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      November 21, 2018

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Genealogy Bank vs My Heritage

To help you find the Best Ancestry Services, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Genealogy Bank and My Heritage.

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Research Your Genealogy with Ancestry Today! Genealogy, or the study of family history and lines of descent, is second only to gardening in terms of its popularity in the United States. From TV shows like Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are?, to DNA testing kits that show an individual's unique genetic roots and relatives throughout the world, it's easy to see that learning about one's ancestry has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people.

In the past, researching a family tree was an arduous, often lengthy process. Vital documents had to be requested from local, state, and federal governments, and sometimes required proof of kinship in order to be granted. Many of these requests came with significant fees, sometimes as much as $20 per document.

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Best Reviews

2018

Genealogy Services Reviews

3 stars
Genealogy Bank

GENEALOGY BANK Visit Site

Cost:

$9.95 for a 30-day trial

$19.95/month or $69.95/year

As part of the Newsbank, Inc. group of services, Genealogy Bank helps individuals discover more about their family history through obituaries and other information typically published in a newspaper, military records, pamphlets, and more. Their database includes more than 7,000 historical newspapers from large cities and small towns throughout the United States dating back to as early as 1690.

There are many user testimonials that express delight with finding information through Genealogy Bank that they were unable to find elsewhere, especially those whose roots lie in parts of America that are off the beaten path. On the other hand, because Genealogy Bank does not have many of the documents traditionally used as a starting point (for example, US Census records, governmental registers of births and deaths), and it also lacks the ability to create, share, and connect with one's family tree, it may be of most use to those genealogists who already have established a considerable amount of information about their family tree and are hoping to dig deeper or find that one person that has eluded them for years.

Unlike most of the genealogy services in our review, Genealogy Bank does not offer a free trial. Customers can opt for a 30-day trial for $9.95, after which point their options are a $19.95 monthly subscription or an annual subscription for $69.95. On a positive note, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee within the first 30 days, effectively making it a free 30-day trial if the customer chooses to ask for the full refund.

In short, what Genealogy Bank does, it does well: namely, providing access to more than 320 years of newspapers and other types of printed materials published throughout the United States. For family history buffs hoping to discover details about the day-to-day lives of their ancestors as revealed in society pages, featured news stories and more, Genealogy Bank may provide information that they have been seeking for years. However, for someone who is new to genealogy research or who is looking to create an online family tree, Genealogy Bank comes up short compared with other services in our review.

Visit Site

2.5 stars
My Heritage

MY HERITAGE Visit Site

Cost:

$119.40/year for a Data Subscription

Premium and Premium Plus available, price varies

Based in Israel with additional offices in Utah and California, My Heritage has been making connections between genealogy researchers and their ancestors since 2005. With more than 83 million users and 33 million family trees, My Heritage is clearly committed to helping people connect with one another. In fact, their Smart Match and Record Match system automatically alerts users when any records pop up that might be related to someone entered in their family tree. Those matches come from My Heritage's more than six billion historical records, from census records in the US, UK, and even Nordic nations, to family trees created by users at Family Search, Geni, and My Heritage itself.

Where My Heritage loses us is when it comes to their pricing and membership options. It takes a considerable amount of digging through the website to determine that there are three membership plans: Data, Premium, and Premium Plus. For $119.40 per year, a Data Subscription allows users full access to My Heritage's SuperSearch and Record Match features. The Premium plan includes up to 2500 people in the family tree, Family Tree Builder Premium, priority customer support, and several special features like Timeline and Enhanced Smart Matching. Premium Plus includes all of the benefits of the Premium plan, along with an unlimited number of people within the family tree and the ability to use My Heritage's Instant Discoveries feature, which allows users to add a group of ancestors in one click rather than having to enter each one individually.

What do those upgrades cost? Even after a considerable search of the site itself, the only information My Heritage makes available is "contact our sales representative for more information". Given that the starter plan is already a considerable amount, we would expect much more transparency with their pricing plans, especially with some user reviews stating that the pricing may vary based on how many users one has in his or her family tree.

We also were discouraged to see so many negative user reviews, almost exclusively regarding My Heritage's pricing and difficulty in getting refunds. Many customers complain that they attempted to cancel during a 14-day free trial period but were billed anyway, and getting a refund proved difficult-to-impossible for a significant number of users.

While My Heritage may give users access to an excellent variety of records and have features that make family tree building a simple process, their customer service and pricing information (or lack thereof) give us pause. In order to improve their rating, we'd expect to see more obvious pricing information and improvement in customer reviews, particularly with respect to refunds.

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Continued from above

Also, it was not uncommon for a request to go unfilled because the details provided by the requestor were incorrect - perhaps the individual was actually born in an adjacent county, or in a different year, or had a different name on his or her birth certificate.

Further complicating matters, most people's family trees contain ancestors whose native language was not English, making it even more difficult to locate and request information. Fortunately, today's genealogy buff has access to an unprecedented amount of birth and death certificates, obituaries, census records, and other researchers' results, just to name a few.

Genealogy services can help people find out more about their family history in a matter of minutes, rather than months or even years, through indexed records, broad databases, and even translations of vital documents from many different countries. Modern technology also allows genealogy buffs to take their research to the next level through DNA testing.

Often with just a simple swab of the cheek or a vial of saliva, curious individuals can get scientific evidence of their roots, connect with people who have shared ancestors, even discover family traits that have been passed down for generations.

  • Cost. How much will you need to pay to access the records and other information on the site? Are there monthly options, if you only need to find a few records, or discounts for yearly subscriptions?
  • Variety of information available. What types of records does the site provide? Is it a wide range of governmental data (e.g. census, death certificates, etc.), published information (e.g. obituaries and other newspaper articles), and family trees submitted by other users? Can the information the site provides be found for free on other websites?
  • Family tree features. Does the service allow you to create your own family tree and easily link information you find on the site? Are you able to connect with other researchers interested in the same ancestral line? Can you add photos, stories, and other personal details to your family tree?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Genealogy Services available today. We hope these reviews help you find your ancestors and discover more about your own family tree today!

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