that Charlene had no family, the light bulb popped on and I immediately knew what had happened. Of course, that means you need to build your tree out to that cousin in order to connect them appropriately.

Connect Up

It’s easy to connect a DNA test kit to a profile in a tree.

Under DNA, click on “Manage DNA Kits.”

Click to enlarge images

You’ll see that the person has been assigned to a name. This is what threw me off, because they were connected to a name, but I had NOT connected that profile properly to her parents (and family) in the tree. I’m guessing I was in a hurry and figured I’d connect them properly later.

Again, be sure you’re displaying the appropriate tree before you complete this next step.

Click on the three little dots and you’ll see “Re-assign kit to a different person.” Click on that link.

Begin typing the name of the person whose DNA test kit you wish to attach to a profile.

You’ll see the right person, assuming you’ve added that person in your tree. Click on that person and then Save.

All done.

Easy peasy.

If the correct person isn’t in your tree yet, just build the tree from Charlene’s stand-alone profile to the proper ancestor.

Reap the Harvest!

Now, you’ll begin to reap ALL the rewards of having your relatives test. Their kits will receive matches, hints, Theories of Family Relativity and AutoClusters that you won’t, because they will match different people that you don’t.

You’ll be able to utilize their clusters from your side of their tree just as effectively as your own. In some cases, their tests will be more valuable than your own because they have DNA from your common ancestors that you didn’t inherit. This is especially true for people who are a generation or two closer to your common ancestor.

Whose tests can you upload, with permission of course?

Be sure those kits are properly connected.

See you all tomorrow on MyHeritage Facebook LIVE to learn about Turning AutoClusters into Solutions.



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30 thoughts on “Be Sure Your DNA Tests Are Connected to Trees at MyHeritage

  1. Thank you for this reminder! I have known relatives that I administer, and others I don’t administer. Must I also have the non-administered person in my tree, and can I then connect them as well? If so, is the process different in any way!

    Also, since I’m not a subscriber, and thus limited to 250 people in my tree,do you have suggestions for how to balance adding closer cousins with extending my tree further into the past?

    I’m looking forward to your presentation!

    • No, you can’t connect the non-administered person in your tree. You’ll receive a SmartMatch for their ancestors, probably. The only people you can connect are people you administer. I can’t really comment on the 250 person free trees because work with a subscription.

      • I have a free account. At one stage I attached the wrong tree and it was a little bigger than the 250 limit. I received Theories of Family Relativity (although at that stage very buggy). Later I had a reminder of the tree size limit and replaced that big tree with one within the limit – a barebones pedigree. Theories of Family Relativity all gone. It seems to me that ToFR seems to need siblings at each level (at least) to improve a suggested ToFR.connection via someone else’s tree. Because other people have a similar experience, although not all -some still get ToFR with free accounts.
        It’s been over 12 months, so there has been at least one ToFR update. And yes, my tree is connected to my DNA. Thanks for the instructions so I could check.
        Love the chromosome browser, but ToFR have been either buggy or non-existent. I’ll go back to my chromosome painting.
        Looking forward to your presentation.

        • Yea, TOFR required at least some way to make a connection. I’ve tried to provide kids and grandkids for my ancestors to hopefully make that link.

  2. You didn’t connect them because you didn’t know about the secret handshake. As of just a few days ago I have now uploaded -from ME at MY profile page- from the download button on my profile page where it says download your file here- 3 times over the past few years. I have also requested MyHeritage connect it for me which they said they did. I’ve followed all directions. Ask me if my DNA matches can see if I have a tree. Spoiler alert: They can’t because I’m not associated with a tree.
    MyHeritage has become of so little value that I don’t even care. And since they identify women by married name I don’t even look for anyone there. How do I know what the name of her last husband was?

    • I understand your frustration. You don’t have to search for women by their husband’s names.

      Clearly, support needs to be involved with your other issue. You need to be associated with a tree.

  3. I know it is early, but I tried clicking on the link and received the following error message. “Account Temporarily Unavailable. Your account is currently unavailable due to a site issue. We expect this to be resolved shortly. Please try again in a few minutes.”

    Recently I get this message anytime I try to go to a facebook page. I guess they don’t want non-facebook members to see facebook pages.

  4. Thanks for these directions! I followed them and made sure that I assigned all four of the kits I transferred to MyHeritage (myself, my father, his sister, and my mother’s brother) to my one and only tree there, but none show with the DNA symbol. All four of the above show in the sidebar with “Upload DNA Data” next to where the photo image is.

    I refreshed the tree page, but still no joy. My father’s position in Family View tree placard doesn’t show the DNA symbol, and my placard doesn’t either. My aunt and uncle only appear in pedigree view, not family view, since they are not direct ancestors. Does this assigning take time to be recognized? Should I wait a day or so to see if everything “took” properly?

  5. I am looking forward to your presentation tomorrow. Glad you posted about adding administered kits to my tree as I had not done that. Thank you.

  6. Thank you Roberta! Sure enough, I reviewed my tree and realized I had not linked it properly either! I had shrugged this off earlier …
    LOVE your blog!

  7. Hi Roberta, As usual a great blog! How do I take down an older tree and upload a more recent one in My Heritage, and is it worth it. Or, does it “mess up” everything in place so far?

  8. Thanks for these instructions, as I had no idea how to check this. I was relieved to see that my DNA is associated with my tree and my husband’s DNA is associated with the separate tree I created for him. I see that I have my sons’ DNA (I manage their kits) in my tree. Now I am wondering whether I can associate my sons’ kits with my husband’s tree, as well as mine. so their associations with their father’s side will be there. I’m not going to rush in and try to make any changes at present, I don’t want to screw up anything that is already working, but it’s not clear to me whether my sons’ DNA can be associated with two trees?
    Looking forward to your presentation tomorrow!

    • No, just one tree. But you could combine you and your husband’s trees and make a combined one for your son.

  9. Excellent article as usual, Roberta. I’m helping adoptees and NPEs right now. In those cases, we know some surnames due to using Leeds Method but don’t have an actual provable tree that we can put up. On other sites, I make Quick & Dirty trees, they are private and unsearchable. What do you recommend doing on My Heritage? Thanks!!

    • I’m not an expert on MyHeritage trees. I know you can make them private but I’m not clear about the rest. I would suggest calling support or asking on the MH User group FaceBook group.

  10. Hmmm. Now that I think of it, I have many matches where someone else manages the kit and has a tree, but the DNA of my match connects to a tree with only one person. At first I thought maybe the manager was helping an unrelated person, or something along those lines. Now, I am suspecting that this might have happened to a few. I will keep this link in mind when I connect with people if it turns out they might be experiencing the same problem. Thank you.

  11. Thanks for your post which reminded me of an issue that I have. Until recently I had only a 250 person tree, and very few TOFR’s – only 7 that were not immediate family. Then I took out a subscription and uploaded a much larger tree. I made this new tree the default, but all the kits are assigned to the old tree, and I have not found a way of changing that. I suppose that I could delete the old tree to force the issue, but then I would lose all the TOFR’s and the Smart Matches etc. Do you have any suggestions?

  12. Thanks for your clear explanations, Roberta. I was able to get both of my cousins linked to their DNA on the right tree they belong in. My problems are my husband and our son. Their DNA somehow got connected on my tree (because I had no idea where it was being connected). Now I need to find out how to disconnect both of them but can find no instructions for disconnecting DNA on the MyHeritage Help Center. I want to connect my husband’d DNA to his own tree, but, as you suggested above, I need to combine our two trees before connecting our son’s DNA to that one. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

    • Just open the tree you want your husband connected to, then go in to your husband’s kit and click to reassign it to him. It will assign to him in the tree that’s selected. I had to do this for my husband too. I edited his profile to add a number as his middle name in advance so I could see I was in the right tree. Then after the kit was connected, I edited again to remove the number.

  13. Thank you for this. I just uploaded a new gedcom of my tree, and had no idea how to change this. I remembered seeing this article so I searched for it. One piece of advice I would add is if your are uploading a new tree to replace an existing one, delete your old tree first. Otherwise it will just show you the same name from both trees, and you won’t have any way to tell which one represents that person in which tree. I must say Ancestry makes this much easier, because you select the tree first, then select the person.

  14. Don’t make the same mistake I did! I uploaded a fresh Gedcom file from FTM and then I couldn’t link the 5 DNA kits to people in it. I mistakenly clicked “Privatize Living Individuals” when I did the export, so the matching individuals weren’t available. Doh!

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