Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history

Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history


MyHeritage is excited to announce the launch of Record Detective™. It is the first technology of its kind to automatically extend the paper trail from a single historical record to other related records and family tree connections.

Here’s a short video which explains how it works:

Record Detective™ generates new leads and discoveries by turning a single record into a door to more. For example, a record discovered in MyHeritage’s digital archive, SuperSearch, will now automatically include a summary of additional records and individuals in family trees relating to it, providing new information and clues to take your research to new directions.

Record Detective™ essentially turns historical records into smart objects that determine which people they are about, and it automatically conducts additional research about those people. Historical records are invaluable to everyone interested in their family history. With over 4 billion records available, MyHeritage provides a wealth of documents enabling you to make exciting discoveries.

Here’s an example of how Record Detective™ starts from a California Deaths record about Frederick Thomas Blanchard, and is able to locate a newspaper article that is more than 100 years old, describing how he met and married his sweetheart:

A death record provides insight into an individual with this newspaper article record mentioning his marriage. (Click to zoom)

Discovered someone in MyHeritage’s U.S. Census collection? MyHeritage will provide census entries of that same person in earlier or later years of the census and go further to do it for the entire household!

For example, gravestones of the person’s spouse, newspaper articles about the person’s son or a parent’s immigration papers, will be displayed right on the census page. This is all done using highly accurate technology with almost no false positives.

A 1940 US Census Record pulls up a list of related records and people for those also listed in the original record, leading to new discoveries. (Click to zoom)

As you can see in the above screenshot, records about any one individual may also refer to other people, such as a marriage or census document which often lists household members. If the people connected to the record are in family trees on MyHeritage, Record Detective™ will display links to the profiles of these people.

“Related people” are MyHeritage family tree profiles that are connected to the person or people in the record being viewed.

You can learn more about any record or profile provided by the Record Detective™ by hovering over its thumbnail. The summary will show a confidence score, ranging from a half star to five stars, indicating the likelihood that the historical record correctly belongs to the associated individual. Click the name of the record or person, which are links, to view them in more detail.

Hover the mouse on the record's thumbnail to reveal a tooltip with a detailed summary of the record and the confidence score of this find according to the Record Detective™.

Record Detective™ can be accessed in two main ways, through Record Matches and from MyHeritage’s online digital archive, SuperSearch.

Record Matches
A Record Match is a document considered relevant to your family’s history, such as a birth record of your ancestors, a relative’s gravestone photo or a newspaper article. Record Matches are calculated automatically for all MyHeritage family trees.

1) When logged into your family site, visit the Record Matches page in the Family Tree menu. You can view Record Matches by people or by historical record collections.

Record Matches (Click to zoom)

2) If you are viewing matches by collection, click on the View Matches button next to any collection to view the Record Matches found in it.

(Click to zoom)

3) Click the blue button labeled “Review match” to view any match in detail, through the record page. The census document shown above lists other household members when the census was conducted. Here, the head of the household was Charles Yutze, married to Alice, and their children, Charles, Dorothy and William.

Record Detective™ shows all records found for all members of a household in the census (Click to zoom)

In this example, we started with a Record Match of Alice Yutze in the census, and the Record Detective™ located 7 more records for Alice and her family, including census records from 1930, a tombstone record, and more.

Record Detective™ is also very useful when you find a relevant historical record by searching SuperSearch, the search engine of historical records on MyHeritage which is your gateway to billions of historical records.

1) Go to SuperSearch on and search for any individual you are interested in.

2) Get a list of all records and family tree profiles matching your search. Click any of them.

Results of a search in SuperSearch (Click to zoom)

3) In every record page, Record Detective™ will try to find more records about the people in the record you found, and family tree profiles of these people.

A 1940 US Census Record pulls up records for the individual searched for and other members of his household. (Click to zoom)

Finding new relatives is exciting! If you found a family tree profile that is relevant to your search, please note that you can contact the MyHeritage user who submitted that profile. That user is usually related to that person, and therefore potentially related to you too.

Found a relative through Record Detective™? Contact the tree owner to exchange more information and photos, and expand your knowledge.

Our strict privacy policy ensures that no profile of any living person will ever be listed as “Related people” unless they are from your own family site. That means strangers will never see living people from your tree as “Related people”.

At the moment, if you’ve found a good record or profile through Record Detective™ – and the likelihood is that almost every record or profile it shows will be correct and relevant – there is no way to automatically associate that record with your tree. But we will be adding this soon. So for now, view the record or profile and extract relevant information manually into your family tree.

Record Detective™ is a new game-changing technology from MyHeritage, which will provide you with many records, other records and tree profiles about the very same people. It is highly accurate and will not waste your time with false positives. It is original and there is nothing quite like it in the industry. It doesn’t replace manual research, but it can often help you save time and find relevant information you may never have found on your own. A summary of any record may be viewed for free. For full access to all historical records, choose between affordable pay-as-you-go credits or a Data subscription.

At MyHeritage, we are committed to continue to innovate and develop new technologies that will make family history more exciting and rewarding for you.

We invite you to try out Record Detective™, at the bottom of every record page, to see what you may discover!

The MyHeritage Team

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  • Jeanette Cameron

    May 17, 2013

    Hi, i’ve just listened to the vidieo re record detective & it certainly looks like a tool that will help me with my research into my family history & i’m hoping it will help find some missing links too. I was thinking about finishing my tree but now with this new tool it has given me the new incentives to continnue building my tree & who knows what secrets i might find too as i come from a very disfunctional lot of families which makes it harder to find information i require at times. Thankyou to MyHeritage. regards, Jeanette.

  • Starnebula

    May 17, 2013

    I’ve always wondered what my heritage is I’d like to know please

  • Derek Tunnington

    May 31, 2013

    Wonderful! Perhaps I will now find why my family name suddenly changed in the 1860-1870 period!

    • Emma

      June 2, 2013

      Hi Derek,

      Let us know how the search goes! Good luck!

  • Kerry Elkins

    June 1, 2013

    Just when I was getting disgusted trying to use version 6, you fixed not only the bugs but added fantastic new power to your program! I love it. NOW I can finally back up my internet tree to my computer tree.

  • Mary Anne

    June 8, 2013

    Wow! We have had a hard time getting beyond the original information we find.

  • Eleanor Plagge

    June 8, 2013

    Sounds great–might solve some search problems I have.

  • Robert Bland

    June 10, 2013

    looks real good.

  • Peggy robinson

    June 11, 2013

    Sound like a good thing to try out.

  • Stanley Weidenhammer

    June 11, 2013

    I have a name that is not very common, Weidenhammer. I have tried other sites but never had any luck with newspapers, etc where the family settled. Like Kutztown, PA, Defiance, OH, Glenwood Springs, Denver, CO.

  • Ken Clarke

    June 18, 2013

    Seems like a very useful tool that could help with finding missing pieces of the family heritage. It would be useful to try it out.

  • Lisa Hopkins

    June 18, 2013

    Are there only Anerican records available or would it be useful to a UK researcher? Thanks, Lisa

  • Wendy Nuis

    June 18, 2013

    Is this only good for the US ? I live in Canada but my ancestry is from UK and Europe. Will this work there too ?

    • Emma

      June 24, 2013

      Hi Wendy, Lisa and Rea. SuperSearch, our online database of billions of historical records contains records from all over the world including the UK and Europe.

  • James Edgar Jones

    June 19, 2013

    I am endeavouring to find my any information on my Grandfather and Grandmothers relations in England. James Edgar Jones married Florence Hillina Squelch at Perry Barr on the 17th April, 1895. From that point I would like to find any further information for my family tree.

  • Vince Costa

    June 19, 2013

    Sounds interesting and worth a try

  • giles eric eamon

    June 19, 2013

    looking for other relations

  • giles eric eamon

    June 19, 2013

    looks interesting

  • Rea

    June 20, 2013

    What countries does the search include please

  • giles eric eamon

    June 20, 2013


  • Karyn MacPherson

    June 21, 2013

    I would like to find out where my grandfather was born

  • Patricia

    June 25, 2013

    Does it include Europe, Canada and Australia. If so, I would be very interested.

    • Emma

      June 26, 2013

      Hi Patricia, Yes. SuperSearch, our online database of billions of historical records includes those from Europe, Canada and Australia, as well as other countries and the US.

  • Simone Simoneto

    June 27, 2013

    Looking for historical connection up to Simone Simoneto Gabrielis Chief of Magnifica Comunità di Fiemme (Italy) in the year May 1504- april 1505.
    Can your superSearch help for reasearching? Which way?

    • Emma

      July 1, 2013

      Hi Simone,

      You can research your ancestors and historical connections using our online database of historical records, SuperSearch. In order to find records specifically from a specific country, I would like to recommend you to refine your search by country / state / city by entering a location on the field(s) named: Place. This will rearrange the results placing the most relevant to the location first.

      Our Record Detective will also help by pulling up a list of related records or people to a specific record you find.

      Good luck with the search!

  • Robert Dunn

    October 6, 2013

    I have traced back to 1595? Robert Dun{Dunn}married an Elizabeth Fannen in1612.Can anyone help?

  • Sandra Allen

    December 23, 2014

    Thank you. I appreciate any information you can find.

  • Margaret Braiden Wattis

    December 24, 2014

    Looks like a really useful tool. I have been researching my Braiden Family for years and have never found out where my ancestors actually came from, so I hope to do some more research now.

  • Gwen Cronkite

    December 27, 2014

    Sounds like something I might be interested in!

  • Arlene E. Wardean

    January 1, 2015

    I can not wait to try out this new feature. I work with small needles in
    an extra large haystack, and this could be my new tool. Thank you.

  • Ruth Rodriguez

    January 5, 2015

    I Have been searching for my father’s relatives. He has a very common name and he died in 1945. My mother has also passed away. I am hoping this feature will help me