Category Archives: MyHeritage

MyHeritage is in the news again!


Oh my gosh, you gotta see this to believe it. MyHeritage has figured out how to animate still photos. Seriously, this is spooky. Called Deep Nostalgia™, this is another free photo option. I tested this new “AI” function on a picture of myself, and it was really weird. One hint — full face pictures work best. The following quote is from the MyHeritage website.

The remarkable technology for animating photos was licensed by MyHeritage from D-ID, a company specializing in video reenactment using deep learning. MyHeritage integrated this technology to animate the faces in historical photos and create high-quality, realistic video footage. The Deep Nostalgia™ feature uses several drivers prepared by MyHeritage. Each driver is a video consisting of a fixed sequence of movements and gestures. Deep Nostalgia™ can very accurately apply the drivers to a face in your still photo, creating a short video that you can share with your friends and family. The driver guides the movements in the animation so you can see your ancestors smile, blink, and turn their heads. This really brings your photos to life!

Go here to see an example: https://www.myheritage.com/deep-nostalgia


Meanwhile, MyHeritage has just been sold! A company called Francisco Partners has acquired MyHeritage for only $600M. Francisco Partners is an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. Founded in August 1999, it is based in San Francisco and London, while MyHeritage is an Israeli company.

I really hope this is good for MyHeritage. They are really a creative bunch!

Read more here: https://www.franciscopartners.com/news/myheritage-to-be-acquired-by-leading-private-equity-firm-francisco-partners


” People will sit up and take notice of you if you will sit up and take notice of what makes them sit up and take notice.” – Frank Romer


Proving family tree with DNA

Recently I decided to try and see if I could “prove” parts of my family tree by finding DNA cousins who linked to my paternal line via Y-DNA and my maternal line via Mitochondrial DNA. I figured it would be easy.

My AncestryDNA account has the most matches, so I decided to start there. I was in for a surprise! It isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Y-DNA is passed only from father to son. Using Thrulines in Ancestry, I went back to my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Robeson and began to look for matches that were male to male all the way to now. I found only one line out of 12 that was fully male from Andrew, but even it ended in a female 3C1R cousin. So I sent her an email asking if she had brothers who had done DNA test who knew their Y haplogroup. Well, she did have a brother who even had a son, but she didn’t know if he had done DNA. She would ask… arghh

The Mitochondrial side was even more frustrating. I did find a 2C2R cousin who is female and descended female to female from my great grandmother. Hooray, I thought, she is a true Irish Mito person! I sent her an email, but she is one of these non-responders. Patience is required. Yes, she is the only one out of 25.

I turned to MyHeritage. The Theory of Family Relativity is useful when checking individuals, but I don’t see a way to selectively pick those who stem from a specific ancestor.

Some people talk about offering to buy a test for individuals in my tree who fit the requirements. Not me… I figure “crowd sourcing” (lots of autosomal matches) is good enough proof that I descended from Andrew Robeson and/or his wife!  My 2 Big-Y test cousins and I come from Scotland in the 1600s.  Of course, 3 different surnames are involved!  So who knows who came first: Robeson, Grierson or Marshall. 🙂

If you have success stories along these lines, come tell us at the DNA Discussion group on first-Wednesdays at noon. Look for Zoom details soon.


” Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison


Regarding These Sales

Personal views follow…

We advocate doing DNA tests for genealogical purposes.  DNA testing is not required to do excellent genealogical work, but it can help break some roadblocks or just help discover new cousins that have those long lost pictures!

But testing at just one company is like only fishing in just one pond.  Some of your relatives might pick a different sale this month, for example.  So I always recommend that you test at each of the “big 4”:  AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA.

That can get expensive!  That is why we always mention sales around here.

Picking which place to test is a subject best suited for our DNA Discussion Group.  But it is important that you remember that AncestryDNA and 23andMe do NOT accept data file uploads while MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA DO accept DNA data uploads at a considerable discount in price.  Perhaps testing at AncestryDNA or 23andMe first might be a good idea for some.


” L.O.C.K.S.S. ===> Lots of copies keep stuff safe.


July was a busy month for some

Lots of things made the news in July 2020.

<:> Jeff Bezos said he would double any Bitcoin sent to him! So did Warren Buffet, Barack Obama and Bill Gates. A 17 year old kid will probably be found guilty, and then hired since he is obviously well skilled in Twitter tricks!

<:> Gedmatch was hacked so that, temporarily, all kits were eligible for search by police! And unreal kits appeared. Who was hurt? The owners of Gedmatch, Verogen, Inc., were a bit embarrassed. But it doesn’t seem that any real people were hurt. (I doubt we ever figure who was responsible. Hopefully lots of unsolved cases get solved this year!)

<:> MyHeritage users are possibly being targeted by phishing emails. If you get an email from ‘info@myheritaqe . com” instead of “info@myheritage . com” (note the “q” instead of “g”), hit delete quick! This actually could be quite dangerous, do watch out for MyHeritage emails that want you to click on something.

<:> And big noisy news came from AncestryDNA. They are making changes again, some of which lots of people do not like! More on that later.

<:> July was so exciting that the Daughters of the American Revolution decided to wait until August 1st to quietly announce that they are beginning to accept autosomal DNA as evidence of lineage submitted with DAR membership!

CLICK HERE to see the announcement on their Blog. What a deal. Of course, there are gotcha stuff in the details. It only works for the first 3 generations, and only when traditional documentation does not exist or cannot be obtained due to sealed records. I need to be honest, I haven’t read the fine print, but this could be quite exciting news for adoptees and children of adoptees. If you are considering joining the DAR, be sure to read more about this on your own.

SAR has accepted autosomal DNA for a while. When I Googled SAR DNA, I discovered that they require the cM segment size to be 7 cM or more! And you have to have 30 cM or more composed of 7 cM segments! Leave to the SAR to complicate things. Hopefully we will get details from a Daughter or Son on this “quiet” news.

AncestryDNA

First off, if you use Chrome with the extension MedBetter, please uninstall MedBetter. Then Google it to find out why.

The changes:
1) More accurate number of shared segments (goes live in early August)
2) Ability to see the length of the longest shared segment (goes live in mid August)
3) Distant DNA matches must share 8 cM or higher (goes live in late August)

Please note the difference between the SAR and AncestryDNA. They should have discussed their differences first! Not very empathetic of AncestryDNA!


Hopefully some of you will join us at the next DNA Discussion Group and explain these Newsy items more clearly!


” If you place a humidifier and dehumidifier in the same room, you can wirelessly transmit water!” – Reddit


Downloading a GEDCOM from Ancestry and using it elsewhere

Roberta Estes has written a useful post on her blog DNAeXplained about how to download a GEDCOM from your Ancestry.com tree and then uploading it to other sites; includes uploading to FTDNA, MyHeritage and GedMatch.

This is a very good how-to if you have never done this. See the post here:

Download Your Ancestry Tree and Upload It Elsewhere for Added Benefit


Genetic Affairs has AutoPedigree

Why is it that the virus makes it harder to get things done? Again, I find myself just sitting around, trying to catch up with the next Netflix series….

MyHeritage gave me another suggestion to fix my issues with Theory of Relativity after uploading a new gedcom tree that did not work. Arghh, I get tired telling them that didn’t work either. It is too bad they are so shorthanded that they can’t actually test a suggestion before they feed it to customers. I’m reaching the point that I will stop recommending MyHeritage to newbies.

Roberta Estes wrote a post last week about a new Genetic Affairs product called AutoPedigree that sounded so interesting that I finally tried it.

I’ve always been nervous about the way Genetic Affairs saves your Ancestry or FTDNA account log-on passwords. And there is a fee that requires a credit card. Barbara Ray-Venter recommended it two years ago, but I was just squeamish about it. It took Roberta to push me over the edge (and the fact that I finally had a real unknown in my family). If you have unknown parentage issues in your family, this could be a great tool for you. Be sure to read the post. I will talk a little about it during the next DNA Discussions group. It is really quite slick!

Roberta’s post on the blog DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy can be found here:
CLICK for DNAeXplained


“God forbid we should be 20 years without a rebellion … What country can preserve its liberties if the rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?.” – Thomas Jefferson


MyHeritage is having a sale!

Sometimes we are asked “What DNA test is the best?”  Humm, that is dependent on you purpose for doing the test in the first place.  We can talk about that in a future version of the DNA Discussions Sig.  

Meanwhile, I generally say that the top companies are AncestryDNA, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and MyHeritage.  I go on to suggest that the questioner wait for a sale — and then buy.  Well, MyHeritage has a sale going on now, during April, that is the lowest I have ever seen, $39 !  If you are really serious about taking an autosomal DNA test, go for this now.  MyHeritage is a good company, has great reporting systems, and your data can be downloaded for future use. And it has a big enough pool of testers that you are bound to find matches!  

You need to know that MyHeritage has an annual fee too, for building a tree, etc. But for the DNA, the $39 can’t be beat.

others currently 4/3/2020
FTDNA – $79 , no annual
AncestryDNA – $99 , annual
23andMe (ancestry only) – $99 , no annual