Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Posts tagged ‘Myheritage’

2 New Tools at “My Heritage”

I have learned that genetic DNA is no magic tool to solving those Brick Walls in our family trees. It is tedious work.
I took my DNA test with 23andme.com 6 years ago. My sister tested with AncestryDNA.com and 23andme.com. We’ve had our brother, and a cousin tested at FamilyTreeDNA.com. Then I won a free kit from MyHeritage.com so we had another cousin tested. I really have been working to sort through the myriad of matches. At the same time learning the different tools to help in my quest.
This week I discovered two new tools on My Heritage DNA matches.


One is called “AutoClusters”. My Heritage is trying to make working with DNA matches easier. Each DNA “AutoCluster” is a grouping of your matches that also match to most or all others in that cluster and are all likely related on the same ancestral line. According to My Heritage

“This new tool was developed in collaboration with Evert-Jan Blom of GeneticAffairs.com, based on technology that he created, further enhanced by the MyHeritage team.”

My Heritage is a subscription based website. If you have tested with My Heritage and already subscribe, or did not test with My Heritage but want to upload your raw DNA Data and use their sources you may find this helpful.
To use this tool you must be a subscriber, then you can begin access at My Heritage.com website:

  • Start with the DNA drop down menu near the top of the page, by clicking on “DNA Tools”.

  • A new tools page opens. In the middle of the page is the AutoClusters icon and the “Explore” button, click on the “Explore” button.

  • On the left side of AutoClusters page is a “Generate” button. Go ahead and click on it.

  • Once the clusters are generated you will receive an email.
    The email will include a zip file. Save the file. I went ahead and saved it under my genealogy, DNA file on my Personal Computer. This file I update periodically to my online storage file for backup.
    There are three files included in the zip file. One is a spreadsheet (CSV), another is a html file and the third is a Read Me .pdf. Start with the Read me file.

  • When you open the html file it will open in your browser. The top part of the page is a really cool graphic that each time you open it sorts through and assembles the matches into the colorful clusters.
  • Now scroll down to “AutoClusters Information”. From here you can click the name in a Cluster that will take you back to the Review DNA Match page for that individual or you can click on the tree data amount and it will take you directly to their tree.
  • Reviewing the clusters I found that most clusters were groups of immediate family members of one of your matches. and as a result if there was not a tree (1) for one there was also no tree for all of them.
  • Known Relative matches in a single cluster can help you identify the family line for that cluster.

The Theory of Relativity

This second tool is called the theory of relativity

This is a notation that may appear at the top of your DNA matches page.

The idea is that the more users connect data  through My Heritage to their family trees the search engines will use those connections in finding possible family connections to those DNA matches. My Heritage emphasizes these are only theories and therefore no connections can be assumed. Both parties will need extensive trees and sources connected to those trees and the connections can only be as accurate as the member trees.

At this time I do not have any sources connected to my tree on My Heritage therefore I was unable to access this new tool.

If you have any questions please comment below. Hope this was of interest.


DNA and Ethics

I had my DNA done early, March 2013 with 23andMe. It seams like it was a lot earlier than that. I really liked the information I received and found their website relatively easy to navigate. I made a few connections back then, but no block busting discoveries. One of our main brick walls was with my mothers surname line.  So my sister and I decided to ask our eldest cousin (we only have three and they are all on that line) to do a yDNA test on Family Tree DNA. Just to round things out we also asked our brother to have his yDNA tested. Since we bought and paid for them we were the administrators.
Since then I decided to upload my DNA results to gedmatch.com. Once uploaded I had an unknown cousin contact me that helped solve a brick wall that my sister had been working on for at least 20 years. But it was not the brick wall for my mothers surname.

Now my sister has tested with 23andMe. Recently I talked another cousin into testing after I won a Myheritage DNA kit.
With all these different testing companies I thought it would be a good idea to get all of the test results on gedmatch.com.
When I spoke to my cousin that most recently tested I did speak to him about gedmatch.com. I also sent emails out asking my cousin and my brother for permission to put their results on gedmatch.com. My brother did ask for further information on what this was, and I explained, after that No response.
So there’s a dilemma.
How do I handle this?
What are the ethics about managing others DNA?

 Getting permission is the correct thing to do before uploading someone else’s DNA to a third party site. The problem is not with them it was with how my sister and I approached the DNA Testing. We were so excited about using the DNA results to solve our brick walls and gain further knowledge about our genealogy we did not take the appropriate steps in obtaining a well thought out form of consent from the DNA contributors.  So now I have developed a DNA Consent Form to fill out and have signed by myself/or sister and our relative that we will be the administer for. Hoping this will ease the mind of those we administrate for and ourselves. I have included:

  • Who is paying for the testing. In the past we have paid for all the testing and updating.
  • What type of test they are agreeing to take.
  • That as administrators that we will make all contacts and handle all inquires.
  • That they can elect to have their DNA sample stored or not.
  • That they will have access to their results.
  • That their contact information may not be shared accept for surname.
  • That administrator(s) may upload the results to third party sites for  possible further matching.
  • That the test taker wants/or does not want to be informed about any unexpected results.

Did I miss anything? If presented with a form that includes these items would you sign?




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