Genetic Groups — New User Interface Improvements

Genetic Groups — New User Interface Improvements

Last month, we announced the release of Genetic Groups: a long-awaited enhancement of MyHeritage DNA ethnicity results which accurately identifies ancestral origins with an incredibly high resolution of 2,114 geographic regions. This new feature gives users the chance to take a deep dive into their ancestral origins and discover the paths their ancestors traveled. Our users across the globe have been raving about Genetic Groups.

We promised further updates to this feature very soon, and we’re pleased to announce that the first set of updates has arrived. This update includes the addition of a Timeline Widget that allows you to follow the migration pattern of a Genetic Group over time — and a more detailed, better organized Top Places section, where you can see where members of a Genetic Group have lived during a given time period.

Timeline Widget

Since the launch, each Genetic Group has had a drill-down page with specific genealogical insights, including a description of the group, a heatmap showing the top places where the group’s members lived during different time periods, common ancestral surnames and given names in the group, the most prevalent ethnicities among the group’s members, and other Genetic Groups that have close affinity to the group.

Now, there is also a Timeline Widget (with a black background color) that allows you to switch easily between the different 50-year time periods when looking at migration patterns. This replaces a basic drop-down element that we had previously. The Timeline includes at its top right, the new option to play an animation that automatically cycles through all the periods and updates the heatmap automatically. In other words, the Timeline allows you to observe your Genetic Groups’ migration patterns more easily, either manually or with animation.

Timeline animation for the Genetic Group “Mormons in USA (Utah and Idaho) and in Canada”

Timeline animation for the Genetic Group “Mormons in USA (Utah and Idaho) and in Canada”

Top Places

Top Places are the cities and countries around the world where members of a Genetic Group lived during a given time period.

The Top places section, displayed in a panel on the left side of the Genetic Group page, now has a more organized hierarchy. Countries now receive more accurate “votes” from the cities beneath them, which helps organize them according to their prevalence in that group’s Top places. Additionally, cities are nested under the regions where they are located. This way, it is much easier to understand the distribution of the Top Places within a group at a glance.

In the example below, you can easily see at a glance that Genetic Group “German settlers in Missouri and in Illinois” had a strong presence in France, Germany, the U.S, England, and Scotland during the years 1600-1650.

New Top Places hierarchy

New Top Places hierarchy

You can click each country to explore the list further to see the regions or cities within the countries listed, down to a very fine-tuned resolution. You will probably find the birthplaces of some of your ancestors!

New Top Places hierarchy: expanding the full list

New Top Places hierarchy: expanding the full list

Before this update, “Top Places” was just a short list of places — countries, or cities — ranked according to the number of family trees in which they appeared, which were associated with the DNA kits that formed each Genetic Group, without a hierarchy and without the ability to drill down to see more places.

Accessing the new updates

These updates are available to any MyHeritage user who has access to their Genetic Groups, which are part of the DNA Ethnicity Estimate. This includes users who have purchased a MyHeritage DNA kit and those who have uploaded their DNA from another service and were grandfathered in, or paid the unlock fee to access MyHeritage’s advanced DNA features.

If you’re already a MyHeritage DNA customer, head on over to your Ethnicity Estimate page and click on your Genetic Groups to use the new Timeline Widget and enhanced Top places section.

Haven’t purchased a MyHeritage DNA kit yet? Order your kit today!

If you’ve already tested with another DNA service — simply upload your DNA data to the MyHeritage site. Uploading your DNA data and viewing your DNA Matches is free, but to access your Ethnicity Estimate and Genetic Groups, you’ll need to pay a one-time unlock fee of $29. Click here to upload your DNA data to MyHeritage.

Stay tuned

Genetic Groups is one of our most long-awaited and exciting new features, the result of three years of hard work by our team. We continue to work hard to bring you new insights about your ancestors and help you make the most of your DNA ethnicity results. Please stay tuned — there’s more great stuff coming soon!



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  • Len Worsfold

    February 8, 2021

    Len likes the idea. Thank you for doing it. Will try to get into my Association with George Stevenson’s family.

  • Shelcie Croley

    February 8, 2021

    Can I leave some names of my family and have it tracked marriages children where they lived and now if still living where etc Do you have a heritage program i can to learn the fistory of mymfamily as far back as can be found.

  • Bernice Cobb

    February 8, 2021

    My name is Bernice I am looking for Walter 1380-1448 & Isobel Sproul or Spreul 1385 in Scotland as far as I can figure out.
    George Thomas Wallace Gardner 1842 married to Emily Elizabeth Dunn 1851 died in Galt, waterloo , Ontario Canada