RootsTech 2014

Mocavo

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Update on MyHeritage.com Record Match and US Census

I had an interesting experience this week, one of the patrons at the Mesa FamilySearch Library came in with her computer and needed "help" with MyHeritage.com. The help she needed was that she didn't know what to do with the over 4000 Record Matches she had generated from uploading her family tree. She was overwhelmed with the amount of information she might have to process. I have essentially the same problem with almost 3000 Record Matches in my own file.

I realize that not all the people who have subscribed to MyHeritage.com have had similar experiences. My wife had a lot of difficulty with her file at first, but after reloading it and getting some of the connections worked out, she now has hundreds of Record Matches waiting to process. We got that straightened out without asking for support from MyHeritage.com. Every problem with the Record Matching function, I have been asked to look at, involved some technical problem with the uploaded file, not will anything in the MyHeritage.com program.

Now before you send my a long comment complaining about MyHeritage.com, realize that I can't do anything about your particular problem and if you want to vent, start your own blog. All I can do is speak from my own experience which has been good with some challenges to resolve.

Now, on to other topics.

Why do we care if MyHeritage.com has yet another copy of the U.S. Census records? If you have been doing research in the U.S. for any length of time, you have probably spent some time with the U.S. Census. My original introduction was trying to read microfilm copies of the Census schedules in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I found that to be such a daunting task that I really stopped using the Census records (I was very new to genealogy at the time).

Of course, I came to appreciate the value of these records, but access has always been an issue. Some of the online copies use the same indexing database. Some of the programs have their own index. Some have no index at all and just have the images. All of these are useful. If you fail to find your family in any given census year, you can always go to another database and see if the family shows up in a different index. Also the images vary in quality and the amount of information. One more copy of the Census is always welcome and a big help.

From the standpoint of MyHeritage.com, if you already had your family tree on this program, then adding the census records was a bonus. If you were not decided whether or not to subscribe, maybe having the U.S. Census tips the scale in favor of subscribing.

Just in case you don't know about all the online sources for the U.S. Census see the following:

FamilySearch.org (free, missing some images)
Ancestry.com ($)
Archive.org (free through 1930, no index)
HeritageQuestOnline.com (free through libraries, partial index)
findmypast.com ($)
MyHeritage.com ($)

There are also several partial transcriptions and other resources available. See Census Online.


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