Update to Theory of Family Relativity™

Comments21

We’re happy to share that as of this week, we have refreshed the data for the Theory of Family Relativity™ to provide you with new and updated theories that explain how you and your DNA Matches may be related. This much-anticipated update may provide you with answers about relationships that have baffled you, as well as offer new insights about your ancestors and family relationships.

The Theory of Family Relativity™ is a MyHeritage innovation that we released in February 2019, and that has proven to be a game-changer in the world of genetic genealogy. As one of the top features we’ve released in recent years, it immediately received praise from users around the world.

This feature scans billions of family tree profiles and historical records to craft detailed theories of how DNA Matches on MyHeritage may be related to each other. Since launching the feature in February, our DNA database has grown by leaps and bounds, our family trees have grown to number 45 million, existing trees have grown, and more historical records have been added to MyHeritage SuperSearch™.

Statistics

Here are some key facts and figures about the update:

  • The total number of theories has more than doubled (from 6,384,888 to 14,260,864)
  • The number of DNA Matches for which a theory was found has more than doubled (from 4,474,617 to 9,964,321)
  • Within each theory, there are often multiple paths that show different ways that we arrive at the same theory and provide supporting evidence to back up the theory. The number of paths found has more than doubled (from 51,887,021 to 115,106,944)
  • The number of MyHeritage users who have at least one theory has increased by 46.7%

Invigoration

All MyHeritage users who have taken a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded DNA results to MyHeritage may now receive new theories. This includes users who previously received theories, users for whom we didn’t find theories when the feature was first launched, and users who have taken a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded data from another testing company and received results since the release.

If we’ve found theories for you, you’ll see a banner about the Theory of Family Relativity™ at the top of your DNA Matches page. Click “View theories” to see all the theories we’ve found, old and new.

Theory of Family Relativity™ banner at the top of the DNA Matches page.

You will be able to easily distinguish between theories that were previously found and those that we’ve recently found thanks to the “NEW” badge that will appear next to the new theories just added.

“New” badge displayed in a DNA Match.

Theory of Family Relativity™ is a premium feature that requires a site subscription on MyHeritage (Premium, PremiumPlus, or Complete). Users who upload their raw DNA data from another testing service to MyHeritage and do not wish to purchase a subscription can pay a one-time fee of $29 per kit to unlock all advanced DNA features offered by MyHeritage, including Theory of Family Relativity™. Learn more about our subscription plans. Users without a subscription will still see all the theories that we found for them, but when they click on the theory to view the full details, some of the information will be hidden.

New notification system

A new notification system has been created to update MyHeritage users about new theories as they are discovered, one theory at a time. This email will be sent periodically, as of this week.

 Conclusion

The Theory of Family Relativity™ can break down brick walls for users who are challenged by their DNA Matches and are struggling to figure out their exact connection and solve the mystery of how a particular match fits in their family tree.

We hope you will enjoy the current update that more than doubled the number of theories available and the new notification system. We are getting closer to an automated system that will update theories periodically and we will announce once that is in place.

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  • Kuba Krchak


    July 19, 2019

    It would be great to provide some tips & tricks / education on how to maximize the number of your Theories.

    I understand some basics are:
    – bind your DNA to a tree
    – make your tree as big as possible
    – confirm smart matches

    Is there more?

  • Janice


    July 30, 2019

    I really like the concept of the theories. However, several of mine are incorrect. Is there a way that this can be fixed? For example, an ancestor in one theory, born in Scotland (with generations born there) is show to have ancestors in the U.S. I don’t know if that makes sense. But the theory of relativity for this person (and a few other theories) are way off.

  • peter hunter


    July 30, 2019

    as a premium member of six months with a family group dna comprising over 20,000 matches and a family tree with 1800+ names, I have yet to get one “Theory of Family Relativity” hint.

    • Esther


      July 31, 2019

      Hi Peter,

      We suggest adding more information (names, dates, information) to people in your family tree, as this should increase your chances of receiving theories.

      Best, Esther / MyHeritage Team

  • Howard L Garrett


    July 30, 2019

    It would be nice to be able to link or import your matches tree line that connects to a common ancestor with you, after you know that the connections are correct, and have a link in your tree to that match with the shared DNA info shown on their data in your tree.

    • Esther


      July 31, 2019

      Thanks for the suggestion! We will consider adding it in the future.

  • Karen Parker


    July 30, 2019

    I have one major problem with The Theory of Family Relativity™. My 2 ggrandmother’s father had several wives. Some one some where along the way attached her to the wrong wife. When I look at my matches in your ‘theory’ there are so many I know are wrong because of the incorrect mother, when I contact these matches to tell them they are wrong I get the answer “oh, that is not my tree, or that’s not my work”. I would like for some way to be able to remove the incorrect ‘theories’ so I don’t keep going back to them time after time.

    • Esther


      July 31, 2019

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for the feedback, the option to reject a theory may be added at a later date.

      Unfortunately, theories may contain mistakes that originate from errors in family trees. Remember that theories can be very helpful, but they are not always correct. Verifying everything is a best practice that every good genealogist should do regarding all clues and evidence.

      Best, Esther

  • Jocelyn Keene


    July 30, 2019

    There should be a facility to give negative feedback on the Theory of Relativity. There is a space to review the evidence and if the evidence does not show a connection then it should be possible to specify that. One of my two Theory of Relativity connections is incorrect and it is easy to see why. Welsh names tend to be very common and the theory used the 1871 census to draw a connection between my G-grandfather in my family tree and someone else family tree. Unfortunately, the link was fictitious. It gave the wrong surname for my GG-grandmother and also the town of my fictitious GG-grandparents was incorrect. The correct names and places are in my family tree so I’m not sure why it drew the wrong conclusion. I would like to be able to mark this link as incorrect so that other people don’t get led astray by it.

    • Esther


      July 31, 2019

      Hi Jocelyn,

      Thanks for the feedback. We may add the option to confirm or reject a theory in the future.

      Best, Esther / MyHeritage Team

  • Debra Etling


    July 30, 2019

    I love the new Theory pathways. I have suggestion. I have over 8,000 matches. It would be nice if you put all. Theories in one section so l do not have to search through 8,000 matches to find a path. And l have a 1st cousin once removed and he does not have a pathway : Colin Lasko. I don’t understand as we are so closely related. I still do not know how we connect. I cannot figure out the path. Is it possible to get a pathway for him?
    Thank you. Keep up the great new work. I love the theories..debra

    • Esther


      July 31, 2019

      Hi Debra,

      There’s a filter for your DNA Matches to show only the matches for which we found a theory, so you can filter through all your matches without having to manually search through them.

      Regarding the cousin, it’s likely that we couldn’t yet find a theory for the match. This might change in the future if the other side adds to their trees, or more historical records are added, etc.

      Best,
      Esther

  • Jerry Lane


    July 30, 2019

    “Appears in a family tree with 44 people that he manages” What does this mean?

    • Esther


      July 31, 2019

      Hi Jerry,

      This means that the person you are matched with has a tree on MyHeritage that they are managing and currently there are 44 individuals in the tree.

      Best, Esther / MyHeritage Team

  • Hank


    July 31, 2019

    I would like some way to “accept” a theory and add a marker to the common ancestors in my tree, showing the pathways identified by the theory. Also there needs to be a way of exporting the theory to some kind of text format making it easy to record the information offline. I have found it a great tool though, as I tend to have few close DNA matches and trying to find common ancestors by hand was near impossible. With the help of this tool though, and triangulation, I’m now making better progress in solving other DNA matches manually.

    • Esther


      August 8, 2019

      Hi Hank,

      Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the feature. We’ll consider adding that in the future.

      Best, Esther / MyHeritage Team

  • Tammy


    August 1, 2019

    Most of my theories are WAY off. It would be great if there was a ‘wrong

    • Esther


      August 18, 2019

      Thanks for the suggestion Tammy! We may implement that in the future.

  • Debra Cohen Kalodner


    August 4, 2019

    I’d be happy to update my family history for you.
    My brother’s name, his children and grandchildren, etc.
    Our mother’s sisters and brothers.
    Another generation of descendants if you want them.

  • michael


    August 11, 2019

    A local store has opened. A Mediterranean bakery with tasty treats. Savoury and sweet. The baker is born from italian and greek parents. The treats are lovely and born from Love. Typically Greeks and Italians are divided by a historical political&cultural&religious wall. (at least in the time warp microcosm of Melbourne, Australia). Sort of unique, as a love story. Sort of emblematic if you ask me. As to the power of art to build universal bridges. Culinary art in this case.