Saturday, January 17, 2015

23andMe and MyHeritage

I'm sure everyone knows that 23andMe has entered into a partnership with 23andMe. Starting May 1, 2015, if you have a tree at 23andMe, it will be moved to MyHeritage.com, or you have the option of uploading your own GEDCOM to MyHeritage or keep the tree you already have there.

You may also know that MyHeritage offers free genealogy software that integrates with your online tree so updating is automatic. What, if any, new features might be offered by MyHeritage that make use of your DNA data from 23andMe is not yet known.

Be aware! MyHeritage will import your tree or allow you to create a new one for free but only for six months. After that, if your tree has 250 nodes or more, you will have to pay the normal subscription fee at MyHeritage to keep it there.

Learn more at https://www.23andme.com/family-tree/.

If you still have questions about autosomal DNA...

Check out, and study, Roberta Estes' blog today: http://dna-explained.com/2015/01/17/demystifying-autosomal-dna-matching/.

One caution: Roberta talks a lot about IBS (identical by state, as opposed to IBD -- identical by descent) matches. While virtually all matches at all three companies are IBD and therefore reliable matches to your relatives, those with really small amounts of matching DNA may not be. Accept the matching thresholds and you're safe to assume the matches are real. If you tinker with the thresholds, i.e., lower the matching level, then beware. The only time you should ever lower the level is when you believe an individual should match you but doesn't, then give that a try -- but only if you have good reason to believe the other person is a definite relative.

One example of this might be if your sibling or a cousin matches someone and you don't, you might want to try lowering the threshold to see if you inherited such a small chunk from the common ancestor that it simply doesn't show up. Of course, there's always the possibility that you didn't inherit any from that particular ancestor.