The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage

You may have asked, “Which is the best online genealogy service for me to use?” Or perhaps you want to know the best two or three services. Sunny Morton gave a presentation about these four online powerhouses at the recent RootsTech2017 conference that may answer your questions.


The one-hour four-minute presentation was videotaped and is now available as a video on the web site. I suspect this video will answer most of your questions. Topics covered include cost, record types, geographic coverage, genetic testing, DNA matching, search flexibility, languages supported, mobile-friendly, automated matching, and a lot more. Sunny provides the most information about these four sites that I have ever seen in any other one document or video.

As Sunny states, “No site has it all.”

This is a keeper! I have been using all four of these web sites for years and yet I learned several new facts about them, thanks to Sunny’s online video presentation. I suspect you will learn some things as well if you watch the video.

The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage with Sunny Morton is available at

Also, look at the size of that audience!


Was it really videotaped? Do they still use that as a method of recording meetings?






Videotaped is a generic word like “Kleenex” everybody knows what it means


I fixed my problem. I’m using the small pcture instead of making it enlarge to fit my screen. No buffering either. Thanks for providing this video. It’s very informative.


I was surprised to see no mention of the 1939 Registry when Sunny was listing the benefits of Find My Past. This little gem is great for finding recent relatives, since the last available census for the UK is 1911, and this is exclusive to Find My Past.


    I haven’t watched the video yet, but noted that the 1939 Registry is mentioned in the handout. What is missing is the records for British India which is the main reason I subscribe to FMP.


OMG… Whatever it’s called, the content is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.


Terrific video (or digital recording, or whatever). Very informative.
Thanks for publishing it.



Thanks for sharing, Dick. I was riveted for the past hour, from the grocery store analogy to the parting kudos for GenealogyGems. Superb.


Thanks, and is there a handout available? Did I miss that somewhere?


    No. I don’t believe any of the RootsTech sessions have handouts. In effect, the video does everything that a handout could do and more. All of the references are provided in the video.


Thanks for sharing – this was very informative!


Well, she kept talking about lots of additional details “in your handout,” be sure to check out all the links “in the handout,” etc., etc., etc. But I just didn’t know if it is available somewhere after the fact–a link somewhere on the site or something. Maybe I’ll email her and ask.
But thanks so much for posting the notice about her presentation! Very helpful.


    I am thinking all handouts for all the presentations were in the RootsTech syllabus. I know there were no separate handouts for each presentation.


    You can still get all the handouts if you are online. I don’t know about the Mobile app, I didn’t use it so I don’t know if they are still available on there. Here is the URL: It opens the Dashboard (which I couldn’t find on the site anymore). I clicked on Speakers and they are all still there in alpha order. You have to click on each letter to get to the speakers whose last name starts with that letter. If you click on the class beneath the speakers bio, it will show the handout at the bottom of the page, if there is one available. You can click on it and there is the PDF to download. I downloaded all of them the week before, because I was afraid they wouldn’t be there after the conference. (It was a tedious job, but I am tenacious.) You can also click on Exhibitors and get any info about each one and their contact info. These are the only things I checked on from this Dashboard, so I don’t know if any of the other ones are still active.

    Liked by 2 people

OK, thanks!


It looks like you can browse by Track and it shows all the classes with handouts and you can download right from there. Faster than the way I did it, but I wanted to get info about the speakers, as well as the handouts.


While I like videorecording, digitalizing could be an option.


64 minutes is a large block of time. Wish there were an outline of some sort — power point of the visuals, the things you learned from this, highlights, whatever. Something I could review in 5 minutes to see if I want to spend a full hour-plus with the video.

Liked by 1 person

Very informative conference session. Thank you for the link. Helped my to know what other sites are out there and what they contain – what their strengths are… Also appreciated the reminder that you can check at a local library for free access to the sites. Possibly limited but gives one a chance to get used to a site before paying for access.


Art Young 54 Devon Road Delmar New York 12054 February 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Dick – is it possible to get a copy of her handout??


TO: Art Young 54 Devon Road Delmar New York 12054
February 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm
1) use Diane Turnball LINK from above
Here is the URL:
2) You are now on a DASHBOARD page. Click on Speakers.
3) click on M and find Sunny Morton
4) click on the Sunny Morton RIGHT ARROW >
5) click on the session RT2000 BIG4: Comparing….. RIGHT ARROW >
6) you may need to scroll down on the next page, but there are 3 sections… SPEAKERS and TRACKS and RESOURCES. Under RESOURCES there is a HANDOUTS (1)
7) click on HANDOUTS (1) and it opens to RT2000_BIG4_MORTON
8) click on the RT2000_BIG4_MORTON RIGHT ARRROW > and a PDF should open with her handout.
It is very important in 3 of the above steps to click on the RIGHT ARROW >
NOT just the box.


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