New Update to Theory of Family Relativity™

New Update to Theory of Family Relativity™

Great news! We’ve just updated the data for Theory of Family Relativity™, adding millions of new theories to help you uncover how you’re related to your DNA Matches.

Theory of Family Relativity™ is a groundbreaking feature that can save you hours of work trying to understand your connection to your DNA Matches. It harnesses billions of data points across the 53 million family trees and 19.4 billion historical records on MyHeritage to provide you with plausible theories about how you and your DNA Matches are related.

Since the last update, our DNA database has grown, as have the number of family tree profiles and historical records on MyHeritage. As a result, the overall number of theories has grown significantly. 

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Theory of Family Relativity™ by the numbers

Thanks to this new update:

  • The total number of theories has grown to 136,713,021, representing a 61% increase.
  • The number of DNA Matches that include a theory has increased by 78%, to 95,691,486.
  • The total number of paths has grown by 51.2%, for a total of 998,325,515 paths.
  • The number of DNA kits with at least one theory has grown by 23.6%, to 2,353,769 kits.
  • An additional 402,255 users have one or more Theories of Family Relativity™.

Exploring Theories of Family Relativity™

Watch the video below to learn how to use Theory of Family Relativity™:

To access your Theories of Family Relativity™, visit the DNA Matches section of the website. If new theories were found, you’ll see a purple banner at the top of the page. Click “View theories” to view all matches that have a theory. 

You can also filter your DNA Matches to only show those with a Theory of Family Relativity™. Click the “Filters” button on the top right corner of the page. Then, click “All tree details” on the far left, and select “Has Theory of Family Relativity™.” This will display all DNA Matches that have a theory. A “NEW” badge will appear next to the theory on the DNA Match card for 30 days. 

Click “View theory” to see the detailed path showing how the algorithm arrived at the proposed relationship. In certain cases, multiple possible paths may exist for a given theory. If more than one path exists, you can toggle between them on the page. Having more than one path for a given theory strengthens its reliability.

It’s important to review the relationship path(s) for each theory, and decide for yourself if the theory is plausible. If the theory appears to be correct, you can confirm it using the button that appears directly above the chart with the relationship path. If the theory seems incorrect, you can reject it.

Confirming or rejecting a theory

Confirming or rejecting a theory (click to zoom)

Improved Relationship Terminology

In March 2023 we released cM Explainer™, which predicts relationships between DNA Matches with greater accuracy. In cM Explainer™, we stepped away from ambiguous relationship terms that are often found in the industry, such as “first cousin once removed,” and we replaced them with clear relationships such as “parent’s 1st cousin” or “1st cousin’s child.” We have now applied the same terminology to other DNA pages on the website, including on the DNA Match card and the Review DNA Match page. In addition, when viewing a Theory of Family Relativity™, this change enables you to see the exact relationship of the DNA Match to you, based on the theory.

Improved relationship terms for DNA Matches

Improved, unambiguous relationship terms for DNA Matches (click to zoom)

Improved relationship terms for a Theory of Family Relativity™

Improved, unambiguous relationship terms for Theory of Family Relativity™ (click to zoom)

Tips to Increase Your Chances of Receiving Theories

If you’ve taken a MyHeritage DNA test or uploaded your DNA data to MyHeritage from another service, when we refresh the data for Theory of Family Relativity™, we’ll automatically notify you if new theories are found. 

The more detailed your family tree, the more likely you are to receive a theory. To boost your chances of receiving a theory, continue growing your family tree. The more details you add, especially about your great-grandparents and other distant ancestors, the more discoveries you’ll receive. These could lead the algorithm to uncover new theories about your relationships to your DNA Matches. You can also encourage your relatives to grow their family trees and take a DNA test, to increase your chances of making new discoveries.

All users who have new theories will receive an email from MyHeritage letting them know there’s a new theory to review. Theory of Family Relativity™ is a premium feature on MyHeritage. To view a full theory, a site subscription (Premium, PremiumPlus, or Complete) is required. Users who upload their DNA data to MyHeritage can pay a one-time unlock fee to access advanced DNA features.

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