In this week’s blog, I want to talk about some new tools at MyHeritage and some old tools, each of which can help you with your genealogy and DNA. Let’s start with the recent one first but stick around for the old tools because if you have a tree on MyHeritage, you might not realize you have this great tool.
When I have a new DNA match, one of the first things I do is look at the amount of DNA I share with that match. The second thing I try to do is figure out how old the DNA match is compared to me. Each of the companies gives you their best guess as to how you might be related, but MyHeritage has given you a new tool to help you with that, including considering the age of your match.
Before we get into the cM Explainer, let’s see how this looks when you are looking at a new DNA match with this new technology. Previously you would have been given an estimate of your relationship. Now you get the relationship.
In the screen grab above, you’ll see that for DNA match #1, MyHeritage estimates that this person is my parent’s 2nd cousin. Notice even the terminology is different. Instead of the usual 2nd cousin, 1 time removed, it tells you exactly how you connect. It’s one of my parent’s 2nd cousins. How simple is that? In fact, this is absolutely correct, as this is my father’s 2nd cousin.
In the case of DNA match #2, she is one of my matches that applies to my dad’s side, but in this case, she is connected to my grandfather’s unknown biological father. MyHeritage states the relationship probably is a 3rd cousin or a 2nd cousin’s daughter. If we click the hyperlink, it tells us even more.
This view gives you the probability of the relationships, so 3rd cousin is a 32.5% probability, and there is a 29.6% probability that she is a 2nd cousin. It also listed the most recent common ancestor(MRCA), so I know where to look if I can look at her tree. In this case, she has a 4 person tree, but as long as it’s not all private, I can take that tree, and with a little quick research, I can figure out who her great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents are.
So why are we getting this new view? Well, it’s because of the cM Explainer. You’ll find the cM Explainer under the DNA Tab under Tools. As you can see, there are other tools, so explore the Chromosome Browser and AutoClusters. The cM Explainer isn’t just for subscribers. You can use it even if you don’t have a subscription and just want to check it out.
Once you hit that Explore button, you get this view.
The cM Explainer is free for everyone, even if you don’t have your DNA tested here. (But if you haven’t tested at MyHeritage, you can upload your raw data, and I’ll tell you more about that below).
So as you can see, the cM Explainer asks those two questions I always ask about my DNA match. How much DNA do you share, and what is their age compared to yours. Once you put that information in and hit submit, the cM Explainer gives you your most probable relationship and who your most recent common ancestor would be. So, for example, I put in these amounts. 26cM and that their age was 80, and mine was 67. Here’s what it told me.
So this imaginary person most likely would be the child of my 3rd cousin (previously, we called that 3rd cousin 1x removed). It also gives the probability of the relationships and the MRCA. You can toggle at the bottom of the relationships to show more or fewer possible relationships (in this case, I chose more).
You also get another visual that shows you how the relationship might look. Note that you can change this view to full relationships, half relationships, and both. By clicking the show probabilities for MRCA, you’ll get even more data and see why it chooses third cousin and third cousin’s child with a probability of 60.2% for those relationships.
Color Coding Your Tree
Let’s talk about your tree now. Did you know that you can now change the color of each of the branches of your MyHeritage tree? If you haven’t seen something, as in a banner across your tree, then you can find it on the right side of your tree at the bottom.
The Consistency Checker is something I don’t use enough, but it’s a great tool. Have you ever noticed your tree can get mistakes in it? Some might be that the person is not shown in your tree as being deceased and they are over 120 years old. Maybe you just haven’t found that death record. But that is just one of the things the consistency checker will tell you. Giving you that nudge to get to it and find the record or, at the very minimum, get you to mark them deceased.
Where can you find the consistency checker? Right under the Family Tree tab.
There are 36 different consistency checks. The checks range from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parents or when the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born 5 months apart, which is impossible). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix (such as references to the same place name with two different spellings). Any issue you feel is fine and should be intentionally left as is can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again.
The Consistency Checker is a paid feature, available without limit to users with a PremiumPlus or Complete subscription. If you do not have a PremiumPlus or Complete subscription, you will still receive one issue for free from each of the 36 checks — which is still of tremendous value. The rest of the problems will be displayed once you have a subscription.
These are just a couple of the tools that MyHeritage offers for your tree and your DNA, and I love tools that help me have more time to research.
If you have DNA tested at another DNA company, you can transfer your raw DNA file to MyHeritage. To learn more and transfer your DNA, click HERE. You can access the tools at MyHeritage DNA for just $29 US.
Did you know MyHeritage has a FREE family tree program called Family Tree Builder? This program syncs with MyHeritage.