Announcing new Pro Bono initiative: Tribal Quest

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MyHeritage Launches Global Pro Bono Initiative to Document the Family Histories of Remote Tribes

Tribal Quest team members visit indigenous communities to create their family trees and record their family stories online, preserving them for future generations

TEL AVIV, Israel & WINDHOEK, Namibia & PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, May 10, 2016MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, unveiled today a new initiative — Tribal Quest — to record the family histories of communities that lack access to modern technology.

MyHeritage has completed its first two Tribal Quest expeditions to Namibia and Papua New Guinea, meeting elders and families of the Himba people in Namibia, and different tribal groups in Papua New Guinea. Collaborating with local guides, MyHeritage teams spent three weeks in each destination, interviewing hundreds of community members, taking thousands of family photos, gathering information at cemeteries, and attending local community events and rituals. The teams then processed all the data they gathered, cross-correlated and tagged it, and organized the family history information of over 6,000 members of tribal communities in 55 richly-detailed family trees. This information is now saved online on MyHeritage, preserving cultural heritage and personal family histories of tribal people forever.

At one of the villages deep in the rural Kunene region of Namibia, Tribal Quest team members met Mbunguha, a village elder who recounted family stories going back many generations. Mbunguha’s parents told him that he had been born during a particularly intense drought, marking a tough period for his family. He now worries about the effects that recent repetitive droughts, and the resulting economic instability, will have on his community. With the traditional Himba way of life now in decline and globalization and urbanization on the rise, Mbunguha is concerned that many family traditions will be lost. Mbunguha was eager to participate in the project and have his family history recorded to ensure that it is not lost for the next generations of the village. Mbunguha’s family tree — and those of his clan — are now preserved online on MyHeritage.

Further expeditions to other remote destinations are currently being planned.

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“Across a wide range of diverse cultures and traditions, we all have family in common; we all learn from and honor our ancestors,” said Golan Levi, User Experience Expert at MyHeritage and founder of the Tribal Quest project. “This project aims to allow people around the world — no matter where or how they live — to save their ancestors’ legacies forever, for the benefit of their descendants, and our descendants.”

“We are privileged to be the global destination of choice for millions of people interested in discovering and preserving their family history,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We love combining our work with pro bono projects, utilizing our technologies and our enthusiastic staff to bring the benefits of genealogy to more people. With Tribal Quest we are preserving diverse cultural heritage that is at risk, and doing it uniquely at the level of individuals and families. If we don’t do this, nobody else will, and therefore we must do it.”

The Namibia expedition is showcased online at www.tribalquest.org; Papua New Guinea expedition materials will be added soon. Visit the website to learn more about the project, view photos and read stories of the Himba people, and to get involved.
View the Tribal Quest introduction video.

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About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the world’s fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

MyHeritage Releases Exclusive Book Matching Technology for Family History

This is it, folks! This announcement is the one I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been writing that some new technology was coming from MyHeritage for the last two weeks – and it’s arrived. Pretty amazing stuff!

To find your ancestors in the books, go to the MyHeritage website. Bs sure and have a family tree posted at the site. Then:

1. Click on the Discoveries Tab on the top of the Home page.

2. Click on Record Matches

3. Click on Compilation of Published Sources.

Enjoy!

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, April 7, 2016 — MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, has launched today a revolutionary addition to its suite of technologies: Book Matching. This innovation automatically researches users’ family trees in historical books with high precision.

In April 2012 MyHeritage launched SuperSearch™, a search engine for historical records, which has since then grown to include 6.6 billion historical records, including birth, marriage, death and census records. By implementing its vision of enhancing genealogy with technology, MyHeritage then developed a line of unique and sophisticated technologies that automatically match the records from the search engine to the 32 million family trees uploaded by its users.

In December 2015, MyHeritage expanded its data collections to include digitized historical books, with an initial corpus of 150,000 books of high genealogical value. This collection was tripled last week to 450,000 books with 91 million pages. With a team of more than 50 dedicated curators, MyHeritage aims to add hundreds of millions of pages of digitized books to the collection each year.

As of today, MyHeritage users will receive matches between profiles in their family trees and the books from this collection. The Book Matching technology analyzes the book texts semantically, understanding complex narrative that describes people, and matches it to the 2 billion individuals in MyHeritage family trees with extremely high accuracy. This breakthrough technology is the first of its kind, and is exclusive to MyHeritage.

Book Matching has produced more than 80 million matches, and this number will continue to grow as the collection grows and as the family trees on MyHeritage continue to expand. Book Matching is currently available for English books, and the technology is being enhanced to cover additional languages. In addition, de-duplication technology is being added in the next few weeks to remove duplicate books that have been scanned and OCRed more than once by different sources.

“No one has ever done this before,” said MyHeritage Chief Technology Officer, Sagi Bashari. “Our Book Matching technology reads hundreds of thousands of books for you, every hour, comparing them to your family tree and pointing you to relevant excerpts about your ancestors with almost no false positives. MyHeritage is the first to offer full semantic text analysis in this way, and the genealogical breakthroughs speak for themselves. You will be amazed at the value of books for your research.”

“I’ve personally seen what this new technology can do, using my own family tree,” said blogger and lifelong genealogist Leland Meitzler. “It found well over 500 books with information on my family, most of which I’d never seen before. All kinds of ancestors and relatives can now be added to my tree! To say that this new search technology changes everything would be an overstatement, but not by much.”

Genealogist James Tanner said: “This advanced technology from MyHeritage opens up a whole new world of research possibilities that were almost completely unavailable in the past. I have always valued the content of the older genealogy books because the people who wrote them were contemporaries with my ancestors. Being able to search these books on a large scale will change the way most of us have been doing genealogy and our attitude towards the books that have been there all along but were not searchable.”

Dick Eastman, of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, summed up MyHeritage’s latest innovation: “MyHeritage Book Matching is like having a huge library at your fingertips, with a twist; there is a magical librarian who tells you exactly which books have information about your ancestors.”

Book Matches are available at www.myheritage.com and are generated automatically for any family tree built on the website or imported into it. A Data subscription is required to view Book Matches.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the world’s fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

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MyHeritage Adds Audio Recordings For Interviewing Your Relatives

Now this is cool… And just in time for RootsTech 2016! Check out the following note from MyHeritage, and then go read their blog full blogpost about the new feature.

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We’ve just released a new feature in the MyHeritage mobile app: Audio Recordings. You can now interview your relatives directly from their profile in the family tree, and store your family’s stories for future generations in your MyHeritage family site.

The MyHeritage mobile app is free. It’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android, and it lets you access and enhance your family tree on the go. The Audio Recordings feature is now available in both the iOS and Android versions of the mobile app.

Read the full blogpost at MyHeritage.com.

MyHeritage Adds Cool New Collaboration Technology to its Search Engine – I Love This!

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It looks like MyHeritage has done it again. This time they’ve used their search engine technology to help connect people who may be searching the same names. Using the new Search Connect™, I went looking for anyone searching on the name Meitzler. I checked that I wanted “exact spelling” to clear out the hundreds of Metzler searches I was sure to find. Sure enough – I found four, three searches made by USA residents and one by someone in Poland. The first item was a search for my brother, Neil Meitzler, who passed away in February of 2009. I just sent off a message to Shannon a few minutes ago. See the screen print for my search at the bottom of this blog.

The following was received from my friend, Daniel Horowitz:

MyHeritage Adds New Collaboration Technology to its Search Engine for Family History Breakthroughs

Search Connect™ converts users’ searches into results for other users, connecting people who are looking for the same ancestors and fostering collaboration

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 04, 2015 – MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, unveiled today an innovation that fosters collaboration in family history research. Search Connect™ enables users to easily find others who are looking for the same ancestors or relatives, and get in touch with them.

Search Connect™ includes millions of searches made by MyHeritage members. Each search is indexed along with the full metadata (dates, places, relatives and more) included in the user’s query. When another user searches for similar information, previous searches are included within the results, along with the means to get in touch with the users who conducted them.

MyHeritage conceived the Search Connect™ innovation in April 2012 when it launched SuperSearch™ its search engine for historical records. SuperSearch™ has since grown at a phenomenal pace to include 6.2 billion historical records, and Search Connect™ has amassed more than 30 million entries from searches for rare names. The size of the collection will continue to increase as users conduct new searches. Users can easily opt out and turn off the feature if they do not want MyHeritage to record their searches.

Search Connect™ is complemented by MyHeritage’s new Global Name Translation™ technology, which allows users to find other people who searched for the same name in another language. For example, a user from the USA whose last name is Mogilevsky who queries Search Connect™ to find potential relatives, will successfully find people who searched for the same last name in English, Russian, Hebrew or other languages and see who they were searching for. This maximizes the chances of locating previously unknown family members anywhere in the world.

View an example of SearchConnect™ with translation.

“MyHeritage specializes in developing innovative technologies for family history discoveries”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We are particularly excited about Search Connect™ because it enables users to benefit from the knowledge of others. When searching for an elusive ancestor who had left no trace behind, Search Connect™ reveals other people who are searching for the same person, which is the next best thing. We anticipate that many of our users will discover long-lost family members thanks to this unique addition.”

Viewing Search Connect™ results is free. A MyHeritage subscription is required to contact other users.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the world’s fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and groundbreaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Revealed to be Distant Cousins

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This story probably shouldn’t even have made the papers, as most all of us are as related these these two guys. But – it is interested. Click on the illustration or the links for the full article that shows the relationship – ancestor by ancestor.

  • Trump, through his mother, and Clinton, through her father are related
  • Pair of presidential front-runners share 18th great-grandparents
  • Ancestor John of Gaunt was son of King Edward III at beginning of what became War of Roses secession debacle

Presidential candidate Donald Trump may criticize rival Hillary Clinton regularly, but the Republican and Democratic front-runners are actually distant relatives. Both the real estate tycoon and former Secretary of State are the direct descendants of 14th century 1st Duke of Lancaster John of Gaunt and his third wife Katherine Swynford, according to the ancestry site MyHeritage.com.

The above excerpt is from the August 25, 2015 edition of DailyMail.co.uk.

MyHeritage.com Cheat Sheet

MyHeritage.com Cheat SheetThere is a new entry in the world of ever popular laminated quick guides for genealogists. This latest entry is for anyone who has, or has been considering, signing up with MyHeritage.com. The guide: MyHeritage.com Cheat Sheet by Sunny Jane Morton.

The guide gets going with an easy to follow check list for getting started on MyHeritage.com. The first page also offers a quick description of the six main tabs or sections on the site (Home, Family Tree, Discoveries, Photos, Apps, and Research). The page ends with six easy steps to customizing your welcome page.

Page 2 shows a copy of the family tree page with bubble descriptions for each primary element on the page. There is also a descriptions about what each individual’s box contains and what the various symbols mean, as well as details about personal profiles.

The third page covers the process of researching records and trees, along with automated search tools and the process for syncing your family tree with your home computer.

The guide ends with two charts on the final page. The first chart will offers a list of navigational options and how to get there on the MyHeritage site. For example, where to upload a tree, or where to create and print custom family tree charts as PDFs. The second chart clearly explains membership options on the site. This will allow new users to easily choose what level of subscription may interest them, and allow existing users to see the advantage of upgrading their subscription.

Like virtually all quick guides, this guide is a four-page, full-color laminated brochure, meant to be easily stored, easily referenced while working, and sized to take with you on the road.

You can order MyHeritage.com Cheat Sheet from Family Roots Publishing.

MyHeritage Launches Breakthrough Global Name Translation™ Technology to Power Family History Discoveries

The following is from Daniel Horowitz, at MyHeritage.com:

New technology eliminates language barriers to enhance family history research and preservation

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah – July 8, 2015: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today announced the launch of Global Name Translation™, a new technology to help families break through language barriers in the quest to uncover their past. The technology automatically translates names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another, in very high accuracy, generating all the plausible translations, to facilitate matches between names in different languages. In addition, a manual search in one language will also provide results in other languages, translated back to the user’s language for convenience. This is a unique innovation not offered elsewhere, useful for anyone interested in discovering their global roots.

There are many immediate benefits for users. For example, people living in the USA with Russian roots previously had to search for their ancestors in Russian to maximize their chances of finding pertinent information. The new technology will now accept searches in English, automatically increase their scope to cover Russian and Ukrainian as well, and conveniently translate all results back to English.

The new technology also enhances the acclaimed MyHeritage matching technologies to bridge across language gaps. For example, If a user from Greece with a family tree in Greek, is related to a user from Israel with a family tree entered in Hebrew, MyHeritage will be able to connect them, automatically matching between names in the ancient languages of Greek and Hebrew, and show the two users how their family trees overlap, leading to exciting family reunions like never before.

“Global Name Translation™ helps overcome the Tower of Babel syndrome”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “The world is getting smaller and more connected, yet information from other countries is still mostly hidden from those who don’t speak the language. It’s our mission to develop the best technologies for facilitating family history discoveries for everyone, everywhere. Therefore we set an ambitious goal of taking down one of the most formidable walls that hampers research and discovery – the difficulty of translating names from one language to another. We’re proud to have pioneered this solution and thrilled with the value that it will provide to users around the world.”

MyHeritage has developed this technology using original research, advanced algorithms and based on its massive multilingual and international database of 6 billion family tree profiles and historical records. The technology covers first names and last names and is able to tackle not only names encountered in the past but also new names it has never encountered before. The technology is generic but also utilizes extensive dictionaries built by MyHeritage to cover synonyms and nicknames. Therefore a search for Alessandro (Alexander in Italian) will also find “Саша” which is the Russian form of Sasha, a popular nickname of Alexander in Russia.

The first version successfully translates names in between English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Czech, Russian and Ukrainian. The next version currently in development will add Chinese and Japanese, and additional languages will follow.

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To take advantage of Global Name Translation™ technology, create a new family tree for free on MyHeritage and enjoy the automatic matches or use MyHeritage’s SuperSearch search engine for historical records.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages. www.myheritage.com

Reactions to Instant Discoveries Made by Folks on the Streets of Oslo, Norway

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A few months ago, I posted a blog with video capturing the reactions of people on the streets of New York City as they successfully made Instant Discoveries™ on MyHeritage. Now MyHeritage has done a similar video, this time on the streets of Oslo, Norway. The video has English subtitles. See their reactions by clicking here or on the illustration.

The video shows how genealogy can inspire anyone, and portrays the emotional experience of making family history discoveries. It also proves the extent of MyHeritage’s reach in Norway, and Scandinavia as a whole.

Enjoy…

MyHeritage Unveils Their “Stories” Website

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A few days ago, MyHeritage unveiled their MyHeritage stories website, showcasing some videos and stories capturing amazing discoveries made by users around the world.

The site shows the emotional power of family history – and how life-changing it can be.

Following are several examples:

Millions of Scandinavian Records Added at MyHeritage.com

I received an announcement from MyHeritage dealing with the posting of Sandinavian records this morning. The following is from Daniel’s note, as well as the MyHeritage blog. These folks are doing some cool things.

…we’ve just brought online millions of Scandinavian records – the majority of which have never been digitized or indexed online before.

Anyone with Scandinavian roots can search these records on SuperSearch and will receive matches to those records relevant to their family tree.

As of today, the entire 1930 Danish census (3.5 million records) is available online. This is thanks to our partnership with the National Archives of Denmark to index and digitize over 120 million records including all available Danish census records from 1787-1930 and Parish records from 1646 to 1915, all of which will be released during 2015 and 2016.

We’ve also added the Swedish Household Examination Rolls from 1880-1920, which includes 54 million records with 5 million color images, of which 22 million records are already available online. The remaining records are scheduled to go online before the end of June 2015. The household examination rolls are the primary register of the Swedish church, listing the residents of each parish, their families, and important life events such as births, marriages and deaths.

Following is a map of Sweden showing those counties in bold orange whose records were posted Feb. 17, 2015. Here’s some notes about the map from the MyHeritage blog:

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Västra Götaland: In 1997 this county was formed by merging the three counties of Göteborg och Bohus, Älvsborg, and Skaraborg.

Dalarna: In 1997 this county was renamed from Kopparberg.

Skåne: In 1997 this county was formed by merging the two counties of Kristianstad and Malmöhus.

I understand they have more Scandinavian records in the works!

Reminder: MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet has given me permission to offer my readers the best deal I’ve ever seen on a MyHeritage subscription. How about $99.95 for a full year of Full Access to MyHeritage? – that’s their Premium Plus family site and their Data Plan… Everything!!! For way over half off! We are talking $20 less than the best price offered at RootsTech, and that was a 50% off deal! Click on this link to purchase Full Access MyHeritage at only $99.95. Do it now, as this price will only be offered through February 24, 2015 – then it ends. Period.

Read more in my earlier post.

Full Access to MyHeritage – Premium Plus Family Site & Data Plan – Just $99.95!

During RootsTech 2015, I hung around the MyHeritage booth absorbing information. MyHeritage has been making exciting technological advances for several years. Their tech is allowing them to share billions of records, documents, and what they have termed Discoveries with subscribers.

I got a note this morning stating that MyHeritage has added millions of Scandinavian records. Items like the entire 1930 Danish census (3.5 million records), and the Swedish Household Examination Records for 1880-1920 (20 Million records already posted) are now available, with much more on the way. I will blog more about the Scandinavian records later. But the clock is running on the $99.95 sale for Full Access to MyHeritage – that’s their Premium Plus family site and their Data Plan.

I’m going to go into a lot more detail below about why I’m excited about MyHeritage and the huge potential for Discoveries (code word for ancestors). However, right up front, I have the distinct privilege to offer my readers an outstanding deal. MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet has given me permission to offer my readers the best deal I’ve ever seen on a MyHeritage subscription. How about $99.95 for a full year of Full Access to MyHeritage? – that’s their Premium Plus family site and their Data Plan… Everything!!! For way over half off! We are talking $20 less than the best price offered at RootsTech, and that was a 50% off deal! Click on this link to purchase Full Access MyHeritage at only $99.95. Do it now, as this price will only be offered through February 24, 2015 – then it ends. Period.

myheritage

Note that the offer is for Genealogy Newsline Readers. However, since I author and own Genealogy Newsline, I can also offer it to my GenealogyBlog.com readers and folks that read me through social media. The landing screen from the above link says “Genealogy Newsline Readers,” but in this case we’re being even more inclusive.

Most of my readers are already familiar with MyHeritage, and understand that they have huge and rapidly growing family trees – many of them produced in Europe by genealogists just like you, only they might be speaking a different language (Cool…, huh?). Here are a couple impressive numbers… How about 28,000,000 family trees and 2.5 billion tree profiles? What do I bet you have family in there? I’d nearly guarantee it. Here’s why.

I had the privilege to sit down for a half hour or so with Mike Mallin. He was a Keynote speaker here at RootsTech at the opening session Thursday morning. He’s also the chief product officer at MyHeritage. I asked some serious questions and got some serious answers. Mike has dedicated his life to offering “value” to MyHeritage subscribers, and he wants each of us to have Discoveries, not just more documents. Now how’s that?

You may be familiar with the Smart Matching, and Record Matching, where MyHeritage takes your data and matches against other data within their system. Smart Matching allows us to discover unknown relatives and ancestors through family tree matches. Record Matching automatically sends records to us that match people in our family trees. Well, the new Discovery feature that’s about to be launched will take these matching features to a new level. In a month or so, we will see a new button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen saying Discovery. We will be able to click on the button, and get a scroll-down menu of Discoveries – Click on a Discovery, and have the capability of instantly importing a group of people – not lots of people – maybe 30 or 40, but just enough to make the typical person do the “genealogy happy dance.”

MyHeritage is committed to the whole concept of “value,” and the need to offer people instant value that they can relate (play on words here) with. Here’s an astounding stat that Mike Mallin gave me, and is based on real-life product research they’ve done. An average of 60% of individuals who GEDCOM imported or manually entered just 50 people into the MyHeritage Family Tree, and clicked on the Discovery feature that’s about to go live, got over 30 more people automatically added to their family tree. Happy dance time again… This whole Discovery idea is unique and one that I believe will help get more total novices on board the genealogy train. I think it’s going to be of value to many of the rest of us besides.

And here are a few other things about MyHeritage you might be interested in.

  • The site allows you to create your own online family tree, making it private or public.
  • The site has what they call SuperSearch, doing searches of billions of historical records, getting results in seconds.
  • Record Detective – Save time with technology that uncovers new leads and related records for every discovery you make.
  • Mobile App – Build your family tree and research on the go. It’s perfect for family get-togethers. This is available for both Android and iPhone. A new version of the mobile app was launched just last week!
  • Family Tree Builder software for both Windows and Mac computers. Not only can you enter your data, but you can enjoy maps, charts, reports and much more with this award winning software.
  • Mike told me about another new MyHeritage product that’s exciting. It’s a new app called Weavee. It’s an app that captures pictures and integrates stories. The user can select pictures and weave them into a mobile story. The plan is to integrate the mobile pictures, stories, and one’s data from the MyHeritage database into a captivating, and fun mobile story that you can then share on your mobile via social networking or email. Hmmm. Maybe we could send that to cousin Jeannie? Maybe Jeannie will realize that our hobby isn’t so boring after all. Jeannie might start entering her data, her memories, and her pictures. The more family that gets on board, the more the fun multiplies. I’d say exponentially…

Goodness… I have gotten carried away here. As you can tell, I am excited. The future is now. Come join me. Following is the offer again.

$99.95 for a full year of Full Access to MyHeritage – that’s their Premium Plus Family Site, and their Data Plan… Everything!!! For way over half off! We’re talking $20 less than the best price offered at RootsTech, and that was a 50% off deal! Click on this link to purchase Full Access MyHeritage at only $99.95. Do it now, as this price will only be offered through February 24, 2015.

Again, note that the offer is for Genealogy Newsline readers. However, since I author and own Genealogy Newsline, I can also offer it to my GenealogyBlog.com readers and folks that read me through social media. The landing screen from the above link says “Genealogy Newsline Readers,” but in this case we’re being far more inclusive.

A Sweetheart of a deal… #RootsTech #Genealogy

A Sweetheart of a deal…

myheritage

As I’ve written during the RootsTech conference, I’ve been hanging around the MyHeritage booth absorbing information. MyHeritage has been making exciting technological advances for several years. Their tech is allowing them to share billions of records, documents, and what they have termed Discoveries with subscribers.

I’m going to go into a lot more detail below about why I’m excited about MyHeritage and the huge potential for Discoveries (code word for ancestors). However, right up front, I have the distinct privilege to offer my readers what I’m calling a sweetheart of a deal. Play on words again. (Did any of you guys forget the flowers?) MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet has given me permission to offer my readers the best deal I’ve ever seen on a MyHeritage subscription. How about $99.95 for a full year of Full Access to MyHeritage – that’s their Premium Plus family site and their Data Plan… Everything!!! For way over half off! We are talking $20 less than the best price offered here at RootsTech, and that was a 50% off deal! Click on this link to purchase Full Access MyHeritage at only $99.95. Do it now, as this price will only be offered through February 24, 2015 – then it ends. Period.

Note that the offer is for Genealogy Newsline Readers. However, since I author and own Genealogy Newsline, I can also offer it to my GenealogyBlog.com readers and folks that read me through social media. The landing screen from the above link says “Genealogy Newsline Readers,” but in this case we’re being even more inclusive.

Most of my readers are already familiar with MyHeritage, and understand that they have huge and rapidly growing family trees – many of them produced in Europe by genealogists just like you, only they might be speaking a different language (Cool…, huh?). Here are a couple impressive numbers… How about 28,000,000 family trees and 2.5 billion tree profiles? What do I bet you have family in there? I’d nearly guarantee it. Here’s why.

I had the privilege to sit down for a half hour or so with Mike Mallin. He was a Keynote speaker here at RootsTech at the opening session Thursday morning. He’s also the chief product officer at MyHeritage. I asked some serious questions and got some serious answers. Mike has dedicated his life to offering “value” to MyHeritage subscribers, and he wants each of us to have Discoveries, not just more documents. Now how’s that?

You may be familiar with the Smart Matching, and Record Matching, where MyHeritage takes your data and matches against other data within their system. Smart Matching allows us to discover unknown relatives and ancestors through family tree matches. Record Matching automatically sends records to us that match people in our family trees. Well, the new Discovery feature that’s about to be launched will take these matching features to a new level. In a month or so, we will see a new button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen saying Discovery. We will be able to click on the button, and get a scroll-down menu of Discoveries – Click on a Discovery, and have the capability of instantly importing a group of people – not lots of people – maybe 30 or 40, but just enough to make the typical person do the “genealogy happy dance.”

MyHeritage is committed to the whole concept of “value,” and the need to offer people instant value that they can relate (play on words here) with. Here’s an astounding stat that Mike Mallin gave me, and is based on real-life product research they’ve done. An average of 60% of individuals who GEDCOM imported or manually entered just 50 people into the MyHeritage Family Tree, and clicked on the Discovery feature that’s about to go live, got over 30 more people automatically added to their family tree. Happy dance time again… This whole Discovery idea is unique and one that I believe will help get more total novices on board the genealogy train. I think it’s going to be of value to many of the rest of us besides.

And here are a few other things about MyHeritage you might be interested in.

  • The site allows you to create your own online family tree, making it private or public.
  • The site has what they call SuperSearch, doing searches of billions of historical records, getting results in seconds.
  • Record Detective – Save time with technology that uncovers new leads and related records for every discovery you make.
  • Mobile App – Build your family tree and research on the go. It’s perfect for family get-togethers. This is available for both Android and iPhone. A new version of the mobile app was launched just last week!
  • Family Tree Builder software for both Windows and Mac computers. Not only can you enter your data, but you can enjoy maps, charts, reports and much more with this award winning software.
  • Mike told me about another new MyHeritage product that’s exciting. It’s a new app called Weavee. It’s an app that captures pictures and integrates stories. The user can select pictures and weave them into a mobile story. The plan is to integrate the mobile pictures, stories, and one’s data from the MyHeritage database into a captivating, and fun mobile story that you can then share on your mobile via social networking or email. Hmmm. Maybe we could send that to cousin Jeannie? Maybe Jeannie will realize that our hobby isn’t so boring after all. Jeannie might start entering her data, her memories, and her pictures. The more family that gets on board, the more the fun multiplies. I’d say exponentially…

Goodness… I have gotten carried away here. As you can tell, I am excited. The future is now. Come join me. Following is that Sweetheart of a deal offer again.

$99.95 for a full year of Full Access to MyHeritage – that’s their Premium Plus Family Site, and their Data Plan… Everything!!! For way over half off! We’re talking $20 less than the best price offered at RootsTech, and that was a 50% off deal! Click on this link to purchase Full Access MyHeritage at only $99.95. Do it now, as this price will only be offered through February 24, 2015.

Again, note that the offer is for Genealogy Newsline readers. However, since I author and own Genealogy Newsline, I can also offer it to my GenealogyBlog.com readers and folks that read me through social media. The landing screen from the above link says “Genealogy Newsline Readers,” but in this case we’re being far more inclusive.

MyHeritage Adds 900 Million Records to its Global Digital Archive

myheritage

The following news release is from Daniel Horowitz, at MyHeritage.com:

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah – February 2, 2015: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today announced that 900 million global historical records have been added to its searchable digital archive, bringing the total to more than 6 billion. By combining its huge and rapidly expanding digital repository of historical records with its matching technologies and newly-released Instant Discoveries™ experience, MyHeritage is helping families unlock their past faster and on a larger scale than ever before.

The additional content announced today is among the fruits of MyHeritage’s strategic partnership with FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogy organization. The records consist primarily of family tree profiles that have been submitted by more than 22 million users on FamilySearch. Integration ensures that this data is refreshed on MyHeritage on a daily basis as it is updated on FamilySearch. Adding this data to MyHeritage alongside the 27 million global family trees submitted by users of MyHeritage, brings together for the very first time 2 of the world’s 3 largest family tree collections. The beneficiaries are the users of the two organizations that will receive matches whenever MyHeritage technologies locate overlaps between the trees. Millions of users will make new discoveries and find new, previously unknown ancestors and relatives thanks to this partnership.

Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage said: “Unraveling the family history of the people of the world requires two primary ingredients – advanced technologies and massive amounts of data. MyHeritage is constantly pushing the limits in developing big data technology for family history discoveries, and today’s announcement marks a substantial advancement in our accumulation of data. We’re proud to work closely with FamilySearch to empower families across the globe to learn about their past and, through it, about themselves. Today’s big step helps make the world a little smaller and bring people closer together.”

Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch said: “Partnerships are a major focus in FamilySearch’s strategy to increase family history discoveries for more people. We value our strategic partnership with MyHeritage and appreciate their global reach and contribution to technology in the family history space. We believe this integration is paramount to the greater good of the community and look forward to a fruitful 2015 and beyond.”

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Trusted by millions of families, its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground-breaking search, matching and Instant Discovery technologies. MyHeritage empowers families with an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages. www.myheritage.com

MyHeritage Launches Instant Discoveries™ For The Mass #Genealogy Market

Earlier this evening, Mark Olsen dropped by the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, where we are staying this week in support of the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Mark works for MyHeritage (lucky guy!). Within the first minute or so, he asked, “Did you see our announcement this morning.” I replied in the affirmative, and just now got time to post about it.

Brian Kilmeade, with Fox News, got some very cool news about his family tree this morning, in the process of the announcement on live television. Click here to see it. Pretty cool…

To demonstrate the mainstream appeal of genealogy, MyHeritage tested the Instant Discoveries™ experience on passers-by throughout varying locations in New York City, such as Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. The reactions of the people who participated, as captured on video prove that family history can be an emotionally rewarding experience for complete beginners. Click on the link to see the 66 second video.

Following is the news release:

With Instant Discoveries™ it takes only seconds to discover ancestors and create an online family tree populated with many relatives

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah – December 10, 2014: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today unveiled Instant Discoveries™, a revolutionary new experience for people interested in exploring their family’s past. Delivering information about one’s ancestors and relatives during the signup process, Instant Discoveries™ provides a free, fun and immediately gratifying introduction to the fascinating world of family history.

Ideal for people who know little about their family history, MyHeritage asks first-time users to provide very basic information about 7 family members: themselves, their parents and grandparents, as they sign up for the service. Powerful technology then automatically searches for information about their family in MyHeritage’s vast databases containing billions of records. Within seconds, users are then presented with an Instant Discovery™, showing a person likely to be their ancestor, together with a wealth of related information including the entire family branch, names, facts, photos and documents. Users can then apply it all to their family tree in a click.

“We’re very excited about Instant Discoveries™”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Indulging first-time users with immediate information about their family fulfills our vision to make family history accessible and enjoyable to the mass market. We are firmly committed to creating disruptive technologies that reinvent the way people explore their family history.”

To demonstrate its mainstream appeal, the Instant Discoveries™ experience was successfully tested by passers-by throughout various locations in New York City, such as Times Square and Grand Central Terminal. The reactions of the people who participated, as captured on video prove that family history can be an emotionally rewarding experience for complete beginners.

Instant Discoveries™ are powered by new technology that builds on and enhances MyHeritage’s acclaimed Smart Matching™ and Record Matching technologies, providing highly accurate results. It respects the privacy of other users and excludes information about living people.

Mike Mallin, Chief Product Officer at MyHeritage added: “Millions of people want to better understand themselves and their roots, and we’re committed to making that a magical and easy process. Until now, family exploration has been burdensome and time consuming. Through our new Instant Discoveries ™, users can meet the generations who made them within moments of signing up.”

The success rate of Instant Discoveries™ depends on several factors, such as countries of origin and the level of detail of initial information entered. In some countries it is as high as 35%. With approximately 1 million new family tree profiles and 5 million historical records added to MyHeritage every day, the hit rate for discoveries will constantly rise over time. In the next few months, this new technology will be made available also to existing users of MyHeritage, who will be able to take advantage of it to enhance their family trees with new branches and new information in one click.

With the launch of Instant Discoveries™ and the recent news announcing integration of MyHeritage’s technologies by leading companies such as 23andMe and FamilySearch and other partners around the world, MyHeritage is securing its position as the technology leader in the family history market.
To experience Instant Discoveries™ for yourself, go to www.myheritage.com and sign up for free.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive database of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. MyHeritage is trusted by millions of families and provides them an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages.

MyHeritage Bolsters Leadership in the Netherlands With Strategic Partnerships & 1st National TV Ad Campaign

The following news release is from Daniel Horowitz:

TEL AVIV, Israel & AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – November 13, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced two key partnerships and a national TV marketing initiative that strengthen its leadership position in the Netherlands. The partnerships with popular Dutch genealogy services Aldfaer and Coret Genealogie include product integration and harness MyHeritage technologies to improve the way Dutch people explore their past.

MyHeritage currently has over 850,000 registered users in the Netherlands – about 5% of the population – and more than 80 million users worldwide, between its flagship service MyHeritage and the Geni.com service it operates.

Aldfaer
Founded in 1998, Aldfaer is a comprehensive genealogy freeware distributed by the Aldfaer Foundation that has achieved high popularity among family history fans in the Netherlands. As part of the agreement, MyHeritage will support the Aldfaer Foundation to allow its continued operation. Among the new features Aldfaer will offer a seamless integration of MyHeritage’s unique Smart Matching and Record Matching technologies to bring high accuracy automatic discoveries to the users of Aldfaer, based on MyHeritage’s huge international database of 5.6 billion records and family tree profiles.

“We’re excited to work with MyHeritage”, said Anne van der Ploeg, founder of the Aldfaer Foundation. “They have earned our trust with their ethical approach to business. Aldfaer will continue to grow and thrive and the addition of MyHeritage matching will make it even more valuable for our many users in the Netherlands.”

Coret Genealogie
Coret Genealogie provides several online services dedicated to Dutch genealogy. Founded by Bob Coret in 2003, the services include Stamboom Forum, the most active genealogy forum in the Netherlands and Genealogie Online, a comprehensive online family tree publishing service. MyHeritage has partnered with its founder Bob Coret, a respected genealogist and technologist in the Dutch genealogy community. Coret will be working with MyHeritage as a strategic advisor and technologist to help MyHeritage perfect its offerings in the Netherlands and develop new opportunities within the Dutch market. As of next month, MyHeritage matching technologies will be added to the Genealogie Online service to allow its users to make new discoveries, without transferring data to MyHeritage. Integrations with additional services in the Coret Genealogie portfolio will follow.

“I look forward to working with MyHeritage – a global technology leader – as they strengthen their presence in the Netherlands” said Bob Coret. “The Dutch family history landscape is diverse, exciting and extremely active and the cooperation with MyHeritage will create new opportunities for Dutch family history enthusiasts.”

TV ad campaign
MyHeritage has recently launched a large-scale prime time television advertising campaign in the Netherlands. The campaign features MyHeritage users in the Netherlands sharing their stories, passion and experiences with the service. The voice of the campaign is Dutch celebrity actor, Bram van der Vlugt. In addition to the Netherlands, MyHeritage has simultaneously launched another national TV campaign in Norway.

“Among all countries of the world, the Netherlands stands out in the passion of its people for family history”, said MyHeritage Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet. “We’re delighted to spearhead important new partnerships with Aldfaer and Coret and launch our first national TV campaign to further enhance our Dutch market leadership.”

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive database of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. MyHeritage is trusted by millions of families and provides them an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages. www.myheritage.com

Click here to see an example of the MyHeritage Ad running in the Netherlands (with English subtitles).

MyHeritage simultaneously launched another national TV campaign in Norway. Watch the ad with English subtitles by clicking here.