genealogy serviceThere are many reasons why people take on the task of genealogy research to learn more about their family’s roots. Though it can daunting to take on a family research project, it doesn’t have to be. There are many genealogy services out there that not only help you build a digital family tree with ease, but will also automatically generate historical documents that match with names, dates and places in your family tree. To help you decide which service is best for you, we break down two of our top-rated services. Here’s how Ancestry.com and MyHeritage compare.

Best for family tree building

Ancestry.com and MyHeritage offer extensive tools and features for the online family tree builders, and they’re both super user-friendly and easy to navigate. Both also offer different display options for your tree, and you can add multimedia, such as photos and videos, to individual members within your family tree. If you want a builder that is extremely detailed and allows you to add tidbits of information, like hobbies and favorite sports, MyHeritage would be your best option. But, if you prefer a builder that is solely aimed at historical events, such as dates and places, Ancestry.com would be the way to go.

Best for record and database search

We found that MyHeritage finds extremely accurate results for members in your family tree — it even lists full addresses as well as former places of employment. When it finds historical records that match names in your family tree, you can view a preview of these records, and then see the full record after signing up for the Data/Records package. Ancestry.com works similarly and matches you to records with its “hints” feature. With both of these services, ¬†you can view a scanned image of the original documents for things such as old U.S. Census Records. Additionally, Ancestry.com gives you the option to search records on Newspapers.com as well as Fold3.com, if you want to search military records. That said, MyHeritage searches billions of records as well, including birth, marriage and death certificates, so these two services are fairly equal in this category.

Best for DNA testing

Both Ancestry.com and MyHeritage offer DNA testing. While MyHeritage provides many different test options, the pricing on the DNA tests vary and can range up to $529,¬†depending on which test you select. You can choose from a multitude of different tests, including maternal lines tests, combined tests for mtDNA and Family Finder tools. Ancestry.com’s DNA testing costs $99, and since the service has been around longer than MyHeritage, there may be more results in its database to match with your DNA. That said, it seems you can’t really go wrong with either service, as Ancestry.com offers one kit for a reasonable price and MyHeritage has a variety of specialized tests that some may find useful.

Best for your budget

MyHeritage has a free option, its Basic plan, which allows you to build a family tree and add multimedia to your tree. But if you want to be able to search its extensive database of records, you will have to add on a Data/Records subscription package, which costs $9.95/month and is billed for one year upfront at $119.40. Additionally, there are other premium plans available depending on the amount of storage space you need for your family tree. The more storage you need, the more expensive your monthly plan will be, and all of its premium plans require a one-year commitment at sign up. On the other hand, Ancestry.com does not have a free plan option, but you can try out any of its plans for free for 14 days. After the trial is up, the U.S. Membership costs $19.99/month or $99/99 for six months, and access to international records will cost you $34.99/month or $149.99 for six months. With no long-term commitment and plans that include record searches without add-ons, Ancestry.com is the more price-friendly option.

Best overall

While both Ancestry.com and MyHeritage are solid options for genealogy services, Ancestry.com is the better option overall. It has a highly-esteemed reputation in the genealogy world, and for good reason. It’s been established for a longer period of time, incorporates other record archives for its users to search through, such as Newspapers.com and Fold3.com, and has lower upfront costs, not to mention a free trial period.

For more information on how to sign up for one of these services, and to read more on all of the features available, head over to our genealogy reviews.