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Which DNA Testing Company will give you the most matches?

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by IanL, Mar 18, 2024.

  1. IanL

    IanL LostCousins Superstar

    Peter's DNA Masterclass recommends testing with Ancestry because it has the best tools (I agree with that) and because it has tested more people than the other companies, which should lead you to more matches.

    However, that is not my experience. I currently have 20,844 matches on Ancestry and 22,114 with MyHeritage.
    MyHeritage adverts say that they have tested about 8 million people, considerably fewer than Ancestry. I'm not sure how to explain these results. I didn't test with MyHeritage but uploaded my raw data from Ancestry. I don't know whether MyHeritage includes people like me in their total number of tests. I'm aware that Ancestry has tried to exclude non-familial matches with the timber algorithm and by excluding matches below 8Cm. I'm not sure whether those actions alone would explain the lower number of matches on Ancestry. I'm not sure whether I'm an outlier here. How do others compare with my figures?
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I transferred my Ancestry results, but also tested with MyHeritage - the number of matches is 8088 and 8091 respectively, whereas I have 12,143 matches at Ancestry.
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    See the Autosomal DNA test comparison chart at the ISOGG site. My reading of the 8 million figure is that it includes transfers.

    Perhaps the reason IanL has more matches overall, and especially at MyHeritage, is because he has more ancestors from endogamous populations? The TIMBER algorithm downgrades segments in pile-up areas quite drastically - by as much as two-thirds in my experience.
  4. IanL

    IanL LostCousins Superstar

    Looking at ISOGG's definition of endogamy, I don't think that's the explanation as none of the groups mentioned by ISOGG appear in my tree.
    • Out of date Out of date x 1
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Those are just examples - it's not intended to be a complete list (nor could it ever be). Geographical isolation doesn't only mean islands - many rural communities were quite insular. One LostCousins member with ancestors from Yorkshire has found many hundreds of cousin marriages in his tree - I think it was about 700 at the last count! The number of cousin marriages I've found is probably still in single figures.
  6. IanL

    IanL LostCousins Superstar

    On my direct lines I can only find 1 cousin marriage. On the collateral lines the number is higher than yours but probably in the low 10s rather than hundreds.
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There has to be some reason why you have more matches than average. Perhaps a lot of your ancestors lived in the same area, leading to a restricted gene pool, or perhaps you have more living cousins than average because you are younger than most of us?
  8. cfbandit

    cfbandit LostCousins Member

    MyHeritage has a much larger international pool than Ancestry does, so if you have folks in your tree from mainland Europe, you'll see additional matches there. Ancestry has better coverage in the US, Canada, and the UK, so it just depends on where you happen to luck out.

    I've got 20K at Ancestry and 10K at MyHeritage and curiously very little overlap - most people haven't transferred their test results there even though they run specials when its free!
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Although Ancestry don't sell their test in every European country - for example, DNA tests are illegal in France - you're not necessarily going to get more matches with people who share your continental European ancestry by testing with MyHeritage because so many people migrated to the US during the 19th and 20th centuries. Around 6% of my ancestors came from Germany, but only 123 of my matches at MyHeritage live in Germany. My mother-in-law, who doesn't have any German ancestry that we know of, has nearly as many German matches as I do.
    I've spotted quite a few of my Ancestry DNA cousins at MyHeritage, but given that MyHeritage only have 8 million DNA results in their database there can't be more than a small fraction of Ancestry users who have transferred their results. FTDNA and GEDmatch have been offering free transfers far longer than MyHeritage has been doing DNA, but they both have fewer than 2 million users.
  10. IanL

    IanL LostCousins Superstar

    I'm in my late 60s so it's unlikely to be the latter. But I do have a lot of ancestors from the villages on the Dorset/Somerset/Wiltshire border.
  11. Tim

    Tim Megastar and Moderator Staff Member

    I have 26,913 at Ancestry and 20,640 at MyHeritage.
  12. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Star

    Where do you see how many you have? I have 529 shared 4th or over. I have 9,660 at MH.
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If you go to the DNA Search one of the options is to search by the amount of shared DNA - it shows the total number of matches in the dropdown menu.

    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  14. IanL

    IanL LostCousins Superstar

    On Ancestry it's under the Shared DNA drop down menu.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  15. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Star

    Thank you, found it. 18,378. Almost twice MH.
  16. Sue700

    Sue700 LostCousins Star

    Close matches 346
    Distant Matches 17,017
    All matches 17,363

    MyHeritage 22,190

    Why so many more on MyHeritage? Probably because of endogamy. The majority of my ancestors on both sides are from restricted areas of South Wales. My closest match is on MyHeritage - a known second cousin. Unfortunately she tested on MyHeritage whereas I tested with Ancestry and uploaded to MyHeritage.
  17. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    My grandmother's results (with a European Jewish connection) is coming in at 54,080 at Ancestry; my mother's results (all England/Wales) is 25,535.

    I would check on MyHeritage for my own results, which are the only ones uploaded, but it's not letting me sign in. *My ancestry results (with that Jewish connection) are 21,447.

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