I’ve been a paid member of Ancestry.com$ since 2004. I use the website daily in my research. I also use many other websites such as Family Search, FindAGrave, Seeking Michigan, West Virginia Culture, Archive.org, Google Books, Interment.net, Newspapers.com$, Genealogy Bank$, Fold3$ and Steve Morse’s website. There are many more not mentioned here.
Several of those are subscription based and I’ve indicated them with a dollar sign. I don’t mind that because they have provided much information to me over the years.
So, why would I need to pay for another subscription service? What could they possibly offer that I don’t already have access to?
That really was the question I’ve asked myself for some time now. I have made use of the free version of MyHeritage by uploading DNA from family members and adding the limited number of people to a tree, available in the free version. That always seemed like enough.
But then……………Lisa Louise Cooke of Genealogy Gems Podcast, advertised a 50% off subscription. Just $125 for a year for All Access. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen offers like this before, or very similar. I never acted on them. Why now?
I don’t have a good answer to that question. I will tell you that I purchased the subscription and immediately created a current Gedcom from my Legacy database and uploaded it. If I’m going to use a website I may as well have my whole tree on there for finding matches.
Within 24-36 hours I checked back in and there were all of these matches listed, OVER 999!
My immediate thought (being the slight sceptic that I am), I thought, well, they will probably be census records and those things I’ve already located before.
I WAS WRONG! Oh so very wrong.
Under “Record Matches” there were 111 sources with 6,889 matches – so what were these matches, which websites, would they be useful to me?
I began scrolling through this list of 111 sources. What would I find? Here’s a list of the first few of them:
- FamilySearch Family Tree
- Geni World Family Tree
- Many U.S. Federal Census Records
- Wiki Tree
Note: I took this screen shot after confirming two of the matches, so the number is down to 112.
The answer to my question about valid matches is Yes most of them are valid matches. And, many of them are obituaries or articles I did not have.
I’m so happy that the $125 I spent on that subscription. If I found nothing else, but these matches, the price was well worth it. BUT…..wait, there’s so much more.
- I’ve got 48 matches in U.S. Yearbooks 1890-1979. I’ve looked at yearbooks on Ancestry, but many of the ones I see here are matches I hadn’t located.
- There’s the Idaho death certificate I hadn’t yet found.
- Pennsylvania Newspapers with 21 matches
- England & Wales Death Index 1837-2005 with 25 matches
- Various other newspapers by state
The bottom line to this is. We all need to make sure we are examining every resource available to us. Maybe, just maybe, that one item you find will break down that long standing brick wall. I sure hope it does for me, as I have several long standing ones.
One more thought. Perhaps it’s the idea of a new resource that we aren’t totally familiar with? It refreshes our thought pattern and re energizes us. What do you think?
I’ve got lots of records to look at now, so off I go. I’ll let you know what I find.
Speaking of that, please let me know what your experience has been when you’ve looked at a new group of records or subscribed to a site for the first time.
Copyright © 2010-2018 Diane Gould Hall
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO USE WITHOUT PERMISSION
My favorite feature on MyHeritage is the Ellis Island records. They have so improved the usability over the actual Ellis Island site, which basically ruined their own site when they did their fancy update a few years ago. Best of all, MyHeritage now includes indexed names of the person to whom they were going when they got off the ship. It's the way I was able to prove what my Nana told me - that her father had returned to the U.S. a couple of times after moving the family back to Europe about 1897. He showed up in NJ in 1912 with his brother-in-law going to stay with him!ReplyDelete
Linda - thank you so much for this tip. I haven't examined that group of records, yet, on MyHeritage. So many records, so little time :) I will certainly make a point to look at them today.Delete
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I also recently added MyHeritage. I like the fact that they group your hints by record type. That is so helpful when doing source citations!ReplyDelete
I like that feature too. I wish we could do that on Ancestry. I'm finding it extremely useful.Delete
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I have been with Legacy and use My Heritage also. Found ancestors with documentation back to 1586 pm my dads side and 480 AD on my wife's side. It is remarkable what one can find with the search. Enjoy My Heritage and you can find a load of relatives you did not know existed.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment Dennis. Best of luck in your research.Delete
I wish they would charge a monthly priceReplyDelete
Of course we have no control over such things. Some of the sites, such as Newspapers.com do offer a monthly rate.Delete
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I agree. There are some times where I am so busy I don’t work on my tree. I am an ancestry member with the world explorer membership but a lot of times I will just let it go to a basic membership when I am busy with life.Delete
I have a question about managing more than one tree. How do you remember to add the information that you find to all your trees? As you can tell by my question, I am not that experienced.ReplyDelete
Hi Mary - When you say multiple trees, are you talking about more than one tree on a particular website, or having online trees as well as a software database on your own computer, like Legacy? I keep and update only one tree on Ancestry and on MyHeritage, when it comes to research. I do have a special DNA only tree on Ancestry where I have only names, dates and places and which I update by uploading a new Gedcom regularly. I have never felt the need or desire to split my tree. From my husband's family to step family to adopted family, we are all in one tree. I hope that answers your question.Delete
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I had the same attitude as you did about paying for another subscription site, for me that opinion hasn't changed. I have found a lot on My Heritage, unfortunately much of it was my own research from Ancestry, or Family Search. I have also found a lot of information that is not connected with my family or was just entirely wrong and have no idea how that might be corrected. So for me My Heritage is not worth the cost as long as I can access it at a Family Search Library.ReplyDelete
Hi Georgie - for me, it's not the family trees on MyHeritage, it's the records I haven't found on other sites. I don't use family trees for anything but leads, so whether they are right or wrong is up to me to prove. I don't worry about correcting them. We all work differently and I'm glad you have a method that works for you. I appreciate your comment.Delete
My Heritage is probably most useful for beginners in genealogy who are working on ancestors who were born since 1900. My subscription to MyHeritage has been pretty much useless for finding new records that might help break down my brick walls, all between 1750-1810 in the United States. My top DNA matches are ones I've had on other websites; there are also too few family trees for my matches.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your comment. As an experienced researcher of over 15 years, I have located records on MyHeritage that I didn't find elsewhere. I suppose it's a matter of where our families are from as to which site will have the records we need. Whatever works is always what we should use. Best of luck in your research.Delete
You are so correct about trying new websites. I recently stumbled on North Dakota Genealogy - Just Ask. Within one day I had a map showing my Great Grandfather's land. I had never been able to find that land! It turns out the name was misspelled with one of the spellings I had NOT tried. One of the folks at the site found it though! Yahoo! And it turns out that the next quarter was owned by a cousin of my grandmother! Great day for me. And to add to the opinions of My Heritage, I too have joined and dropped ancestry. Ancestry is great at giving wonderful deals to a new subscriber, but the people who have been with them for years are not included. After watching a couple of webinars with My Heritage folks, I have a lot of faith in their business. What's more, their excitement in their company is contagious.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you've had such good luck. I have gotten so much information from other researchers on Facebook groups. As to Ancestry. I have had an ongoing subscription since 2004. I always call them up and try to get a better price, and so far, I have been successful. I have never paid full price for the World Deluxe subscription. For me, MyHeritage will not replace Ancestry, but be an additional tool for me to use.Delete
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I've been going back and forth trying to decide whether to get a My Heritage membership. I recently stumbled upon a family tree which may (or may not) break down a three year brick wall. I think I'm going to bite the bullet, get a membership and break down my Eastern European brick walls!ReplyDelete
I'm debating whether I will renew MyHeritage. I did find things initially and I do have a tree and my several family member's DNA on the site. However, I find that my "go to" is still always Ancestry, second is Family Search. I also use FindAGrave, the newspaper sites etc. But, do I go to the MyH site. Not really.Delete
Thanks for your comment. Please let me know what you do and how it turns out.