25 August 2023
Janna Helstein shares three expert tips on making the most of your search for ancestors on MyHeritage.
As an expert genetic genealogist and family historian, Janna Helstein has witnessed firsthand the power and potential of MyHeritage in unraveling the mysteries of the past. Here she shares her chosen selection of user tips, useful for both traditional and DNA research.
If you are a visual person like me, you will love this tool! The Color-Coding tool is now available at MyHeritage both in the Family Tree view as well as the Pedigree view, painting all direct ancestors in a given branch in a different colour.
These colours cannot be customized and are preset – paternal grandfather's line – blue; paternal grandmother's line – green; maternal grandfather's – red (or rather more pinkish if you ask me) and maternal grandmother – yellow.
The good news is that these colors follow the same pattern whether you are looking at your own tree, or the trees of your DNA matches, making it simple to distinguish and track different ancestral lines, and easier to navigate and understand your genetic connections.
Collaboration is key
Collaborate with the relatives around you. Use the MyHeritage platform for connecting and collaborating with relatives who may be researching the same family lines. Use the built-in messaging system to reach out to potential relatives and share information. Collaboration includes engaging with the MyHeritage community on social media platforms like Facebook (MyHeritage users FB group) , Twitter, and Instagram. Engage with other researchers, share your discoveries, and learn from the experiences of fellow genealogists.
Collaborating with others online can lead to the discovery of new branches, photographs, stories, and documents that enrich your family history.
Be smart when using Smart Matches
MyHeritage's Smart Matches feature compares your family tree with other trees on the site, millions of them, automatically identifying potential matches. When a match is found, you'll receive a notification with details of the potential connection.
Review and review again these matches carefully. Don't forget that smart matches are clues. It is your responsibility to compare the information and evaluate the credibility of the match before merging the data into your tree. Smart Matches can be invaluable for discovering new relatives and expanding your research beyond your immediate family.
Explore at MyHeritage.
Extracted from an in-depth article on using MyHeritage, in the October 2023 issue of Family Tree. Get your copy here.
About the author
Janna Helshtein’s journey into genealogy started over 20 years ago, prompted by an innocent question from her (then) toddler about people in the family. This journey took a turn into genetic genealogy, over 8 years ago discovering her ex-partner’s biological parents and uniting him with a family he never knew. So, all beginnings were close to heart.
She is the founder of DNA AT EYE LEVEL, and besides helping others in their search for bio-family, she helps the Hebrew-speaking community access the world of DNA through teaching, counselling and public speaking. She believes everyone deserves to know their truth and have the tools to do it at hand.