Ancestry Review

  Last updated June 21, 2024

Advertising Disclosure | How We Rate

"The world's largest online family history database"
  27 Billion records and 100 Million family trees
  Ancestry Hints auto-search capability
  Advanced DNA testing available
  Free trial for 14 days
  Coverage in over 80 countries

Our Rating


Price 8.7 / 10
Database Size 8.9 / 10
Software 8.8 / 10
Ease of Use 8.4 / 10
Features 8.2 / 10
Customer Service 8.1 / 10

Overview


Since 2003, MyHeritage has allowed people to create and manage their family trees. Originally desktop software, MyHeritage can now be conveniently accessed via browser. The site offers a family tree maker, photo editing, and historical records that enable users to discover more about their families. Since 2016, MyHeritage has also offered its own DNA testing service, which analyzes DNA for ethnicity and user DNA matches in the site's database.

At a Glance


Price Range Premium memberships range from $129 to $299 annually; DNA tests cost $79, additional DNA analysis is $29
Ideal For New to experienced users willing to purchase willing to subscribe and those who want to find international relatives
# of Historical Records 14.6 million
# of Profiles/Users > 93 million
DNA Test Option Yes

Features


The main features of MyHeritage are the family tree maker (with suggestions based on historical records and other user trees), photo management, and DNA testing and analysis. Premium members can access the Consistency Checker to find errors in their trees. The tree builder is robust and comparable to other leading services, while photo editing is simple and intriguing. 

One of this site's most unique focuses is photos. Users can upload their own and add photos to their family tree from discovered matches. The site's Smart Matching lets users easily add information and merge entries. MyHeritage offers a photo editor that lets users colorize, enhance, and even animate their family photos.

Ease of Use


MyHeritage has a website that's relatively easy to use for beginners. DNA, discoveries, photos, and the tree builder are linked from the main navigation, and the user inbox is easy to find. The site seems a bit cluttered overall.

The family tree builder is quite similar to that of sites such as Ancestry, so users won't have to reinvent the wheel. The interface may confuse those who aren't tech-savvy and haven't used family tree software before.

While MyHeritage readily offers potential matches, this can be confusing and lead to duplicates in a family tree. This becomes an issue because the site limits free users to 250 people in their trees. Furthermore, MyHeritage separates data, DNA, and family tree subscriptions, which could frustrate users who realize they do not have access to certain DNA analyses, others' family trees, or historical records.

Review Highlights


MyHeritage has a score of 3.9/5.0 on Trustpilot. 57% of those ratings are 5-star. On Amazon, MyHeritage's DNA test has earned 4.4/5.0 stars with 71% 5-star reviews. Users commend the company for its helpful customer service. Many users enjoy that MyHeritage is an international site, which allows more people to access DNA tests and provides a larger reference population for determining ethnicity via DNA.

However, negative reviews show common themes of unauthorized subscription renewal and issues with duplicate entries in the family tree maker. Some international customers remark that they cannot return their DNA tests because of how their local laws govern biological material. A review from PC Mag also criticizes the lack of DNA interpretation tools.

Pricing & Subscription Options


MyHeritage users can stick to the free account, but their own family tree will be limited to 250 people. They will also not be able to browse others' family trees. All Family Site subscriptions increase the tree size and include access to other family sites and members.

PremiumPlus membership offers access to others' trees and photos, and Instant Discoveries. Only the Complete subscription lets users automatically match people to records and access the full database, which includes 14.6 million records and 25 million newspaper pages.

Users can purchase data subscriptions separately if they manage their trees elsewhere. It gives access to all the records and Record Matching but not trees on MyHeritage for $189 annually. Users who do not purchase the Complete package will ultimately pay more if they buy data and family site subscriptions separately. The site only offers annual payment options for the above.

While a DNA kit costs $79, users who upload their DNA must pay $29 for advanced analysis.

Brand Reputation


Although it has its share of detractors like most businesses, Firstleaf ranks highly when compared to other wine clubs. it's a solid contender for beginners but suits wine aficionados even better. Members have a huge say and the kinds of wines they receive, which distinguishes Firstleaf from many of its competitors. Additionally, the ability to adjust the frequency of shipments to suit the member’s needs is an outstanding feature of this wine tasting club.

Shipping


No expedited options are available, but shipping is included in the cost of $90 per box. Although Firstleaf offers a 100% guarantee and sends a refund for any returned wines, you pay to ship the bottles back.

Customer Service


MyHeritage offers 24/7 phone customer support in English from Monday to Saturday. The company has toll-free numbers in the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, and New Zealand. Users can also contact support online through the help center. Premium users get priority customer support. However, there is no live online chat option offered. The knowledge base includes over 100 articles on using the site and genealogy in general.

Why Choose MyHeritage?


MyHeritage undercuts competitors both for premium access and DNA tests, and the company's periodic sales make it an even more affordable option. The ability to pick and choose which features you want may save money, Broad language support attracts users from around the world, making MyHeritage ideal for American users who want to find current and past relatives who lived in other countries and non-Americans who cannot use other services.

Because you can download family tree and DNA data, you can easily upload it to other sites that offer that option. Users who want their DNA data on Ancestry should pay for the test there and upload the raw data to MyHeritage because Ancestry doesn't offer a DNA upload option.

Final Thoughts


MyHeritage appears to be an affordable option compared to competitors and is nearly as easy to use with access to millions of members and records. However, limiting non-paying members to 250 members in their family tree makes it difficult to do broad genealogy research, and the various subscription options may wind up costing more if users need access to specific features. As long as users know what they want and verify what is included with each membership level, they should be fine. It's also the only DNA testing option available for residents of some countries.

Pros & Cons


Pros
  Affordable premium membership and DNA tests

  Can upload raw DNA data from other sources

  Open to international users

  Large reference population

  Fast DNA testing turnaround

Cons
  Free accounts limited to 250-member family trees

  Subscription options may be confusing

  Small database

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