Genealogical DNA testing has exploded in popularity and there are many choices when it comes to getting tested. MyHeritage DNA offers two ways to gain access to your DNA results, and how long it takes will depend on which one you choose. If you’ve never been tested before, the whole process is going to take about four weeks. But if you’re uploading your results from another company, it could be a lot shorter – as little as one to two days.
Let’s break down the two options so you can decide which one is right for you.
Starting from Scratch
If you haven’t already been tested by another company, then your only option is the longer one. After all, they can’t send you DNA results without having something to test.
Getting your DNA test done through MyHeritage DNA is easy and painless:
- Go online to MyHeritage DNA and select the testing option you want
- Order and pay for your kit – it will arrive in the mail usually within a week
- Be sure to set up a MyHeritage account if you don’t already have one!
- Once you receive your kit, activate it online by connecting your kit’s barcode number to your MyHeritage account
- Use the cheek swabs to collect a DNA sample
- Mail it to the testing lab using the postage-paid box in your kit
Real life isn’t like the cop shows, and DNA results take time. Once the lab receives your sample, it usually takes three to four weeks to finish processing it. That sounds long, but it is at least as fast if not faster than most companies. You’ll get an email as soon as your results are ready.
Using Results from Elsewhere
The good news is, if you’ve already had DNA testing done by another company, you might be able to skip the wait. The bad news is, it depends on who did the testing (and when).
MyHeritage DNA currently lets you upload autosomal DNA from:
- Living DNA (sometimes)
- Family Tree DNA
It’s important to note that this only applies to autosomal DNA tests – if you had an mtDNA or Y-DNA test done, those results can’t be transferred. But since autosomal DNA testing is the most common and popular test, chances are that won’t be a problem.
If you were tested by Living DNA before October 2018, you can upload your results. Unfortunately, they changed their testing process, and newer test results can’t be uploaded to MyHeritage DNA.
Once again, the steps are simple:
- Create or log in to your MyHeritage account
- Go to www.myheritage.com/dna/upload and click “Start”
- Select whether you’re uploading your own results or those of a relative
- Follow the directions to upload your raw DNA data file
Within one to two days, you will get an email to let you know your results have been posted. You’d think electronic results would be faster, but DNA data files are big and there are some complex calculations involved. Still, compared to four weeks, two days doesn’t sound bad at all.
It’s Not Just You
DNA can only help your genealogical research if there is something to compare it to. The more of your relatives who have been tested, the better chance you have of finding distant relations. Fortunately, you can upload as many test results as you want. As long as your relatives were tested by a company listed above, they just need to send you their raw DNA data file and you can add them to your MyHeritage account.
It’s Taking Too Long!
If you’ve been patient but still aren’t seeing your results, there may be an issue. Don’t panic – it’s probably something easily fixed.
- Check your spam folder – Sometimes your results will get flagged as spam and never make it to your inbox.
- Log in to your MyHeritage account – Even if you never got the email, your results may already be there.
- Make sure you activated your DNA kit – The lab only sees the kit’s barcode. They never have access to your personal information. Activating the kit connects the kit’s barcode with your MyHeritage account so you can receive email notifications.
If none of those work, there are phone and online contact options on MyHeritage’s Help page to get personal assistance.
What About Privacy?
MyHeritage DNA works hard to keep your information private. We’ve already talked about one of them: your kit’s barcode. Your personal information is never attached to the kit while it is in the mail or being processed in the lab. They only know the kit number, nothing else. MyHeritage uses the Gene by Gene testing lab in Houston, Texas, for all of their processing. Gene by Gene is the parent company of Family Tree DNA and has an outstanding record when it comes to privacy and security.
MyHeritage also incorporates the latest technologies to keep your data safe on their servers. Pick a strong, secure password for your MyHeritage account, and no one but you will see your data.
Looking at Your Results
MyHeritage DNA’s autosomal DNA testing is going to provide you with two main results: ethnicity estimates, and family DNA matches.
Autosomal DNA comes from all of our ancestors. By examining genetic markers that are more common in some regions than others, a DNA test can estimate where your ancestors lived in the past. Your ethnicity estimate from MyHeritage DNA can help you decide where to focus your research. You may discover you had ancestors in parts of the world you never even guessed.
DNA Matching helps you find relatives using shared genetic sequences. It compares data from autosomal DNA tests and online family trees to connect you with other users. These matches can be the perfect way to find distant relatives who are researching the same family tree as you.
While You Wait
Whether you are waiting a month, or just a couple of days, there are things you can do in the meantime:
- Set up your MyHeritage online account
- Create an online family tree (or upload one) and fill in as much detail as you can
- Use MyHeritage’s extensive online research materials to dig deeper into your family’s roots
If you don’t already have access to the historical record collection on MyHeritage, be sure to sign up today. You’ll have many millions of records at your fingertips, along with Smart Matches™ and Instant Discoveries™ that let you easily locate and apply detailed information and photos uploaded by other users.
Worth the Wait
Yes, there is a wait involved in getting your MyHeritage DNA results. It is going to take three to four weeks if you need to be tested from scratch, or as little as one to two days if you have already been tested by another company.
But either way, the wait is worth it. The ethnicity results and family matches will help you knock down brick walls, find new relatives, and learn more about your family history than you ever imagined.