MyTrueAncestry review – What are your ancient roots?

Rating based on our MyTrueAncestry review

7 facts from our MyTrueAncestry review

  1. MyTrueAncestry location: Switzerland
  2. Products: DNA data upload service
  3. Reports: matches uploaded DNA with ancient populations such as ancient Greeks and Vikings
  4. Result delivery: through MyTrueAncestry website
  5. Privacy: possible to delete data any time
  6. Cost: free – $397
  7. Alternatives: no alternatives for ancient ancestry; Nebula Genomics offers deep DNA ancestry analysis based on mtDNA and Y chromosome sequencing; other ancestry companies are AncestryDNA ($99 for ancestry test, $149 for ancestry + health test), 23andMe ($99 – $499), and MyHeritage ($79 for ancestry test, $199 for ancestry + health test)

Introduction

This is a review of MyTrueAncestry (My True Ancestry), a DNA analysis service that reveals genetic links to historical figures and ancient civilizations. The is based in Switzerland. My True Ancestry began after one of the company’s founders received “oversimplistic ancestral results” from a major provider. That disappointment inspired the history buff and technologist to build a DNA matching algorithm connecting people to history.

The site does not share the name of the founder’, team members, or the number of users. MyTrueAncestry.com places a strong emphasis on privacy and likewise never asks for your personal information to create a free account. They state that one of the founders is an MIT educated veteran of “Data Privacy and Anonymous Data Security and Encryption.”

Review of MyTrueAncestry Products

My True Ancestry offers different levels of service ranging from $0 to $397. Each one is named according to themes of ancient history, and each builds on one another. My True Ancestry does not offer DNA test kits. They allow you to upload various raw DNA files types (e.g. 23andMe, Nebula, AncestryDNA, etc.). 

The primary focus of My True Ancestry is uncovering users’ ancestral links to historical populations. The site has a deep FAQ section. It claims that MyTrueAncestry’s algorithms compare users’ DNA to “a wide variety of Ancient DNA samples.” 

These samples are found in academic databases around the world. The MyTrueAncestry.com DNA ancestry test uses those reference populations to connect modern-day humans to ancient civilizations.

MyTrueAncestry.com provides 250 ethnic categories, rather than the 20 or so found on competing genomic sequencing companies. But, is MyTrueAncestry.com the best website page for uploading raw DNA files? Here is what we know about what My True Ancestry’s family history service can cost.

  • Commoner (Free basic analysis): This free DNA analysis, which expires after 48 hours, comes with information on 10 of your 20 closest ancient samples. They support that information with maps and timelines. They also display charts to help visualize how close the connections are between ancient populations and a user’s family tree.
  • Footman ($37): For the smallest upgrade, users get 10 extra (20 total) ancient sample matches and results that don’t expire. The relationship charts also get a boost from 2D to 3D for more complex but powerful visualization.
  • Knight ($55): This upgrade gives access to 40 ancient samples:  “Premium Maps,” which suggest migration paths, and “Partial Deep Dive” results. These “match analyses at the level of chromosomes”. Users can also upload an additional genome file to take advantage of My True Ancestry’s comparison feature.
  • King ($100): With the King package, users can upload up to 5 genome files. Users can compare each file and access analyses from 60 ancient DNA samples. Deep Dive Maps and Analyses are complete at this tier. Users can also access more regional maps that span large time periods.
  • Caesar ($149): This tier unlocks 60 close-matched ancient samples but also allows comparisons for 10 genome files. MyTrueAncestry.com also provides Haplogroups (a group of people sharing a common ancestor) and more information about the DNA sample sources. They even reveal dig-sites.
  • Zeus ($248): At this level, MyTrueAncestry.com allows users to make their own maps in real-time. 
  • Olympus (397): This tier is the “Playground of the Gods,” according to the service. Here, users interested in serious research can customize genomic kits using data from ancient DNA samples.

How to use My True Ancestry

Signing up is very easy and takes just a few seconds. Simply enter a valid email address, password, and pick a plan. Because MyTrueAncestry.com does not collect DNA samples from users, they allow you to upload various raw DAN files types (e.g. 23andMe, AncestryDNA, build37, etc.). 

You can upload your full DNA sequencing results (whole genome sequencing) from companies like Nebula Genomics. You can also upload any other autosomal DNA data from testing companies that provide ethnicity estimates like AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA, family tree dna).

Ancient ancestry breakdown view in MyTrueAncestry reporting.
Ancient ancestry breakdown view in MyTrueAncestry reporting.

What My True Ancestry provides

Using a combination of the latest archaeogenetic techniques and data science algorithms, MyTrueAncestry.com generates a personalized deep analysis of ancient ancestry. 

The My True Ancestry results indicate strong ties to civilizations in ancient Europe dating as far back as 550 AD. And the strongest link for this DNA is tied to “Viking Norwegian” ancestors. Each mention of ancient and modern civilizations features a clickable blurb to learn more about their history. The details also indicate the source of ancient DNA used to make the correlation. 

MyTrueAncestry can differentiate between different types of Viking ancestries.
MyTrueAncestry can differentiate between different types of Viking ancestries.

For example, the “Nordic Lombard” sample supposedly originates from an “elaborate grave” of a male teenager dating back 15 centuries.

MyTrueAncestry.com uses your DNA data to provide many different analyses based on region and time period including:

  • Closest ancient populations (e.g., Byzantine, Franks, Greek)
  • Modern populations (e.g., Norwegian, Ashkenazi Jewish)
  • Indigenous American matches for Native American ancestry
  • A breakdown of ancient ancestral matches by era (e.g. Bronze age and Dark ages)
  • My True Ancestry haplogroup analytics
  • And “Outliers,” indicating which populations a user matches with most uniquely
Sample results for MyTrueAncestry.

Sample results for My True Ancestry on a geographical map.

Review of MyTrueAncestry Privacy

My True Ancestry states that they take privacy very seriously, citing the founder’s academic background in data security. 

Is MyTrueAncestry.com safe? The site deletes all uploaded raw data immediately after processing. It is also rather simple to use the service without disclosing their identity. 

The site never asks for personal information. My True Ancestry says “you can even create a fake email address and we will activate your account for you.”

MyTrueAncestry.com does not offer its own testing. The DNA analysis functions solely on uploaded raw data, which is promptly deleted from the site’s servers. Genetic analysis results are stored on the site (except for the basic version, which automatically deletes after 2 days).

My True Ancestry in the News

As a newer and smaller service in this industry of larger players, MyTrueAncestry.com has not appeared much in the media. There have been no reported data breaches or major partnerships.

My True Ancestry Reviews

My True Ancestry Pros/Cons

Pros

  • DNA interpretation site appears to value user privacy very much
  • The strong focus on history and archaeology makes it fun to learn more about human civilization
  • Check your ancestry for free
  • They offer a promo code for other sites, including for Nebula Genomics (code MYTRUEANCESTRY10)
  • It has a very interesting and active social component

Cons

  • Anecdotal reviews question the significance of ancestral links
Individual ancient ancestry composition.
Individual ancient ancestry composition.

Nebula Genomics

In this final part of our MyTrueAncestry review, we will compare it to Nebula Genomics and other DNA testing companies.

Nebula Genomics and My True Ancestry are complimentary services. At Nebula Genomics, we prioritize privacy, use the most advanced testing technology, and the most comprehensive reporting. 

Your privacy is central

At Nebula Genomics, we understand that your genomic data is sensitive, personal, and irreplaceable. We know there are privacy risks to sharing this data, and we take those risks very seriously

At Nebula Genomics, we are building the first privacy-focused personal genomics service. We do away with all of the middlemen between you and the third-party customers interested in your data. Without those middlemen, you have control over sharing your data and being compensated. Nebula Genomics’ users trust our commitment to privacy

These verified accounts stand out in comparison to other services, like My True Ancestry, that do not have testimonials praising privacy. You can read more about the importance of DNA privacy here.

Nebula Expand

Do you have DNA test results from other testing sites like 23andMe or Ancestry? You can upload that data to Nebula and learn even more about your genome with the free Nebula Genomics expanded report that provides the most comprehensive DNA health or traits insights.

This expanded report uses statistical models to fill in the blanks left behind by typical microarray-based DNA genotyping tests. Compared to My True Ancestry, we focus on various traits rather than ancestry. 

In such a rapidly growing genomic revolution, Nebula believes you should stay up to date on the latest cutting-edge research. Nebula Expand gives you access to the latest research, curated to your genomic data, through the Nebula Research Library. We provide all of the information you need to figure out what this research means to you and your DNA.

Nebula Genomics 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing (NEW!)

Our mission is to empower our customers to learn more about themselves and their bodies. We go beyond standard genetic testing found on sites like 23andMe and Ancestry and offer a detailed Expanded Report. 

With our new 30x Whole-Genome Sequencing service, we determine 100% of your DNA and report our analysis directly to you. In other words, you receive high-resolution DNA testing (not available on MyTrueAncestry.com). And you get 10,000 times more data than with other services, which only reads 0.1% of your genome! 

Here is how Nebula compares with other testing and reporting services.


23andMeAncestryNebula GenomicsMy True Ancestry
DNA testing methodMicroarray-based genotyping Microarray-based genotypingWhole-Genome Sequencing (30x coverage)Users upload results from other testing services.
Produced data~ 600,000 positions in the genome~ 700,000 positions in the genome~ 3,000,000,000 positions in the genomeUsers upload results from other testing services.
Weekly updates based on the latest discoveriesNoNoYes (learn more)No
Tools to explore dataLimitedLimitedYes (learn more)Limited tools for the free version. More tools with paid upgrades.
Ancestry reportingBased on relatively few genetic variantsYes (requires sharing data with other Ancestry customers)Deep ancestry reporting with full Y chromosome and mtDNA sequencing in collaboration with FTDNAPrimarily for ancient ancestral analysis.
Data accessYes (23andMe format file)Yes (Ancestry format file)Yes (FASTQ, BAM and VCF files)No raw DNA data is produced. Uploaded data expires after 2 days in the free tier.
Privacy-FocusedNoNoYes (learn more)My True Ancestry has a stringent privacy policy. 
Cost$99, $199, or $499$99 or $149$0 – $299$0 – $397

 My True Ancestry vs Ancestry vs 23andMe vs Nebula Genomics

Are you looking for a DNA testing service to get genetic data for analysis with My True Ancestry? In addition to Nebula Genomics, also take a look at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage. Did you like our MyTrueAncestry review? Or explore more of our reviews!

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