Saturday, March 2, 2019

Working With the MyHeritage Theory of Family Relativity™

MyHeritage announced their "Theory of Family Relativity" feature last Wednesday - see   Introducing The Theory of Family Relativity™ — a Genealogy Game-Changer.  There is lots of demonstration and explanation in their blog post. 

In general, MyHeritage has found "theories" that may explain how you and some of your DNA Matches are related.  They do this by comparing your MyHeritage tree ancestors to profiles in other MyHeritage trees and MyHeritage record collections (including record sets, FamilySearch Family Tree, Geni World Tree, etc.).

The "theories" really are "hypotheses" (in a scientific definition) based on available records - you might be related to your DNA match through connections between your MyHeritage tree and other MyHeritage trees, or using vital, census or other records.  The "Theory" is how MyHeritage thinks the relationship happens.  So these "hypotheses" may not be correct, but you do have a DNA match!  There can be more than one "theory" for a given DNA match.

In this post, I want to demonstrate how it looks and works on my system, and the things that users should watch out for.

1)  On my MyHeritage home page, I clicked on the "DNA" menu and saw the new "DNA Tools" option:

2)  Clicking on the "DNA Tools" link took me right into my DNA Results page, and the pink section has a link to "View Theories:"
 3)  I clicked on the bright pink "View theories" button on the screen above, and my list of 15 matches for the "Has Theory of Family Relativity" page opened:

4)  I scrolled down a bit to one of my matches with a "Theory" and clicked on the match's name:

The screen above told me the DNA Match's name, age group and location (which I have anonymized), that we are 3rd to 5th cousins, and share 35.7 cM in 2 segments, with the largest segment being 19.3 cM.

Scrolling down, I can see the "Theory of Family Relativity" graphic that shows my line and my Match's line back to common ancestors, John Rich and Rebecca Hill (my 3rd great-grandparents (two screens):

5)  On the screens above, there is a bright pink button to "View full Theory" and when I clicked that, it showed me that they used my MyHeritage tree (on the left) and the Match's MyHeritage tree on the right side of the screen below:

This match used only MyHeritage trees to find the connection.

6)  There is a green button between my Rebecca Hill and my Match's Rebecca Hill with "100%" below it - clicking the green button provides a "Review Match" table:

I agree that this match is 100%!  

7)  I have added my DNA Match's line to my RootsMagic family tree, and have added a "DNA Match" note with the Match's name, shared cM, number of segments, relationship, and common ancestors.

8)  I have 15 matches using the "Theory of Family Relativity."  That's out of over 6,100 matches on my DNA Match list - so only 0.25%.  I expected to see more theories, but that's probably more a function of  the lack of, or sparseness of, MyHeritage trees for my MyHeritage DNA matches.

Unfortunately, not all of my "Theories" are correct.  I will highlight one of them in a future blog post.  

8)  This is not a PERFECT system - the user still has to review each match and the hypotheses made for each step of the relativity chart.  


Disclosure:  I have a complementary subscription to MyHeritage, and have received material considerations from MyHeritage over the past ten years.

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Donde said...

Thanks, Randy, for a clear and helpful guide!