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Thread: My Ranking of DNA tests from best to worst

  1. #51
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    It all depends on where your people were actually from.
    And you need to know the history of people movements for the last 2000 years.
    Even then, some of this I am only getting from a combination of DNA ethnicity and matches - on top of the preceding.
    Working from West eastwards across Europe there are several regions where many or all companies do poorly.

    There has been much movement back and forth across the Northern Channel (Scotland/Northern Ireland) so partitioning is hard.
    NW France/England and Scandinavia/Britain are also well known. (But few realise people moved from Britain to Scandinavia.)
    Cornish mostly stayed put, but only LiivingDNA has a reference panel for there, and even then friends have good results for much of their Cornish and then some weirdness.
    The others get Cornish very wrong.

    Lowlands/France/Germany can be fuzzy.
    Also other border areas like France/Spain and France/Italy.
    And Southern Italy in general seems to cause trouble with its inflows from the east and south.

    But now I am finding out what is going on in what is now SW Poland.
    I had thought the area was complex enough, with local Slavs and Germans living side-by-side.
    But both groups are divided, so there are maybe 5 or 6 different ethnic groups effectively.
    There are Germans from the east of Germany and from the west.
    There are Slaske Slavs and Wendish/Sorb Slavs, Wielkopolskie Slavs, some from further NE, a few Czechs and even some Baltic.
    And maybe more.
    (A few Dutch are historically documented, but none have turned up for me - yet.)

    EDIT:
    And then I forgot about the Swedish matches who probably connect through the 30 years war.
    And there was also an unrelated neighbour, Friedrich Mackenzie, who came out on the ship with my lot.
    Last edited by Saetro; 08-31-2021 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Fill in omissions - Swedish, Scots

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  3. #52
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    how is myheritage? thinking of taking a dna test but dont wanna spend as much, which one has the best value for money

  4. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire_ View Post
    how is myheritage? thinking of taking a dna test but dont wanna spend as much, which one has the best value for money
    I actually like MyHeritage, though I've seen others disparage it as "the worst". That certainly is not true for me. I would say the two companies closest to my paper trail are 23andMe and MyHeritage, followed by FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and LivingDNA. The last two are a toss up for me, since each completely misses one of my ancestries -- a different one for each company.

    My paper trail, as nearly as I can reckon it going back to 5th great grandparents, is: 39.8% British & Irish (combined); 35.2% Palatine German (may also include some Swiss); 6.2% Alsatian; 3.1% French; 1.2% Swiss (in addition to any Swiss counted as part of Palatine migration); 12.5% Menorcan Spanish; and 2.0% Indigenous American from North America.

    Here's how the companies figure it.

    23andMe
    36.3% British & Irish; 48.2% French & German; 0.6% Scandinavian; 0.4% Finnish; 6.2% Broadly Northwestern European; 2.3% Spanish & Portuguese; 1.2% Greek & Balkan; 1.1% Italian; 1.4% Broadly Southern European; 0.4% Broadly European; 1.9% Indigenous American

    MyHeritage
    51.6% Irish, Scottish, & Welsh; 36.6% North & West European; 6.5% Iberian; 1.9% Greek & South Italian; 1.1% Central Asian; 1.2% Mesoamerican & Andean; 1.1% Native American

    FTDNA
    4% England, Wales, & Scotland; 21% Ireland; 54% Central Europe; 15% Iberian Peninsula; 3% Malta; <2% Finland; <1% Anatolia, Armenia, & Mesopotamia; <1% Ashkenazi Jewish; <1% Amerindian - Central & South Mexico

    AncestryDNA
    58% England & Northwestern Europe; 25% Scotland; 6% Wales; 4% Ireland; 5% German; 1% Finland; 1.% Indigenous Americas - Mexico; <1% Indigenous Americas - North

    LivingDNA
    76.9% Great Britain & Ireland; 16.4% Northwest Germanic; 6.7% East Iberia

    As you can see, all of the companies but LivingDNA "saw" at least some portion of my small "Indigenous Americas" ancestry, although they differed as to exact amount and as to how to characterize that ancestry within the Americas. LivingDNA, of course, did not see this ancestry at all.

    All of the companies but AncestryDNA identified at least some portion of my much larger amount of Spanish ancestry, although three of them identified additional southern European ancestries as well. MyHeritage found Greek & South Italian; 23andMe found Greek & Balkan, as well as Italian and "Broadly Southern European"; and FTDNA also found Malta. FTDNA additionally gave me the highest -- and probably inflated -- amount of "Iberian" ancestry at 15%. AncestryDNA, on the other hand, could not "see" my Spanish ancestry in the slightest.

    Another complaint I have about AncestryDNA's estimate is how extremely low their calculation was for my German ancestry, and how excessive their England & Northwestern Europe was. Actually, if they were more forthright about this latter category -- openly admitting that it really may be mostly or even entirely a reflection of continental ancestry, and not "English" at all -- then I would have less of a problem with it.

    Finally, I should note that there really are considerations besides "ethnicity" calculations. In fact, I'm really more interested in matching, myself. For that, it's hard to beat 23andMe, though AncestryDNA has the largest database. What AncestryDNA does not have -- and it is a huge defect, in my opinion -- is any sort of chromosome browser.

    MyHeritage and FTDNA also have chromosome browsers, though I think it's unfortunate that MyHeritage chose to omit the X chromosome. There's a great deal the X chromosome can tell you, especially for males. For one thing, you immediately know if you match someone on the X chromosome that the match is on your mother's side. With a little additional information -- such as that the particular region of the X chromosome involved came from your mother's father, not her mother -- then you also can determine which great grandmother the match is through.

    For example, my eldest brother and sister have a half match across the entire X chromosome. By that I mean that my brother's only X chromosome is an exact match for my sister's maternal X chromosome. Typically, this indicates a X chromosome that essential avoided recombination, and is entirely from just one maternal grandparent. Based on my siblings' matches on this chromosome, that's the case here -- and this X is from our maternal grandfather, and therefore from his mother.

    AncestryDNA, as I noted, does have a huge database. But they only give information about the total amount of cM shared and the number of segments. This likely also excludes any matching on the X chromosome, and Ancestry makes "guesses" amount what it thinks the "true" amount of sharing should be. If the total amount is initially calculated as less than 90 cM, then Ancestry feels free to use an algorithm it calls "Timber" to "adjust" the reported amount. It does this based on hypothetical "excess sharing" -- which may be correct in some cases, but definitely incorrect in others.

    For example, I have a match at Ancestry with reported sharing of 78 cM in 6 segments. The unweighted sharing -- before Timber's tinkering -- is reported as 90 cM. But, wait. Didn't I say that Timber isn't applied when sharing is 90 cM or above? Yes, but the obvious answer here is that the sharing must only round to 90 cM. That tells us that Ancestry actually calculated it to be some number between 89.5 cM to 89.9 cM. So for lack of anywhere between 0.1 and 0.5 cM, Timber was free to drop nearly 12 cM from the reported total.

    Now, supposedly the purpose of Timber is so that customers aren't misled into thinking a match is closer than it actually is. In this case, based on its adjusted amount of 78 cM, Ancestry estimates a 39% chance that the relationship is 2nd cousin once removed, half second cousin, 1st cousin three times removed, or half 1st cousin twice removed; and a 34% chance that the relationship is 3rd cousin, 2nd cousin twice removed, half 2nd cousin once removed, or half 1st cousins three times removed. In other words, there's a 73% chance that a person sharing this much DNA is at least as close as a 3rd cousin.

    If they instead used the 90 cM figure, they'd have come up with about a 77% chance that this person is at least a 3rd cousin. Well, she actually is a 3rd cousin. So the only gain in dropping off 12 cM is to reduce the likelihood that the true relationship is what it in fact is, is to declare it 4% less likely to be the case. Huh? In other words, in this case dropping those 12 cM was absolutely meaningless.

    Unfortunately, in some cases it can make a real difference. For example, if Timber causes a match with unweighted sharing above 20 cM to have reported sharing below 20 cM, that match will not appear as a shared match with any other match. Or, if a match shows post-Timber sharing below 8.0 cM, you won't see it at all because Ancestry will delete it. This is true even if the unweighted amount might be 30 or 40 cM or more! (And, yes, I have seen this.)

    I personally think Ancestry should report matches the same way other companies do -- without use of a proprietary algorithm to "adjust" the reported sharing. (This is especially true in the absence of a chromosome browser.) At more, they ought to use Timber merely to flag any match that might have excess sharing. Then the customer can decide which ones are worth pursuing. Anything else is arrogant on Ancestry's part.

    I know I probably gave you more than you wanted or needed. I personally have used all five companies, and as I said my favorites are 23andMe and MyHeritage. But I have to admit that I like some of the tools at Ancestry, particularly ThruLines. If I could only pick one, though, I'd go with 23andMe. My next choice would be MyHeritage.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & another NA tribe, possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  6. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    I actually like MyHeritage, though I've seen others disparage it as "the worst". That certainly is not true for me. I would say the two companies closest to my paper trail are 23andMe and MyHeritage, followed by FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and LivingDNA. The last two are a toss up for me, since each completely misses one of my ancestries -- a different one for each company.

    My paper trail, as nearly as I can reckon it going back to 5th great grandparents, is: 39.8% British & Irish (combined); 35.2% Palatine German (may also include some Swiss); 6.2% Alsatian; 3.1% French; 1.2% Swiss (in addition to any Swiss counted as part of Palatine migration); 12.5% Menorcan Spanish; and 2.0% Indigenous American from North America.

    Here's how the companies figure it.

    23andMe
    36.3% British & Irish; 48.2% French & German; 0.6% Scandinavian; 0.4% Finnish; 6.2% Broadly Northwestern European; 2.3% Spanish & Portuguese; 1.2% Greek & Balkan; 1.1% Italian; 1.4% Broadly Southern European; 0.4% Broadly European; 1.9% Indigenous American

    MyHeritage
    51.6% Irish, Scottish, & Welsh; 36.6% North & West European; 6.5% Iberian; 1.9% Greek & South Italian; 1.1% Central Asian; 1.2% Mesoamerican & Andean; 1.1% Native American

    FTDNA
    4% England, Wales, & Scotland; 21% Ireland; 54% Central Europe; 15% Iberian Peninsula; 3% Malta; <2% Finland; <1% Anatolia, Armenia, & Mesopotamia; <1% Ashkenazi Jewish; <1% Amerindian - Central & South Mexico

    AncestryDNA
    58% England & Northwestern Europe; 25% Scotland; 6% Wales; 4% Ireland; 5% German; 1% Finland; 1.% Indigenous Americas - Mexico; <1% Indigenous Americas - North

    LivingDNA
    76.9% Great Britain & Ireland; 16.4% Northwest Germanic; 6.7% East Iberia

    As you can see, all of the companies but LivingDNA "saw" at least some portion of my small "Indigenous Americas" ancestry, although they differed as to exact amount and as to how to characterize that ancestry within the Americas. LivingDNA, of course, did not see this ancestry at all.

    All of the companies but AncestryDNA identified at least some portion of my much larger amount of Spanish ancestry, although three of them identified additional southern European ancestries as well. MyHeritage found Greek & South Italian; 23andMe found Greek & Balkan, as well as Italian and "Broadly Southern European"; and FTDNA also found Malta. FTDNA additionally gave me the highest -- and probably inflated -- amount of "Iberian" ancestry at 15%. AncestryDNA, on the other hand, could not "see" my Spanish ancestry in the slightest.

    Another complaint I have about AncestryDNA's estimate is how extremely low their calculation was for my German ancestry, and how excessive their England & Northwestern Europe was. Actually, if they were more forthright about this latter category -- openly admitting that it really may be mostly or even entirely a reflection of continental ancestry, and not "English" at all -- then I would have less of a problem with it.

    Finally, I should note that there really are considerations besides "ethnicity" calculations. In fact, I'm really more interested in matching, myself. For that, it's hard to beat 23andMe, though AncestryDNA has the largest database. What AncestryDNA does not have -- and it is a huge defect, in my opinion -- is any sort of chromosome browser.

    MyHeritage and FTDNA also have chromosome browsers, though I think it's unfortunate that MyHeritage chose to omit the X chromosome. There's a great deal the X chromosome can tell you, especially for males. For one thing, you immediately know if you match someone on the X chromosome that the match is on your mother's side. With a little additional information -- such as that the particular region of the X chromosome involved came from your mother's father, not her mother -- then you also can determine which great grandmother the match is through.

    For example, my eldest brother and sister have a half match across the entire X chromosome. By that I mean that my brother's only X chromosome is an exact match for my sister's maternal X chromosome. Typically, this indicates a X chromosome that essential avoided recombination, and is entirely from just one maternal grandparent. Based on my siblings' matches on this chromosome, that's the case here -- and this X is from our maternal grandfather, and therefore from his mother.

    AncestryDNA, as I noted, does have a huge database. But they only give information about the total amount of cM shared and the number of segments. This likely also excludes any matching on the X chromosome, and Ancestry makes "guesses" amount what it thinks the "true" amount of sharing should be. If the total amount is initially calculated as less than 90 cM, then Ancestry feels free to use an algorithm it calls "Timber" to "adjust" the reported amount. It does this based on hypothetical "excess sharing" -- which may be correct in some cases, but definitely incorrect in others.

    For example, I have a match at Ancestry with reported sharing of 78 cM in 6 segments. The unweighted sharing -- before Timber's tinkering -- is reported as 90 cM. But, wait. Didn't I say that Timber isn't applied when sharing is 90 cM or above? Yes, but the obvious answer here is that the sharing must only round to 90 cM. That tells us that Ancestry actually calculated it to be some number between 89.5 cM to 89.9 cM. So for lack of anywhere between 0.1 and 0.5 cM, Timber was free to drop nearly 12 cM from the reported total.

    Now, supposedly the purpose of Timber is so that customers aren't misled into thinking a match is closer than it actually is. In this case, based on its adjusted amount of 78 cM, Ancestry estimates a 39% chance that the relationship is 2nd cousin once removed, half second cousin, 1st cousin three times removed, or half 1st cousin twice removed; and a 34% chance that the relationship is 3rd cousin, 2nd cousin twice removed, half 2nd cousin once removed, or half 1st cousins three times removed. In other words, there's a 73% chance that a person sharing this much DNA is at least as close as a 3rd cousin.

    If they instead used the 90 cM figure, they'd have come up with about a 77% chance that this person is at least a 3rd cousin. Well, she actually is a 3rd cousin. So the only gain in dropping off 12 cM is to reduce the likelihood that the true relationship is what it in fact is, is to declare it 4% less likely to be the case. Huh? In other words, in this case dropping those 12 cM was absolutely meaningless.

    Unfortunately, in some cases it can make a real difference. For example, if Timber causes a match with unweighted sharing above 20 cM to have reported sharing below 20 cM, that match will not appear as a shared match with any other match. Or, if a match shows post-Timber sharing below 8.0 cM, you won't see it at all because Ancestry will delete it. This is true even if the unweighted amount might be 30 or 40 cM or more! (And, yes, I have seen this.)

    I personally think Ancestry should report matches the same way other companies do -- without use of a proprietary algorithm to "adjust" the reported sharing. (This is especially true in the absence of a chromosome browser.) At more, they ought to use Timber merely to flag any match that might have excess sharing. Then the customer can decide which ones are worth pursuing. Anything else is arrogant on Ancestry's part.

    I know I probably gave you more than you wanted or needed. I personally have used all five companies, and as I said my favorites are 23andMe and MyHeritage. But I have to admit that I like some of the tools at Ancestry, particularly ThruLines. If I could only pick one, though, I'd go with 23andMe. My next choice would be MyHeritage.

    Nah that was insightful really, thank you for explaining your situation with each dna testing company, it seems myheritage isn't that bad at all, and would i be able to tranfer my results if i wanted to?

  7. #55
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    Best:
    - Living DNA & 23 & Me

    OK:
    - FTDNA

    Bad:
    - Ancestry and My Heritage

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  9. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee View Post
    I actually like MyHeritage, though I've seen others disparage it as "the worst". That certainly is not true for me. I would say the two companies closest to my paper trail are 23andMe and MyHeritage, followed by FTDNA, AncestryDNA, and LivingDNA. The last two are a toss up for me, since each completely misses one of my ancestries -- a different one for each company.

    My paper trail, as nearly as I can reckon it going back to 5th great grandparents, is: 39.8% British & Irish (combined); 35.2% Palatine German (may also include some Swiss); 6.2% Alsatian; 3.1% French; 1.2% Swiss (in addition to any Swiss counted as part of Palatine migration); 12.5% Menorcan Spanish; and 2.0% Indigenous American from North America.

    Here's how the companies figure it.

    23andMe
    36.3% British & Irish; 48.2% French & German; 0.6% Scandinavian; 0.4% Finnish; 6.2% Broadly Northwestern European; 2.3% Spanish & Portuguese; 1.2% Greek & Balkan; 1.1% Italian; 1.4% Broadly Southern European; 0.4% Broadly European; 1.9% Indigenous American

    MyHeritage
    51.6% Irish, Scottish, & Welsh; 36.6% North & West European; 6.5% Iberian; 1.9% Greek & South Italian; 1.1% Central Asian; 1.2% Mesoamerican & Andean; 1.1% Native American

    FTDNA
    4% England, Wales, & Scotland; 21% Ireland; 54% Central Europe; 15% Iberian Peninsula; 3% Malta; <2% Finland; <1% Anatolia, Armenia, & Mesopotamia; <1% Ashkenazi Jewish; <1% Amerindian - Central & South Mexico

    AncestryDNA
    58% England & Northwestern Europe; 25% Scotland; 6% Wales; 4% Ireland; 5% German; 1% Finland; 1.% Indigenous Americas - Mexico; <1% Indigenous Americas - North

    LivingDNA
    76.9% Great Britain & Ireland; 16.4% Northwest Germanic; 6.7% East Iberia

    As you can see, all of the companies but LivingDNA "saw" at least some portion of my small "Indigenous Americas" ancestry, although they differed as to exact amount and as to how to characterize that ancestry within the Americas. LivingDNA, of course, did not see this ancestry at all.

    All of the companies but AncestryDNA identified at least some portion of my much larger amount of Spanish ancestry, although three of them identified additional southern European ancestries as well. MyHeritage found Greek & South Italian; 23andMe found Greek & Balkan, as well as Italian and "Broadly Southern European"; and FTDNA also found Malta. FTDNA additionally gave me the highest -- and probably inflated -- amount of "Iberian" ancestry at 15%. AncestryDNA, on the other hand, could not "see" my Spanish ancestry in the slightest.

    Another complaint I have about AncestryDNA's estimate is how extremely low their calculation was for my German ancestry, and how excessive their England & Northwestern Europe was. Actually, if they were more forthright about this latter category -- openly admitting that it really may be mostly or even entirely a reflection of continental ancestry, and not "English" at all -- then I would have less of a problem with it.

    Finally, I should note that there really are considerations besides "ethnicity" calculations. In fact, I'm really more interested in matching, myself. For that, it's hard to beat 23andMe, though AncestryDNA has the largest database. What AncestryDNA does not have -- and it is a huge defect, in my opinion -- is any sort of chromosome browser.

    MyHeritage and FTDNA also have chromosome browsers, though I think it's unfortunate that MyHeritage chose to omit the X chromosome. There's a great deal the X chromosome can tell you, especially for males. For one thing, you immediately know if you match someone on the X chromosome that the match is on your mother's side. With a little additional information -- such as that the particular region of the X chromosome involved came from your mother's father, not her mother -- then you also can determine which great grandmother the match is through.

    For example, my eldest brother and sister have a half match across the entire X chromosome. By that I mean that my brother's only X chromosome is an exact match for my sister's maternal X chromosome. Typically, this indicates a X chromosome that essential avoided recombination, and is entirely from just one maternal grandparent. Based on my siblings' matches on this chromosome, that's the case here -- and this X is from our maternal grandfather, and therefore from his mother.

    AncestryDNA, as I noted, does have a huge database. But they only give information about the total amount of cM shared and the number of segments. This likely also excludes any matching on the X chromosome, and Ancestry makes "guesses" amount what it thinks the "true" amount of sharing should be. If the total amount is initially calculated as less than 90 cM, then Ancestry feels free to use an algorithm it calls "Timber" to "adjust" the reported amount. It does this based on hypothetical "excess sharing" -- which may be correct in some cases, but definitely incorrect in others.

    For example, I have a match at Ancestry with reported sharing of 78 cM in 6 segments. The unweighted sharing -- before Timber's tinkering -- is reported as 90 cM. But, wait. Didn't I say that Timber isn't applied when sharing is 90 cM or above? Yes, but the obvious answer here is that the sharing must only round to 90 cM. That tells us that Ancestry actually calculated it to be some number between 89.5 cM to 89.9 cM. So for lack of anywhere between 0.1 and 0.5 cM, Timber was free to drop nearly 12 cM from the reported total.

    Now, supposedly the purpose of Timber is so that customers aren't misled into thinking a match is closer than it actually is. In this case, based on its adjusted amount of 78 cM, Ancestry estimates a 39% chance that the relationship is 2nd cousin once removed, half second cousin, 1st cousin three times removed, or half 1st cousin twice removed; and a 34% chance that the relationship is 3rd cousin, 2nd cousin twice removed, half 2nd cousin once removed, or half 1st cousins three times removed. In other words, there's a 73% chance that a person sharing this much DNA is at least as close as a 3rd cousin.

    If they instead used the 90 cM figure, they'd have come up with about a 77% chance that this person is at least a 3rd cousin. Well, she actually is a 3rd cousin. So the only gain in dropping off 12 cM is to reduce the likelihood that the true relationship is what it in fact is, is to declare it 4% less likely to be the case. Huh? In other words, in this case dropping those 12 cM was absolutely meaningless.

    Unfortunately, in some cases it can make a real difference. For example, if Timber causes a match with unweighted sharing above 20 cM to have reported sharing below 20 cM, that match will not appear as a shared match with any other match. Or, if a match shows post-Timber sharing below 8.0 cM, you won't see it at all because Ancestry will delete it. This is true even if the unweighted amount might be 30 or 40 cM or more! (And, yes, I have seen this.)

    I personally think Ancestry should report matches the same way other companies do -- without use of a proprietary algorithm to "adjust" the reported sharing. (This is especially true in the absence of a chromosome browser.) At more, they ought to use Timber merely to flag any match that might have excess sharing. Then the customer can decide which ones are worth pursuing. Anything else is arrogant on Ancestry's part.

    I know I probably gave you more than you wanted or needed. I personally have used all five companies, and as I said my favorites are 23andMe and MyHeritage. But I have to admit that I like some of the tools at Ancestry, particularly ThruLines. If I could only pick one, though, I'd go with 23andMe. My next choice would be MyHeritage.
    I agree .............their system of low confidence , medium confidence and "Blank" which is noted as 90% plus a match is the only site that I can trust to find matches

    BTW...I avoid all low confidence as I have never found a match with any of my 5 family samples I run


    My Path = ( K-M9+, LT-P326+, T-M184+, L490+, M70+, PF5664+, L131+, L446+, CTS933+, CTS3767+, CTS8862+, Z19945+, BY143483+ )


    Grandfather via paternal grandmother = I1-CTS6397 yDna
    Great grandmother paternal side = T1a1e mtDna
    Son's mtDna = K1a4p

  10. #57
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    As two new updates have recently come in, I’ve revised my previous list.

    (1) Living DNA
    (2) 23&me
    (3) Ethnogenes
    (4) Ancestry
    (5) Family Tree DNA
    (6) My Heritage



    Edit: The only major difference is the tanking of Ancestry. Who has spent the last four years in either 1st or 2nd place but has now fallen by the wayside.
    Last edited by JMcB; 09-20-2021 at 11:46 PM.
    Paper Trail: 42.25% English, 31.25% Scottish, 12.5% Irish, 6.25% German, 6.25% Sicilian & 1.5% French. Or: 86% British Isles, 6.25% German, 6.25% Sicilian & 1.5% French.
    LDNA(c): 86.3% British Isles (48.6% English, 37.7% Scottish & Irish), 7.8% NW Germanic, 5.9% Europe South (Aegean 3.4%, Tuscany 1.3%, Sardinia 1.1%)
    BigY 700: I1-Z140 >F2642 >Y1966 >Y3649 >A13241 >Y3647 >A13248 (circa 540 AD) >FT81015 (circa 1120 AD) >A13243 (circa 1620 AD) >FT80854 (circa 1700 AD).

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  12. #58
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    Difficult for me to compare, since the kits I manage aren't all from the same company, but here goes.

    I've tested with both MyHeritage and 23andme, and uploaded the MH data to FTDNA, as well as smaller companies. Of those big three, 23and me is of course much better in terms of being able to split my ancestry 50/50 between my paternal NW Euro ancestry and maternal Jewish ancestry. I question some of the finer details, though: not having a Sephardic category, they probably exaggerate my Ashkenazi a bit, and I wasn't too impressed with the regional breakdown for my NW Euro ancestry (roughly accurate, but I think they overestimated my "French and German" at the expense of British and Scandinavian). Between MH and FTDNA it's a tough call, but, despite the fact that they gave me 10% North African (not North African Sephardic, which would make sense, but general North African) I would give more points to MH because FTDNA made a mess of their last update for both sides of my heritage and they're farther off in terms of identifying my paternal/maternal split (assign too much to "in-between" regions in Italy and Central Europe).

    As for the smaller companies, Ethnogenes was pretty decent, though they did some weird stuff with my Jewish ancestry (low Ashkenazi percentage and the rest was more reflective of ancient, rather than modern ancestry, and not especially accurate at that). LivingDNA was pretty awful for me - they really can't do Jewish ancestry at all, and, like FTDNA they gave me overinflated Italian and Central Europe, but in an even worse way. DNA.land was a joke. I don't even remember some of the others.

    For my mom I only have MH and FTDNA results. I would say FTDNA is slightly better for her, but since something strange happened with their Sephardic category she now gets slightly inflated Ashkenazi and her Sephardic percentage (which used to be almost spot on) got broken up into components that are vaguely reflective of deeper rather than modern ancestry. MH is pretty reasonable for her, though, except it probably underestimates her Ashkenazi percentage.

    My dad has tested with Ancestry, with uploads to MH and FTDNA. Ancestry had been getting better for him with each successive update until the last two. Originally he had way too much "English" (over 80%) and way too little "Germanic". Now his breakdown seems roughly reasonable if I stretch my imagination a bit, though not ideal. MH isn't terrible for him in the sense that it evenly splits his ancestry between (continental) NW Europe and England, but there's not much nuance there, and they didn't give him any Scandinavian, which he should have (and which they gave me in a roughly accurate percentage). FTDNA is a mess for him. It's better than what it started out as (90% West and Central Europe and less than 1% British!) but now they randomly split his ancestry between different NW Euro regions and added an oddly high portion of Italian which he doesn't get anywhere else (except for in some oracles and G25 models).

    Overall, based on my own experiences and what I've seen of others, I'd rank the big companies:

    1) 23andme
    2) AncestryDNA
    3) MyHeritage
    4) FamilyTreeDNA

    Of course each has its pros and cons, and I think some are better than others for specific types of ethnicities. For me, the smaller companies don't really compare. I know some people like LivingDNA, but it's terrible for me and I don't think it's equipped to deal with certain ethnicities, and perhaps is particularly bad if you have a regionally mixed background.

    * I should specify that I'm only talking about my impressions of the ethnicity estimates - not of the other features that the companies offer.

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  14. #59
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    R-Y20359
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    H1c9a

    Ranking can depend upon which test gives you the best or most close matches or how accurate its ethnicity estimator is. I have tested with Ancestry, FTDNA and 23andMe. I have received the most and best quality matches, by far, from Ancestry. None of the ethnicity estimators are very accurate for a person like myself - with various European ancestries, but if I had to give it a ranking FTDNA's might be the best.

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  16. #60
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    Australia Greece Byzantine Empire
    My rating for me personally:

    AncestryDNA is now the best test for those with Greek ancestry with the addition of the Aegean Islands category and the separation of Balkans with Greek & Albanian. They have the most matches out of any site. Their only problem is no chromosome browser, which makes investigating matches impossible for those belonging to endogamous populations.

    23andMe is still useless for people with ancestry from the Aegean islands, many scoring more Italian than Greek & Balkan. Their only strong point is that the results are at least a bit consistent when comparing matches of similar origin (although not as consistent now in v5.9 as previously in v5.2). And unlike Ancestry, allows to investigate matches using the chromosome browser.

    FTDNA is not very accurate, scoring random categories and not even consistent patterns can be picked up between my matches with similar ancestry. I've seen people who are much more West Asian admixed than me score more Greek + Italian total, and people who are much less West Asian admixed than me score more West Asian % here. Their 'autosomal chromosome painting' is also terribly inaccurate, and doesn't match up with 23andMe who does a much better job with this feature.

    LivingDNA turned all of my European ancestry into 'Southern Italian' from where I have no ancestry from. None of the other percentages changed, even if they made no sense. I get no relative matches there. And their features are extremely limited.

    MyHeritage is similar to FTDNA but with a much larger degree of error and inconsistency between close relatives. On there, some of my close matches score above 20% Sardinian, some above 20% Sephardic (with no ancestry from either), random trace amounts that don't make sense (1-2% Nigerian in fully Irish people, I've seen seen before). I can't believe they still haven't updated their ethnicity predictions, because theirs are the worst by a long shot. Their genetic groups were a welcome feature, but that doesn't save them for being rated the worst. In addition, they also have issues with giving accurate DNA matches... a large degree of my matches there are completely false and I'm missing some very close matches (100cM+) between different kits, showing there is something even wrong with their DNA relative matching algorithm. They have a lot of useful tools for genealogy, but the quality of most of them is much lower than the existing counterparts on other websites.
    Code:
    23abc_AncestryDNA_scaled,0.110408,0.151314,-0.0290383,-0.0507112,0.0018465,-0.0156179,-0.00305514,-0.00138456,-0.00899905,0.00911181,0.00243583,-0.00149867,-0.00431116,0.00344057,-0.00773606,0.00106072,0.00195576,0.00152026,0.00251396,-0.00550264,-0.00786113,-0.00197844,0.0025882,0.00168699,0.000957998

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