Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I Now Have 15 MyHeritageDNA Theories of Family Relativity

According to the last refresh of the MyHeritageDNA Theory of Family Relativity in February 2021, I had 11 DNA matches with a Theory.  The Theory of Family Relativity takes my MyHeritage family tree and checks it against other MyHeritage family trees, and if it finds two or more trees with a profile for the same person, they create a Theory of Family Relativity.

The latest refresh on MyHeritageDNA was four weeks ago - I noted it in MyHeritageDNA Updated Their "Theory of Family Relativity" Feature.

I retained the 11 Theories that I had and added four more, for a total of 15 DNA Matches that MyHeritage has found a common ancestor for me and my match person.

Here is one of the Theory matches (with identifying information blanked):

My line is on the left, and my match's tree is on the right side of the dashed line.  My DNA match is my 4th cousin once removed, with the common ancestors being my 3rd great-grandparents John Rich and Rebecca Hill of Hilperton, Wiltshire, England.

When I can identify each of the persons in these Theories, and satisfy myself that the relationships are correct and supported by records, I enter them into my RootsMagic software program and create a custom DNA Match Fact with a note that reads like this:

"[DNA match name] is a MyHeritageDNA match with Randall Seaver, sharing 22.7 cM in 2 segments.  They have a Theory of Family Relativity, and are 4th cousins 1x removed with common ancestors of 3rd great-grandparents John Rich and Rebecca Hill."  

I then add the DNA Match to Groups in RootsMagic - in this case to the "MyHeritageDNA Matches" group and to the "John Rich 1789 Descendants" group.  

While I have 10,074 MyHeritageDNA matches right now, I have only the 15 Theory matches with a known common ancestor.  I have identified known common ancestors of these 15 matches, and several other MyHeritageDNA matches, and have entered the shared DNA segments to DNA Painter.

Fifteen out of 10,074 is a really small number -- 0.149%.  Why aren't there more?  It's pretty simple --  many MyHeritageDNA users do not have a family tree on MyHeritage, and many who do have a tree have very few profiles in the tree.  Looking at the MyHeritage statistics, they have 75.6 million members (some with more than one tree) and over 4,718 million tree entries.  That averages out to 62.4 tree entries per member.  

I encourage every MyHeritage member to put up a small tree (ancestors only?) to their site to help identify common ancestors with their DNA matches.  Small trees are free on MyHeritage with less than 250 profiles - that's enough to get almost all of ancestors back to 5th great-grandparents in the small tree.  Of course, not every member is a genealogist that can go back that far, but just adding yourself, parents and grandparents and great-grandparents (15 profiles) if they are known would be a great help to all MyHeritage DNA matches.  


Disclosure: I receive a complimentary subscription to MyHeritage, and gave received other material consideration in past years. I uploaded my autosomal DNA raw data to their DNA product. This does not affect my objective analysis of MyHeritage products.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below. Or contact me by email at

1 comment:

Rand said...

Upload big trees to myheritage! The 250 limit is for people who want to actively edit their tree. I regularly upload trees with thousands of people. Sadly, this has not improved my ToFR results.