MyHeritage DNA: New feature added – Ancestral Surnames

MyHeritage DNA: New feature added – Ancestral Surnames

Today we released an important new feature in DNA Matches: the display of common ancestral surnames for every match. This was a frequent request among the many users who have uploaded DNA data to MyHeritage, and we are very happy to oblige. This feature makes DNA Matches even more useful also for the many new customers of MyHeritage DNA.

“Ancestral surnames” refers to the surnames of your ancestors such as grandparents, great grandparents, etc., and they play a vital role in family history research. On your DNA Matches page, we automatically identify which surnames you and your matches have in common to bring this to your attention. An ancestral surname that you and your match share could point to the identity of the shared ancestor from which both of you inherited the same DNA segments. Note that surnames are currently considered as matching if they are identical; we plan to support phonetic equivalence later on.

Here are some examples from DNA Matches:



Move the mouse over the common ancestral surnames to get a tooltip with additional details. You will see how many ancestors of the matching individual and tree owner’s share the common surname, and the shortest relationship path between each one of them and an ancestor with that surname.


One of the benefits of MyHeritage DNA, compared to other DNA services, is that most users on MyHeritage have elaborate family trees. That’s why for most of your DNA Matches on MyHeritage, you will be able to view a tree and try to figure out the exact relationship. This makes the Ancestral Surnames feature far more useful because it will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and highlight the matches that are more promising and easier to connect to your family.

The option to search matches by ancestral surnames will be added very soon.

Order a MyHeritage DNA kit today to get insights into your family history and ethnic origins, and with the help of ancestral surnames, connect with relatives with whom you share common ancestors. We will soon add more features to MyHeritage DNA, and implement many more of your suggestions.



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  • Jiri Kessler

    February 13, 2017

    I have already done the DNA tests. How should I include it to MyHeritage ?

    • E


      February 16, 2017

      Hi Jiri,

      You can see directions for uploading your DNA data from other services here:


  • Christine Standing

    March 7, 2019

    Hi !

    How do I add to my list of ancestral names?


    • E


      March 17, 2019

      Hi Christine,

      The ancestral surnames are taken directly from your family tree and from the trees of your DNA Matches. At this point there is no way to enter additional surnames manually.

      Best, Esther