DNA testing is something that has become increasingly common in recent years. That is because companies like MyHeritage have made this easily accessible to the public.
DNA is no longer as clinical as it used to be, instead, you can simply complete an at-home kit and gain access to hundreds of years of family history.
There are lots of different genealogy DNA kits on the market so it is important to know exactly what you are getting out of that kit before you make a purchase. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide containing 5 things you should know before buying MyHeritage.
What is MyHeritage?
The first thing you should know is what exactly MyHeritage is and what the company offers.
MyHeritage is one of the leading global companies that complete DNA analysis to allow you to gain insight into your family’s history and your own health.
The company uses its access to international historical records and matching technology to compare the DNA extracted from your at-home kit and connect you to potential relatives and your history.
MyHeritage was first founded in 2003 by Gilad Japhet and has grown massively since then. First started in a garage in Israel the company now boasts over 104 million users globally. It has offices worldwide, including Israel, North America, and Europe to offer great customer service.
They offer the user experience in 42 languages allowing people from all over the world to reunite with their relatives and gain a better understanding of their cultural heritage.
How does the test work?
MyHeritage works easily with a simple at-home DNA kit. You can order the DNA kit online and it will be delivered directly to your door. The test comes with instructions included but it really is easy to complete. There are only 3 steps you need to complete.
The first thing you need to do is activate the test kit online. This registers the test on the MyHeritage system and notifies the lab to expect the kit to arrive soon. After you have registered the kit you can then complete the test.
It is very easy to complete, and a lot less invasive than some other DNA kits on the market. All you have to do to complete the MyHeritage DNA kit is to take a swab of the inside of your cheek. No spit or blood is necessary making it a much cleaner kit to complete.
Once you have taken the swab you place the sample into the sealed container and post it back to MyHeritage via the prepaid postage box included.
The entire test is super easy to complete and takes less than 2 minutes from start to finish. Once you have posted your sealed kit, it will take between 3-4 weeks to process.
Once that is completed you will be granted full access to your results. They will be sent to you in an email with a link to follow which will take you to the MyHeritage site where you can access your full results.
This simple 2-minute test can allow you to access hundreds of years of family history and find out more about your ethnic origins.
What will my test results look like?
Once the MyHeritage lab receives your test sample they will extract your DNA and analyze it.
From there your DNA results will be converted into digital form and run against the MyHeritage algorithms to calculate an ethnicity estimate. It will also be compared against the DNA results on the system to identify close DNA and potential relatives.
The entire process is completely private and secure. You do not need to worry about your data being hacked as their system is thoroughly protected and results are thoroughly encrypted.
Once you have received the email and have gained access to your data you will find you are presented with 2 different results: an ethnicity estimate and DNA matches.
The ethnicity estimate is the reason that most people buy this product. After your DNA has been run through the MyHeritage database it will produce a very in-depth breakdown of your ethnicity.
The database includes over 42 ethnicities from all around the world allowing you to gain a real insight into your family’s history and the lives your ancestors lived.
It will allow you to understand migration patterns in your family and where they once lived. It will also pinpoint key events throughout your ancestry which lead to where you are now. The results will also be depicted on a map so you can see exactly where these percentages came from.
You will also gain access to your DNA matches results. This service compares your data with family trees that already exist in the system. It will compare your data with users who share similar genetic sequences with you as this makes it likely that you have a family relationship.
As MyHeritage already has more than 100 million customers worldwide it is likely you will find DNA matches on the system. The system will also compare your DNA results against raw DNA which has been uploaded by users who have had their data analyzed via other sites.
The system is continually updated so as its ethnicity estimates improve, and more potential DNA matches are added you will be notified via your MyHeritage account.
How much will it cost me?
As a company, MyHeritage offers 2 main products: the MyHeritage DNA kit and its genealogy subscription.
The MyHeritage DNA kit is the test that we have described above which will provide you with ethnicity estimates and DNA matches. This kit is relatively cheap, and the company often runs discounts so that you can access your DNA history at a reduced price.
Once you have completed the DNA kit you might find yourself also interested in the genealogy subscription that MyHeritage offers. They offer a variety of different subscription packages which vary in price depending on what you want and whether you want to pay monthly or annually.
The genealogy subscription will grant you access to all the historical records that MyHeritage has on file. This will allow you to piece together your family history and learn the names of your distant ancestors. This combined with your DNA matches gives you an excellent chance to learn more about your history.
MyHeritage has a database for the US that rivals its main competitor ‘Ancestry’ so you are guaranteed to find matches. If you wish you can use this system to piece together your family history you can use the company’s family tree builder.
The biggest family tree that exists on the MyHeritage database contains over 13 million people so your opportunities are endless.
What are the alternatives?
Before you make the decision to buy a MyHeritage DNA kit you should also consider the alternatives you could use.
In recent years the DNA and ancestry marked has grown massively, and there are a variety of different options to choose from. All these different companies will boast different features that make them unique so it’s important to truly understand what you want before you make a purchase.
Perhaps the most well-known DNA company is AncestryDNA. This company is a real genealogy giant with the biggest DNA and historical archive databases in the world. Similar to MyHeritage, Ancestry also offers a DNA kit as well as a family tree subscription.
Ancestry may be a better choice if you know that you want to complete the family tree as well as the DNA kit as they often provide offers if you want to purchase both products. Ancestry has also started to develop a health report in recent years, but its main focus is still genealogy.
Another company you have likely heard of is 23 and Me. If you are looking for health analysis, 23 and Me may be the best choice for you as this is their main focus. Additionally, 23 and Me also offer an ethnicity estimate, but their primary focus is health DNA analysis.
Some lesser-known companies that also offer a great alternative are Vitagene and LivingDNA. Vitagene offers an ethnicity estimate but their main focus is health as they will provide you with personalized exercise plans, etc. based on your DNA.
Whereas LivingDNA primarily focuses on heritage, exploring ancient migration patterns on both your maternal and paternal sides.
Finally, you should consider Family Tree DNA. This is a great choice if you think you have a particularly diverse family history. As well as comparing your DNA against that uploaded to the system it also compares against DNA from ancient archaeological sites in Europe to see if you have distant relatives from this era.
MyHeritage is an excellent purchase if you want to access your family history and get a better understanding of your ethnicity.
It can be an excellent purchase if you want to find potential DNA matches, and also offers an additional service should you want to build your family tree.
MyHeritage has one of the easiest DNA tests which takes only 2 minutes to complete with a simple cheek swab.
So for a quick and easy way to discover your history, MyHeritage is a great choice.