MyHeritage in Color

James Young & Catherine Brown, Colorized


MyHeritage recently launched “MyHeritage in Color.”


This new tool has gained instant popularity among genealogists.  It is simple to use.  You upload an old photo here and within a few seconds, MyHeritage presents a colorized version of your image.

You can read more about this service from the MyHeritage blog here.

I decided to give it a test drive earlier this week.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s look at the photos I tried out beside the original images.


YOUNG, James at far right and wife Catherine is third from right











The outdoor photos seemed to do the best.  Solid, dark colors in clothing and texture to the photo itself seem to have the worst results.

Generally, I’m not a fan of altering photos beyond cleaning up dust, scratches, fingerprints, etc.  But there is something special about seeing a favorite old photo in color.

MyHeritage gets a big thumbs up from me for two very specific things.  First, they add the little white paint palette in the corner of the photo to indicate that it has been colorized.  Second, when you download a colorized photo from MyHeritage they retain the file name and add “Colorized” to the end of the file name.

If you choose to use this tool, PLEASE be very clear in your filename and notes that the photo has been colorized by an online tool.

For those of you who have been sucked into the magic, here’s a little reality check.  I uploaded a favorite photo of my son in black and white to see what the MyHeritage tool would do to it:


Marvelous Middle Boy, b&w

Marvelous Middle Boy, colorized


Looks pretty good, right?  It does.  But there is one huge problem.  My marvelous middle boy does not have brown eyes.  Here is the original in color:


Marvelous Middle Boy, color original


Have fun playing with this new tool, but PLEASE remember two important things:

  • The results are just speculation by artificial intelligence, a possibility for what the original colors MIGHT have been.
  • ALWAYS accurately and carefully identify when an ancestral photo has been altered.



Happy Friday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend loaded with genealogy goodness!  xoxo