If you're new to the fascinating hobby of genealogy, our Genealogy for beginners page is just for you. It offers hints and tips on how to start researching your heritage, creating a family tree and taking your first steps in genealogy.
MyHeritage.com Research is a genealogy search engine. It is useful for searching for people, such as one's ancestors. If you wish to search for photos, or people appearing in photos, go to the Media Center on MyHeritage.com and run your search there.
MyHeritage.com Research is optimized for searching for people. However, we provide a separate specialized search engine for places. You can use it to find places you're looking for, even if you are unsure of their spelling. It will display the place you entered on a map, give you its present-day name and show you synonyms for the place name, which may be useful for further research.
No, the use of MyHeritage.com Research is free, and we don't sell genealogy data or subscriptions. We don't process or re-purpose the search results themselves, we just obtain the results, count them, and make it easy for you to reach them directly. This saves you the labor of running hundreds of queries yourself in various genealogy databases on the Web only to discover that they don't have the matches you are looking for.
Viewing individual search results obtained through our queries may require subscription or payment according to the terms of the specific Web site on which the results were found. Most of the third party sources we use are free, but some require either a paid subscription or a one-time fee. To help you in your research, we have marked databases which may charge a fee with a $ image. We are not intermediaries, so should you wish to register with any genealogy resource, or purchase a product, you need to do so directly.
Note that some of the fee-based sources still provide free preliminary search results which could be of value, so it's recommended to review all relevant results in any case.
There is no catch. Our goal is to provide the best and the most user-friendly genealogy research tool for everyone to enjoy. We make money through other services offered on MyHeritage.com such as the family sites. We have developed the most comprehensive genealogy research tool available not for making a quick buck but for benefiting the genealogy community.
MyHeritage.com Research is a powerful search tool, which runs each of your queries in real-time in over 1526 genealogy databases. The Megadex™ feature further multiplies the total number of queries by the number of spelling variants chosen. The result is that MyHeritage.com Research needs immense computing resources to run such complex searches for a large number of users. The only way to overcome this challenge is to utilize the power of your computer to perform your search. This way we can allow many genealogists to take advantage of MyHeritage.com Research simultaneously.
To engage your computer's power in the search process, a signed Java applet that can be used exclusively by MyHeritage.com Research, for your searches only, must be installed on your computer. This is a one-time installation that takes a few minutes at most to perform, but will shave hours off your search time. By installing the applet, the search is run locally, through your browser, speeding yours searches considerably. To install the Java applet just run a search and you will be prompted to approve it. You may also need to approve automatic installation of the Java runtime environment software by Sun Microsystems, which is a prerequisite for running any Java applets and some computers do not have it by default.
Yes. If you have a fast computer you can use the speed slider on the search results page to boost the speed of the search. The slider commands the MyHeritage.com Research Java applet and lets you control how much of your computer's processing power is allocated to your search at any time. Moving the slider to the right will speed up the search, but use up more of your computer's processing power. Conversely, if you notice that your computer is becoming sluggish while a search is running, you can move the slider to the left to use less of your computer's processing power. Doing so, however, will cause your search to take longer to complete.
Most searches do not require registration. One-time registration is only required to access some important features of MyHeritage.com Research that are based on personalization. For example, in order to allow you to store a search and restore its results instantly at any time in the future, MyHeritage.com Research needs to be able to differentiate between you and other users, and this is achieved by registration.
Registering at MyHeritage.com is free and provides the following benefits:
Megadex™ -- a significant time-saver. Allows you to run queries that cover many spelling variations of the same name in one go. Read more about Megadex™ here
Search Connect™ -- automatically shows you who else is researching the same names that you are interested in
Saving searches -- allows you to retrieve the results of a previous search instantly and without running it again. This saves time, plus keeps track of the results you already viewed. With this feature, you can go through the results of a search systematically, at any time, without losing track of your progress
Annotating saved searches - allows you to add valuable research notes that are saved for you together with the search results, for instant retrieval any time you need them
If you have not registered already, you may do so now by clicking here.
MyHeritage.com Research is case insensitive, so it doesn't matter if you use lower case or upper case. If the last name you are researching contains hyphens, apostrophes and other punctuation marks, note that what you type in is passed to many genealogy databases as-is. So for best results, you may need to try your search both with them and without them, as each genealogy database may have different requirements regarding such punctuation marks.
You may search for names using any Latin-based language such as English, French, Italian, Spanish, etc, including the use of accents. Non-Latin languages like Hebrew, Russian or Greek, can be transliterated to English letters and then searched for.
Typical searches take between one to three minutes. Megadex™ searches take longer depending on the number of spelling variants you select. MyHeritage.com Research submits your search to over 1526 sources of information, all at once and in real-time. The first results displayed typically arrive within a few seconds, courtesy of the fastest sources, with the slower sources last to respond. Since results are displayed as soon as they arrive, you can start examining the first results while additional results come pouring in. You never have to wait until your entire query is complete before you can start reviewing the results.
No. If you wish, you can stop a query while it is still running by clicking the "Stop Current Search" button. Stopped queries cannot be resumed, however, so use this only if you are not interested in additional results. To obtain full results for a query that was stopped, simply run it again.
When you run a search on MyHeritage.com Research, you will get a results page similar to that of any search engine, such as Google. The page lists all sources that returned results that matched your search criteria, together with a preview image of each source. Only sources that returned matches are shown, to reduce clutter. Since we search 1526 sources simultaneously, MyHeritage.com Research gives priority to those that respond first and starts to populate your results page as soon as it gets answers. You don't have to wait until the search is complete to start viewing results. Just click on the "View" link next to the applicable result and a new browser window will appear showing the results of the corresponding Website or database. When running a Megadex™ search, the results will include an entry for each name on each database. For example, if you chose to search for 5 spelling variants in 10 sources, your search results page will display up to 50 rows. Each row in the results table shows the database in which a match was found, the spelling variant for which the match was found, and the number of matches in that database for that variant. You can then decide which result you want to view.
Due to the fact that each source may return hundreds of matches according to your search criteria, we list only the source and the number of matches found for each source. Clicking on a "View" link for one of the sources will take you directly to results for your search as though you had visited the corresponding site and done a search there. You won't find yourself stranded in an unfamiliar site with no direct answers at hand, because we take care to lead you straight to the results you are looking for. We never redirect or re-purpose information; MyHeritage.com Research simply serves as a gateway between you and many genealogy corridors you may never have been able to reach and search efficiently before.
Yes. After a query is complete you can sort the results by the name of the source (alphabetically) or by the number of matches, by clicking on the column headers "Database" and "Matches." To reverse the sorting order, click on the header again.
Yes. You can save the results of your searches by becoming a registered MyHeritage.com member. It's free to register and only takes a minute. Click here to register on MyHeritage.com.
After registration, save any search by clicking on "Save Current Search" in the results page.
To access a saved search, select "My searches" from the menu. All previously saved searches will be listed and you may retrieve the results any search instantly. This is faster than running the same search again, and has additional advantages such as annotation of research notes and scheduling recurring searches.
Try expanding your search by using your ancestor's last name only (without specifying any additional information in the query). Use our Megadex™ feature to find spelling variants of your ancestor's last name and cover more ground in your search. Check out our Search Tips page for further ideas.
At MyHeritage.com there are plenty of genealogists who are more than happy to share information and advice with you. Try the MyHeritage.com Message Boards and post your questions and requests for assistance there.
Now that you've started to uncover your heritage, you can start recording it. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
MyHeritage.com Family Tree Builder is a free software download that allows you to easily build and organize your family tree. This is where you can put together your family tree and connect all the facts together. Click here to download it.
MyHeritage.com Family Pages offers you a great place to post your family tree to the Web along with many other great features for your whole family, such as photo sharing with face recognition technology, event calendars, and more. Basic plans are free and it is very easy to sign up. Click here to start now.
By using these two products you can create a family tree and publish it on the Internet to share with relatives and for future generations to enjoy.
Yes, certainly. The MyHeritage.com team is constantly updating and maintaining information sources and we always love to add more. Please click here to fill in a contact form with as much information as possible on the source you would like to add, and we will be happy to check it out.
Unfortunately, no. MyHeritage.com Research is powerful, but it is not a "silver bullet". The beauty of genealogy is that it is a never-ending quest and there is always more information left for you to discover. We designed MyHeritage.com Research with the intention of creating the best available tool for online genealogy research. But there is a wealth of genealogy information that is not available online, but locked instead in libraries and archives. The only way to get to this information is to go there in person or hire a professional researcher to do this for you. There is, of course, lots of information that has never been printed, it is stored in the memory of your relatives and can be uncovered by meeting and interviewing them (hurry up! Your relatives are not getting any younger!). There is also data available online that isn't, or cannot be, covered by MyHeritage.com Research. There are Websites that contain valuable information that isn't indexed for searching (like scanned documents that must be reviewed one by one), so MyHeritage.com Research cannot use them. So although online genealogy research is just one of the techniques available for family history research (albeit the most convenient one), it is not the only one, and you should combine the use of MyHeritage.com Research with many additional approaches in order to achieve the best results.