This past Thursday I got the email from MyHeritage, saying that my DNA testing results were available. Excited, I logged in, clicked on “View Results” and waited for that little wheel to spin and bring up the page.
And there it was – my ethnicity estimate! This is my breakdown:
North & West Europe 50.9%
North & Western European 17.4%
East Europe 49.1%
East European 46.4%
My Google Earth rendering of my ethnicity estimate.
Absolutely no surprises here (with the exception of no Irish or Scottish, but on paper, that is a small sliver of my heritage), this matches my paper trail, so I know I’ve been barking up the right trees, so to speak.
So do I match anyone in the MyHeritage DNA database? I had about 250 matches, all at about the fourth cousin or less level. (Some said first cousin twice removed or second cousin once removed, followed by “–fourth cousin”.) I filtered the matches by surname, and many that came up were my more common surnames — White, Williams, Scott, King. Most of the surnames went back to ancestors in the 1600s and 1700s, though! And nothing more recent than surnames of my great-great grandparents. Nothing in Poland or Lithuania yet (though I noticed in MyHeritage’s DNA Terms & Conditions that Poland might not be able to use MyHeritage DNA).
So my next step is to turn to GEDmatch. So far, I put my raw DNA in there, I just have to upload my gedcom. I’m hoping to find more relatives in that sandbox!
For years, I’ve been hearing about the continuing advances in DNA testing. I’ve participated in DNA chats at #genchat and watched as my co-workers got their DNA tested. People always asked me, “Why don’t you get your DNA tested?” For a long time, I really didn’t feel the need for it. After all, the paper trail has kept me pretty busy!
Still I’ve been keeping my eye on the testing companies, seeing what they may have to offer and what is unique about each company. And now MyHeritage has entered the DNA game. I’ve had my family tree on MyHeritage for years and have been impressed with the improvements they’ve continued to make. Would they, as DNA newbies, be able to build a significant base of testers? It seems that they are certainly getting there; not only that, but where their testers are located kind of sets them apart. MyHeritage has always been a highly used program in the non-US community, and that is proving to be the case with DNA as well. And from what I’ve seen around the internet, the ethnicity breakdown appears to be more detailed too.
For these reasons, I’m hoping that testing with MyHeritage might help me with my Polish & Lithuanian roots. At the very least, I will at least become more conversant about DNA as I add “centimorgans” and “segments” to my genea-vocabulary! Finally, the long-standing sale price for MyHeritage DNA testing will be going up after tomorrow, so I figure that it’s now or never. Let’s see where this leads!