I’ve known for some time now that FamilyLink, and it’s subsidiary, WorldVitalRecords.com had been sold. As a data provider, I was asked to sign paperwork allowing my data to transfer, and keep my mouth shut. However, I didn’t know who bought the company. I just got a call from one of my friends at FamilyLink who let me know that the acquisition announcement had just gone out on Techcrunch, and I could pass the word on to you folks.

I’m excited about the acquisition. The Israeli company, MyHeritage, has a huge following – especially in Europe – and the principles of the company are folks that I’ve grown to like and admire. Following is the news release:

Israeli company MyHeritage, which operates a huge family-based social network has acquired FamilyLink, the developer behind family history
content sites FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com.

While financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, this is MyHeritage’s seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. Past acquisitions include Germany’s OSN, Poland’s Bliscy.pl, Dutch Family Network ZOOOF and most recently BackupMyTree.

MyHeritage has a simple goal: to help people discover who they are related to and help maintain these connections. The company’s Smart Matching technology takes data entered in and matches info with other family trees and data that people have entered in to the site to find relatives and explore their family history.

The site also offers a private home on the web for exploring family history and keeping in touch; allowing users to create their own family website, share pictures and videos, organize family events, create family trees and discover ancestors and long-lost relatives.

Backed by Accel and Index Ventures, MyHeritage.com boasts an international registered member base of 60 million users, offers its services in 38 languages, and is home to more than 900 million profiles and 21 million family trees. And the company is profitable.

For the company, Utah-based FamilyLink furthers MyHeritage’s presence in the US.>, and boosts MyHeritage’s offering to families with the addition of a database of more than 3 billion historical records.

Founded in 2006, both FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com are subscription services which provide access to a huge database of historical content, covering several billion individuals within census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the web’s largest archive of historical newspapers.

With offices and staff in Europe, Australia and Israel; MyHeritage will now be adding its first US-based office in Utah, the home of FamilyLink.com.

As MyHeritage founder and CEO Gilad Japhet says, “We’ll be able to find your mother’s yearbook, your great- grandfather’s will and your ancestor’s immigration record…We’ll do that on a massive, global scale, as we live in a world
that is smaller and more tightly connected than ever before”.

The CEO of FamilyLink.com, Paul Brockbank, previously CEO of Logoworks and GM of Hewlett Packard Web Print Solutions, will later join the MyHeritage advisory board. FamilyLink.com founder Paul Allen, previously a co-founder of Ancestry.com, will not be part of the merger with MyHeritage.

MyHeritage faces competition from the less social Ancestry.com, which is more US focused. But most people’s deep family trees span languages and borders. And while MyHeritage has a big global audience, FamilyLink should help the company broaden its user base in the U.S.