New DNA Tools From MyHeritage – Theory of Family Relativity™

When I’m at RootsTech I always attend the sponsored luncheons just because it gives me an opportunity to hear what’s new at the companies I like to follow.

At the MyHeritage luncheon we had an opportunity to listen to the CEO; Gilad Japhet . He introduced us to two tools that MyHeritage had introduced that day. So I’ll speak about Theory of Family Relativity today and MyHeritage’s AutoClusters in Part 2 coming in the next couple of days.

Gilad explained that with the power of DNA Matches, Family Trees and Historical Records MyHeritage was introducing theories as to how you connect with your match.

So I was excited to get home and see what theories MyHeritage had for the kits that I managed.

When you first go to your matches you’ll see a graphic like this (above) that’s if you have a theory. Of the 12 kits that I have with MyHeritage only three of them had theories. My dad and I had the same theory and my uncle had a theory for my mom’s side of the family.

So let’s have a look at the theory that my dad and I share.

Theory of Relativity Tree

So our match lives in Canada and is in her 60’s. She matches at 28.5cM for me and 57‎ cM for my Dad. There’s a tree with 212 people in the tree and a theory.

In this case there are actually 3 theories shown. The first theory uses my tree as well as three other people’s trees and a Geni Tree. The second theory is only slightly different and uses the same number of trees and the Geni Tree. In both cases it says; “This path is based on one community tree and 4 MyHeritage family trees, with 20% confidence”.

The third version is very similar but it includes information from the 1851 census. Again it states the confidence level is 20%.

But you see that theories are based on MyHeritage Trees, Records and trees from Family Search and Geni.

Of course, you should do more research and it’s very likely that this is in fact how I and my cousin are related.

Now let’s look at my uncle’s.

In my uncle’s example we have a bit more to go on. The cousin is in his 60’s and he lives in Great Britain. There is a theory but there are also some other clues. There are similar names in the theory tree that I already have in my tree and there are also 95 Smart matches. It also tells me that there are locations in common; Canada and Great Britain. So lets look further.

This time there are only two theories. One with my tree and two others and one record; the 1871 census. The second theory includes my tree and two other trees and has 3 supporting census documents. Each of the theories had a small percentage of confidence. The first 30% and second 25%.

But still, it’s a starting point and it actually looks quite interesting. It will not make me add it to my tree but will, in fact, give me “bread crumbs” so to speak that I will look at one by one and then decide if I agree and I can add to my tree.

I believe that you’ll like this new tool because one of the complaints that many people have had about MyHeritage is that they don’t like how MyHeritage just adds a branch to your tree without you verifying it. Now that doesn’t happen you have to decide for yourself if it’s accurate.

Note the little green circle between my tree and my matches. I can click on that and it will give me all the information I have about that ancestor in my tree vs what’s in my matches tree.

So you really can go step by step through the theory and decide if it makes sense. I don’t have a lot of theories for my kits. But I do know some people who have hundreds.

How do you get to use Theories? Well if you uploaded your DNA to MyHeritage before December 16, 2018, then Theories of Family Relativity is free and included. But if you transferred after, then the cost is $29 US to unlock per DNA kit. Or if you have more than one kit then you will want to consider getting a subscription. Right now I have a 1/2 price subscription offer from MyHeritage that is available until March 13th. You can access it HERE.

If you check after that date you can go HERE.

So here’s Gilad’s summary about Theory of Family Relativity™. Watch for my post about AutoClusters coming soon.


  • Meredith says:

    So I recently reactivated my MyHeritage subscription (the last few days) simply because I was so darn excited about both of these new features, especially the fact that MH is using actual historical & genealogical records in addition to the family trees of other users. This is in stark contrast to Ancestry’s new “ThruLines” which only uses trees, & we all know how reliable those can be. 🙂 But I’m a bit confused: I have five DNA kits uploaded. Are you saying I have to pay $29/kit *in addition* to my PremiumPlus site subscription? That’s an awful lot of money, especially on a limited income.

    • Meredith, No with a premium membership you will be able to check all your kits at no additional cost. Hope this helps.

      • Meredith says:

        Good. I was hoping you would say that. Thank you for the clear explanation of how it works. I was wondering if all the accounts had the feature yet since none of my kits have this yet. I’ll keep looking. 😀