Review: MyHeritage Ethnicity Results

MyHeritage is an interesting contender in the genealogical space as the site has been around for quite a few years. Unlike Ancestry DNA [affiliate] and 23andMe, MyHeritage is rather new to the DNA component of genealogy and therefore (in my opinion) has a few kinks to work out before being considered a major player.

The great news about MyHeritage is that you are able to import your raw DNA file from other sites into their site and receive additional DNA matches – for free! While that feature was a bit clunky when it first rolled out (I received a ton of inaccurate matches), they quickly fixed the issue.

Today I received an exciting email from MyHeritage:

As I signed onto the account, I was greeted with a very interactive and musical presentation showcasing my ethnicity according to their profiles. The visuals were impressive and I liked how it went “around the world” with the music to show you each place you are supposedly from. It’s something I hadn’t seen with other tests and made for an entertaining reveal!

My biggest issue however, are the results. While no one DNA site is bound to get your results 100% correct, these results seemed far off enough to raise a red flag.  If this is the first test that someone takes, they may doubt DNA tests entirely with some of the misses I noticed with my results.

  • It lists British as 0% which I’m 100% certain is not the case.  I assume that the British portion of my DNA is likely (erroneously) included in the Irish, Scottish and Welsh section.
  • It claimed 0% Italian, yet 13.6% Sardinian (which is technically Italy?).  Not quite sure why the two are separated out, as no other site has done this but open to learning more.
  • It claimed 9% Greek which I’m going to assume should fall within Italy due to my known Italian heritage.
  • The French/German percentage (9%) felt too high but was far more tame than French/German percentage FamilyTree DNA [affiliate link] had provided me at 22%.
  • Iberian Peninsula has popped up multiple times in my testing overall; but in some cases it seems to show up instead of the Italian side (my grandmother was 100% Italian) but since some sites say Italy can be included in the Iberian results, I’ll consider that Italian for now.
  • I was initially surprised at the 10% West Asian (Turkey, Syria etc.) but in looking at past results, there’s now been a few instances of West Asian and/or Middle Eastern, so I’m starting to think it may be relatively accurate.

All-in-all, there is no exact science to all of this DNA testing, as each site has their own formulas, test populations and other scientific voodoo that is above my intelligence level. I do believe as time goes on, we will be able to hone in more accurately on these results.  For the time being, consider testing on multiple DNA platforms (again, MyHeritage import is free if you’ve already taken one elsewhere) and FamilyTree DNA is $19 if you’re looking to import your file from elsewhere.  Here I’ve taken a blended average of many of the regions (tried my best to combine certain regions, despite each site defining them differently from one another) and this is what it came up with:

Perhaps a blended approach with all of these sites is the way to go?

Interested in hearing what others’ thoughts are on the subject:

  • Do you think MyHeritage is accurate or do you see any major discrepancies?
  • If you’ve taken multiple DNA tests, what are you finding in terms of overall consistencies and which percentage are you leaning towards?

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Disclaimer: Any recommendations on this article are based on personal, not professional, opinion only.  All thoughts are my own. 

2 comments

    1. Hi Marie! Interesting. I’m feeling as though the Scandinavian and English pieces may be some of the most skewed with this test. I’ll be interested to see other family members’ results on here too. I should have them in just a couple of days.

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