There are several reasons why you might want to take on the task of genealogy research on your family’s roots. Maybe you are just curious and want to know better about your own ancestors and traditions. Maybe you or one of your relative is going to marry, and you want to make sure that the will-be spouse is not related by blood to your family. Checking the family roots for such case is actually very important because, besides some cultures consider it taboo to marry a family member, marrying someone who is closely related to you by blood is scientifically discouraged because it can lead to health issues for the child.
Well, whatever your reason is, taking on a family research project can be daunting. However, with all the modern technologies available today, it no longer has to be so. Now, there are various genealogy services available on the Internet. These genealogy services do not just build you a digital family tree; they can also do the searches for you and automatically deliver historical documents with matching names, dates, and places related to your family tree. Two of the most popular genealogy services right now are MyHeritage and Ancestry. So, how do the two compare against each other?
Let’s start by taking a look at the overview of both services. MyHeritage was founded in 2005, and, so far, it has gathered over than 75 million registered users. It has been praised for the powerful features that can enhance the accuracy and completeness of your family tree. It combines social tools with an enormous library of historical records and other related documents. MyHeritage is available in three different pricing options. The Basic plan is free, though requiring you to sign up first, and allows you to add up to 250 people to your family tree; included along are the 500 MB storage space where you can add photos and videos and the basic Smart Matching. The Premium plan costs $82.56 per year, allows you to add up to 2,500 people to your family tree, and comes with 1,000 MB storage space, enhanced Smart Matching, Timeline, and priority customer support. Meanwhile, the Premium Plus plan costs $131.40 per year and features unlimited family tree size, unlimited storage space, enhanced Smart Matching, Timeline, Timebook, and priority customer support.
Ancestry is one of the largest online genealogy communities in the world, has been around since 1983. It has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and it has acquired several other companies to enlarge its database for your research purposes. The digital family tree is very easy to use and intuitive, and the database is extremely comprehensive, encompassing all kinds of searchable records. Ancestry offers a variety of pricing plans, and choosing one depends a lot on what you want to get. You can choose a monthly subscription or a six-month commitment on whichever plan. There is the US Deluxe Membership ($19.99 per month, $99.99 for six months), which gives you access to the US database only. For access to international records, the World Deluxe plan ($34.99 per month, $149.99 for six months) is the way to go. Then, there is the World Explorer Plus plan ($44.99 per month, $199.99 for six months), which gives you access to all records.
MyHeritage vs. Ancestry: Family Tree Building
Both services offer extensive features on their online family tree builders, and both are also incredibly user-friendly, easy to navigate. Both allow you to add photos and videos. However, they also come with some distinctive features. MyHeritage has a builder that is extremely detailed; it allows you to add all kinds of information, including hobbies and favorite sports, on every member of the family tree. On the other hand, Ancestry is solely focused on historical events with dates and places.
MyHeritage vs. Ancestry: Database and Record Search
MyHeritage and Ancestry are fairly equal in terms of database and record search. MyHeritage has been praised for being extremely accurate. It even goes as far as providing full addresses, former employment places, etc. It searches on billions of records, including birth, death, and marriage certificates. Ancestry works pretty much similarly by using the “hints” feature, and the search can extend to the Newspaper.com and Fold3.com if you choose the World Explorer Plus plan.
MyHeritage vs. Ancestry: DNA Test
Both services provide DNA tests, too. MyHeritage comes with many different test options, and the prices vary up to $529. Don’t worry; not all of the tests are that expensive. The specialized tests can be handy for particular purposes. On the other hand, the DNA test on Ancestry only costs $99. The price of Ancestry’s DNA test is indeed more reasonable, and, since it has been around for a longer time, we can expect the database to be larger, with more people to be matched with your DNA.
MyHeritage vs. Ancestry: Pricing
The problem with MyHeritage that often expressed by people is that it requires a long-term commitment from you. The available plans all require yearly subscriptions. There is the free Basic plan, which is actually already very usable if you don’t need your research to go very far, but the free plan does not give you access to the extensive record database.
If you don’t want to go for a long-term commitment, Ancestry is your best option. Well, it does not have a free version, but it provides a free trial period for 14 days, which can be handy to try out things first. It readily includes record searches without requiring add-on fees.
|- Founded in 2005||- Founded in 1983|
|- Billions of records in the database||- Acquired several other companies to enlarge the database, with worldwide records|
|- Available in a free version and two yearly paid versions||- 14-day trial period, three paid versions with one-month or six-month subscription|
|- Extremely detailed family tree builder||- The family tree builder is solely focused on historical events|
|- Various specialized DNA tests||- One general DNA test|
So, MyHeritage or Ancestry? You can’t really go wrong with either. Ancestry is considered to be the better option by some people due to it being older. It has collected a very broad database, allowing for better accuracy and completeness. It also has lower upfront costs, giving you the flexibility to subscribe to a one-month or six-month plan. However, MyHeritage can be your choice if you prefer the extremely detailed family tree builder or if you need one of the specialized DNA tests.