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Is MyHeritage DNA Accurate?

Are you checking out your MyHeritage DNA results? How accurate is MyHeritage DNA? In this post, I’ll discuss the MyHeritage DNA ethnicity estimate and DNA matches in order to help you understand the accuracy of your results.

Many people have found that their MyHeritage DNA ethnicity estimate appears to be quite different from the ethnicity estimate that they received from another testing company. This sometimes causes additional questions about whether DNA matches on the site should be viewed with skepticism.

Is My Heritage DNA Accurate_

I’ve been using MyHeritage DNA for a few years now, and manage the results of several family members on the site. In addition, I have done, or have had family members do on my behalf, DNA tests on all of the major DNA testing sites.

In other words, I can speak to the differences seen between results of the same individuals, and the accuracy of said results.

Note: If you didn’t do a DNA test with MyHeritage DNA, you can upload your DNA to the site for free and get DNA matches – so awesome!

Is the MyHeritage DNA ethnicity estimate accurate?

This is the most common question that I get about MyHeritage results. Perhaps the regions don’t seem to match what you know about your family history, what you saw in results from another company, or what you were expecting to see.

I have found from experience that My Heritage ethnicity results are generally accurate. I carefully use the term “generally” accurate because the technology of ethnicity estimates is evolving, and thus the science of estimating one’s ancestry is far from foolproof.

Take, for example, the following example from a family member’s MyHeritage results. This person also took a DNA test with Family Tree DNA, and I included their FTDNA myOrigins estimate below for you to compare with the MyHeritage estimate:

Example of my heritage dna ethnicity results

The family member to whom these results belong has lived in Southeast Europe his entire life, but has significant recent ancestry in Eastern Europe. As you can see, MyHeritage has correctly identified the main source of his ancestry (in the large circle) as Eastern European.

In the image below, you can see the same person’s Family Tree DNA results. They have an almost identical percentage of Eastern European on both sites.

The primary difference is that Family Tree DNA assigned him 22% of West and Central Europe category.

comparison of ethnicity estimate from my heritage to family tree dna

Does this mean that MyHeritage is wrong? Or does it mean that the Family Tree DNA results were wrong ? I would posit that neither results are “wrong”.

If we look carefully at the map, we can see that the West and Central Europe category on Family Tree DNA overlaps with the geographic region covered by the Eastern European category on MyHeritage.

By examining the map and the regions covered by each ethnicity category, we can see that both companies are basically saying the same thing.

When you are looking at your own results, closely examine the areas on the map covered by regions that show up on your ethnicity estimate. You will probably find that your unexpected region is neighboring the geographic area that you expected to see

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Are MyHeritage DNA matches accurate?

Your MyHeritage DNA match list is just as accurate as a DNA match list from Ancestry DNA, Living DNA, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA. People who are listed as being closely related to you are almost definitely closely related and likely fall within the estimated relationship range provided by My Heritage.

Both of my parents and my daughter have all taken DNA tests, and below you can see how they show up on my MyHeritage DNA match list. They are very clearly estimated to be, in order, my mother, my father, and my daughter:

are my heritage dna matches accurate

MyHeritage DNA matches tend to be just about identical to what I see on the other sites where I’ve tested my DNA. I notice a lot of the same people on all of my DNA match lists (no matter the company) and so I am able to make lots of comparisons across the sites.

In other words, MyHeritage DNA matches fit right in with the rest of the crowd 🙂

Not only is your MyHeritage DNA match list likely to be very accurate, but it’s actually going to be pretty helpful. MyHeritage allows you to sort and filter your matches in all sorts of ways that you can’t do on most of the other sites, which I find to be lots of fun and very informative

If you still are left with any doubt (which you shouldn’t be), you can check out the chromosome browser (yay!!) on the My Heritage site which allows you to examine the exact DNA segments on the specific chromosome where you match your DNA matches.

You’ll be be able to sort out how you are related to your matches in no time at all.

Yes, MyHeritage DNA results are overall very accurate

So, I am a fan of MyHeritage DNA, as you might be able to tell. I have a lot of fun with my results, and I am sure that you will, too. Once you get started building your family tree using your DNA matches as a guide, I’m sure you will feel pretty satisfied with the accuracy of your MyHeritage DNA results.

If you have any questions about a specific aspect of your MyHeritage DNA results, or would like to ask about something you read in this post, join me in the discussion below.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Brock Livick

Wednesday 28th of February 2024

My Heritage DNA results showed that I was 48% Scotch-Irish, 25% Northern Europe , 2% Finnish and 25% Italian. They showed 10,000 DNA matches , with only 250 people in Italy. I do have some southern France relatives, but my genealogy shows no Italian. Maybe since France does not allow testing for genealogy , they skewed me to the Italian side.I do not have anything against Italy, but there are none in my genealogy

Kaniel Outis

Wednesday 8th of February 2023

My results were very accurate. I uploaded my Living DNA results to My Heritage, and was impressed with the outcome.

Mark Lasiter

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

My family immigrated to USA in 1600’s and early 1700’s from England, Ireland and Scotland. My Heritage says I am 41% Scandinavian. For that to be accurate they would have to be associating those DNA markers back to the 10/11th Century when Vikings controlled the Northern half of England, parts of Scotland and Ireland. They have 21% Ireland, Scotland, Wales (are they suggesting Celtic origin??). They have 23% England. And finally 6% Eastern European (no ancestors from Eastern Europe in the last 300 yrs). I find Ancestry DNA and 23andMe more plausible results. They both associate more than 90% of my ancestry to the UK and Ireland.

Michell Strully

Wednesday 16th of February 2022

My DNA results are way off from what my own family tree and what Ancestry results show. I have no one in my family that is Italian and yet My Heritage shows a 16% Italian result.

ANCESTRY 47% Scottish 35% Irish 16% English 2% Wales

MY HERITAGE 58.7% Irish, Scottish, Welsh 25.3% English 16% Italian



Sunday 3rd of September 2023

@Michell Strully, Interesting I analyzed the raw data from multiple kits...My last name comes from O' Mordha and i'm E1b1a1a1f1a1 (E-U174) on my Y dna.....which would mean so were all the males on the Rory Oge Mordha line.

Nicholas Burkhead

Thursday 18th of November 2021

My Heritage deleted my French, and my Scotts, and my Irish and gave me a big lump of British and a big lump of Scandinavian and a tiny bit of "Middle East" with a map covering Eritrea, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

If you spend money on an ethnicity result, knowing you are descended from either Israel or Saudi Arbia or Eritrea or Egypt but with the test unable to be more specific, could seem like a disappointment.

That coupled with them somehow losing an entire country (France,) and confusing my Scotts and Irish (not a small amount of either,) as generic Brits really leaves me feeling like I may as well have paid an astrologer off of the late night television rather than testing at myheritage.

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