Update: Since the beginning of April 2018, MyHeritage has agreed to send DNA kits to France.

French genetic genealogists cannot transfer their genetic data to MyHeritage.com. At least they think so. I'll reveal a trick that allows you to transfer your data. Shhh, it's a secret.

Capture of Myheritage.com screen, purchase of DNA kit from France

Capture of Myheritage.com screen, purchase of DNA kit from Fra



Logo de MyHeritage

Logo de MyHerita


MyHeritage.com is one of the largest genealogical databases in the world. With 91 million users, 40 million family trees, 2 million new profiles created every day and 2 billion acts available online.

Its advanced features, the result of advanced technological development, allow you from your family tree to find the same ancestors in other online family trees, and connect to your genealogical cousins, as well as with online deeds. You can add a new branch to your family tree with a click. The automatic translation of surnames by country, also makes it easier to establish connections between family trees.

In 2016, MyHeritage launched the new feature from DNA analysis, either by purchasing a DNA kit (Autosomal Test) or by transferring its genetic data to access their database. If we do not have information on the number of people tested solely on the genetic aspect, their presence in 196 countries allows access to new genetic profiles.

Unfortunately, when we log on to this site, the server identifies our IP address as being located in France, and prohibits us from accessing genetic data, whether to buy a DNA kit or download our genetic data. You are automatically redirected to MyHeritage.fr

Why is this unfortunate for us francophones? Because MyHeritage.com has decided, like Ancestry.com, the largest American genetic database, not to give access to its genetic databases to the French. At issue is the lack of knowledge of French law, the fear of the CNIL, subjects widely mentioned in my book, DNA, a genealogical tool.

Even if we insist, and wish to continue on MyHeritage.com, we will not have access to the same features as other countries, including the ability to transfer our genetic data for free.

And yet, by being connected from France, I was able to create my account on MyHeritage.com, transfer my genetic data and access the famous database. Because I have a tip, which I will reveal below.

My ethnic results on MyHeritage.com

Before I could see how to download your genetic data, I made a small comparison with Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.

The first proposed report corresponds to ethnic data. MyHeritage.com proposes a segmentation of 42 regions of possible ethnic origin. One of the peculiarities of MyHeritage is to have created their representative panel of 5,000 family tree owners from their databases. Based on their data, they selected the most representative members according to their origins.

This approach is more relevant than other genetic databases. They use a small declarative questionnaire about the place of birth of parents and grandparents. However, ethnic origins can come from countries other than France from a more distant ancestor, from the great-grandparents. Although other panels are added, coming directly from populations still living on site.

At the same time, this estimate suffers from other flaws, and as all ethnic estimates is subject to caution and caution (see my book on the subject).

As far as my profile is concerned, the results on MyAncestry.com indicate an origin to more than 55% of the Balkans. Indeed, my father being Serbian, this turns out to be true, at least in part. The Balkans are vast, and many different populations live there, with many migrations as a result of conflicts and different national constructions over time. For my part I also have Macedonian origins, from Italy out this detail is not explained. The result is therefore lacking in finesse.

By clicking on the "Balkans" tab, you can quickly understand why this result is not very detailed. The MyHeritage.com panel consists mainly of Slovenians, Romanians, Croats, Bulgarians… but does not include Serbs, Macedonians, Bosnians, Hungarians, Kosovars…

According to my mother, Creole Reunion, my origins are as much European, as African and Indian.

If indeed we find this diversity of origin, again, for lack of a sufficient panel, a certain lack of finesse appears. My Malagasy origins, probably from South Africa, are not indicated at all. Similarly, no indication of my Indian origins, transferred to an Asian origin.

According to the databases of MyHeritage.com, the map of the percentages of foreign origins of the French

According to the databases of MyHeritage.com, the map of the percentages of foreign origins o

f the French

For European origins, French origins are included with Germany.

In general, their ethnic estimate therefore needs to be greatly improved. Let's not forget that their DNA service was only launched in 2016, and will only improve, like other genetic laboratories where the results can also be questionable.

My genetic cousins on MyHeritage.com

The number of genetic cousins is steadily increasing in each database of genetic laboratories. Depending on the country, their level of knowledge, some choose a specific genetic laboratory, or send a test to several laboratories or on a public data basis.

We should be present on the maximum of databases, because every contact is valuable, especially when we are in a search for a natural father, his biological family for adoptees or born under X.

Compared to other genetic labs, I have more than 130 contacts on Family Tree DNA, 1,350 on 23andMe and 3,850 on Gedcom. Warning: this is not a reflection of your results, each genetic identity is unique, and the number of potential contacts differs depending on your origins. Then it's about having ONE contact, but THE right contact, which makes all the difference in your search.

A genetic cousin card (the photo and its identity were hidden) on MyHeritage.com

A genetic cousin card (the photo and its identity were hidden) on MyHeritage.com


MyHeritage, in March 2018, I have 230 potential genetic cousins.

The Indicated Contact actually allows you to access an internal email specific to MyHeritage.com to send a message to him. We will not have, as on 23andMe, his direct email. Only Family Tree DNA allows you to have direct email.

The possible relationship level is then indicated, with the number of shared DNA segments and centimorgans. The "browser chromosome" is a beta version, which does not distinguish, like Family Tree DNA, pairs of chromosomes. The first pair of chromosome 1 will not distinguish the chromosome inherited from the chromosome inherited from the one inherited from the mother.

The undeniable power of MyHeritage.com lies in your cousin's online family tree, accessible on the right, on which you will eventually be able to spot the common ancestor.

Transfer data to MyHeritage.com from France

The screen to download your genetic data on MyHeritage.com, thanks to the Tor browser

The screen to download your genetic data on MyHeritage.com, thanks to the Tor browser

If Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and 23andMe send DNA collection kits to France, this is not the case with MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com. On the other hand, we can transfer our data from FTDNA and 23andMe, but also from Ancestry.com.

However, this option will not be available from your browser since the site will identify your IP as being located in France, and will prohibit access to this feature.

Specialized computer scientists, which I am not, will create a virtual space on their computer to override this prohibition.

For others, a much simpler alternative exists to anonymize your IP and be able to access this feature, and thus also indirectly access the results of those who have been tested on Ancestry.com (more than 8 million Americans).

A browser allows you to browse the web anonymously. Your IP transits through the IP of servers around the world, and does not appear with its exact origin. Known sulphurously as being used for the Darknet (market place of illicit products), it mostly allows not to be registered on the sites we visit. For me working in digital marketing, I know the analytical power of tracking tools analyzing your political opinions, your lifestyle and consumption habits, your topics of interest… from your internet browsing.

Using the Tor Browser browser saves you from being "tracked" and will allow you to access the much-desired features of MyHeritage.com from France. It can be used like any other browser. Privacy settings (especially for password backup) need to be set up.

And here's how I was able, from France, to download my data on MyHeritage.com and access their genetic database.

If you have taken the same step, share with other readers of the site your opinion and experience on MyHeritage.com in the comments or on our forums.