Update to Theory of Family Relativity™: 19 Million New Theories Added

Update to Theory of Family Relativity™: 19 Million New Theories Added

Since MyHeritage first introduced Theory of Family Relativity™ in early 2019, this game-changing feature has helped countless users effortlessly understand how they are related to their DNA matches and make breakthroughs in their research. We’re excited to tell you that we’ve just run an additional update to the data that will lead many more users to important discoveries.

The Theory of Family Relativity™ feature is the ultimate genetic genealogy shortcut: it analyzes billions of data points from across all of MyHeritage’s family tree and historical record databases to calculate plausible theories about how you might be related to your DNA matches. These calculations are run on a periodical basis. Since the last update, many new DNA kits and family tree profiles have been added to MyHeritage — and that translates to a very significant increase in the number of theories, the number of DNA Matches that include a theory, the number of relationship paths calculated, and the number of MyHeritage users who have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for one or more DNA Matches.

The new update by the numbers

As a result of this new update:

  • The total number of theories has increased 47.7%, from 39,845,078 to 58,866,331
  • The number of DNA Matches that include a theory increased 48.7%, from 27,130,989 to 40,335,252
  • The number of relationship paths increased 46%, from 312,222,662 to 456,091,094 (sometimes theories are found through multiple paths, and these provide additional supporting evidence of a relationship)
  • The number of MyHeritage users who now have at least one Theory of Family Relativity™ for their DNA Matches has increased by 22.2%

What all this means is that if you haven’t benefited from a Theory of Family Relativity™ for your DNA Matches yet, that’s likely to change thanks to this new update. Head over to your DNA Matches now to find out!

Viewing and analyzing your Theories of Family Relativity™

To view your Theories of Family Relativity™, visit your DNA Match page. A summary of the theory will appear directly on the match card of a DNA Match that has a theory. New theories will be labeled with a “NEW” banner for 30 days after this update.

You can filter your DNA Match list to view only matches with Theories of Family Relativity™. To do so, go to your DNA Matches page and click the “Filters” button on the top right corner. Under “All tree details” on the far left, select “Has Theory of Family Relativity™.” You will now see a list of all your DNA Matches that have a theory.

To view the full theory, click “View theory.” This will take you to a page that shows in detail how the algorithm arrived at this theory.

Sometimes, MyHeritage will arrive at a theory in more than one way. In cases like these, you will be able to toggle between the multiple relationship paths. Having more than one path for a given theory strengthens its reliability.

Confirming or rejecting a theory

A few months ago, we added the option of confirming or rejecting Theories of Family Relativity™ on the “View full theory” page. This is because while the theories are often accurate, they rely upon Smart Matches™ and Record Matches, which may not always be correct. That’s why it’s important to review the relationship path for the theory and confirm its accuracy.

If the theory appears to be correct, click the purple “Confirm” button above the relationship path chart. If it appears to be incorrect, you can click “Reject.” Your confirmation or rejection of the theory will then appear in the DNA Match’s card in your list. (You can always undo this action if you make a mistake.)

What can I do to increase my chances of getting theories?

In order to receive Theories of Family Relativity™, you must:

  • Have taken a MyHeritage DNA test, OR uploaded your DNA data to MyHeritage from another testing service
  • Have a Premium, PremiumPlus, or Complete plan on MyHeritage, OR have paid the one-time unlock fee for advanced DNA features (for uploaded DNA data only)
  • Have a family tree on MyHeritage that includes at least the “magic 7” (you, your parents, and your grandparents)

The more detailed your family tree is, the more likely you are to receive theories. Specifically, it helps to have information on as many of your great- and great-great-grandparents as possible.

So if you didn’t get any theories this time around, prepare for the next update by working on your tree! It can also help to encourage distant family members you’re in touch with to expand their trees and take DNA tests, too.

If you’re excited about this update, why not thank the person responsible personally? Join our upcoming Facebook Live session with our superstar Director of Product Management Ran Snir on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 8 A.M. EST!


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  • MG

    Marti Grimes

    October 13, 2021

    Please consider providing a place to put reason(s) for rejecting the theory of family relativity.

  • JS

    Joyce Siegler Knoch

    October 27, 2021

    I definitely agree with Marti on having a place to say why a theory is rejected. recently was notified of a new theory only to note the main individual did not match even on paper, with mine however there is another match that is either not known or not picked up.

  • RM

    Roger MacPherson

    October 27, 2021

    I support the request by Marti Grimes. It would be a useful feature.