Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Using MyHeritage Record Matches By Source to Enrich my Family Tree Profiles

I have built a large family tree (more than 55,000 profiles) over the past 32 years for my ancestral families, for my selected one-name studies (Seaver, Carringer, Auble, and Vaux surnames), and for descendants of my 4th great-grandparents (to help me find relationships with DNA matches).  I use RootsMagic as my primary software program to enter names, relationships, events, dates, places, notes, sources and media information.

I have many profiles that are "bare" - meaning I don't have a full birth name, a full birth date and place, a full death date and place, a burial site, an obituary, etc.  For example, there was a time when I added profiles from census records and only had a name, and approximate birth year, and a relationship.  Or a marriage that provided only the names of the bride and groom without birth date information.

I have used MyHeritage's Record Matches for years to find information using their "Discoveries" tab, and "Matches by source" to find Record Matches for a specific record collection.  This often works out very well and provides additional information for persons in my MyHeritage tree (which I uploaded from a GEDCOM file generated by RootsMagic).

1)  Here is the "Matches by source" list of the different record collections for persons in my MyHeritage tree:

2)  I chose "Record matches," "Pending matches (meaning not confirmed or rejected) and my specific tree.  As you can see, the MyHeritage record collections are listed by number of matches.  For instance, I have 34,844 record matches for entries in the FamilySearch Family Tree.  And 20,453 entries in WikiTree, 19,039 entries in Geni World Family Tree, 3,115 entries in the U.S. Social Security Death Index (SSDI), etc.  There are more than 260 record collections with at least one record match for persons in my MyHeritage tree, and a total of 118,688 pending matches in all of the MyHeritage collections.

3)  I selected the Social Security Death Index collection and saw the list of 3,315 record matches.  The user has a choice to sort these record matches - select either "Value," "First name," "Last name," or "Relationship."

Almost always I choose the "Value" sort method because that puts the profiles that have the least information at the top of the list.  In other words, the top of the list has profiles that will be helped the most by the record match.

4)  The first person on the Social Security Death Index list is for Russell William Jerrison (1927-2010), for whom I had only a birth year and a death year.  I clicked on the orange "Review match" link to see the record summary for this person compared to what I have in the MyHeritage tree:

Based on the information in the Record Match, I was able to add an exact birth date, an exact death date, the last residence on record, and an alternate name to my RootsMagic profile, and created a source citation for those events.

5)  MyHeritage encourages you to use the orange button on the screen above to "Confirm Match," and, if you choose to, My Heritage will change the record information, and attach a source citation to the information.   If the record match is for the wrong person, the user can "Reject" the record match.  My experience is that almost all MyHeritage record matches apply to the selected person.

Using this process, I can efficiently add profile information, including source citations, to my RootsMagic tree one at a time.  Doing it by a specific record collection makes the process very efficient.

I prefer to enter the information into my RootsMagic tree so I can use consistent source citations.  Each year, I upload a new GEDCOM file as a new tree to MyHeritage to take advantage of their Record Matches for the new and updated profiles.

6)  If you have a MyHeritage tree, I encourage you to check out your Record "Matches by source," select a record collection, and see how profiles in your family tree can be enriched by the record matches you find.  

Frankly, it is much faster and easier to use the Record "Matches by source" to find profiles to enrich than to search each record collection for each person in my MyHeritage tree.  I wish every record provider had this capability.


Disclosure:  I  receive a complimentary subscription from MyHeritage for publicizing MyHeritage events and products.  I have accepted financial considerations from MyHeritage and Legacy Family Tree in past years for services rendered and for conference luncheons.

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at


Diane Gould Hall said...

I concur with your summary of the value of using the Discoveries in this way. I did have an issue though, when I uploaded a new GEDCOM to the site. I lost all of the DNA connections and of course the photos I had attached. It was quite a hassle to figure out which DNA test was connected to whom, as MyH uses a numbering system instead of names for the DNA results that I manage. How do you handle that?

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Diane,

I haven't done that with the DNA matches. I keep a spreadsheet list of my DNA matches. I really don't have that many known common ancestors for my DNA matches.

I don't attach photos to my MyHeritage tree either. I always figure I will replace the tree in a year or so.

If I really wanted to keep photos attached, I would GEDCOM my RootsMagic tree with the media to the free Family Tree Builder software and then sync that to a new MyHeritage tree. The media should be uploaded. When Legacy Family Tree is able to sync with MyHeritage, then you should be able to do what you want daily.

Louis Kessler said...

I doubt very much, Randy, whether photos would transfer via GEDCOM to Family Tree Builder. That's one of the GEDCOM failings. Worth a try though.

Unknown said...

Great tip! I find myself challenged, though by whether to confirm smart matches offered to me by MyH. I have a couple of scenarios where a person's facts throughout their life all match the facts I have and I would say this is the same person, but the other person has a different set of parents to those that I have based on my research. I am reluctant to accept the match given their identity is in question. Curious what others do in this situation.