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MyHeritage has released an updated 42 population Ethnicity Estimate and are offering it free to anyone who uploads their DNA. MyHeritage has been accepting free uploads of DNA and providing matching for some time but, until recently, ethnicity reports were only available to those who purchased a MyHeritage DNA test.
Anyone who has already tested with Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA or 23andMe can upload raw data to MyHeritage and get the Ethnicity Estimate without cost. MyHeritage also offers the ability to upload all of the DNA kits you manage to your account and pair them with people in your family tree – tying your family history and DNA research together in a very useful way. Kits can be deleted or re-assigned at any time.
To upload your DNA if you already have a MyHeritage account or want a free account with no record access:
If you already have an account with MyHeritage you can upload your DNA file here to get your Ethnicity Estimate. They have provided a simple step-by-step process for uploading your data and instructions for how to download your raw DNA from your testing company first. The process only took us about 2 minutes. If do not already have an account you will simply be offered a free one that does not include historical record access when you visit the DNA upload page linked to above.
How to upload your DNA if you would like to pair it with historical record access:
If you plan to pair your DNA upload with your family history research and would like access to MyHeritage’s 7+ billion records you can get a free two week trial to everything on MyHeritage here first. Once you sign up for the trial you will be granted an account and will be able to easily upload your DNA. This is optional and not required for the free DNA upload but can be very helpful in your research if you can afford the small subscription fee.
The consent forms you need to read:
You will notice on the DNA Upload Page that MyHeritage has two consent boxes you can check before taking part. The first one is required. Carefully read the terms and decide if they are acceptable to you before checking this box. The second one is their consent to take part in research and analytics and is voluntary. Read the consent form and decide if you would like to have your results used for the purposes described, which include scientific and health research. We really like that MyHeritage has made this optional and encourage you to read and consider carefully before deciding.
More information about the new Ethnicity Estimates can be found in the release from MyHeritage below.
MyHeritage today announced the launch of its new and improved Ethnicity Estimate. The new analysis, developed by the company’s science team, provides MyHeritage DNA customers with a percentage-based estimate of their ethnic origins covering 42 ethnic regions, many available only on MyHeritage, representing the most comprehensive report of its type available on the market. This fascinating report gives users a much better understanding of who they are and where their ancestors came from. The Ethnicity Estimate is presented in an original and engaging format, making it not only interesting but also fun to watch and share.
MyHeritage is unique among the main industry players in allowing users who have tested their DNA already with another service to upload – for free – their data to MyHeritage. Those users receive DNA Matches for free, for finding relatives based on shared DNA. Beginning this week, users who have already uploaded their DNA data to MyHeritage, or who will upload it in the coming months, will receive – for free – the new Ethnicity Estimate. This benefit is not offered by any other major DNA company.
Development of the new Ethnicity Estimate raises the number of ethnic regions covered by MyHeritage DNA from 36 to 42. It was made possible thanks to MyHeritage’s Founder Populations project — one of the largest of its kind ever conducted. For this unique project, more than 5,000 participants were handpicked by MyHeritage from its 90 million strong user base, by virtue of their family trees exemplifying consistent ancestry from the same region or ethnicity for many generations. All project participants received complimentary DNA tests and allowed MyHeritage’s science team to develop breakthrough ethnicity models based on the generated data. Thanks to this analysis, MyHeritage DNA has become the only mass-market percentage-based DNA test that reveals ethnicities such as Balkan; Baltic; Eskimo & Inuit; Japanese; Kenyan; Sierra Leonean; Somali; four major Jewish groups – Ethiopian, Yemenite, Sephardic from North Africa and Mizrahi from Iran and Iraq; Indigenous Amazonian; Papuan and many others. In some cases, competing products can identify and report an aggregated region (e.g., Italian & Greek), whereas MyHeritage has better resolution and identifies Greek, Italian and Sardinian ethnicities separately.
MyHeritage’s new Ethnicity Estimate is delivered to users via a captivating “reveal” experience. It features animation and, as of this week, also original music composed by MyHeritage. Each of the 42 ethnicities has a distinctive tune, based on the region’s cultural elements; all tunes seamlessly connect to each other.
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“DNA is the future of the family history industry and we’re delighted to enter the DNA space with strong energies and a fresh perspective”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Leveraging MyHeritage’s top assets which are its talented, technology-focused engineering team, and the gigantic internationally diverse web of family trees encompassing more than 2.5 billion profiles entered by our users, our comprehensive new Ethnicity Estimate has Innovation written all over it. We’ve been able to dig deeper where others had considered their work complete. Presented in a fresh look and generously given for free to DNA data uploaders, our users will be thrilled and can count on us to continue to innovate in DNA and delight them with new discoveries about who they really are.”
Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer at MyHeritage, said, “For MyHeritage’s science team, this major update of our Ethnicity Estimate is only an appetizer. There are excellent installments on the way, and users can prepare for a feast! We have detailed plans to increase accuracy, extend our Founder Populations project further, and improve the resolution for ethnicities of great interest to our users from highly diverse origins. Our goal is to use science to further the public good, and to bring the best innovations of our science team to the public.”
The company’s user base of 90 million users worldwide, more than 7.7 billion historical records, massive user-generated family tree database and availability in 42 languages, all provide a robust foundation for MyHeritage DNA. The company’s DNA offering currently provides two main features: detailed ethnicity reports that reveal the user’s ethnic and geographic origins, and DNA Matches for finding relatives based on shared DNA. In recent months, people have been successfully using MyHeritage DNA to reunite with long-lost family members.
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