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November 15, 2019
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AncestryDNA vs. MyHeritage: A simple comparison for the DNA newbie

AncestryDNA and MyHeritage both have advantages. This article gives a full comparison of the two companies to help you make a decision!
Tomohiro Takano

If you are thinking about getting your DNA tested to learn more about your ancestry, you have likely come across the two companies Ancestry and MyHeritage. Here at Genomelink, we think everyone should be able to find the ancestry testing company that perfectly fits their needs. The differences between these two companies are subtle. 

Check out our comparison of Ancestry and MyHeritage below to find the right DNA kit for your needs!

Similarities between Ancestry and MyHeritage

Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com both started in the family tree business long before the dawn of direct-to-consumer DNA test kits. Ancestry started as a North American company focused on connecting people to their genealogy. Ancestry previously published a magazine on ancestry and genealogy and helped customers build family trees with their online software. MyHeritage ran an almost identical business, though their records and databases mainly served European countries. 

Today, both companies have leveraged the power of DNA testing to provide their customers with a whole new way to discover their family history. Order a genetic testing kit through either of these testing companies and you can find out which geographic regions your ancestors likely came from. Both companies will give you an ethnicity estimate, and both will allow you to find DNA matches with family members on the same platform. Both companies test a similar number of SNPs and have roughly the same size reference populations. Further, both companies offer only autosomal DNA testing. Neither company offers health reports, mtDNA testing, Y chromosome testing, or access to a genealogist. 

More than just an ancestry DNA test, both of these offer additional subscription packages which allow you to research historical records pertaining to your DNA data. Both companies boast a historical record database size that is not matched by any other companies. While it seems that both of them could not have the largest database, they both have the largest database in the regions that they operate.  

Differences between Ancestry and MyHeritage

The largest differences between Ancestry and MyHeritage come from their origins. Ancestry was largely established in North America, whereas MyHeritage became big in Europe. While their databases are both large, Ancestry’s database is focused more on North American records, while MyHeritage has more records from European countries. 

So, if your ancestors immigrated to the United States a long time ago, you may want to use Ancestry. They will have more information on records pertaining to American populations, but not necessarily Native American populations. However, if your ancestors recently immigrated to the U.S., you may want to use MyHeritage. Their database covers African records, British records, Irish records, Scottish records, Scandinavian records, and many other European genealogical records. 

Besides their databases, the test results you will receive from each country will be very similar. AncestryDNA requires a saliva sample, whereas a MyHeritage DNA test goes with the cheek swab option to collect DNA samples. However, Ancestry has a slightly more interactive results platform and gives you historical information such as possible migration routes your family may have taken. However, MyHeritage has leveraged its DNA results to produce the world’s largest family tree. This may be extremely useful in finding European relatives, especially within England, the British Isles, Germany, France,  or other European countries.

Raw DNA Data

Fortunately, both of these companies allow you to download your raw DNA data! That means that regardless of which company you select, you will still have options. Below are several DNA testing companies which allow you to upload your raw data. These companies offer a variety of reports not available from 23andMe or AncestryDNA. Plus, many of these companies offer their services for free! Check it out!

Know "More" About Your DNA Data

1. Genomelink — FREE
2. Promethease (genetic health risk)

Ancestry Tests

3. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) — FREE
4. MyHeritage DNA — FREE
5. LivingDNA — FREE
6. GEDmatch — FREE

Nutrition and Fitness

7. Genopalate
8. Athletigen
9. Vintage
10. DNA Fit

To find out more, go to the updated list of uploading websites here!

Did you get 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or MyHeritage results back?
Upload your raw DNA data to access 25+ traits for FREE at Genomelink!
Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO
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