MyHeritage Releases Ethnicity Estimates for DNA Transfers

MyHeritage is one of the newer players in the genetic genealogy arena. They offer their own branded autosomal test for a regular price of $99 (currently on sale for $79, with free shipping if you order 3 test kits or more) and also accept free transfers of raw data from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA.

Before today, a free transfer gave you only a list of “DNA Matches”, relatives who share DNA segments with you. That list includes a name, often an age, country, estimated relationship range, and amount of shared DNA (expressed as both a percentage and in centimorgans, with the number of segments and size of the largest segment indicated). You can also message your matches through MyHeritage’s internal communication system.

The number of people in their database is still quite small, so you’re not likely to get many matches there just yet. For example, as of 30 May 2017, I have 95 DNA matches at MyHeritage, compared with 1,515 at 23andMe, 1,696 at Family Tree DNA, and 12,695 at AncestryDNA. However, some of my matches are quite close, including a known first cousin once removed and a known second cousin once removed.

On 30 May, MyHeritage users who have transferred into their database were given access to the “Ethnicity Estimate” that was previously available only to customers who tested directly with them. The email from MyHeritage says this:

In addition, the Ethnicity Estimate will be provided for free to users who have already uploaded their DNA data to MyHeritage from other services, or who will upload it in the coming months. Users who upload their DNA data to MyHeritage, already enjoy free DNA Matching, and now they will benefit from the new ethnicity analysis too. This is not offered by any other major DNA company.

This means that now’s a great time to transfer into their database, before they impose fees for transfers or for added features like the Ethnicity Estimate. To transfer, simply click this link to set up a free account. Detailed instructions for how to transfer your DNA data to MyHeritage are given at the end of this post.


Ethnicity Estimates at MyHeritage

The presentation of the Ethnicity Estimates is quite nice. The estimates are easy to find, with one-click access from the main MyHeritage page; just hover your cursor over the DNA tab, and select Ethnicity Estimate.

As with their competition, you will see a list of ethnicities with percentages representing MyHeritage’s estimates of your genetic makeup. To the right is a world map showing the geographic origins of those populations. Click on an ethnicity to have the map zoom in on that region. This is what mine looks like.

A feature unique to MyHeritage is a customized video that reflects your estimated heritage: a rotating globe showing each geographic area in turn, with a background soundtrack of music from each region. It’s very nicely done. You can see a sample video here.

Hardcore genetic genealogists will dismiss this feature as a marketing gimmick which, frankly, it is.  Then again, if it gets more people interested in learning about their family histories, I’m not going to complain.

You can also click on “All supported ethnicities” to see a list of every category they use. This is where MyHeritage shines. They analyze 42 different ethnicities, compared to 24 at Family Tree DNA, 26 at AncestryDNA, and a reported 31 at 23andMe. (Note that seven of the categories at 23andMe are generalized regions, e.g. “Broadly Northwestern European”. Whether those should truly be considered unique reference populations is an open question. Without them, 23andMe has only 24 reference populations.) Another new entry into the market, Living DNA, claims 80. I look forward to reviewing their estimates when I get my results in August.

These are the breakdowns offered by MyHeritage. Several of these are offered nowhere else, like Mizrahi Jewish, Thai and Cambodian, and Eskimo/Inuit.


My Ethnicity Estimates

So, how does MyHeritage stack up for accuracy? I compared their numbers with those derived from my family tree, which is fully DNA-confirmed through great grandparents, 100% complete through 2-great grandparents, 87.5% complete through 3-great grandparents, and 50% complete through 4-great grandparents. I can confidently assign a geographic origin to all but two of my 64 ancestors in that generation. Which is to say, I have a pretty good idea what my ethnicity estimates should be.

This table compares what I expect my ethnicity estimates to be with what MyHeritage reported.


On the positive side, MyHeritage did a really good job estimating my Irish ancestry, on par with my estimate from 23andMe (18.3% British & Irish combined) and decidedly better than the estimates from either AncestryDNA (50% totaled across both regions) or Family Tree DNA (70%). However, they completely missed my French and German (which together make up nearly 75% of my ancestry), overestimated my Iberian by quite a bit (38.6% vs the expected 5.5%), and report three ethnicities that aren’t in my tree at all (Italy & Greece at 9.9%, Balkan at 10.5%, and Scandinavia at 22.7%).

Clearly, their algorithm needs some refinement, which they indirectly acknowledge in the the press release announcing this release:

Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer at MyHeritage, said, “For MyHeritage’s science team, this major update of our Ethnicity Estimate is only an appetizer. There are excellent installments on the way, and users can prepare for a feast! We have detailed plans to increase accuracy, extend our Founder Populations project further, and improve the resolution for ethnicities of great interest to our users from highly diverse origins. Our goal is to use science to further the public good, and to bring the best innovations of our science team to the public.”


Take Home

You shouldn’t scrap your tree or buy a new wardrobe based on the ethnicity estimates from MyHeritage, but if the company works to improve accuracy and add new populations as promised, I’m willing to give them a chance.  Plus, you can’t beat free!


How to Upload Your Raw Data to MyHeritage

Use this link and fill in your gender, name, email address, and birth year to set up a free account for yourself. You can skip through the fields for parents and grandparents if you don’t want to or are unable to start a tree. Once you’re set up, hover your cursor over the DNA tab along the top of the screen, click on Upload DNA Data, then follow the instructions. Note that you must accept the MyHeritage Service Terms, but the Consent Agreement to participate in DNA-based research (including by third parties) is optional. If you are not sure how to download your raw data, click the How to download? link for instructions specific to your testing company.


I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the ethnicity estimates. If you do the transfer, post in the comments to let me know what you think.

72 thoughts on “MyHeritage Releases Ethnicity Estimates for DNA Transfers”

  1. I was rather impressed with this test although contrary to your results it actually overestimated my German French, but all in all, it was generally much more accurate, given my known ancestry, then 23 and Me which in my case, gave such broad, vague results. And I thought the video was cool!

  2. I had the same issue as you when I transferred my raw DNA data from It seems my English/Irish was more accurate, but it didn’t show any of my German (from my German Jewish ancestors) and it possibly overestimated my Spanish/Native American through my Mexican side, but maybe not. And it showed all this Scandinavian and Balkan I definitely don’t have in my tree. But supposedly the Scandinavian can actually be British, since the Brits were invaded by them centuries ago… But no clue where the Balkan would have come from. But I do have some Italian through my Mexican side, which seemed to show up as Greek.

  3. I just got my results. A bit surprised because although 3 of my 4 grandparents are mainly (3/4ish) Italian, I only score 5.9% Italian and 41.2% Iberian. I don’t know of any “recent ancestor” coming from Spain and although it is likely that I have a few Spanish ancestors, this seems a lot..!

    1. I think their ethnicity estimates still need quite a bit of refinement. Did you test directly with MyHeritage? Or did you transfer your raw data into their database from another company? If you tested with them, it might be worth taking a few minutes to transfer your MyHeritage data over to Family Tree DNA and GEDmatch to see what those other sites say about the ethnicity breakdowns.

  4. I did the DNA transfer to My Heritage in November, 2017, uploading my results from Family Tree DNA. However, the ability to contact matches, which you mention here, is no longer available without a site subscription. (Every click of every contact or review button results in a paywall, and when I phoned My Heritage’s technical support, the representative was extremely impatient, trying only to end the call, because I was not a “paying customer” — although I would say I _had_ paid to their database with my DNA…) Anyway, I’m very disappointed by their offerings and customer service.

    1. That’s disappointing to hear. I’m not a subscriber there and I can contact matches. I’ll look into it for you.

      1. Thanks for this! Some of us wondered if perhaps different options were provided to early uploaders. However, when I asked about that, the ‘support’ person rather abruptly told me that _no-one_ could contact DNA matches without a paid subscription, and that if they thought they could, they must actually have a subscription. Then he repeated the line about not providing support for non-paying users, and said that included answering any of my questions! (No attempt at all to try to convert a new contact into a potential subscriber.) I was stunned.

        1. I asked a MyHeritage representative this weekend and was told that they’re experimenting with new subscription models. That must be why I am able to contact my matches and you are not. I expressed to them that this would not be a popular option.

  5. My results on Ancestry were drastically different than My Heritage. I got Cameroon/Congo 34%, Mali 19%, Subsarahan Africa 10% British9% and the rest were smaller percentages of Africa North/Asian/Native American (3%) …..My Heritage gave me 80% Africa and 10% Kenyan??? Where the heck did Kenya come from lol. I also got Filipino,Scandinavian, Greek, INDEGINOUS BRAZIL Amazonian LOL? I mean really…I am african american…and I Know FOR SURE I do NOT have all these exotic mixtures smh. WRONG.

    1. Ethnicity estimates need to be taken with a (large) grain of salt. They’re fairly consistent at the continent level, so you can be confident that you’re mostly of African descent with a bit of British (which MyHeritage is pegging as Scandinavian instead) and some Native American (and I’ll bet MyHeritage’s NA reference population is from Brazil). Below continent level, the estimates are still a work in progress.

    2. I have submitted my DNA to both Ancestry and 23andme. These 2 were almost identical in their determinations of my ancestry. I uploaded my Ancestry data to MyHeritage and it was drastically different. They ttoally missed my 20% Irish and came up with 0% – They have Italian and Scandanavian percents that are non existent in Ancestry and 23andme. For what I know of ancestry – and 23andme got it right. MyHeritage is way off.

  6. My ethnicity estimates were WAY off. I know from family tree work that my ancestors were 50% German, 25% British Isles, and 25% Swedish (going back to the 1700s), and my report came back 49% British Isles, 41% Western Europe (which includes Germany) and only 2% Scandinavian.

  7. I wonder if the author of this review, and commenters, truly understand the meaning of DNA-based ethnicity estimates.

    It doesn’t really matter that you may know your ancestry going back a few generations, or even to the 1700’s. What matters is the LONG distant ethnicity.

    For example, MyHeritage doesn’t even have a “German” category. I myself am “Half German” by normal accounting. So if “German” is not a category, how can we compare the systems?

    In my case, it turns out that my “German” part is actually “Ashkenazi Jewish” — a population that apparently migrated over time from the Mediterranean.

    Thus my question: how in the world are we supposed to evaluate the accuracy of these DNA systems? Seems like a very hard problem.

    1. It’s complicated. The “ethnicity estimates” are the product of two different factors: the reference panel and the algorithm. We know that both play a role, but it’s hard to tease them apart because each company has their own. What we do know is that the same person can test at multiple companies and get very different results, even when the categories are the same. For example, I have kits at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, FTDNA, MyHeritage, and Living DNA. My combined estimates for Irish & English range from 18.3% to 70%, my Scandinavian from 0.7% to 22.7%, and my Iberian from 5.6% to 38.6%.

      The only objective criterion we have in deciding which company has the most accurate ethnicity estimates is our own family histories. If we can document our family trees back to their points of origin in the 1600s or 1700s, we can be fairly confident that we have the right regions, because most people didn’t move very far in those days. Overall, the estimates I get from 23andMe are closer to what I expect based on my family tree than any of the other companies, and those from MyHeritage are further away.

      German and French heritage are particularly difficult to pin down because they are at the crossroads of Europe. Even if most Europeans didn’t travel much in the 1600s, the ones that did tended to go through those regions, so the gene pool there will be more mixed than in other regions.

      You are correct that MyHeritage doesn’t have a German category; ethnic Germans should theoretically be in the North and West European category, with perhaps an Italian component for southern Germans, a Scandinavian component for northern Germans, etc.

  8. Got my results today and am plenty disappointed so I’ll leave a comment here. My wife who is from England (traced back to ~1800) and Belgian parents got her test results showing 42% English with a hodgepodge of Northern European, Scandinavian, Italian, Irish/Welsh/Scottish, Iberian, and 1.9% Nigerian. It’s believable though the African trace is a surprise.

    My father is pure Scandinavian (25% Danish, 75% Swedish) again traced back to ~1800, and my mother is half German with the rest the usual English/Irish/Scottish mix of her mother whose family had been in the US a long time. So my results today tell me I’m 43% English, 29% N&W European, 26% Scandinavian and the kicker….1.9% Nigerian.

    Looks to me like their test does not distinguish very well between English and Scandinavian and I think the trace Nigerian is suspect.

    1. They have not yet revised their ethnicity estimates. They are reportedly working on it. For the record, ethnicity estimates are very difficult, statistically, and none of the companies can do a clear distinction between England and Scandinavia.

      1. I appreciate your expert comments. I wonder what you think about the trace Nigerian assignments both my wife and I got. Seems unlikely based on known genealogy and particularly for both of us tested at the same time. I’d be curious to know if this is based on some DNA section and assignment that is reliable.

        1. I can’t say how reliable or unreliable it is, although I think my own estimates there are suspect. I wouldn’t put much thought into it until they revise their estimates. If you’re curious, you can transfer your data to GEDmatch and try the admixture calculators there. The GEDmatch calculators have a chromosome painting feature, so you can see where different assignments are on your individual chromosomes.

        2. I also get a trace Nigerian assignment. Strange since my family is entirely Scandinavian. Found out that several of my DNA matches, which were 98 percent Scandiavian also had the 1-2 percent Nigerian/African DNA. Very strange.

        3. I got the same 1% Nigerian. It occurred to me that there could have been a Viking settlement in Africa back in the day that just didn’t work out and the trace Nigerian is actually Scandinavian.. but who knows.

        4. I got 0.8% Nigerian and my wife, 1%. Unlikely I think and not shown by any of the other five companies I tested with.

          I’d be sure it’s suspect.

    2. We are all from Africa so be shocked if it is not there….and going back to the 1800s does not mean PURE….that is a ridiculous term to describe a human…no one is pure. People migrated and moved around so no one really knows who moved from where and when. Just because family is linked back to a country for 200 years does not mean there can’t be other genes mixed in from an earlier time. How many times were countries invaded? Plenty so we all are a mixture.

      1. Yes, humanity originate in Africa, but we’ve been colonizing the rest of the world for tens of thousands of years (hundreds of thousands, if you count Neanderthals and Denosovans). Many many populations settled one region and remained there for thousands of years, while ethnicity estimates only date back about 500-1000 years. For that reason, it’s entirely possible for someone to only have one (or a couple of closely related) ethnicity estimate. Those of us in the US are more likely to see mixed groups because we are a country of immigrants.

        1. Yes, thanks. I think most Europeans aren’t going to be assigned African DNA fractions because of the way they do the assignments and classifications. (Presumably we all have plenty of segments which are quite similar – not useful for ethnicity classification). Still waiting for the MyHeritage reassignments….

  9. Things like “german” aren’t an option. Scandinavian is “high” Germany. You may want to look at the region’s they use for the ethinicities… after all your high and low german add up to pretty much be what you expected for German :/

    1. They’re nowhere close to what I expected.

      MyHeritage provides maps outlining the geographic regions for each “ethnicity” designation. The map for Scandinavia covers Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the very northern coast of Germany. My German ancestors are from Bavaria, and I expect 0% ethnicity from this region. They assigned me 22.7%.

      The modern country of Germany falls in to the group called “North and West European”, which also includes France. Approximately 75% of my ancestors came from either France or Germany, yet they assign me 0% “North and West European”.

  10. This is disappointing to read ad I wait for my results (currently received at the lab). While I would expect some varience it looks like many are way off track. I picked my heritage as I had read it was the best for Jewish ancestry. I have managed to find relatives in my family tree going back to Prussia with my great grandmother being from America. As my immediate family starts back with my grandfather who ‘married out’ the main findings were through his line as opposed to my great grandmother’s line which there is limited knowledge of. I was hoping to see if there are any ‘surprises’ as well as backing up what I have already found out.

    Although I will probably also do the 23&Me service to compare, it all leaves me with the feeling I should take everything with a pinch of salt.

    1. The good news is that MyHeritage is currently revising their ethnicity estimates. The new version is expected out soon. (That said, ethnicity estimates are difficult in general, and we can expect revisions and improvements from all of the companies on a semi-regular basis.)

      1. Do you know how this will work for those that have had their DNA assessed? Would it be automatically updated, or a case of an email saying cough up more dosh if you want a more accurate account?

  11. In my opinion, MyHeritage DNA estimates are the most inaccurate. Firstly I’m of mixed West African and European descent. My great-grandmother is of Sicilian descent, yet no Italian DNA was detected. DNAland got it right with approximately 10% Mediterranean Islander DNA. I also have many 3rd and 4th Portuguese cousin matches and 4th cousin Spanish matches, yet my Iberian DNA was only 1.1%. That makes no sense from a genetic genealogical perspective. Also, the information regarding “shared ethnicity” makes no sense with some of my European cousin matches (e.g., North African and Scandinavian) yet these cousin matches apparently do not have Iberian ancestry to account for the North African DNA. Also, the chromosome browser information does not match the chromosome painting information of “ancestral makeup”. When I look at the start/end position of the matching segment, no Scandinavian or North African DNAmarkers could be found!

    1. MyHeritage is recently overhauled their matching algorithm and is planning to revamp their ethnicity estimates soon. Ethnicity estimates are very hard to do, for a number of reasons, and they’re a new player in the field. I wouldn’t fret too much about their inaccuracies yet (and I agree that they need to be improved). Let’s see how they look after the pending changes.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I am certainly not taking their “estimates” too seriously. In fact, looking at the results are laughable. I study my close cousin matches and look at my chromosomes via chromosome painting. This is more helpful in learning more about my ancestry.

  12. I do not find the MyHeritage results too inconsistent on a continent basis, but there are surprises on a micro level.

    MH Ancestry 23andMe Family Tree
    West Africa 51.7 65 62.4 64
    Europe 29.6 28 29.6 30
    Americas 6.0 0 1.7 <1
    East Africa 12.7 0 0 <1
    Other Africa 0 5 5.7 3

    Obviously, I'm mostly Sub-Saharan Africa, and all the estimates put my SSA DNA in the mid-to-upper 60's. The Kenya amount, as some suggested, is a bit surprising. I did get a Gedmatch estimate that purportedly focused on African DNA content (I believe it was Dodecad V3) that estimated my East African DNA at 9%. I do not find this result as absurd as others since there has been significant migration on the African continent, so these results may be reaching back a ways. I actually got interested in DNA testing because many E Africans observed that I resembled them. So, I'm staying open minded.

    The European total is very consistent across all estimates. Since European ethnicity is not my focus, I don't make much of the variance.

    I do find the Americas result surprising. 6% is quite a bit more than the 0-to-2% results of the other services. But as with the other results, I'm not losing sleep over it. Ethnicity estimates are more an art than the science of DNA matching.

    1. MyHeritage is expected to roll out an updated ethnicity estimate soon. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of your estimates once that happens.

  13. I know you must’ve covered this before, but by what mechanism do we obtain/request new estimates from MyHeritage when the update comes out?

  14. You and I are most likely the same Y chromosome haplogroup. Ancestry DNA completely missed anything French (my father 75%). My E1b1b1 (E-v13) link ties me to the Balkans, Italy and Greece also.

  15. Hi there,

    My wife got me the kit on my bday back in June, and I just did it and sent it out today, so I’m a good month or so away from my results. I see in a lot of your replies that they are re-doing their algorithm. Have they done so yet? And if not, where could I look to see when then to, and/or how do you know about these upcoming changes?


    1. They’ve already revamped their matching algorithm (it’s much better now!). I’m not sure when the ethnicity estimates will be updated.

  16. I don’t think people understand the difference between ethnicity and nationality. French is a nationality. You ancestors could have come from France speaking french but their ethnic makeup could/would be Iberian, Scandinavian, Greek, Italian, North African etc.

  17. I’m very dubious about ethnicity testing – or, at least, the reporting of it. I tested with FTDNA, Ancestry, 23andMe, Genopro, Lining DNA, and have uploaded to MyHeritage and Gedmatch. Wildly different answesa all round, athough they do all see me as mainly European which is something, I suppose.

    Lots of things bother me. I think the estimates are based on present day reference populations, and, even when done accurately, don’t really point to ethnic origins, but to where you share ethnicity. Here’s an example of what I mean:

    My Reed ancestors ‘originate’ in Northumberland, England, in Redesdale (that’s why they were called Reeds). My tree is well-documented back to the late-17th century in that area. However I have several Reed/Reid Y-chromosome matches with people who trace their ancestry back to Ulster.

    Living DNA says that I “share genetic ancestry in recent times (10 generations)” with people in Ulster (although it doesn’t give any percentage).

    Now, in the early-17th century, King James I (VI of Scotland) decide to break the Border Reivers by transporting loads of them to Ulster. Many Reeds were among them. From there lots went to America.

    So, what I am wondering is: does this Living DNA Irish link really point to the fact that some of my relatives were sent from Northumberland to Ulster rather than originating in Ulster? In short, does it point to migration rather than origins?

    And could the same apply to other parts of the world?

    1. Great answer and point. As you may have seen, many of us have had a tiny percent of Nigerian DNA (myself 1.3%). This was quite a shock and very exciting (my 2 Nigerian friends were over the moon, one in particular saying they New there was something ‘special’ about me:-)). But could it just be like you say, there has been shared DNA that shows the result of migratory paths? I do intend to do the 23&me tests later in the year to see what is revealed.

      1. I wouldn’t take the 1.3% Nigerian serious unless it shows up at the other companies as well. MyHeritage plans to revamp their ethnicity estimates soon, so I would also check back then.

        1. Yes, I agree. I imagine many of these trace African assignments will disappear – too unlikely that the various reports here of that unexpected result all represent the truth. I would like to know though what DNA segment or what part of their complex algorithm gives that assignment. Perhaps with that information experts could debate the point.

  18. Yes, I agree. I imagine many of these trace African assignments will disappear – too unlikely that the various reports here of that unexpected result all represent the truth. I would like to know though what DNA segment or what part of their complex algorithm gives that assignment. Perhaps with that information experts could debate the point.

    1. 23andMe “paints” your chromosomes by ethnicity assignment. You can do something similar using the admixture calculators at GEDmatch.

  19. Indeed Steve; nowt like a good debate :-). If my Nigerian DNA disappears I am going to have definitely one very disappointed friend!

    If it is a case of some sort of temporary migration to the area; where does that leave the rest of our ethnicity? I am mostly British, followed by Irish/Scottish/Welsh and Ashkenazi Jewish (which I already knew as at least on one line, it goes back to Prussia). In addition a small amount of Iberian (don’t know where that is from though).

  20. New comment in this old thread….I just got results from an Ancestry DNA analysis and ethnicity assignment.:
    Great Britain 37%
    Scandinavia 30%
    Europe West 30%
    Caucasus 1%
    Europe East <1%
    Iberian Peninsula <1%

    Compared to MyHeritage
    43.2% English
    29.0% North and West European
    26.1% Scandinavian
    1.7% Nigerian

    Not a bad match, but tends to confirm my assertions higher up in this thread that MyHeritage's Nigerian assignment is likely wrong and that both tests have trouble distinguishing Scandinavian and British (my father was 100% Swedish/Danish).

    1. I agree that MyHeritage’s Nigerian assignment is problematic. Scandinavian seems to be overestimated by all of the companies.

      1. In my case I think Scandinavian is underestimated and British overestimated, presumably because of similarities (Vikings—>Britain).

  21. I know everybody’s complaining about the smidgen of Nigerian, but it’s worse if you’ve got any Central American. My spouse is Mexican with an estimate of 60% Central American and both of my daughter’s came back with close to 70% Central American. Given I’m as white european as you can get and there’s no doubt about the paternity, we’re looking at a minimum of 20% “white noise” as MyHeritage calls it since the girls couldn’t possibly have more than 50% Central American ethnicity inherited from their mother.

    1. Wish I had the time to drill down on all the science that goes into these ethnicity assignments. Obviously you contribute 50% of the DNA, but the analysis just looks at a small fraction (what fraction, I don’t know) – so statistically you could be underrepresented just by chance. But a 20% error is too much if they sample, say, a thousand points. I imagine the ethnicity assignment involves some broad brush analysis and guessing (for example if a certain fraction of Central American is certain, other grayer stuff may also get that assignment). I’m just guessing….

      1. Ethnicity estimates involve pretty sophisticated population genetics and statistical analysis. I expect the science to advance rapidly, in which case the estimates given for the same person at different companies should become more similar.

      2. Yeah, both daughter’s came up with ~48.5% match to me, so in other words our genetics are a match but it seems like MyHeritage doesn’t know what ethnicity to assign it and is bulking up the gray areas like you suggested. Hopefully with a few tweaks of their algorithm they will eventually develop a more cohesive ethnic “story” for my children. In the meantime I can joke around with them that they are more Mexican than their mother.

  22. I’m not really sure what to believe. My parents were born in Sicily along with every ancestor in the last few hundred years of modern memory. I had my Ancestry DNA done and it originally showed Italian, Middle East, Iberian, Ashkanasi, Caucauses, North African and traces of N. Europe. That was all believable because of Sicily’s history and geography.
    The last update from Ancestry blew away any trace regions and had me at 100% Italian. Ok. Whatever. Afterall, I AM Italian.
    I uploaded my zip file to Heritage and they came up with very similar regions and percentages to my ORIGINAL Ancestry reading. The only exception is that they over estimated my N.African component to 14%. That can’t be right. I know it’s all an estimate….but Cmon…who is more accurate??

  23. Transferred all of my family’s Ancestry DNA to MyHeritage before they start charging to do so.

    I like that there are actually DNA Matches with people who live in the countries my ancestors once lived.

    My dad’s MyHeritage free Ethnicity Estimate was spot on with Ancestry DNA and his family tree. 100% Europe

    My mom’s, however, was wild. Doesn’t line up geographically with the family tree. Basic UK, Ireland, Germany, France for the paternal side. Her maternal side was all Southern Italy, records as far back as 1700s. MyHeritage has her as her North and West Europe pretty decent, South Europe is decent with a sweeping Iberian over Italian. But then 7.7% Ashkenazi Jewish and 11% Sephardic Jewish. No Jewish anything on Ancestry and even 23andme. 81% Europe 11% Africa 8% Asia

    Mine was what one would expect, though I was the only one with West Africa 0.8% Nigerian. 92% Europe 8% Africa.

    I don’t really look much into the estimates from any company, but I do like that there is a different group of people that I share DNA with on MyHeritage over Ancestry, 23andme, and Family Tree. That alone is a perk. Plus, the tree builder is pretty simple to use.

  24. For me it seemed fairly accurate except it added Greek and bulkan or at least to much of each and completely left out my Native American tho its 47% lines up near perfectly with the family tree my grandpa has

  25. My results and all my family results are WAY off! I uploaded them from ancestrydna and 23andme which are fairly similar in their findings. But the myheritage ethnicity estimates from them are so far off it’s laughable. Some people are going to get so confused unless they get their tests done from more than one place.

  26. I tested on Ancestry and with their most recent update, it matches my paper tree pretty well. My mom and sister also tested on Ancestry. I uploaded our results to MyHeritage and they don’t make much sense. My mom’s ancestry is mainly English with some Irish/Scottish/Welsh and Ancestry shows her at about 80/20 on those. On MyHeritage, she has no English, although their Irish/Scottish/Welsh category overlaps England quite a bit and it does show about 40% for that.

    Here’s what I don’t understand. My mom shows 0% English on MyHeritage, but my sister shows 70% English. I thought we got 50% of our DNA from each parent, so how is that even possible? On paper, my dad only has a small percent of English. My sister and I also have 9% Greek on MyHeritage and have no Greek ancestry that I know of. This doesn’t show up on any of the other ethnicity reports.

    1. MyHeritage is expected to update their ethnicity estimates. I wouldn’t fret about discrepancies until that happens.

      1. When is the update expected . IN all the above emails you say it is coming soon but it is well over a year now. My son is about to send his kit off to be tested should I wait or is it sorted now

        1. Unfortunately, I have no idea when the update will happen. There’s no need for your son to wait, though. The update will be applied to all kits in the database.

  27. I read with interest the comments on ethnicity estimates. I have tested with National Geographic Geno Project in 2013. Subsequent testing with FTDNA mainly Ydna testing.
    NG named Danish as my first reference population. This surprised me. My father’s side traces back to 1595. All within a 25km radius in the Eastern part of central Netherlands on the German border. My mother’s side traces back to 1700. Centered 10km south of my father’s area. My mother’s side actually crosses the current border into Germany. The area has been under French and Spanish control.
    Why did NG name my first reference population as Danish? My Haplogroup is I-L38. It appears to have strong links to the Vikings. I have done the BigY test. I have to go back 4100 years to find a common ancestor in the data base.

    The Vikings raided Zutphen in 882, 25 km to the west of my birth place. There is evidence of raiding parties up the river Berkel thru my ancestral land to Vreden Germany.
    Am I a descendant of a Viking raider?

    Last November I did a FF test. In February I uploaded to MyHeritage.
    Here is the ethnicity estimate.
    FTDNA…….British Isles 11%, Finland<2%, Scandinavia 2%, West and Central Europe 84%.
    MyHeritage…..English 48.7%, Scandinavian 35.3%, Irish, Scottish, Welsh 9.7%, Finnish 4.2%, Ashkenazi Jewish 2.1%
    I don't know if MyHeritage has updated the algorithm. Something is "confusing" the algorithms. National Geographics pegged me as Danish!

    Note: I checked NG Geno. they have changed my first reference population to German. They closed the project.
    Of the 1 million participant I-L38 makes up 0.5% of the data base. HVOd my mother's side makes up 0.1% of the data base.

    1. Ethnicity estimates are the most scientifically challenging part of the DNA analyses done by the companies. They are still a work in progress, so if you got Danish at NatGeo and it doesn’t align with your documented tree nor with the estimates from the other companies, I would assume that NatGeo simply has less reliable estimates for that part of your genetic makeup.

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