DNA Do-Over: Uploading Multiple DNA Test Results to MyHeritage

Genealogy author and educator reviews the process of uploading 23andMe and Ancestry DNA test results to the MyHeritage DNA platform.

Over the past weekend, there was a discussion at the DNA Do-Over Facebook group as to why you might want to upload your Ancestry DNA, 23andMe or Family Tree DNA data to MyHeritage. My first response was to use DNA expert Mary Eberle’s phrase “you want to fish in as many ponds as possible.” While this is true, should I really see different matches at MyHeritage for each test? Could this be due to how each DNA testing company processes their results?

Or should the matches be identical (or very close to the same) but the ethnicity breakdown will vary for each test? Here’s what I’ve discovered . . .

Ethnicity Estimates – 23andMe, Ancestry DNA and MyHeritage DNA

Genealogy author and educator reviews the process of uploading 23andMe and Ancestry DNA test results to the MyHeritage DNA platform.

I uploaded the results from my 23andMe and Ancestry DNA test kits to MyHeritage.  Here is a chart comparing the estimates:

  MyHeritage DNA
test
Ancestry
upload
23andMe
upload
North and West Europe 81.6% 81.7% 78.5%
     North and West European 53.3% 49.8% 22.2%
     Irish, Scottish, and Welsh 23.5% 20.9% 16.5%
     English 4.8% 7.7% 37.2%
     Scandinavian 0% 3.3% 2.6%
East Europe 18.4% 18.3% 21.5%
     Balkan 14.5% 15.0% 17.1%
     East European 3.9% 3.3% 4.4%

I submitted the MyHeritage DNA test kit on May 27, 2017 and received my results on June 25, 2017. I uploaded the 23andMe DNA test results as well as the Ancestry DNA test results on September 6, 2016. The chart above shows the estimates from the MyHeritage DNA test in white and the data uploads from Ancestry and 23andMe in grey.

We will explore ethnicity estimates in depth as the DNA Do-Over progresses and look at how each DNA testing company calculates its estimates.

DNA Matches – 23andMe, Ancestry DNA and MyHeritage DNA

So, although the ethnicity estimates among the three tests differ slightly . . . when uploaded, the DNA test results should have approximately the same matches within MyHeritage.

As it turns out, the total number of matches at MyHeritage is 1,619 for each set of data, meaning the actual MyHeritage test and the data uploads from Ancestry and 23andMe. And the top match for each test is a 1C1R (1st cousin once removed) who is the daughter of my great uncle John MacEntee on my father’s side:

Shared DNA 10.1% (730.4 cM)
Shared Segments 22
Largest Segment 116.1 cM

Right now I’ve only reviewed the major matches at MyHeritage and with over 1,600 there are quite a few to go through.

Here is Why You Might Want to Use Only ONE Set of DNA Test Results

In working with Mary Eberle of DNA Hunters, LLC, I asked if it was practical to have more than one set of DNA test results loaded up to a site like MyHeritage. She stated that a) it can become confusing to know which set of results you are reviewing and b) for some platforms like GEDmatch (which we will discuss in the future), having more than one set of the same autosomal DNA test results can tax the system. Also, DNA matches might see “three of you” in my case where I have three different test results. GEDmatch allows you to designate a set of results as “research kits” to hide them from your matches, but MyHeritage does not have that option.

Conclusion

So is there value in having more than one set of DNA test results uploaded to the same site, as in the MyHeritage example above? What does it mean when you see different ethnicity estimates among different sets of data yet the same DNA matches? I’m still trying to figure this out.

For me, there is value in seeing how MyHeritage interprets the Ethnicity Estimates for the other tests, but for now I’ve opted to remove the DNA test kits for 23andMe and Ancestry from MyHeritage. I’ve downloaded the ethnicity information shown at MyHeritage for further investigation. And since I’ve tested with MyHeritage I will use that as the set of results for DNA matching at the MyHeritage platform.

I also realize that since 23andMe and Ancestry do not allow you to import DNA test results from any other DNA testing company, if you want to “fish in their pond” you really need to take their DNA test as well.

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©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Thomas MacEntee
Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee has been researching his family history for more than 40 years and is the creator of Abundant Genealogy, Genealogy Bargains, DNA Bargains, The Genealogy Do-Over and numerous other web-based genealogy and family history properties.