Review of DNA heritage Kit


Piecing together the puzzle


I have often asked myself
  • What is my ancestry DNA?.
  • Where am I from.
  • Who were my ancestors?.
  • Were my ancestors British?


Like many of us I have always wanted to know about my DNA and past where my ancestors came from if I was related to people who were famous in history.

So I decided to pay for the (My Heritage) DNA kit. Apparently it can give you a good estimate of your past heritage and tells you who your relatives are around the world that share DNA. 




I was skeptical and had many doubts about MyHeritage
I knew a little about DNA from TV where you see them match DNA in labs on true crime TV shows like CSI.


My review of (My Heritage) DNA Test

I got the test kit in the post after ordering online. It took about 5 days to arrive. Basically just a small box with a paper card and some other items inside. 

The card has your activation code on it so you use this card to go online to activate the DNA kit in your name.




The box also contains

  • 2 swab sticks wrapped in plastic
  • 1 Ziploc plastic bag with a cotton pad
  • 1 booklet with instructions on how to use the kit to collect your DNA
  • 1 padded envelope





Cotton swabs

The swabs collect the saliva that will be used for your DNA test. 

They look like cotton ear buds if I am honest.

Basically you put them in your mouth and move them about to collect a good saliva (DNA) sample then you place them in the plastic vials 1 in each which are used to extract your DNA.


Here is an introduction video to give you a better demonstration.




Activate your card

I went online activated my card in my name (Keep card you don't send that back)

The vials have your activation number on them so they know your name once you activate online.

I used the cotton sticks around my mouth to collect my DNA sample then I sealed my samples in the bag and plastic viels.

So I sent off my test kit in the post and got an email about 5 days later saying they received my kit and they give you an estimate date of when it will be complete with your results.

My result took around 3 weeks to get back.


My results

I got an email saying your results are ready so you open the email link and this is what you see.



You get a percentage of each ethnicity that make up your DNA heritage here is mine as an example.

The purple circles are parts of the world where I have DNA ancestry to.

So some of my ancestors could have come from these countries in the purple circles.

Overview of my DNA

  • Irish,Scottish,Welsh 60.7%
  • English 18.6%
  • Ashkenazi Jewish 13.5%
  • Iberian 3.4%
  • Central Asian 2.2%
  • Nigerian 1.6

Confused

What I don't like is it sometimes can be confusing and shows a big area of some of  the DNA heritage. 

For example the area of my (Ashkenazi Jewish) heritage is around Ukraine,Poland,Germany,Austria,Romania so you look at this and think right ok which country is my (Ashkenazi Jewish)  DNA heritage from then?.




Now with Ashkenazi DNA it is a tough one as many Jewish settlers lived near to the Rhine river in Germany and northern France in the past and they moved about so it is tough to pinpoint a location.


My past

Some of my ancestors came to England from Russia around 1895 by boat.

I have not been able to find too much information on my ancestors other than they came from Russia. 

From what I have found out they came from Moscow or Saint Petersburg according to some records I have found.

My other ancestors I have managed to track to Scotland around the year 1647.




I managed to use the (My Heritage)  search tool to find some records
of my Russian ancestry and I have a lot of people in Russia and the East who share DNA with me according to the DNA match.

I managed to find a home address,rent record and a few other records of my Russian ancestor when he lived in Manchester but I am a little stuck as it can be hard looking for records from aboard.

Also I must tell you this part of (My Heritage) costs you money you have to sign up for either a free 14 day trial or pay for the whole year membership
To look for records it is not included in the DNA kit.


So is it accurate?

Well my grandmother was Jewish and her relatives were Jewish .

So it got that part of my family heritage correct 
as this clearly shows a link to my grandmother with the Ashkenazi Jewish match.

I know I have a Russian ancestor so maybe the Jewish heritage is from Russia as the purple circle seems to touch the border of Russia,Ukraine and Belarus.




Central Asian 2.2%

Now the other purple circle is around Kazakhstan now apparently some of the other sites I have used claim I am related to Genghis khan , Attila The Hun etc and show Hungarian match's.

One of my parents has 2%Turkish DNA.

From what I read the original Turkish people came from Mongolia so maybe this purple circle is my link to Genghis khan etc.





Nigerian DNA.

I have no clue where the Nigerian DNA is from? None of my parents have Nigerian DNA, my mother has mainly English,Irish,Welsh and Viking Scandinavian DNA etc.


My father has English,Irish,Welsh,Turkish,Ashkenzi,Italian and Iberian DNA heritage.



I can not seem to find any ancestors from anywhere in Africa so I am a little stuck with where this Nigerian DNA heritage comes from. I will try to do some research as I would like to be able to find out.



Iberian DNA

Now I have Iberian DNA also which is modern day Portugal and Spain.
But from what I have read Iberian DNA is linked to the Romans now as I say my father has Italian and Iberian DNA heritage so this could be a Roman link there.



I like the (MyHeritage) DNA test as you find lots of information out about your heritage.
But the DNA test results also creates a lot of questions like I have such as where is the Iberian or Nigerian link from?.


What's free then?


A DNA Kit lets you do the below

  • Message DNA Matches    (Free)
  • Look at DNA Match   (Free)
  • Look at your DNA Heritage  (Free)
  • Emails you with DNA  (Free)
  • Contact DNA Match  (Free)
  • Download your raw DNA data  (Free)
  • Look at your heritage (Free)


To look at records on (MyHeritage) you have to pay (Not Free)

  • Birth certificates     (Not Free)
  • Death certs                (Not free)
  • Marriage Electoral rolls  (Not Free)
  • War records (Not Free)
  • Census,vote lists (Not Free)
  • Create a 2,500 people (Not Free)
  • Family tree
  • Look at old newspapers (Not Free)
  • Look at old immigration records (Not Free)




Email DNA match  (Free)

What I like about (My Heritage) is once you have your DNA done you get regular matches to people
that share DNA with you via email like this below.

If one of your relatives who lives in Australia as an example, who you have never met has the DNA test done.

The (My Heritage) match tool will then match that person to see if you are related and then send you and them an email saying that a person has 0.4% etc DNA shared with you.







DNA search  (Free)

You can also search surnames on the DNA Search bar to see if a person with your surname has a DNA match with you.

You can see below myself searching for the surname (Smith).

I get the result back Jim smith you will notice I share 0.6% DNA with this person so
(My Heritage) estimates this could be my 3rd cousin.





Mike Smith

One example of the search tool accuracy was a man called Mike Smith who lives here in the UK.

He had a DNA match of 0.2% with me so I sent him a message just said hi  do you know the surnames Smith, Johnson or Green?

I said we have a DNA match of 0.2% so we could be distant relatives?

So Mike Smith said his ancestor was from Russia and has the same surname as my granddad.
It turns out his Russian ancestor is my Russian ancestor. 

His great granddad is also mine as well so the DNA match tool does work.

Mike Smith said to be honest I did not think the DNA tool worked and the fact that we share 0.2% DNA shows it does.


Lady in Russia

There was a lady In Russia that shared 4.3 % DNA with me.

So I did the same as above and sent her a message saying we share DNA. Do you have any relatives that came to England?.

She did not know any information now we are definitely related somehow that is for sure it is just hard to trace the link so as I say it can be hit and miss as the other person may not have any information on their family history.


Not every person will reply to you if you message them one person I messaged took 6 months yes I said 6 months to reply to me and just said to me I don't know how we are related.

Someone messaged me last week and said Hi just had my DNA done how are we related?.

I just said not sure have a look at my family tree and see if you recognized any names etc. 

She asked what were my ancestors' names,  she did not know any of her own information on the past so again it can be very hard to find a link.

Link to MyHeritage


How do I download my Raw DNA data

In order to upload your DNA to other websites you need to download a raw file of your DNA.

This is quite easy to do. Here is a guide on how to do just that on (My Heritage).

Download Raw DNA Data




Where else can I find more Info?



Find my past

This is a good site to look at it is simple to use when looking for records etc.

Quite similar to ( My Heritage) you can search family records. I Noticed this site seems a little better to find British records than (My Heritage) but it was not that good at finding records from aboard.

They also do DNA testing as well but I haven't seen any reviews on this so don't know how good or bad it is.



Link to Find My Past



Free trials


What I did when looking for my ancestors records is to sign up to the free trials on all the big sites

I already had full premium membership of (My Heritage).

But I also signed up for free trials on Ancestry, Findmypast etc. 

The reason I did that was
some information found on one site will not be on the other site as an example.

My Russian ancestor lived in Manchester in the 1900s now the (Myheritage) website had only a little info of this or so I thought.




But on (Ancestry) I found him his name was spelled slightly differently by one letter on some of the old records from the 1900s.


That was the reason (My Heritage) was not finding him. 

I noted all the info down on my notepad, the house address, year,who was he living with etc and the spelling mistake name.

So then I went on (My Heritage) again and I added the year, the address etc to my search and his name spelled different.

Now I was able to find loads of other records now that I knew he lived in that area in the 1900s and knew about the spelling mistake error in his name.




So it's all about taking little bits of a puzzle then adding them all together from each site keeping a note then collecting it all together.

You will find many of the old records on many of the sites have spelling mistakes remember our ancestors were not top tip with spelling etc they didn't have Grammarly.

I check my spelling a few times but still make many mistakes.

My ancestor seemed to spell his surname different on forms so it made it difficult when looking for his records. 

My guess is he could not write good English or the places where he was asked his name spelled it wrong.



Ancestry

I like this site. I found it really useful. It is easy to use
to find records and they also do DNA testing as well.

I found quite a lot of info when looking for old records so well worth joining up on a free trial to see what you find.







My True Ancestry

This site is good if you like old ancient history stuff.

Once you get your DNA test done at
 (My Heritage) or Ancestry etc you have the option to download the raw data basically it's just a file with your DNA.

When you have done this you can upload it to sites like (My True Ancestry) now here is the good part once you upload it here they can match your DNA with records of ancient famous peoples DNA.

 
You can see which civilization you are most related to the Romans,Vikings,Goths etc

They have loads of ancient DNA extracted on record.

Here is a list of some of the civilizations I am related to on the screenshot below. 






So as you can see I have DNA shared with the DNA extracted from the bones of people from the civilizations below.

  • Celts
  • Franks
  • Gauls
  • Thuringi
  • Visgoths




Ancestor from 590 ad

What I like about this site is it has so many options to trace your DNA to people in the past
here for example it shows I have a genetic distance of 7.524 with a Frankish ancestor who's DNA they have on record from 590ad.





Hungarian DNA

You're probably thinking how do they have the DNA of someone from 590 AD from Hungary?.

Well when old bones are found, if the DNA is in good condition and the teeth etc are in good condition, they can extract the DNA and add it to an online academic database in raw format. such as
NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information

So (Mytrueancestry.com) has access to these samples.






Homo sapiens

Here above for example you can see I have 93% link to Cheddar man
Apparently cheddar man was the oldest almost complete skeleton of our species, Homo sapiens, ever found in Britain.

According to this site I also have links to  (The Boy With the Amber Necklace)
He was an ancestor of mine and was found within 1 mile of Stonehenge so maybe he helped build them?.

If you're planning on visiting Stonehenge, consider having a read of my other blog post 
Visiting Stonehenge. I tell you how to get up close to the stones.


There are too many features and options for me to list on this site.
Here is a link to the site FAQ
mytrueancestry.com/en/faq

I fully recommend to sign up to this site on the free trial and see what you think.





24 hour free trial

The good thing about this site you sign up and get a free 24 hour free trial.

All you need is an email to sign up so once you upload your Raw data DNA you use your Email to log in and you can see who you're related to and by what percentage for 24 hours.

Once the 24 hours expires you would have to sign up for a full version or use a new email and upload DNA raw data again.

The free trial doesn't give you a full list of all who you're related to or full access to all the features etc  but it gives you a good amount of people you're related to.

But as I say they don't ask for any card details for the free trial just an email address.

I hate sites that say sign up but give us your card details etc I just don't use them sites unless I know them if there a popular brand.

But an email address and a free 24 hour trial what do you have to lose.

(My True Ancestry) Link



Gedmatch (Free to use)

Gedmatch is a good site that is free to use as well but I found it very difficult to use at first.

It took me a few weeks to learn the basics and even now I find it quite difficult to use.

I think this is for the more pros to use but still a tool that can help .

You can match DNA to people and message them easily.

There are loads of tools you can use to look deep into your DNA.
I am still learning this site myself so I don't know how accurate Gedmacth is as I am still trying to understand it fully.





Many people dislike Gedmatch I will tell you why because there is a option on it that you can allow the law enforcement to view your DNA so they can match your DNA to suspects etc

I saw a story online they used it to catch someone in the USA.
They used it to identify a suspect in the Golden State Killer case in California and they caught him.

It is your choice you never know you could be a dissident of  jack the ripper dna.
Many people don't like this idea now there is the option to turn this off so law enforcement can't see your DNA.



You will see the little yellow symbol with the word police below with the red line through it mine is switched off.


I have nothing to hide as my DNA is already on record by British Government having served in the British Army and other jobs I have had to supply my DNA to.

I have my switch turned off so it don't share my DNA with law enforcement in the USA.
It sounds daft but I am not going to have my DNA accessed by people or company's for no reason.

Many people like their DNA privacy hidden so it is your choice if you trust Gedmatch with your DNA.


Gedmacth Tools

There is a lot of tools to use on Gedmacth this one below for example shows my DNA in a little more detail.



On this tool (Below) it seems to show 

I have links to Hungry,Russia and a number of other country's in my DNA. 




The numbers on the left side seem to indicate ancient samples of DNA that have a match to your DNA
for example (RISE601) is a sample of DNA from Russia that has links to my DNA.

I just found this site below and when you type in RISE601 as an example it shows you where the sample was found and gives you a little bit of information.
naturesamples



Conclusion

Whatever you get as a result of your DNA heritage, be proud as that part of each DNA segment makes you who you are and because of your ancestors you are here today so be proud.

My advice on how to find out more information on your past ancestors is to sign up to all the free trials on the sites above.

You will struggle to find all your past ancestors records information on just one site so you need to use a few and also a DNA test can be a big help as you can find current relatives you may not know you have who can help in your search of the past.


Now it would be too expensive to sign up to all the sites on full membership so my advice to you is if you're looking for your ancestors have a notepad near by as I said above to keep a note of all the information you find online.





If you find some info on (My Heritage) write it down then if you find some info on (Findmypast) same again write it down.


This way you can use the notepad as your reference guide rather than having to go back and forwards. (My Heritage) and Ancestry have a good feature where you can add records you have found on their site to a person on your family tree once you have created a family tree and it saves the record to that person this tool is very helpful.




Most of the ancestry DNA sites have good tools and features but again most are part of the paid memberships.


If you use the free trials on all the sites you will see what sites suits you best just remember to write down the end date of your free trial or you may be charged for the start of a membership if you forget to cancel.


If you phone (My Heritage) up to get premium membership to search for records don't ever settle on the price online always phone up to barter that is what I did I got a £30 Discount card which you can use on DNA Test or the new DNA medical test.

I got money off a year's membership so it is always worth a little bartering.


If you get stuck looking for records check out the Nationalarchives website that can be quite useful to find information.


Finding old graves (Free to use)


Another few sites I used when looking for ancestors in the past.

You can find old info using these two sites. 

They can be useful to search for old grave locations, some even have photos of the grave you're looking for.

I had trouble trying to find a grave of one of my ancestors so I went on the site and requested a photo someone kindly volunteered to find the grave and uploaded the photo and location for me.


Searchable GPS cemetery data links
Find a grave
Billion graves

All the links for easy access

Findmypast

Free my heritage kit

You may be able to get a free DNA kit if you have a large following on social media.

My Heritage will send you a DNA kit free you then have to make a video showing your heritage rusults. here is the link to find more information

https://influencers.myheritage.com/


Affiliate Book Links







6 comments:

  1. Hey Watto, that's quite cool that you managed to locate and contact a distant relative! I've heard mixed reviews about Heritage, and from your experience, it does seem kinda cool. However, I've also read articles about the downsides of private firms collecting our DNA data in this way. Perhaps, it is a double-edged sword. I can see how mapping our DNA could have great medical benefits as well. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you yes I have also seen mixed reviews.

      I would love to have my DNA done by one of the other brands to compare. I am having talks with 23andme to see if they will let me review one of there kits.

      I have also had the MyHeritage medical DNA test done
      which basically shows if I am at risk of getting some diseases etc.

      Delete
  2. I've never been that interested in heritage things like this, however reading this I think I would be pretty fascinated to find out what origins I have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is good when you find some ancestors
      From the past i am still trying to find my link to Russia and the other countrys

      Delete
  3. I've always been interested in my actual heritage and took a DNA test last year! It is so interesting to learn about the results. You don't always know about your full family past, and you can find more information about your own genetics. So cool that you have a wide range of ancestry!! WOW! It is so cool that you got to track your ancestors back to 1657. They really went around between the different regions in Europe. Thanks for sharing your results!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nancy yes it seems my ancestors are from quite a few places in Europe as well as the far east. I would like to try another DNA test site to see if that unlocked any other information.

      Delete

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