Re: My Heritage - Theory of Family Relativity #general

Jeffrey Cohen

In my experience My Heritage’s  “Theory of Relativity” is weak and of not much use. 23 and Me’s “Predicted Family Tree” is deeply flawed and dangerously misleading, whilst Ancestry’s “Thrulines” produces incredible results and has led me to make important discoveries. All depend on the size and quality of the your family tree but I have used the same tree for all three firms.


“Theory of Relativity” only produced a couple of results for me and they were ones where the family connection is very strong and very obvious. “Predicted Family Tree” is limited by the fact that 23 and Me is not primarily a genealogy product. But it seems incapable of distinguishing paternal from maternal predicted connections yet it presents its predictions as very definite discoveries. Then if the user does not remove their “predictions” they are, after a while, taken and set in stone in the list of user matches. I was initially reluctant to delete their predictions that didn’t show people I could identify in case I later discover who they are but then it makes it look as if I have accepted their predictions as true. Some degree of manipulation of their prediction can be done by the user but it cannot, for example, accept marriages of cousins which further limits is accuracy.  I have discussed these issues with 23 and Me and they have not disagreed with my observations and promised improvements.


I have had amazing and significant results with Thrulines with near perfect accuracy in it producing a chart showing how I am connected to a DNA match. It has produced results from matches where the amount of common DNA is very low. I think it is all down to the way its processors analyse individual’s trees and find common information. The only instances where Thrulines has not shown perfect results is where other uses have inaccuracies in their trees. But it is a good way to be able to graphically point out to another user they have an error. There may well be situations where Thrulines might produce inaccurate information but I have not yet encountered them.             

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