MyHeritage Review

UPDATED May. 2020
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MyHeritage is an ancestry DNA testing company born out of a passion for family history and entrepreneurship. It was founded back in 2003 in Bnei Atarot, Israel, by its current CEO Gilad Japhet and has since established offices in California and Utah. The company constantly expands its portfolio and geographic coverage in an effort to meet the needs of its many customers.

MyHeritage is definitely the fastest-growing enterprise on the market that combines genetic breakthroughs with genealogical data. Currently, its database contains over 3.5 billion profiles, around 8.96 billion historical records, and more than 45 million family trees. With approximately 105 million users spread across 196 countries, it is one of the best companies of its kind on market. Keep reading our MyHeritage review to find out more about this unique company and its service.

MyHeritage Homepage

How MyHeritage Works

Here are the steps included in ordering and performing your DNA test with MyHeritage:

  • Registration  If you don’t have a personal MyHeritage account, you can create one on its website. If you do, you can disregard this section. You’ll have to provide your personal information and payment method in order to proceed. MyHeritage accepts Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, and Diners Club. After registration, the company will send you a DNA testing kit.
  • Kit activation  Once your kit arrives, you’ll need to activate it through your personal account.
  • Sample collection  My Heritage has opted for buccal swabs instead of saliva or blood, which makes the procedure much faster and completely painless.
  • Sending the sample back  Once you’ve collected your DNA sample, you can mail it back to MyHeritage for processing. 
  • Inspecting the results  The final report is usually generated within 3-4 weeks. When it’s done, you’ll receive an email notification to explore your results on the MyHeritage site. 
MyHeritage how work

Here’s what the company’s DNA test kit contains: 

  • 2 vials 
  • 2 swab sticks 
  • 1 Ziploc plastic bag featuring a cotton pad 
  • Instruction booklet 
  • 1 padded envelope

As a relatively new DNA company, MyHeritage encourages people to upload their previous DNA testing results from other companies, including Family Tree DNA, whose DNA test it used to sell before implementing its proprietary DNA test in 2016, as well as AncestryDNA and 23andMe. MyHeritage continues to work closely with Family Tree DNA and uses its DNA laboratory for DNA processing, which means these two renowned companies test the same genetic markers and provide the same level of test accuracy.

Why Choose MyHeritage

As one of the best DNA testing providers on the market, MyHeritage offers an unprecedented number of attractive features,  including:

  • Family Tree DNA laboratory, which guarantees cutting-edge processing technology and accurate results 
  • CLIA-certified laboratory 
  • Skillful team 
  • Ancestry + Health DNA testing
  • SearchConnect feature, enabling MyHeritage users to find people looking for the same relatives and ancestors
  • Record Detective, which takes a single historical record and automatically extends the paper trail, facilitating matches between documents in different languages
  • Global Name Translation, which translates names from historical records from one language into another
  • Record matching, which automatically matches historical records and people
  • SuperSearch engine, allowing you to explore billions of historical records
  • Instant Discoveries, which is a unique technology for adding additional branches to your family tree
  • Smart Matching, which matches people from your personal family tree with individuals from other family trees
  • Family Tree Builder
  • Theory of Family Relativity
  • Various subscription options
  • MyHeritage mobile app
  • Partnership with Billion Graves
  • The only DNA and family history company with 24/7 customer support
  • 138 full-time customer support employees

Test

Before we proceed, we need to mention that MyHeritage offers only autosomal DNA testing. Tests exploring chromosome pairs 1-22 are used for identifying your potential relatives within the database and matching you with them.

MyHeritage DNA test costs 99$ and consists of 3 steps: 

  • DNA extraction  Since our DNA is “hidden” within the nuclei of our cells, the testing procedure starts by extracting DNA molecules from the cells provided in your sample. This is done on a deep well plate, which contains 96 samples. The samples are injected with a substance that eats away at any potential contaminants, leaving the sample perfectly clean and ready for extraction. Lastly, the extraction robot is put to work, separating your DNA from the other materials found in the sample. You DNA is stored within two vials; one is left in a robotic freezer for potential later use while the other continues to the next step.
  • Microarray process  This step “translates” your biological information into raw data. You DNA is copied multiple time in order to supply enough material for analysis. This process is called amplification, producing millions of copies of your DNA. Your digital data is then placed onto the Illumina chip, which binds it in a process named hybridization. Your DNA leaves “stains” on the chip, allowing the laser to read different fragments. Finally, the iScan chip scanner will read the chip and produce an image of your DNA strain. 
  • Raw data production – Once your DNA data has been obtained, it is loaded onto a highly secured server and analyzed by data scientists and automated algorithms. This produces your raw DNA data and associates it with the unique number of your kit. The algorithm will calculate the estimate of your ethnicity by “connecting” different pieces of your DNA signature with corresponding regions of the world. Simultaneously, your DNA will be matched with all other users who uploaded their raw data or took MyHeritage DNA test.  
MyHeritage DNA test

Apart from its renowned ancestry screening paired with genealogical data, MyHeritage also provides its customers with a health-related DNA test that yields 27 personalized health reports. The test is based on rigorous research and is currently the only at-home option that offers polygenic reports for breast cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Note that these results are only available for users of European descent. If you add health testing to your ancestry kit, the total price of the test is $199 (with frequent discounts).

Note that MyHeritage is a subscription-based site where you unlock enhanced features by upgrading your subscription plan. The current offer includes: 

  • Data subscription (13.27$ per year)  This plan allows you full access to Record Matches and SuperSearch. Additionally, you can save your historical records right onto the profile pages of people in your family tree or extract records to your family tree.
  • MyHeritage Premium subscription (9.17$ per month, billed annually)  This option offers up to 2,500 individuals in your family tree, priority support, Family Tree Builder Premium, enhanced Smart Matching, and access to MyHeritage family sites and collections of members. 
  • MyHeritage PremiumPlus subscription (10.95$ per month, billed annually)  This plan offers an unlimited number of people in your family tree, priority email support, Family Tree Builder Premium, enhance Smart Matching, Tree Consistency Checker, MyHeritage collection, and full access to Instant Discoveries, which allows you to add photos and additional branches in one click.

Non-paying members have a limit of 250 people in their family tree and 500 MB of storage space. They also have access to Family Tree Builder and SuperSearch and can contact their DNA matches even if they uploaded their results from other companies.

Understanding The Results

You’ll get two types of results with MyHeritage DNA test: 

  • Ethnicity estimate  This section will provide a comprehensive overview of your unique DNA composition. You will discover the historical origination point of your genetic ancestry and the number of ethnicities taking part in your DNA. Your ancestral ethnicity will be expressed in percentages for each region relevant to your DNA. You’ll also be able to view life events of your ancestors on the ethnicity map. These include things like birth, marriages, and death. For an enhanced view of your ancestral history, you can also inspect the PedigreeMap, which is free for all users. 
  • DNA matches  The algorithm will compare your autosomal DNA test results to family trees in order to identify matches with a family relationship. For every potential match, you’ll see three genetic parameters; shared DNA will indicate the percentages of overlaps with other individuals who took the test. You’ll be able to see the length of the shared DNA expressed in centiMorgans (cM); shared segments will show how many pieces of your DNA corresponds to that of a potential genetic relative; the largest segment is the one enabling MyHeritage to identify the overall likelihood of a genetic relationship. The larger the shared DNA segment, the higher the possibility of a DNA match. 

Following major improvements and updates to MyHeritage DNA Matching in January 2018, its users started receiving up to 10 times more genetic matches than before. MyHeritage applied two major updates to the match list in order to secure better and easier navigation. Users can now increase the number of matches displayed on each page and jump directly to a specific page. Distant relationship estimates for DNA matches with very little shared DNA are also fixed. Specifically, distant matches are now displayed as “3rd cousin – distant cousin” instead of “3rd cousin – 5th cousin.”

MyHeritage also offers a very useful tool called “Chromosome Browser,” which allows you to manually compare your DNA signature with those of your genetic matches and find shared DNA segments. The company improved the tool to allow for a simultaneous comparison of your DNA with up to 7 DNA matches instead of just one. In other words, Ono-to-One Chromosome Browser has been upgraded to One-to-Many Browser.

At the end of March 2018, Chromosome Browser also received three new updates that made it much easier to use while providing additional information about your DNA Matches. These new additions allow you to:

  • Easily reference your comparison sets at all times – Once you select your Chromosome Browser comparison set (DNA Matches you want to compare your DNA with), the DNA Match cards will remain docked on the top of the page as you scroll down.
  • Review/contact your DNA Matches directly from the Chromosome Browser – When you hover over any DNA Match card on the main page of the Chromosome Browser, three dots will appear in the top-right corner of the card. Once you click on them, you’ll see a drop-down menu that allows you to go to the DNA Match Review page and contact that particular match and the manager of the DNA Match kit.
  • Use indication for triangulated segments from the DNA Match Review page – MyHeritage added an indicator for shared DNA Matches that possess triangulated DNA segments with you and the match you’re currently reviewing. To put it simply, triangulated DNA segments are shared between you and one or more DNA Matches. They are, therefore, most likely inherited from a common ancestor.

In February 2019, MyHeritage introduced its Theory of Family Relativity feature that allows users to learn more about their genetic relationships and ancestors by crafting reliable theories about different paths between established genetic relatives. The software takes into account all historical records, family trees, and individual genetic signatures in the MyHeritage database.

When it comes to the health-related portion of the results, MyHeritage offers the following reports:

  • 11 monogenic risk reports – Age-related macular degeneration, Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, G6PD deficiency, hereditary BRCA cancers, hereditary hemochromatosis, hereditary thrombophilia, late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, late-onset Parkinson’s disease, and MUTYH-associated colorectal cancer.
  • 3 polygenic risk reports – Female breast cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  •  13 carries status reports – Cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, Fanconi anemia, Gaucher disease, GRACILE syndrome, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (type 2D), mucolipidosis type IV (ML4), Nieman-Pick disease (types A and B), nonsyndromic hearing loss (connexin 26), rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata (type 1), sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, and Usher syndrome (type 2).

Privacy And Security

MyHeritage collects the following personal information: 

  • Name, contact info, and payment details 
  • Your family info (names, gender, relationships, places and dates of events, photos, video files, documents, email addresses, and so on)  
  • DNA samples, results, and reports 
  • Your opinions and comments 
  • Your use of the MyHeritage website 

The company uses your information to:

  • Provide DNA testing services 
  • Verify your identity 
  • Communicate with you 
  • Improve the service of the website 
  • Perform research 

MyHeritage disclosure policy forbids it from sharing your personal information with any third party except in the following cases: 

  • Limited circumstances like legal processes, court orders, and similar factors 
  • Acquisition of MyHeritage 
  • Outsourcing tasks to third parties 
  • Sharing data with your DNA matches  

You can modify or delete your personal information from the site anytime you want. MyHeritage services are not recommended for minors. 

Shipping And Handling

When you place your order, your personal MyHeritage DNA testing kit will be shipped within 1 business day. The exact delivery time depends on your location and postal service. It usually takes between 4 and 7 work days for deliveries within the US and 8-12 work days for international shipping. You can also choose the express option for an additional fee.

The moment MyHeritage ships your DNA kit, you’ll receive a direct email notification with all the details that’ll allow you to track your shipment. You can track the status of your kit from the moment MyHeritage receives your order up until your raw data is produced. To do so, simply mouse over the DNA tab on the Home Page, click Manage DNA Kits, click on the three dots on the right part of the screen, and select Track kit.

Note that MyHeritage DNA testing kit doesn’t come with a pre-paid mailer, which means you’ll have to pay the postage expenses to mail your DNA sample back to the lab. The postage price depends on the chosen shipping type and your local postal rates. The weight of the provided envelope with the two container vials is 10 grams. Note that shipping DNA specimens from Brazil has different requirements explained in the manual provided with the kit.

Bottom Line

Although MyHeritage primarily focuses on genealogical research, the company has made revolutionary strides in ancestry DNA testing and surpassed some of the top players on the market.

With the implementation of DNA testing, MyHeritage has completed the circle, becoming one of the best companies to help you uncover the secrets of your genetic and historical origins. We hope our insight into the company’s service helped you make the best choice for demystifying the past of your family tree.


User Reviews (36)

MyHeritage customer rating based on 36 user reviews.

The MyHeritage reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the company reviewed here. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.

  1. Sabina Ashton | January 9, 2020

    I was doing a history paper and I needed information about the origin of my family name. My parents saw it as an opportunity to investigate our family history and they decide on the premium subscription from MyHeritage because it says it covers up to 2500 family members with a matching option as well. The price is something under 10$ per month but you have to pay for the entire year which is still a great price, according to my dad. Now he spends all his time online searching for family all over the world, tracking people down on facebook and sending the messages.

  2. Ana Dickson | January 7, 2020

    I’m a bit embarrassed to share this but the reason why I decided to a dNA test is that I used to go out with a guy whose last name was the same as mine. At some point, things were getting serious and I remember someone from his family suggested we do the test and compare our results to see we had someone in common. It turned out we are in fact relatives, not close, but nevertheless, family and the reason I’m posting this is as a precautionary tale for everyone who ever had any doubts about dating a guy from the same small town or something like that.

  3. Chip Doss | December 30, 2019

    The DNA results are anomalous and questionable, but their “Instant Discoveries” are beyond bogus. First, the DNA results: Compared to the other tests that I’ve taken, the MyHeritage results were quite different. They are not at all in alignment with the other companies, not in alignment with my own genealogy (going back over 20 generations, in some instances), and not in alignment with the potential relatives that they’re identifying for me. Now, I realize that DNA is random and wouldn’t necessarily correspond to a genealogy. However, if they tell you that you have a high percentage of DNA originating from a particular place (in my case, Iberia), then there should be some evidence either in the genealogical record or in their DNA relationship match-ups — or in other companies’ DNA tests. There simply isn’t. Conversely, if other companies show a particular origin (ethnic composition) and if my genealogy confirms that ethnic origin, then I would expect to see some evidence of that same ethnic origin in MyHeritage — just as I see elsewhere. But I do not. Knowing the vagaries of DNA testing and the algorithms of origin assignment, I can guess that there might be some scientific explanation for some of this. Consequently, I’m willing to give them a passing D+ grade for DNA testing. Needless to say, I would not recommend their tests after having done tests from several companies. However, the “Instant Discovery” feature of MyHeritage is worse than worthless — it is perpetuating and proliferating the bogus genealogies that are plaguing the internet. MyHeritage lures a user into matches with ancestors — offering to add dozens of new persons to your family tree. What it doesn’t tell you is that these records have been checked against NO primary source records, and they are simply the result of sloppy genealogical work that is being passed along without ever being corrected. MyHeritage touts millions (billions) of records. Where are they and what is the utility of those records? MyHeritage has learned to monetize the erroneous family trees being put together by lazy genealogists. People are being enticed into replicating millions of genealogical errors. This is a travesty. “Instant Discovery” should come with a warning. While it might not be illegal, I think it’s criminal.

    • Graham Palmer | March 10, 2020

      I absolutely agree with your comments. My results were so vague and in many respects questionable. I have a solid family tree going back to 14th century in UK and yet I am swamped by ‘supposed’ matches in USA and Canada, presumably since these are the people who paid to do a MyHeritage DNA test and are so remote that they are pointless. In summary a total waste of time and money.

  4. Bryce Hurley | December 14, 2019

    I’m happy to report that I was able to find family on my mother’s side thanks to SearchConnect. She never knew her family so we never knew them either. What made me choose MyHeritage is the fact that it works together with other well-known companies like Family Tree DNA which means that the quality is guaranteed. And I was right! I’ve also discovered that I was part Native American which is so cool

  5. Peter | November 9, 2019

    Unable to stop a subscription
    Be very careful with this company. The website is not that bad but once you want to stop your subscription it is very hard. They respond with an email but next year they just take money from your credit-card and keep your subscription. I have a bunch of emails where I confirmed that I really want to stop my subscription but again they took 189.01 euro. Be warned, do NEVER take a subscription at MyHeritage, they are scammers.

  6. E | November 5, 2019

    The worst! Our family took DNA tests as a group. After spending $$$, matches appeared on some of the family accounts and not on others. In other words, the match display were incomplete. (Obviously if you have a cousin who appears as a match on this site and every other DNA site, then you should appear as a match for them as well). MyHeritage support was a complete joke. Totally unhelpful, slow to respond, and moronic. Save your money and take literally any other DNA test!

  7. Marie Utley | July 6, 2019

    This is Marie, I love the time frame on our DNA test. To me they did a wonderful job, I was totally shocked by the results of where we was from. My daughter and I could not believe it. We really looked at each other and laughed, and it shocked us completely. But I believe it, and my son, we was “Totally” shocked about his DNA. They did a great job, and the price was justified as well.
    I will recommend them to the rest of my family members.
    Thank You! MyHeritage.com for doing a great job.

  8. Antonina Starsinszky | June 7, 2019

    MyHeritage is great for family matches and such, but overly simplified in ethnicity.
    Mine showed I was 100% Eastern European only. That is very unlikely as I have never seen anyone else get 100%. Kinda cool, but not true. If you have more unique ancestry like tatar, udmurt, ossettian, or something like that it will brush over it and place it in a broad region.
    Good thing is you can upload your raw data to many other sites for free. !!!!!
    I uploaded to 5 others(get the most out of your money people) and they all showed diffirent variations of North Eastern slavic, Albanian, North European (disagreed if Im Scandinavian or British(from 12 to 24% so weird MyHeritage didnt catch it). GenePlaza were more spesific to put me as Norwegian, Scottish Argyll and Orkney for Northern Europe) and 4/5 of the others showed small percentage of Indian & South Asia! GenePlaza again traced it back to Gurjati indian which makes total sense knowing I have a great grand-parent of Romani(gypsy) decent. That site also placed me as Mordovian which is highly likely due to my geographical location.
    Generally yes its not wrong Im 100% ish eastern european. Since I am west Russian that could be similar to North Europe because of Viking influences in the past, and if Romani got lost in translation, but its such a boring result compared to what others give you.
    So I recommend MyHeritage only as a means to upload to other sites or for finding DNA matches only. They have great feutures for filtering relevant matches as well. + acsess to family tree if you pay.

    • Dianne Russo | August 27, 2019

      Which sites did you upload the raw data to, other than GenePlaza? It sounds as if you got good confirmation of site-specific ancestry, by using these free resources to check each other.

  9. Alan | April 27, 2019

    Results are way off compared to other sites. I uploaded my parents results to gedcom and familydna and compared. All the other sites were similar to each other. Myheritage resulsts were skewed to a level not even my family tree supported. I did my own test at another site, and uploaded my dna to myheritage and gedcom. Gedcome matched the other site, and again myhertiage results were way off.

    Accounting for this bias, the results though were nevertheless interesting

  10. N | April 6, 2019

    Just an absolutely horrible experience. This site obviously has a bias set to its ratings. The math does not work with these ratings.

  11. Kathy | January 20, 2019

    Don’t waste your money on MyHeritage getting your DNA tested. I have traced my family tree back on both sides of my family pretty far. I have actual proof of being Cherokee since my mother’s paternal grandfather was full-blood, her maternal grandmother was full-blood and there is also Cherokee on my father’s side. My 5th gr Grandmother is listed in the Cherokee By Blood, Her granddaughter put in an application for the Eastern Cherokee tribe and they are listed on the Guion Miller Roll. Can’t get much more Cherokee than that. My DNA results came back that I am zero % American Indian. Also said I am zero % Scottish or Irish yet I have my family traced back to the year 1068 and we are related to Sir William Wallace. When I called to complain and say I wanted a refund I was told that their DNA tests are quite accurate. I told the guy apparently they are not accurate or they would have gotten my DNA correctly. His excuse about not finding the Scottish or Irish was that more than likely my family originated in England and migrated to Scotland and Ireland. Uh… NO! I asked if he was going to change the history books and also let Mel Gibson know that he based his movie in the wrong country? As for the reason they didn’t find any American Indian in my DNA he said that many Indians don’t trust the white man and so they don’t want to provide DNA samples to compare to. Ok, so how are other companies able to test for American Indian DNA. He then said there are over 500 tribes they don’t have samples for. I told him that even if that were true, the Cherokee are one of the largest tribes in the U.S. They were one of the 5 civilized tribes. I told him that in case he didn’t know what that meant, it meant that they were one of the tribes to adopt the customs of the white settlers and generally had good relations with them. They were one of the only tribes to have a written syllabary making it possible for them to read and write in their language. There are 3 federally recognized Cherokee tribes as well as some not federally recognized. So, how is it that they do not have ANY DNA from this tribe? He just continued to repeat to me that there are over 500 tribes that they do not DNA from to be able to compare to. I then asked him this – When MyHeritage very first started, how did they test their very first customer? Because if I was understanding him correctly, they needed something to compare to and if it was the very first customer then what did they compare to? I told him I felt their company is falsely advertising and that I wanted a refund. You can’t advertise and charge people money for doing something if you aren’t going to or aren’t able to do it correctly. They are not able to test people’s DNA correctly if they can not test for everything. He kept telling me how accurate their tests are but they are not accurate and I was very disappointed with the results. I will be posting this review on Yelp.com as well as Angie’s List and any other review site that I am able to post on. I still want a refund and plan to call them again as well as write to them. It’s unethical to charge that much money for something and not do it correctly. I want my money back so I can find someone who actually knows what they are doing and can test my DNA correctly. Don’t waste your money on this,

    • Fernando Sosa | January 30, 2019

      Wiiliam Wallace was Scottish, not Irish. The Cherokee people, who moved from the east during the Trail of Tears had been mixing with other races for centuries before you ever came along. People of European decent have been proven to have lived in the area for almost 9000 years, so yeah, there’s a good chance you have no native blood, which is why DNA tests cannot prove native american ancestry. Especially Cherokee. I suggest in the future you read the fine print and educate yourself on who the Cherokee and Irish are before blaming someone else for telling you what you really are.

    • Alexis | January 31, 2019

      Education is key in this story. I totally agree with Fernando Sosa. And also, most of human ‘races’ are mixed. The fact that your parents might have a specific type of DNA does not directly mean that YOU got that DNA as wel since you have a mother and a father. High school biology classes should’ve told you that you get the half of your “DNA package” form your mother, and the other half of your father. If you happend to not get the parts of DNA with information about wherever you believe you are from, there is a good chance your parents have the DNA, and you simply don’t. Your siblings might even have it, it’s all about chances.

  12. Samantha R Boykin | December 26, 2018

    I ordered the DNA kite for my husband for Christmas its been six weeks still not here, and cant get anyone on on the phone. I dont get all the great reviews im very dissapointed .

    • Fernando Sosa | January 30, 2019

      The more tests they receive, the longer it takes. It took 3 months to get mine from FtDNA. Be patient…..geeezzz.

  13. MCD | June 20, 2018

    My Heritage offer a fantastic online facility to research your family history. I feel connected to people whose blood and DNA I carry but died hundred of years ago. I had no idea, until a few days ago my Mothers side of the family were Millers and Corn Dealers based in a sleepy village in Suffolk, England. There also appears to be a child one of my Great Grandmothers had that nobody knew anything about….. such a tantalising mystery!!

  14. Jerry Kay | June 20, 2018

    I was so happy with the clear concise way the lady explained a DNA question. i now realize I can add as many DNA results to my tree to check unknown connections and follow if maternal on paternal ancestors.

  15. Jake | June 19, 2018

    Yes I am very happy with my heritage Great job I found out my ancestors my family I am very happy I will definitely tell all my friends they need to buy them a kit so they can check their ancestors and find their families definitely recommend this for everybody

  16. Amy | June 19, 2018

    5 stars. Yes of course!

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