MyTrees.com is a collaborative database of family trees and the extracted records from those trees, supplemented by other genealogical data collections.
The heart of the MyTrees system is the data sharing between users’ family trees. The site was created under the belief that genealogical data should be shared free wherever possible. Users search and find matches from other trees, and access extracted records (anything from census listings to newspaper obituaries) from those trees. Records can include probate documents, military records, marriages, immigration, burials and more. This tree database includes information on more than 350 million individuals. This information is supplemented by other databases, such as the 1930 U.S. Census from the Fold3.com web site, Ellis Island immigration records and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) with more than 94 million names. The site also has free content, including articles on the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, the origins of first names, and the top 200 surnames in the MyTrees collection.
Obtaining good information on MyTrees depends in large part upon what other genealogists have uploaded or added to their own trees. We ran searches with a number of surnames and received no matching trees or records. With other surnames, the system returned more than 500 potential matches. We used Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, as a test search. MyTrees returned 240 potential matches, most of which were from other trees. We ran a search using a personal relative who died in the 1940s, but found no potential matches. We ran a broad surname search using a related family name and found hundreds of matches. We clicked on the link for just one, in order to view that person’s 1930 U.S. Census listing. We were directed to the Fold3.com web site, where we were told a premium Fold3 subscription was required to view the file. At the bottom of each search results page, MyTrees offers other search resources, such as the popular FamilySearch.org site. Clicking on that link launched a popup window to the FamilySearch site with an error message, “What would you like to search for?”
The MyTrees site has a clean graphic design and a bevy of search options. However, we encountered problems on a number of searches. We tried a search using the Ellis Island immigration database, but the results page froze without loading any data. We tried several times on different browsers but encountered the same difficulty. Overall the external resources, such as sites like FamilySearch, are not integrated well with the MyTrees site.
Searching the site’s large Ancestry Archive is free, and search results provide enough detail that users can judge for themselves if matches look worth the cost of a paid subscription. The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is searchable at no cost. Users can start their own trees by uploading a GEDCOM file from another source, or starting a tree from scratch. Family members can be given login access to view information, and family newsletters can be generated on the site. The desktop software Legacy FamilyTree can be downloaded for free. Those searching for professional help will find an online directory of genealogists across the U.S. MyTrees has its own newsletter with genealogist’s advice, search tips and more. Some areas of the site are really out of date. The news release section, for instance, has no new listings since 2001.
10-Day subscription – $10.00 USD
Monthly subscription - $20.00
Quarterly subscription - $45.00
Annual subscription - $120.00
MyTrees offers flexible subscription plans, including 10 days for $10 USD, $20 per month, $45 per quarter or $120 per year.
Only the 10-day plan is non-refundable. Users can obtain a free month of access by uploading a GEDCOM file or building their own tree on the site with at least 15 families and 60 individuals.
MyTrees offers the power of collaboration to help family historians start and maintain their own family trees. The site has pricing flexibility, so users can try the site to see if it returns enough good data to justify a longer-term subscription.