discover your ancestors
Genealogy Research,  Genealogy Tools

Discover Your Ancestors Using MyHeritage – The How, Why & Tips!

Discover your ancestors using the powerful genealogy research tools at MyHeritage. Don’t miss searching 12+ billion historical records for your ancestors.

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Finding our ancestors in no easy feat at times. In our effort to be efficient and accurate, we must make frequent decisions about our genealogy research.

  • Which records should I research?
  • Where are those records?
  • Is online research vs on-site research needed?
  • Which genealogy database should I use?

And the biggest question of them all —>  Did I find everything?!

discover your ancestors
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Genealogy research online usually makes researchers think of The Big 4: Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, and FamilySearch

I actually research in all 4, but really want to show you some unique features about  how to discover your ancestors in MyHeritage that I particularly like: The Super Search and the Discoveries Tab.

First up, you  need to upload a family tree. You can simply start creating your family tree by adding your information manually. Or, you can upload a gedcom file of your family tree.  

MyHeritage homepage

Hover over the “Family Tree” tab in the top toolbar and click “Import GEDCOM” in the drop-down menu.

GEdcom Upload

Choose the GEDCOM from your files and Upload. You are ready to go.

Discover Your Ancestors Using SuperSearch!

Once you have your tree started or uploaded, it’s time to start researching. Head over to the research tab where you will find the SuperSearch! 

Research tab in MyHeritage

As you can see I’ve filled out the information on my ancestor Matthew Talbot (b. 1699). Hitting “Search” and I get my results. You can see the categories on the left. Like other databases, you can narrow down your search results and start analyzing your records.

MyHeritage Search Results for Matthew Talbot

Genealogy Tip: Be sure and explore the “Books & Publications” collections. You can find published family histories and local histories as well. You know how much I love using local histories!

SuperSearch on MyHeritage has some unique features that I particularly like. SuperSearch is an global search engine, and as a global search engine, it can interface with records in 42 different languages. As my personal research has expanded overseas, I am particularly glad for this (though I will be in need of a translator soon!). The search feature will also let researchers search records by location. This is helpful when I am trying to learn just what records are available for a “new to me” research location.

Discover Your Ancestors In the “Discoveries” Tab

Let’s take a look at another way to find information on your ancestors. We are going to use the “Discover” tab. I primarily research the traditional way the “Research” tab, but finding others with similar research interests and/or “new to me” cousins greatly benefits my genealogy research.  I call this networking genealogy style. [Read more about how to use genealogy-style networking in your research.]   Here’s how it works:

From the Discoveries tab drop down menu, click on “Matches by People”.

MyHeritage Matches button

Clicking  “Matches by People” brings you here to the page where you find ancestors from your family tree and the number and type of information for you to review. In this example, I am looking at the first entry for Henderson Baucom. I want to review the three matches found for him.

Reviewing the first match, I have a couple of options. If I want to accept the match after a review, I can “Confirm Match” and add the information to my family tree. 

I’m stepping up on my soapbox, now.

Heed a word of caution – Do not just accept information from another researcher’s tree without confirming the information is correct.  Skipping the verification step can lead to big errors in your tree. In other words, do not copy and paste ancestors into your tree!

[I’m stepping down off the soapbox now.]

But….

Remember I am seeking out other researchers to network with. I am just as interested in who posted the information. In this case, Page ______  posted this individual in her tree.  Her information was accurate and detailed. This is someone I would want to reach out to to discuss other potential ancestors and resources.  I can do that by clicking the link provided.

MyHeritage match for Henderson Baucom

What do I want to know or ask when I reach out to other researchers? What does networking genealogy style look like?

I want to ask if we can compare family trees, but I also want to go a bit deeper. I want to where they typically find their sources and if they know of the existence of a Family Bible.  Of course, this is not a one way street!  I share information from my research and photos, etc. they may not have. I find other genealogy researchers are usually quite gracious in sharing their information.

When you find good matches in the search results, don’t be afraid to reach out to the researcher! 

Now It’s Your Turn!

You’ve seen some of the ways I research on MyHeritage, and it’s your turn. 

Explore the Research and the Discoveries tabs on MyHeritage and see what you can find. Think outside of the genealogy research box and explore those frequently overlooked collections such as the Histories, Memories & Biographies collection.

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