I love to use MyHeritage to record and keep track of my family tree — and not just because I work at MyHeritage! As a genealogist with decades of experience, I can honestly say that the platform’s innovative features save me lots of time and effort, and help me achieve insights and discoveries I may never have been able to otherwise.
In this post, I’ll introduce you to some of my favorite features on MyHeritage — the ones I find myself coming back to again and again to help me with my research — in no particular order.
1. Consistency Checker
I consider the Consistency Checker to be one of the best tools on MyHeritage. The Consistency Checker reviews all the facts I add to my tree and searches for errors or possible mistakes. Sometimes, when I transcribe records into my tree, I don’t realize that the years I’m entering are wrong or have typos. The Consistency Checker will give me 36 different types of error reports to warn me about possible mistakes I’ve made when importing or entering information.
For example, it identifies when the birthdate of a child precedes the birthdate of the child’s parents, or a child is born a significant amount of time after the death of a parent. Another example is when there is a large age gap between spouses, or when a child is born to a parent who seems too young. The Consistency Checker will also identify when someone is of a very advanced age and I might have forgotten to mark them as deceased.
You can access the Consistency Checker from the Family Tree tab on your family site. Learn more about how to use it in this Knowledge Base article: Keep Your Family Tree Accurate With the Tree Consistency Checker
2. Relationship report
I love this one because it helps me answer all the questions from my relatives about how they are related to me or to someone else in the family. The funny thing is that they keep asking the same questions again and again — and who could blame them when the answer to the question is something along the lines of “she’s your grandfather’s uncle’s cousin’s great-granddaughter” or even just “she’s your second cousin once removed”?! But the relationship report helps provide them with a very clear visual chart that explains each step between two individuals, and this makes the relationship much easier for them to understand. I love that I can print the report or save it as a PDF to share with them next time they ask.
You can access the relationship report by clicking “More” under the Family Tree tab and selecting it from the menu, and then enter the names of the people whose relationship you wish to determine. You can then download the chart as a PDF or print it by clicking the icons on the upper right.
By the way, wherever you see a person’s relationship to you listed in gray with a dashed underline, you can click on it to see a diagram of that person’s relationship to you.
The next feature I really love is PedigreeMap. This feature allows me to see the places where significant events occurred in my ancestors’ lives, such as births, deaths, and marriages — even photos taken that I have labeled as being from a specific place.
The filter function on PedigreeMap allows me to view the map with pins for my extended family, my immediate family, only ancestors, or everybody in my tree, drilling down into each country and each of the cities and towns of that country. The feature also provides me with a list of everybody related to a specific place, and it even warns me if there’s a mistake or inconsistency relating to the place.
So PedigreeMap helps me ensure that my information is accurate, but more than that, it gives me insight into why my family are related as they are, especially when we consider that our ancestors didn’t travel very far in order to marry.
You can find PedigreeMap by clicking “More” under the Family Tree tab in the navigation bar. Read more about how to use it in this MyHeritage Knowledge Base article: How To Use PedigreeMap.
4. Family Tree Timeline
Using this feature, I can build a timeline for my family going up to 9 generations back for any individual on my tree. This helps me understand that person’s life in the context of the events happening around them, whether that was historical events or the births and deaths of other family members. It lays out the ages when they had their children in an easy-to-understand visual format.
Family Tree Timeline helps me spot very easily if I have someone’s birth and death dates entered incorrectly or am missing information.
Read more about using Family Tree Timeline in this article on the Knowledge Base: Exploring Your Family Tree Timeline
5. Photo Discoveries
Sure, adding a whole new branch to your family tree with Instant Discoveries can be fun, but as a genealogist who prefers to add information to my tree more painstakingly, I personally get much more excited about Photo Discoveries.
Photo Discoveries can find personal images for people who are already in my family tree — sometimes people whose faces I may never have seen before. New photos like these are precious finds indeed. I appreciate that I can review the photos one by one and pick the ones I want to add to my tree.
You can view your Photo Discoveries by selecting “Instant Discoveries” under the Discoveries tab in the navigation bar, then clicking the Photo Discoveries tab at the top of the page.
6. Photo Tagger
This is a relatively new feature on MyHeritage and wow, is it fantastic!
Photo Tagger allows me to tag up to 25 photos of the same individual in literally seconds. As someone who has hundreds and hundreds of photos of the same close family members, having their faces tagged and recognized in those photos is enormously helpful to me.
For a detailed article on tagging your photos individually or with Photo Tagger, read Image Tagging: How To Tag Pictures & Enrich Your Family Tree On MyHeritage from our Knowledge Base.
7. Record Matches
There is a very simple reason I love this feature: I am lazy.
Record Matches make my life so much easier because it prevents a need to actively search for records mentioning the individuals in my family tree. All I need to do is take a look at my tree, click the brown icons where they appear, and review the records the algorithm has found for me automatically.
While I generally trust historical records more than other people’s family trees, they should still be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes the record itself contains errors, or the Record Match is incorrect and brings me a record of a person with the same name who was born or died in the same place. So it’s very important to read and review these records just to make sure they concern the right person.
8. Research this person
If you want to be less lazy, there’s another feature that you may like: the “Research this person” link that appears in the left-hand profile panel of each individual in your tree.
This feature automatically runs a search using the main details of this person, which saves you the trouble of entering the information into the search form yourself. I do recommend giving this feature a try if you’re not getting any good Record Matches for a specific person, because sometimes the search will come up with results that the Record Match algorithm wasn’t “confident enough” to serve you but are actually relevant to this individual.
9. The Census Helper
Speaking of saving time when searching for historical records about your family members, how about the Census Helper?
This is a super useful tool that scans your tree and generates a list of individuals who are likely to appear in a specific census record collection. The Census Helper covers censuses from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, and France, and it’s so easy to use. All you need to do is click the “Research” button for someone in the list to search for that person in the relevant census.
You can find more detailed instructions on using this feature in this Knowledge Base article: Jump-start Your 1950 Census Research With Census Helper
10. Labels for DNA Matches
Finally, I must mention our fantastic labels for DNA Matches.
With this feature, I can group my matches according to the different branches on my family tree. This makes it much easier for me to guess which branch of the tree unknown DNA matches belong to, because when I look at my shared matches with the mystery match, I can see any labels I’ve assigned to those shared matches and pick up on patterns right away. Then, I’m ready to take a look at the match’s pedigree tree and contact that person to try and figure out exactly who our common ancestor is.
Learn more about using labels to organize your DNA matches in this Knowledge Base article: How to Use Labels to Break New Ground with Your DNA Matches
MyHeritage has so many great features, it was hard to choose just 10 — and as we’re constantly innovating, there are always more and more to choose from! I hope this article helped introduce you to some features you may not have explored yet, or invited you to take a closer look at the ones you already knew about.
Daniel Horowitz is the Genealogy Expert for MyHeritage. Dedicated to Genealogy since 1986, Daniel was the teacher and the study guide editor of the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for 15 years. He was a board member of The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) for 10 years. He is now involved in several crowdsource digitization and transcription projects, and holds a board-level position at The Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). Since 2006 Daniel has been working at MyHeritage liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and media, as well as lecturing and attending conferences around the world.
Enjoy more posts from the Daniel’s Favorites series:
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Source: My Heritage