23andMe vs Myheritage DNA: Which is Better at DNA Triangulation?

Triangulation is one of my favorite
techniques in genetic genealogy and today we’re gonna have a head-to-head
matchup between 23andme and my heritage to see which one has the better
triangulation tool. Howdy, I’m Andy Lee with Family History FAnatics where we help you understand your DNA, climb your family tree, and
write your family stories along the way. Triangulation is an excellent technique
whereby you can identify groups of people who probably share a common
ancestor. In order to triangulate you need at least three people and person a
has to match person B person B has to match person C and person C has to match
person A all on the same segment. And that’s the really important part it’s
not just that they match you have to match on the same segment. And that forms
this little triangle where everybody matches each other in that same spot,
because of this it usually means that that segment of DNA was passed on from a
common ancestor. Now several websites have different
tools that you can help triangulate but 23andme and MyHeritage have some very
particular tools in regards to triangulation and I wanted to compare
them head-to-head today. So I’ve selected four things in regards to triangulation
and we’re going to look at how 23andme does that and how MyHeritage does that
let’s get started. The first one is whether or not the website notifies you
about triangulation. So what do I mean by this well if we go over to 23andme
and we look at one of our matches that would be me and this other person here
then we’re going to see this list of shared matches. Now that list of shared
matches is anybody that both of us share some amount of DNA with and you can see
that there is percentages in the other two columns of how much each one of us
shares, but what’s important is this last column because in this shared
DNA column it tells us yes or no and whenever it has a yes that means that we
have a triangulated segment so 23andme is telling us hey these three people
together they triangulate. So let’s look at MyHeritage, do they notify us about
triangulation? Well first off when we go to a match
when we click on that match page we get to a page similar to this where we have
the match and ourselves together and then if we look down we’ll find a shared
match list of all the people that we share DNA in common with. Now this has
been the same as what we saw in 23andme so let’s see about notification if we
look over all the way to the other side we see yes they have a way that they
actually identify triangulation. It’s like these chromosomes with a box around
it indicating that there is a triangulated segment. So both 23andme and
MyHeritage notify their customers about triangulation and they do it in a really
good way that’s easy to see so this is a tie 23andme gets one point and
MyHeritage gets one point good job to both of you.
Now that we’ve been notified about triangulation by each one of the web
sites what do we need to do next well remember one of the things that I told
you about triangulation that’s important is that we match each other on the same
location so does the website tell us what that location is. Well let’s take a
look to see if they identify the triangulated segment. On 23andme whenever
we click on one of those Yes’s it’s going to go to this page and we can see
that this has the triangulated group there’s the three people being compared
and the next thing is as you look down you might say hey these look like
they’re probably the triangulated segments. And well you might be right but
you also might not be because what’s being compared here by these two lines
is two of the three comparisons that we need. So we need person A compared to
person B and that’s being done we need person C being compared to
person a and that’s being done, but what we don’t have here is we don’t have
person B being compared to person C. So I put a question mark on these triangle
eight segments because I don’t know if these are being triangulated yet so
23andme doesn’t tell you the specific segment that is triangulated. What about
MyHeritage? Well my heritage when we click on one of
those little indications of a triangulated segment it goes to this
page and you can see that we have the triangulated group here and as we look
over they actually identify with that box the triangulated segment in this
case there’s just one triangulated segment on chromosome number one for
these three people. So it’s very easy to see right off where that triangulated
segment is I can hover over that triangulated segment and get some more
information but my heritage actually tells you where that triangulated
segment is. So my heritage they get to win for this category and the score now
is my heritage too and 23andme one. Now one of the things I like to do is I like
to do a lot of things manually myself and actually see how things are working
23andme and my heritage have their own algorithms how they match people up and
how they do triangulation which the triangulation part is very
straightforward. So what I want to do is I want to see, is there a way that I can
verify that triangulated segment? Is there a way that I can see for myself
that this segment is triangulated? Well let’s take a look at 23andme. Now
remember we started off with this page where we have our three people in our
triangulated group and 23andme told us that this group is triangulated. We also
had these two segments one on chromosome seven and one on chromosome number ten
that look like they may triangulate. Well if we go to the next match and
actually look at person B matching persons C. We remember we’ve already
done person a matching B and person C matching a so this is the third step is
person B matching person C I’m not one of these two people these are the other
two matches. If we look we can see that YES on chromosome number seven right at
the beginning and on chromosome are ten right there in the middle they both
match each other. So this is a triangulated segment actually this is
two triangulated segments between these three people and I verified that by
looking at all three of those matches A to B, B to C, and C to A that’s how
you verify it. What about with My Heritage? Well on MyHeritage we go back
to the chromosome browser and we see that hey you have to be one of the kits
so unless you have kits from various people that you’re trying to triangulate
that you control then you’re not actually going to be able to verify this
triangulation you can’t look at B versus C like I’d said before though my
heritage actually identifies that triangulated segment for you and so
you’re going off of your trust in their algorithm and their analysis of that
which is probably perfectly fine I just like to do that extra step to verify it
myself so in this case I’m gonna give 23andme the win for being able to verify
that triangulated segment and we have a score of tied again two to two let’s see
on our fourth one which company is going to come out on top remember at the
beginning I said that triangulation you need to have at least three people but
you don’t have to have just three people you can actually triangulate with more
than three people and we want to see if either one of these companies allows us
to triangulate more than three people in order to do this we’re using the
chromosome browser and we’re using the advanced
feature where you can select different people now on 23andme
this is what it looks like and you can see that we can actually select up to
six different people and what’s cool about this in conjunction with the last
one is it doesn’t have to be me or one of the kids I manage it only has to be
one of the kits of people that I’ve shared DNA with so I can do
triangulations for other groups of people besides just myself and this can
be up to six people now you’re going to have to go through and do lots of
different matches to be able to confirm all the way through but six people’s
quite a lot over at my heritage we see that there is the capability to do eight
people now one of these has to be yourself but you can have seven other
people that you can see whether or not you triangulate with so in grading this
how am I gonna decide the winner and this was really tough but since I’m only
doing whole points I’m honestly gonna have to give this to 23andme for the win
because I like the ability to triangulate other people as well as
those kits that I manage myself so even though they only do six as opposed to
eight the fact that they allow you to triangulate other people and not just
yourself I’m gonna give that as the bonus for it but this doesn’t mean that
my heritage doesn’t have a great triangulation system so overall 23andme
wins it in my book but it’s a really close second with my heritage now if you
would like to know more about triangulation then maybe you should look
at one of these videos up here that I talk in different ways about how you can
triangulate your DNA if you have any questions about triangulation put it in
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