In mid 2017 we announced that genealogy subscription site MyHeritage, who had recently entered the genetic testing arena, would begin providing free ethnicity reports and cousin matches to anyone who uploaded their DNA. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have taken advantage of this offer, bringing MyHeritage’s DNA database of matches to close to 2 million.
Please know that we have partnered with MyHeritage and other DNA companies to bring you news and updates about their services and may receive a fee if you take advantage of these services after following links in this article.
Pair this with the fact that they offer one of the most robust platforms for genetic genealogy available, including an easy way to combine your family tree research with those you match genetically, and a free upload to MyHeritage is well worth the few minutes it takes to complete the process.
But good things can’t last forever, and MyHeritage has announced that they will end free ethnicity estimates on Dec 1st, 2018. Users will still be able to upload their DNA for free, but will only receive access to cousin matches at no cost.
Ethnicity reports (those popular breakdowns that show the percentage of DNA you get from various regions and diasporas) will come a cost. The price has not yet been announced, but if MyHeritage stays in line with what we have come to expect from Family Tree DNA (who has a similar offer) then we can expect it will be less than $20.
This, of course, is still a great offer and is certainly cheaper and faster than buying a test kit – but we suggest that if you are interested in finding out what MyHeritage has to say about your genetic past you consider an upload before Dec 1st to save yourself the expense. You can do that here.
We always suggest you carefully read all user privacy and consent forms before sharing your DNA. MyHeritage allows you to opt-out of certain aspects of data sharing so pay attention to that when uploading.
As far as we know, all of those who have already added their DNA, or who do so before Dec 1st, will continue to receive updates to their ancestry reports for free in the future.
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Of course, to upload DNA you will have to have already tested with another company and have your raw DNA file. MyHeritage DNA accepts the DNA files from AncestryDNA, 23andMe (including the recent V5 tests that use the GSA chip), Family Tree DNA and LivingDNA. They provide instructions on where to find these files as part of the upload process if you are unsure where to get them.
Once you have completed your upload here you can expect to receive your results with a day or two. At that time we suggest that you read our guide to using their DNA system for help making the most of your results.
If you have not yet tested and want to take advantage of MyHeritage’s reports and matching databases you can also buy a test directly from them and have results back in 6 weeks or so. Prices are often as low as $49 now, something we never could have imagined a few years ago.
For help choosing a DNA test, read our detailed comparison guide here or see sample ancestry reports from each company here.