MyHeritage Review

There are lots of genealogy, DNA and ancestry research options available and, in this MyHeritage review, we cover the free and paid options and how to choose the best MyHeritage subscription for you.

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There can be many reasons why you might want to track down your heritage. Whether it is to find a lost family member or simply to track where your ancestors came from. However, using genealogy companies can get quite expensive. Nowadays there are so many different companies to choose from that you can use to find your ancestors.

These companies all offer different features, available records, and research options to suit your research needs. While one company may be the perfect fit when looking for one family’s heritage, it may not be the best fit for a family from a different region of the world.

If you are trying to trace your European heritage, it can sometimes be difficult to find records to track your ancestors down, namely when you are in America which is a giant melting pot of cultures. This is why there are so many different genealogy companies with tools to help you comb through historical records and find your ancestors before they migrated.

One of the leading genealogy companies is MyHeritage. If you are curious about learning how this company can help you track down your ancestors, then you should keep reading to learn how this company’s tools can help you and how you can even try it for free!

Quick Review

When compared to other DNA testing companies, the MyHeritage test is a good bet for those looking for an engaging, well-explained breakdown of their ethnicity results. The site makes it easy for those engaging with genealogy for the first time to understand some of the more complicated concepts and terms being tossed around.The test compares your DNA against samples from 42 ethnic regions, a number that's larger than some testing companies but far narrower than top dogs like Ancestry.com and 23andMe. Additionally, while the test provides a list of matches and a bit of information about them, a pricey subscription is required to actually contact your living relatives.

Pros

  • MyHeritage keeps the process simple, offering only one basic autosomal DNA testing kit at a price point that's cheaper than the competition
  • Viewing and understanding ethnicity results is simple even for newbies, because everything is presented in a clear, straightforward, and streamlined manner
  • You can import raw DNA data you've obtained from a test you've taken on another site to access your ethnicity results and a list of your living matches at a slightly reduced fee, and you can also export the data from your MyHeritage test for use in other genetic databases

Cons

  • Although you can view a list of your DNA matches, you cannot actually message them or access a number of the site's other interesting features without paying a subscription fee, which is rather costly
  • With 42 ethnic regions available, you're likely to get results that satisfy your basic curiosity but aren't as regionally specific as some competitors
  • Uploading raw data from another test isn't free as it is with some other databases, and even if you pay to unlock your ethnicity results, you still can't contact your matches without also subscribing

Is MyHeritage Trustworthy?

Due to the fact that you sometimes have to give sensitive family information to genealogy companies, it is very common for people to question the credibility of some companies. MyHeritage specifically was founded in Israel in 2003.

Their website has over 14 billion records from all over the world. This combined with the fact that they support 42 different languages is part of the reason why MyHeritage has over 50 million users around the world.

This isn’t a company that was recently founded. They have been helping millions of people trace their family heritage for almost 20 years now. You shouldn’t have to worry about trusting them with your family’s information as thousands of people have done so and are pleased with the result.

How Much Does It Cost?

Trying to trace your family heritage can get pretty expensive. This is why it is so important to find a genealogy company that has the tools you need for your research before you buy a pricey subscription. You want to avoid having to pay different companies for different tools as much as possible because this can really drive up the price of your research.

Fortunately, MyHeritage has a very wide selection of subscription plans to fit your budget and your research needs. Each plan has different features, so it is important that you read carefully the features of each plan to ensure you get the one you need.

These subscription plans are different from a DNA test from this company and their photo enhancement tool. MyHeritage is better known for these two services, and it may benefit you to purchase both a DNA test and genealogy research subscription, but you should know that it is possible to save money by just purchasing one of the many options.

Free Plan

One of the great things about MyHeritage is that you can actually use some of their tools for free. All you need to do is create an account on the MyHeritage website. Once you have created your account, you will be able to create your family tree with up to 250 people and upload up to 500 MB of storage for pictures or documents.

This free plan does not give you any access to their 14 billion historical records. If you were looking to use MyHeritage to conduct research on your ancestors, then you are going to need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.

However, this free plan is a great way for you to use the MyHeritage website without having to put down any credit card information and compare it to other companies. If you realize that the free features offered by MyHeritage are better than some of the other companies, then you will know that MyHeritage is the place where you should spend your money.

Premium

This plan is a step up from the free plan. Buying this plan not only allows you to expand your family tree, but also gives you access to some great tools.

The first tool that you will unlock by upgrading to the premium subscription is called Smart Match. What this tool does is that it gives you the ability to find potential ancestors in other people’s trees. This is all possible because of the millions of trees that other MyHeritage users have created. This tool compares features of your ancestors to those in other trees to identify any potential matches. This is a feature that many other genealogy companies also offer.

You will also unlock the Super Match tool. This gives you access to the MyHeritage family sites and the MyHeritage member profiles sections within the MyHeritage SuperSearch. This is just an added tool to help you find possible ancestors through research.

Additionally, upgrading to a premium subscription will also give you an increase in your family tree creating capabilities. For starters, you will be able to create a family tree of up to 2,500 people instead of 250. At that point, you would be able to add fifth cousins if you wanted to. You will also have an increased storage capacity of up to 1000 MB. Lastly, you will also get priority access to MyHeritage’s support team.

Overall, this subscription plan has a lot of added value when compared to the free plan. The cost of this plan is $129 per year, but you will only have to pay $89 for your first year. It will be up to you to decide whether it is worth it to spend the extra money to have access to these tools or not.

Premium Plus

If you wanted to upgrade your premium plan, then you would upgrade to the premium plus subscription which will grant you access to even more advanced tools.

One of the tools you unlock is Enhanced Smart Match which allows you to confirm and reject suggested matches. This is a great tool as it helps you build your family tree more accurately.

You will also gain access to all of the four collections in the MyHeritage SuperSearch. This means that you will be able to get access to the same collections as with your premium membership, and also get access to the MyHeritage family trees and MyHeritage photos. This means that you would have full access to all of the other members' data on MyHeritage.

A really cool tool that you unlock by upgrading to premium plus is the Tree Consistency Checker. This tool checks your family tree for any inconsistencies within it. This is a great help in keeping your family tree as accurate as possible. This tool even scans your tree to point out if you tagged an ancestor in a picture before they were born. This is not a tool offered by many other genealogy companies.

For those of you who have taken MyHeritage DNA tests, you will get access to three bonus features for upgrading your subscription to premium plus. You will get access to pedigree charts, shared DNA matches, and shared ethnicities. This can be a great help in finding people you didn’t even know you were related to.

Additionally, premium plus members also get Family Tree builder premium which means that you can add unlimited people to your family tree. You will also get priority phone and email support from the MyHeritage support team.

This subscription plus has a lot of great features that can help you immensely while you conduct your research. However, it is important to note that you will not get access to the 14 billion historical records by upgrading to a premium plus subscription plan. Despite this, upgrading to premium plus might still be worth it for you. You can upgrade to premium plus and pay $149 for your first year and $209 every year after that.

Data Subscription

The third tier of subscription plans for MyHeritage is the Data subscription plan. You will have access to all of the following tools and features.

First, you will receive full access to SuperSearch and Record Matches. Record Matches is a tool that compares the historical records of people in your family tree with the family trees of other users to find any possible matches. You will have the option to confirm or reject any potential matches. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to download records to your device.

Perhaps the best feature of this subscription plan is access to over 14 billion records from around the world including some records that are exclusive to MyHeritage. Although certain aspects of the SuperSeach tool are free, the Data subscription plan allows you to access records that are blocked off for free or premium members.

This subscription is a great option for anyone that is conducting research trying to find records of their ancestors. Although there are some websites that allow you to find records for free, these are very limited to where your ancestors traveled. For example, you can find records of passengers that traveled by ship to the Statue of Liberty. However, these free websites don’t have such expansive collections as MyHeritage.

The cost of purchasing a Data subscription plan is $129 for your first year and $189 for every year after that. It may be surprising that this subscription plan is cheaper than the premium plus subscription. This is because the Data subscription plan does not give you full access to every feature on the premium plus subscription plus.

The main difference between these two plans is the access to historical records. It will be up to you to decide which tools and features are more important.

Complete Subscription

Why pick and choose what tools are best for you when you can just get a plan that includes all of them. The Complete subscription plan includes every tool and feature that MyHeritage has to offer.

In addition to access to all historical records and tools mentioned above, you will also get access to the MyHeritage photo enhancing tool. This gives you the opportunity to restore old pictures. On top of restoring old images, you will also have the opportunity to turn black and white pictures into colored pictures.

A tool that has recently become popular on social media is MyHeritage’s Deep Nostalgia tool. This tool animates pictures of your ancestors bringing them back to life. All of these tools are only available after purchasing the Complete subscription plan.

You can purchase this plan for $199 in your first year and pay $299 for every year after that. When comparing the prices, the complete subscription is not that much more than the other subscription plans available. This is why it is worth considering buying this subscription plan and getting access to everything MyHeritage has to offer.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if you need access to every tool that MyHeritage has to offer. Not everyone needs to be able to restore old photos. Some people use MyHeritage simply to build a family tree. It is up to you to consider what your needs are and make a decision based on that.

Free Trial

For those of you wanting to get a taste of what a complete subscription plan has to offer without having to pay for it, MyHeritage offers a 14-day free trial. In order to start this free trial, you will need to input your credit card information. However, you will not be charged until the end of the 14-day trial.

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

MyHeritage: Frequently Asked Questions

Will I Be Able To Locate Living Family Members?

Yes, your MyHeritage results will include a list of family members with whom you share autosomal DNA, which are typically relatives within five generations of your own. Thanks to a sizable matching database, you're likely to receive a satisfying number of living relative matches, but you'll need to subscribe to the site if you actually want to contact them.

Does the Test Measure Neanderthal DNA?

The MyHeritage DNA service do not currently include any information about ancient ancestry, including Neanderthal DNA.

Does the Test Measure Native American Ancestry?

MyHeritage does have a specific Native American ethnic region which can provide some indications of ancestry. However, genetic testing cannot be considered legitimate legal proof of Native American ancestry, and there are no tests on the market that differentiate between tribal identities. Learn more about using DNA tests for discovering Native American ancestry.

Is It Possible to Access My Health or Medical Information With the MyHeritage DNA Test?

MyHeritage does not currently offer health and wellness features. Their inclusion of a genetic discoveries project as noted in the 'Surveys' subheading of the DNA results category suggests that at some point in the future, basic health traits may be part of the test.

Will My Results Be Clearer If Other Family Members Also Take the MyHeritage DNA Test?

When it comes to clarifying the results of your autosomal DNA test, there's always a benefit to encouraging other family members to test. DNA can vary slightly from person to person, which means new relatives may emerge in DNA match results when multiple family members take the test. Additionally, smaller, harder-to-parse ethnicity results may be easier to understand and compare when close family members like parents and siblings have also tested. If you're trying to determine which side of the family a match comes from without costly mtDNA and Y-DNA tests from other companies, testing your parents is likely to provide clarification.

Can I Export My Raw Data For Use on Other Sites?

Yes! MyHeritage allows you to both export the raw data related to your DNA test and upload data that you've sourced from other DNA testing services. To do so, simply navigate to the DNA heading and click 'Manage DNA Tests'. On the far right-hand side of each listed test, you'll see three vertical dots. Click them to access a sub-menu which includes the option to export your DNA data.

How Much Does the Test Cost?

Currently, MyHeritage only offers one type of test -- an autosomal DNA test offering ethnicity results and a list of your matches. The regular retail price of the kit is $79, making it one of the cheapest options for testing your DNA. The kit also tends to go on sale around major gift-giving holidays, reducing the price by as much as 50%. Beyond the test's standard cost, you will need a subscription to the MyHeritage website in order to contact matches, build a family tree with more than 250 people, and access the site's genealogical research tools. The subscription tiers are billed annually, and are priced as follows:

  • Premium: $129
  • Premium Plus: $209
  • Complete: $299

The Complete subscription tier is the only one that offers full access to all features offered by MyHeritage. Those considering it would be wise to make the purchase when placing the initial order for their kit, as this grants you one free month of access and shaves 50% off the cost of your first year, bringing the cost down to a far more reasonable $149.

Should I Give Kits as Gifts?

Absolutely! As direct-to-client genetic testing grows in popularity, more people are feeling the natural urge to explore their ancestral past and learn about their roots. Having your close family members take autosomal DNA tests helps to increase the likelihood of making contact with all possible living relatives in the database. It's especially helpful that cheek swab tests like the ones offered by MyHeritage don't expire. The product tends to go on sale around holidays like Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day, and the company offers an additional bulk-buying incentive in the form of free shipping when you buy more than two kits at a time, which means stockpiling the tests for upcoming occasions can be a relatively inexpensive prospect.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether you plan on getting any of the subscription plans, it is recommended that you use the free trial first. By doing this you will have access to all of the features of the complete subscription plan without having to spend any of your money.

This is a great way to test out the subscription plan before making a decision on whether or not to pay for the subscription. Quite frankly, there aren’t any reasons not to get the free trial. If you don’t plan on buying any subscription plans, then you should use the free trial to use some features you won’t have access to on a free plan.

Even if you are planning on buying a subscription plan, it is still good to use the free trial to test out the tools and figure out which ones you will actually use or not. This could help you choose a cheaper plan if you realize you won’t use some of the tools offered by the more expensive plans.