MyHeritage Review

Marc McDermott
June 23, 2022

With so many genealogy websites available online today, it can be difficult to determine which option will best meet your family history research needs. Learning about the unique features, available record sets, and research options provided by the different genealogy companies can help you make an informed decision- and help you make the most of your genealogy dollars!

This article will focus on MyHeritage and its available subscription options and features. You will also learn how you can use or try out MyHeritage for free.

MyHeritage Free Trial

If you are not sure whether MyHeritage will be the right fit for you, not to worry- they offer a free 14-day trial of their Complete subscription! This will give you a chance to try out all of the MyHeritage features, including the photo enhancing tools and the historical record collections. A credit card or PayPal information will be needed to set up the free trial- but you can cancel at any time.

Click here for more information on the free 14-day trial.

Subscription options

While MyHeritage may be better known for their DNA products and unique photo enhancement tools, they also offer subscription plans that allow users to access members’ family trees, historical record collections and more. The subscription plans can be an added bonus for those who have taken a MyHeritage DNA test, and want to use MyHeritage features to build a family tree and conduct research- all in one place. Of course, those who have not taken a DNA test through MyHeritage may also find value in the various options found here. Let’s take a closer look at MyHeritage subscription benefits.

The free plan

Creating an account with MyHeritage is free. You can build your own “family site” but are limited to 250 individuals in your family tree. You are also allowed up to 500 MB of storage space to add photos and document images. Free members who have created a family tree through MyHeritage’s Family Tree Builder software can sync their trees to the website, but will still be limited to 250 ancestors. The free plan does not allow access to MyHeritage’s historical record collections, but it will allow you to compare their basic family tree-building options to those offered by other genealogy websites.

Premium

This upgrade from the free subscription allows you to expand your family tree and utilize additional options within the MyHeritage website, including:

  • Smart Match: this tool helps users to locate potential matching ancestors in other members’ family trees. It compares facts about your ancestors to the millions of trees contributed by MyHeritage users. As a comparison, this feature is similar to how Ancestry users discover potential matches in other members’ trees through Ancestry’s “hints” or their search feature, and how FamilySearch populates potential tree matches through their own search algorithm.
  • SuperSearch: A Premium subscription allows you to access two of MyHeritage’s collections within SuperSearch- MyHeritage family sites (excluding family trees), and MyHeritage member profiles.
  • Family Tree Builder Premium: MyHeritage’s tree building software, which includes:
    • The Smart Match™ merge tool
    • All-in-one charts
    • Interactive maps
  • Expand your tree up to 2,500 people
  • Expand your storage up to 1000 MB
  • Priority access to MyHeritage’s support team.

PremiumPlus

The next tier of MyHeritage’s subscription plans is PremiumPlus. Benefits in this plan include:

  • Enhanced Smart Match™ that allows you to confirm or reject matches, along with automatic merging of profiles
  • Access to all four of the MyHeritage collections within SuperSearch- along with MyHeritage family sites and MyHeritage members’ database, you also have access to MyHeritage family trees and MyHeritage photos. In other words, you have full access to all member data within MyHeritage.
  • Tree Consistency Checker- a helpful tool that helps identify potential errors and inconsistencies in your family tree. A similar version can be found within the Family Tree Builder software. This tool can identify more subtle errors, such as a person being tagged in a photo taken before they were born. This is a unique benefit to MyHeritage, as Ancestry and FamilySearch are not quite as sophisticated when it comes to scanning for errors in uploaded images and documents.
  • Access to Instant Discoveries™- This tool works in tandem with SmartMatch™ and allows you to apply a “bundle” of information to a person on your family tree. A bonus feature is that Instant Discovery™ will automatically create a source citation to document where the new data came from. Note, this tool will never import any data from living people on other members’ trees. Both Ancestry and FamilySearch offer a similar “bundling” tool when comparing “hints” or ancestor profiles from other members’ trees.
  • A bonus for those who have tested their DNA- a PremiumPlus subscription also provides access to all of the advanced MyHeritage DNA features, including:
    • Pedigree Charts
    • Shared DNA Matches
    • Shared Ethnicities
  • Access to Family Tree Builder Premium
  • Family trees can contain an unlimited number of people
  • Priority phone and email support from MyHeritage.

Note that neither the Premium nor PremiumPlus subscriptions provide access to the MyHeritage historical records collections. There are two additional subscription options available to access these records.

Data subscription

This subscription provides full access to SuperSearch and Record Matches. Along with the previously mentioned MyHeritage record sets within SuperSearch, the Data Subscription also includes full access to 14 billion historical records from around the world- some of which are exclusive to MyHeritage. Record Matches is a feature that interfaces with your family tree to locate potential matching records- much like the “shaky leaf” hints in Ancestry. You also have the ability to confirm or reject record matches, save them to the individuals in your tree, and download records to your computer or device.

  • You do not need to be a MyHeritage member to access SuperSearch- however, viewing specific records requires the Data subscription. For example, BillionGraves and records from the Social Security Death Index are free, but many other record sets are restricted to subscription members.
  • Want to know more about the record collections available in MyHeritage? Check out their Collection Catalog. The Catalog can help you compare record sets and determine if purchasing a MyHeritage Data subscription will benefit your research.

Complete Plan

The Complete Plan is a bundle option that includes both the PremiumPlus and Data Subscriptions. This is the “ultimate” option that will give you unlimited space on your family tree, plus access to all of MyHeritage’s databases and historical records. In addition to all of the features described above, you also get access to MyHeritage’s photograph enhancing features, which can be used to restore an unlimited amount of photos:

  • MyHeritage in Color™ gives users the ability to colorize black and white photos
  • MyHeritage Photo Enhancer allows you to sharpen the images in your old photos
  • Deep Nostalgia™ can “animate” old photos to bring long-gone ancestors back to life. This tool was popularized recently on social media.

If you have boxes of old photographs and are looking for options to enhance and restore them, you may be particularly interested in this MyHeritage subscription option, which is unique among the other genealogy companies. The tools are also easy to use- simply drag and drop or upload your photo, and the tool goes to work.

Pricing

How do the MyHeritage paid subscription plan costs compare? Here are the prices at the time of writing this article.

  • MyHeritage Premuim – $129 per year, first year special $89
  • MyHeritage Premium Plus- $209 per year, first year special $149
  • Data Subscription- $189 per year, first year special $129
  • Complete Subscription- $299 per year, first year special $199

How do I get MyHeritage for free?

Another option for free access to MyHeritage is MyHeritage Library Edition, which is offered through their partnership with EBSCO. Library Edition offers access to MyHeritage’s historical record collections, family tree profiles, and Record Detective,™ a tool that recommends additional records based on those you have already located. Additionally, Library Edition can be accessed through remote and mobile service- meaning you may be able to access the program from home, with your library card. Check with your local library to see if MyHeritage Library Edition is available to patrons.

MyHeritage Library Edition may also be available through your local Family History Center or FamilySearch Affiliate Library- go to https://www.familysearch.org/fhcenters/locations/ to locate a facility near you. Your local college or university library may also offer MyHeritage Library Edition for visitors.

Core Features

MyHeritage offers several core features that make it an ideal resource for anyone interested in exploring their family history.

Smart Matching

Smart Matching is a technology used by MyHeritage to find potential matches between people in your family tree and people in other family trees. Smart Matching works by comparing names, facts, and connections to see if there are any intersections between different trees. With billions of profiles on MyHeritage, you have a good chance of getting Smart Matches that reveal new information about your family. Smart Matching is a great way to learn more about your family history and to make new discoveries about your ancestors.

Record Matching

MyHeritage’s Record Matching technology is based on semantic analysis, which means that it can find matches for your family tree in newspaper articles, books and other text documents. This is the world’s first technology of its kind to find matches in this way, and it is based on MyHeritage’s collection of billions of records. The technology is also able to translate names into different languages for accurate results. Record Matches are found automatically and delivered directly to users, with new ones being added continuously as more data is collected. This makes it easy for users to find new matches for their family tree, regardless of language barriers.

Instant Discoveries

MyHeritage’s Instant Discovery feature is a quick and easy way to add new branches to your family tree. There are two types of instant discoveries, Person and Photo.

“Person Discoveries” can copy an entire branch from another family tree into yours, complete with source citations. “Photo Discoveries” can add up to 10 photos that are tagged and sorted by degree of relationship. Both types of discoveries rely on MyHeritage’s Smart Matching technology to accurately filter out incorrect matches. This feature is a great way to quickly expand your family tree without having to do all the research yourself. But always double check the research!

Tree Consistency Checker

The Tree Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage is a handy tool that can scan your family tree for any mistakes or inconsistencies in the data. This is useful for making sure that your family tree is as accurate as possible. The Consistency Checker employs dozens of different checks on your family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g. a person was born before their parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g. a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922), and some are warnings about possible data entry errors (maiden surname entered as married surname). The Tree Consistency Checker is a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve the quality and accuracy of their family tree.

Search Connect

Search Connect is a feature on MyHeritage that allows users to connect with other members who are searching for the same ancestors. It includes millions of searches made by MyHeritage members and allows you to view the data of their search, such as dates, places, relatives, etc. The results are included in the MyHeritage Search Engine under the Family Trees category. If you find a result that is relevant or useful, you can contact the person who conducted the search and get in touch to exchange more information. This is a great way to connect with other family history enthusiasts and learn more about your ancestors. Plus, it’s free to use! So why not give it a try?

Census Helper

The Census Helper is a new tool to help you find relatives who are likely to be found in the 1950 U.S. census. The Census Helper scans your family tree and looks for people who were alive in April 1950 and living in the United States. It then saves the results so you can access them quickly later on. You can export the list of results for use outside of MyHeritage.

Deep Nostalgia

MyHeritage recently released a new feature called Deep Nostalgia, which allows you to animate the faces of people in static photos. This technology uses deep learning algorithms to produce realistic results. You can animate any face in a photo. It works well on black and white photos as well as colorized or restored photos. Deep Nostalgia was licensed by MyHeritage from D-ID, a company specializing in video reenactment using deep learning. This technology is available on all enhanced photos.

Historical Record Search Engine

The search engine gives users access to 18 billion records from all over the world, including birth, marriage, death, burial, census, military, immigration, yearbooks and other types of records. The search engine also provides access to MyHeritage family trees as well as photos and members that are public—altogether more than one billion exclusive records.

FAQ

Is MyHeritage free for LDS?

Are you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS)? If so, you are entitled to receive free access to MyHeritage Data and PremiumPlus subscriptions! Additionally, LDS members have access to FamilySearch Tree Sync, which allows you to import family trees from FamilySearch into MyHeritage, and keep the trees synchronized- maximizing research potential by utilizing both companies’ massive records collections.

Is MyHeritage Photo Enhancer or Deep Nostalgia free?

MyHeritage offers free trials of their photo enhancing tools, separately from the 14- day trial. Anyone can enhance a limited number of photos, no subscription or credit card info is required. You just need to set up a free MyHeritage account. The free photo trial includes access to MyHeritage Photo Enhancer, MyHeritage in Color,™ and MyHeritage Deep Nostaliga.

How many records does MyHeritage have?

MyHeritage has 14 billion historical records, supports 42 languages, and has more than 50 million users worldwide.

Are Ancestry and MyHeritage the same company?

No, they are not the same company and Ancestry does not own MyHeritage. MyHeritage is a completely separate company from Ancestry and Familysearch- but it has certainly become a worthy competitor to those two genealogy giants.

How do I cancel my MyHeritage 14 day free trial?

It is very easy to cancel your MyHeritage free trial. There are a few simple steps you’ll need to follow. First, be sure to log in to your account on the MyHeritage website. Once you’re logged in, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the page and select ‘My Purchases’ from the drop-down menu. On the next page, you should see a list of all your current subscriptions on the left side of the screen. Click on the subscription you’d like to cancel, and then select ‘View details’. On the next page, towards the bottom, you’ll see a button that says ‘Stop free trial now’. Once you click that, your free trial will be cancelled and your account will revert to the free version. That’s all there is to it!

How much is MyHeritage after free trial?

After the free trial, MyHeritage costs $129 annually for the Premium subscription, $209 per year for the Premium Plus subscription, $189 per year for the Data Subscription, or $299 per year for the Complete Subscription.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage was founded in Israel in 2003 by CEO Gilad Japhet. The site contains 14 billion historical records, supports 42 languages, and has more than 50 million users worldwide. MyHeritage is a completely separate company from FamilySearch and Ancestry- but it has certainly become a worthy competitor to those two genealogy giants. MyHeritage has acquired several smaller European genealogy companies over the last several years, including German-based OSN Group and the Dutch group Zooof. In 2012, MyHeritage also acquired Geni.com, a Los Angeles-based company founded by David Sacks in 2007. Geni’s mission is to create “a family tree of the whole world,” and the acquisition added 7 million new users to MyHeritage. Read our Geni.com review.

MyHeritage has also created partnerships with other genealogy companies. In 2013, MyHeritage partnered with FamilySearch, allowing them to utilize MyHeritage’s technologies. MyHeritage has also partnered with BillionGraves, EBSCO Information Services (which provides database access to educational institutions such as libraries), and the Danish National Archives.

Final thoughts

With any genealogy website subscription, you want to do your homework and make sure you are getting the most for your money. MyHeritage has several unique features that are not found anywhere else, including its photo enhancing tools, and databases that are unique to its records collections. Take advantage of My Heritage Library Edition or the 14-day free trial to determine if a MyHeritage subscription is right for you. Perhaps MyHeritage will have the records you need to finally break down a brick wall in your family tree!

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