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DNA Results and Filtering Your DNA Matches
DNA Results and Filtering Your DNA Matches

DNA Matching pages are organized into four different tabs — an Overview tab, an Ethnicity Estimate tab, a DNA Matches tab, and a Tools tab.

The name of the person whose results you are currently viewing is listed at the top. As you move back and forth between the different tabs, you’ll always see results for the same person, whether it’s an overview, Ethnicity Estimate, DNA Matches, or advanced tools.
If you manage more than one kit, you can change the person whose results you are viewing by clicking on “Select another person” and selecting another individual from the drop-down menu.

Using “Select another person” to view the results of another DNA kit (click to zoom)

Overview tab

At the top of the Overview tab, you will see the top ethnicities in the Ethnicity Estimate. If there are more than three ethnicities in the Ethnicity Estimate, not all of them will appear here.
Click on “View full estimate” to get to the Ethnicity Estimate tab, where you will see a complete list of your ethnicities with percentages.

Switching to the Ethnicity Estimate tab (click to zoom)

Below the top ethnicities, the Overview page lists a summary of the DNA Matches, with the three graphical filters representing close family, extended family, and distant relatives.

To view all of your DNA Matches (unfiltered), click on “View DNA Matches” and you will be taken to the DNA Matches tab.

Switching to the DNA Matches tab (click to zoom)

Ethnicity Estimate tab

In the second tab, you’ll find full Ethnicity Estimate results.

Ethnicity Estimate tab (click to zoom)

Enabling the checkbox “Show events from your family tree” will display all of the ancestral birth and death locations listed in your family tree on the map on top of the ethnicity results. You can then compare how your Ethnicity Estimate correlates with events from your family tree. This additional view helps to place your Ethnicity Estimate within the context of your family history and can provide you with a good starting point for further investigation.

Ethnicity estimate with overlaid family history context (click to zoom)

DNA Matches tab

The third tab takes you to the DNA Matches page with advanced filtering DNA Matches which can be combined with sorting and searching.

DNA Matches tab (click to zoom)

Tools tab

The fourth and final tab is labeled Tools and is the gateway to several advanced DNA features such as the Chromosome Browser, AutoClusters, and the Ethnicity Map.

DNA Tools tab

Viewing trees of DNA Matches

On the DNA Matches page, selecting “View tree” for any DNA Match will automatically open their family tree in the Pedigree View. The Pedigree View shows a root person and their direct ancestors. It doesn’t display siblings or spouses and doesn’t require difficult panning. It also shows women with their maiden names only.

Filtering DNA Matches

DNA Matches are people who share DNA segments with you. Each DNA Match is thought to be related to you, with one or more shared segments inherited from one or more common ancestors. By now, the DNA database on MyHeritage has grown so large that most users on MyHeritage have thousands of DNA Matches. Managing all those matches and making sense of them has become a challenge — and this is where the filtering system comes in handy.

Filtering lets you view a subset of your DNA Matches at a time, focusing on those that match particular criteria that interest you the most. On the DNA Overview page, you can filter your DNA Matches easily by relationship, by country, or by ethnicity. Using the filter toolbar, you can combine multiple filters and filter matches by additional criteria, such as those that have a family tree or share ancestral surnames or Smart Matches™ with you.

Filtering of DNA Matches can be combined with sorting and searching. For example, you can easily find all your DNA Matches that include “Gordon” in the name of the match or as an ancestral surname, filtering them to view only those who have a particular ethnicity and live in a particular country, while sorting them alphabetically or by the amount of shared DNA.

Accessing the filters

To reach the DNA Overview page and access the graphical filters for DNA Matches, simply click “Overview” in the “DNA” menu:

Accessing the graphical filters (click to zoom)

The DNA Overview page displays a summary of your Ethnicity Estimate, with a link to view the full estimate. Below this is a summary of your DNA Matches, with a graphical breakdown of the matches according to their relationship with you, country of residence, and ethnicities.

DNA Overview tab (click to zoom)

Here is a detailed description of the filters.

Filtering by relationship

Using the Relationship filter, you can easily see how many of the DNA Matches are close family (immediate family through first cousins), extended family (first cousins once removed through second cousins twice removed), or distant relatives (third cousins and more distant cousins). Some users are more interested in close family matches, while others are intrigued to learn more about distant relatives. You can easily keep track of the number of matches you have in each category and immediately spot if you have new matches in any category of high interest to you. We will soon add indicators next to the Close family and Extended family sections to indicate whether you have new matches in any of those categories.

Relationship filter (click to zoom)

Hovering over any relationship category will highlight the corresponding ring in purple in the graphical display.

Clicking on either the category name or the corresponding ring will take you to the DNA Matches page, where the DNA Matches will be automatically filtered to show only matches from the relationship category you chose.

Example: Filtering by relationship to show only Extended family matches (click to zoom)

Filtering by location

This filter shows you how many matches you have living in each country around the world.

Country filter (click to zoom)

Clicking on any country on the map or in the list on the right-hand side will take you to the DNA Matches page, automatically filtered to show only matches residing in the country you chose.

Example: Filtering by country to show only matches residing in Norway (click to zoom)

Note: for consistency, this filter is based on the country of residence of your matches, and not on family tree information such as country of birth. The country of birth may be very useful and it is sometimes different than the current country of residence, but it’s not available for DNA Matches without a family tree.

Filtering by ethnicity

The ethnicity filter will show you how many of your matches have a significant percentage (more than 10%) of each of the 42 ethnicities supported by MyHeritage DNA.

Ethnicity filter (click to zoom)

The ethnicities listed at the top of the filter are your own ethnicities (sorted by percentage) because these are probably the matches you’ll want to investigate first. Some of your DNA Matches will be listed under multiple ethnicities. That’s why the numbers on the right-hand side will add up to a total that exceeds the total number of matches you have. This is a good place to identify which of your reported ethnicities might be incorrect. For example, if MyHeritage estimated that you are 1.2% Italian, but you have absolutely no matches who are Italian (by at least 10%), then it’s likely that your estimated Italian ethnicity is a false positive. Remember, the Ethnicity Estimate is just that — an estimate — and it may include inaccuracies. Ethnicities for which you have many matches are more likely to play a substantial role in your own ethnicity makeup.

Keep in mind, though, that the numbers are skewed by the populations of people tested on MyHeritage; some ethnicities are over-represented and some are under-represented. There are so many people who have European ethnicity on MyHeritage that you are bound to have many of them as your matches, even if you have no European ethnicity at all. As another illustrative example, perhaps you are 0% Kenyan, but you still have some matches who have Kenyan ethnicity. How can that be? Because they received some Kenyan ethnicity from their ancestors, and these are not the same ancestors that they share with you, but ancestors from their other lines.

Clicking on any of the ethnicities will take your DNA Matches, which will be automatically filtered to show only matches that have that specific ethnicity (comprising at least 10% of their Ethnicity Estimate).

Example: Filtering by ethnicity to show only matches with North and West European ethnicity (click to zoom)

If you have a particular ethnicity in your own Ethnicity Estimate that intrigues you, use this filter to look at your DNA Matches having that ethnicity. Perhaps you will be able to identify how they are related to you, and as a result, find out which of your ancestors brought you that particular ethnicity.

Using the Filter toolbar

The Filter toolbar is part of the DNA Matches page, and it appears automatically if a filter is active. In all the examples shown above, the DNA Matches page was reached when a particular filter was activated from the graphical filters in the DNA Overview page, and it was shown in bold in the Filter toolbar. However, you can also access the Filter toolbar directly.

To do so, visit the DNA Matches page by clicking “DNA Matches” under the “DNA” menu.

Accessing the DNA Matches page (click to zoom)

In the DNA Matches page, click “Filters”, which is shown next to an icon that looks like a filter, and the Filter toolbar will be displayed below it, as shown below:

Accessing the Filter toolbar (click to zoom)

The Filter toolbar gives you access to the filters described previously (Relationship, Location, Ethnicity), and you can now apply several filters concurrently. If more than one filter is selected, they will be applied inclusively (using AND logic, e.g. filter1 AND filter2 AND filter3). For example, you can filter your DNA Matches to see all the matches who live in the United States AND are Ashkenazi Jewish. As another example, you can view all your Extended family matches who live in the Netherlands.

Pay close attention to the first entry on the Filter toolbar: Tree details. Using the Tree details filter, you can see only those matches that have a family tree or that share any ancestral surnames or Smart Matches™ with you. This helps you isolate the DNA Matches that could be most valuable for your research. Shared ancestral surnames might help you figure out how a match is related to you, especially when they are rare. For example, if a DNA Match shares the rare surname Kopelevitch with you, and it’s your grandfather’s surname and the maiden name of the grandmother of your match, this could show how the two of you are related: through a common Kopelevitch ancestor.

Tree details filter in the Filter toolbar (click to zoom)

Below is an example of applying a filter for shared ancestral surnames, which found a match sharing the surname “Gordon”:

Filtering by shared ancestral surnames (click to zoom)

In the Relationships filter on the Filter toolbar, you can filter your matches by their relationship to you, choosing to see only close family, extended family, or distant relatives.

Relationship filter in the Filter toolbar (click to zoom)

In the Locations filter, you can filter matches by country of residence. You can combine that with additional filters to zero in on DNA Matches of high interest.

Location filter in the Filter toolbar (click to zoom)

Lastly, in the Ethnicities filter, you can filter matches by ethnicity, choosing to see only those matches who have at least 10% of a particular ethnicity in their Ethnicity Estimate.

Ethnicity filter in the Filter toolbar (click to zoom)

As previously explained, you can apply more than one filter simultaneously. For example, filtering by “Extended family” and “Irish, Scottish, and Welsh” ethnicity will show you which of your DNA Matches meet both of these conditions — for example, which of your matches are likely to be first cousins once removed through second cousins twice removed, and which have 10% or more of Irish, Scottish, or Welsh ethnicity.

Applying multiple filters at once (click to zoom)

Sorting matches

DNA Matches can be sorted by clicking “Sort by” and selecting one of the options from the drop-down menu: Shared DNA, Shared segments, Largest segment, Full name, or Most recent.

By default, matches are shorted by Shared DNA, which means that the matches which whom you have more shared DNA are listed first. You can also apply sorting on matches that have been filtered.


Searching matches

You can also search for a match by name or by ancestral surname using the search field. Click the magnifying glass icon to start a search.

When searching for a name, matches with that name or ancestral surname will be displayed.

You can combine searching with filtering, meaning you can search among the matches you’ve previously filtered, or run a search and then filter the search results.

In the advanced example below, the location filter, the ethnicity filter, and the search bar have all been used concurrently. Results are displayed for DNA Matches who are located in the U.S., have Scandinavian ethnicity, and have “Johnson” in their name or as an ancestral surname.

Search + filter (click to zoom)

To clear an active filter, click “Clear filters.” To clear an active search, click “Clear search.”

Summary

Having a lot of DNA Matches is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Many people don’t know how to review their matches and where to start. The filtering system for DNA Matches comes to your aid by letting you review your DNA Matches in smaller bites, focusing on the details most important to you — whether that’s the matches who are more closely related to you, the matches who live in a particular country of interest, or those of a particular ethnicity.

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