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MyHeritage / dna results

1 United States

I was excited to receive my DNA results! I received them today 12/6/2018, 2 months after I paid. What a waste of money! It shows I have 0% Italian ancestry! WHAT! My grandparents both were born and raised in Italy and still have family living there. They came to the USA from Italy in the early 1900's. What a waste of money! Sorry I can't leave 0 stars!

  • MyHeritage Customer Care's Response, Dec 07, 2018

    Dear Mr. Shaffer,

    I am sorry to read you are unhappy with your results.

    I can completely understand your surprise upon receiving them. I have no doubt that your grandparents are from Italy but I would like to offer an explanation regarding your results.

    In some regions of the world, there is a unique set of genetic characteristics that are shared between the offspring of native populations. While different populations migrated from one region to another, research has shown that these sets of characteristics make some regions distinct from others, allowing us to establish a genetic model for some regions of the world.

    The DNA may be very similar between people in neighboring countries. Where there isn't sufficient statistical difference, we keep the Ethnicity Estimate on a higher regional level. Even when there is a statistical difference between ethnicities, it is true for the population's average. Your DNA will always be slightly different from that of the average population, and may, therefore, show a small or a significant part of neighboring ethnicities.

    Each person receives approximately 50% of their DNA from their mother, and 50% from their father. The percentages of DNA a person receives from their ancestors at the level of grandparents and further back (great-grandparents, etc.) are not necessarily divided evenly in each generation. At seven generations back, probably less than 1% of the DNA comes from a direct ancestor. It is possible that one great-grandparent may have passed on 3% of their DNA to their great-grandchild, while another great-grandparent may have passed on 11%.

    Over the last thousand years, people in Europe moved around frequently and often mixed with people from neighboring regions. Over time, the official borders changed and so did the population. It is very difficult to find a reference population with statistical difference between ethnicities in this region and we keep the Ethnicity Estimate on a higher regional level.

    This might explain some surprising results in your MyHeritage Ethnicity Estimate. Please also note that bio-geographical estimates are complicated, especially for countries in Europe. Different researchers analyzing the same DNA of a person can come up with different estimates based on a number of different factors, including the reference populations used for comparison, the algorithm, and more.

    If you have any further questions regarding your results, I would be happy to assist you personally. Feel free to contact me at with your queries.

    Kind Regards,
    Shane, MyHeritage Team

Dec 6, 2018

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