Finding Family with 

DNA at  MyHeritage  

By Kitty Munson Cooper
Blogging at


slides at

Newly found "DNA" cousins can help you with your genealogy

They may have family stories and photos you do not have

My 3rd 1R sent me photos of my gg-grandparents


Through DNA I have connected with many 3rd and 4th cousins who share this interest

I even traveled to Norway with one 4th cousin and we stayed in the guest apartment of another 4th cousin near Drammen

Best to have a tree back to your g-g-grandparents (all 16) or your 3rd greats,

warning sharing DNA is less likely beyond 3rd cousins

When you have a good tree then the Theory of Family Relativity can often figure out your relationships

Do I really have to look through thousands of cousins?


Start with the low hanging fruit, "extended family" about 3rd cousins or closer

(75cM and larger)

Cousin Matches

  1. How much shared DNA in centimorgans (cMs)?
  2. Who else do they match?
  3. How many segments? (More than 2 is best)

Getting New Cousins to Respond to You

  • Have a family tree online
  • Upload friendly picture of yourself
  • Include details of who matches whom (they may have multiple kits)
  • Offer them information when you write to them

Do not be disheartened by lack of responses, some rarely log in or read emails about genealogy

On the DNA menu click overview to get this summary 

My Heritage DNA

My extended family DNA cousin matches

Working with a match I like to leave myself a note

Now whenever I look at the match with John or see John in my match list the little comment icon is purple

This is a good way to keep track of the matches I have looked at and figured out

Review DNA match takes you to a page with an amazing amount of information about your match


including a Theory of Family Relativity if there is one

Next, provided your match has a tree, it shows you Smart Matches, common surnames, and common localities

This page includes a lovely compact pedigree too

and finally a chromosome view of the matching segments

The shared matches section of the match page shows the matches in common with each relationship to you and the other cousin, this is extremely useful for matches with no trees

But best of all, it indicates matches you triangulate with and if you click the litte icon, it takes you to a chromosome picture that includes those overlaps

Triangulating segments display in the chromosome browser

read more about it at

This looked like a reasonable match to research with no tree until I saw NO MATCHES to any other family members!


My maternal grandfather was German Jewish. Due to much intermarriage way back I have many Ashkenazi DNA matches that are not valid. My guideline is one segment >20 cM and another > 10cM plus matching other relatives



The filters on your DNA matches page can be invaluable 

Clicking on Tools brings up these options

Clicking on Chromosome Browser lets you pick up to 7 matches to compare to your DNA

Another great tool for figuring out where someone fits in is automated clustering

MyHeritage has a clever feature which shows the ethnic make up of modern day countries

Click on Ethnicities Map on the tools page then select a continent and a country

Finding family with DNA at MyHeritage

By Kitty Cooper

Finding family with DNA at MyHeritage

How to use your DNA test results for your genealogy research: ethnic ancestry, finding cousins, and more

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