Thursday, May 5, 2016

April 30th MyHeritage Presentation Review

Mark Olsen, the Business Development Manager at MyHeritage presented “MyHeritage – Amazing Technology Changing the World of Genealogy” to about 40 members and guests on Saturday, April 30th, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

(photo courtesy of J. Paul Hawthorne)

Mark briefly described the history of MyHeritage from the 2003 start in Gilad Japhet's garage in Israel to the second largest commercial genealogy family tree and records website today.  In 2011, they acquired WorldVitalRecords, and in 2012 they acquired

MyHeritage has developed several amazing technologies for facial recognition, matching users to other users, matching family tree persons with records, newspaper articles and book, etc.  The amazing thing is that the Matching technology is 97.6% accurate.

Mark played one of the MyHeritage videos, this one made in Norway, where people on the street walked up to a computer screen, entered their name, their parents and grandparents names, and were presented with more family names , photos and stories.

On the MyHeritage website, a new user can do the same thing - enter self, parents and grandparents, and immediately receive Smart Matches (matches your tree persons to tree persons in other user trees), Record Matches (records for persons in your family tree), and Instant Discoveries (more persons, photos and records from other user trees).  Mark walked us through creating a new family tree on MyHeritage.

Other technologies developed in recent years include:

*  Newspaper Matching -- provides Record Matches for your tree persons from digitized Newspapers.
*  Record Detective - Finds other records for the person you found a record for
*  SearchConnect - finds other users who searched for the same persons you are searching for.
*  Global Name Translation - searches across 42 languages for similar names, especially when searching for Jewish and Eastern European records.
*  Book Matching - finding matches with your tree persons in over 447,000 genealogy and family history books in "Compilation of Public sources."  Anyone can search this collection for FREE (without a subscription).
*  Community - Users can ask for help for translation, for record interpretation, etc. from other MyHeritage community members.

Mark said that MyHeritage has partnerships with FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe for DNA testing, with NewspaperARCHIVE for newspaper content, with ArkivDigital in Sweden for records, with Billion Graves for cemetery records, with RootsMagic for WebHints, and with FamilySearch for sharing records and technology.

In addition, MyHeritage provides free desktop genealogy software called Family Tree Builder now in Version 8 for Windows and Mac computers.  Family Tree Builder 8 can synchronize your software family tree with your MyHeritage tree.

MyHeritage also has a MyHeritage Library Edition for free use at libraries and FamilySearch Centers.  There are MyHeritage mobile apps for iOS and Android smart devices, including audio recording of memories that can be attached to a person.

MyHeritage retail yearly costs are $119 for a no-limit family tree subscription, and $119 for a Data subscription.  There is a Premium Plus yearly subscription for $238, but often there are special offers available.

This was an interactive, informative and entertaining presentation - our thanks to Mark Olsen for visiting Chula Vista while he was in San Diego on business.

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