Genealogy Update for Thursday, September 13, 2018

Genealogy Update for Thursday, September 13th, 2018 featuring genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee of Abundant Genealogy

The Latest Genealogy News from Thomas MacEntee of Abundant Genealogy via Genealogy Update

Here is today’s Genealogy Update via Alexa Flash Briefing, the Player (below) and the Episode Notes (PDF below):

  • Alexa Flash Briefing: Click HERE to enable Genealogy Update on your Alexa Device. If you need help setting up the Alexa flash briefing for your account, click HERE to learn more about flash briefings and Alexa skills over at Amazon.
  • Player: If you don’t have an Alexa voice-activated device, use the player below to listen to today’s Genealogy Update.


  • Episode Notes: The episode notes for Genealogy Update are available for the hearing impaired and for those who may want to share the information in print format. Click HERE for the current episode’s notes or read below.

Genealogy Update Alexa Briefing – Thursday, September 13, 2018

This is Thomas MacEntee with Abundant Genealogy and here are the genealogy and family history-related items you need to know for today, Thursday, September 13th, 2018:

AncestryDNA Update

Yes! AncestryDNA has updated its ethnicity estimates! Now, if you are new to DNA testing and ethnicity estimates, you might ask, “How can my ethnicity change?” Especially, “Can my DNA change?” Well, first, your DNA has NOT changed. Second, estimating ethnicity is not an exact science and is relatively new. Every DNA testing vendor uses “reference populations” to create an ethnicity estimate. Over time, as more people test and as these reference populations become more defined, they help make ethnicity estimates more accurate. For instance, AncestryDNA just added 13,000 new reference samples (for a total of 16,000) and this allows me to see that what was previously 12% Scandinavian is now 2% Norwegian and 10% Swedish. I actually had some ethnicity estimates REMOVED such as 14% European East.

So if you’ve taken the AncestryDNA test and you haven’t visited your test results lately, go visit the AncestryDNA website this weekend and spend some time reviewing the changes. I have to say that I think Ancestry did a great job in rolling this change out and this is why: 1) they allow you to toggle back and forth from the new estimates to the old estimates; 2) you have the option of keeping the update or updating at a later date (note: I’m pretty sure at some point all AncestryDNA users will be forced to do the update); and then finally, 3) I haven’t seen too much traffic slow down on the AncestryDNA website considering there are 10 million users of the AncestryDNA test results. I’m assuming that they rolled everyone out at the same time; they may be rolling users in partially, but I’m not sure about that.

And remember kids . . . if you want the best prices on AncestryDNA or other DNA tests, check out my site Every day I scour the Internet for the best deals including free shipping so you can save money when it comes to DNA testing.

MyHeritage DNA Update

Well it certainly is the week for DNA updates, right? Just before AncestryDNA launched its new ethnicity estimate changes, MyHeritage DNA made an announcement concerning which DNA test results it accepts as part of its free upload program. If you are not familiar with the practice, most DNA vendors (at least the “Big 5” which are 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, Living DNA and MyHeritage DNA) allow you to download your raw DNA test data. Then for many sites (except for 23andMe and AncestryDNA), you can “upload” that data and look for DNA matches among that site’s users who have tested their DNA. MyHeritage allows FREE UPLOADS (while some like Family Tree DNA charge as much as $19 USD).

So the change at MyHeritage DNA is this: you can now upload 23andMe v5 (which is a later version of 23andMe test results) as well as Living DNA (the UK-based DNA testing company). To access the free upload feature at MyHeritage DNA, visit

Another change at MyHeritage DNA was announced at the same time: effective December 1st, 2018, “DNA Matching will remain free for uploaded DNA data, but unlocking additional DNA features (for example, ethnicity estimate, chromosome browser, and some others) will require an extra payment for DNA files uploaded after this date.” So this is why you should do the FREE UPLOAD to MyHeritage DNA NOW! “All DNA data that was uploaded to MyHeritage in the past, and all DNA data that is uploaded now and prior to December 1, 2018, will continue to enjoy full access to all DNA features for free. These uploads will be grandfathered in and will remain free.”

We expect to hear more information from MyHeritage DNA as the December 1st deadline gets closer and you can stay tuned here at Abundant Genealogy or at DNA Bargains for the latest news.

That’s all we have for now in terms of genealogy and family history news. Check back soon for further updates!


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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.