The consumer genetics company 23andMe says it’s combining its DNA-based ancestry database with MyHeritage’s database of family tree records. This, it’s hoped, will give users a much better chance of finding their crazy lost great-great-uncles and -aunts back in the cobwebs of history.
23andMe believes it has the largest DNA ancestry service in the world. With a saliva sample, 23andMe can find the geographic origins of distant ancestors and help people discover unknown relatives. MyHeritage has a library of more than 5.5 billion historical records, as well as a proprietary technology for automating ancestor discovery.
“DNA testing can connect you to relatives you never knew existed, who descend from shared ancestors centuries ago, but family trees and historical records are critical to map and fully understand these connections,” explains said MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet in a statement.
23andMe says it will offer its three quarters of a million customers access to MyHeritage’s family tree tools. MyHeritage will utilize 23andMe’s API to allow any two people with matching DNA to explore their family tree connections.
MyHeritage will also offer 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service to its 70 million registered users, in addition to the DNA tests it already offers.
The first phase of integration of the two data sets will be complete by early 2015, the companies say.