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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Incredible Growth of MyHeritage.com -- Dynamic and Relentless



Globally connected MyHeritage.com's founder Gilad Japhet gives an interview on Bloomberg TV. He describes MyHeritage.com as dynamic and relentless. I also find it hugely useful for acquiring sources. I realize my opinions are not without challenge from users who have a different viewpoint, but during the time I have been using the programs, Family Tree Builder coupled with my online family tree, I have added hundreds of sources. I would have added hundreds (thousands) more but there is only so much time in a day or week.

Some of the records that MyHeritage.com added recently include those from many of the Scandinavian countries. My wife has benefited greatly and was able to add new people to her family line simply because of these records. The collections added by MyHeritage.com have over 90 million names and include birth, death, marriage and baptism records, as well as census and many more records. This is in addition to 70 million profiles in 730,000 family trees already created by MyHeritage users with ancestors in this region.

In previous posts I've talked about the records added to Ancestry.com. However, MyHeritage.com has the same type of arrangement with FamilySearch.org and according to their press releases, MyHeritage.com will be adding more than 2 billion records from FamilySearch’s global historic record collections and profiles from its online family tree to SuperSearch, MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records.

In talking to various genealogists in my presentations around Arizona and the rest of the country, I am certain that very few people understand the impact that the automated search functions will have on genealogy in general. Essentially, these automated processes now in place on MyHeritage.com and to some extent on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, constitute a fundamental shift in the way that genealogists do their work. The time-consuming work of documenting known ancestors is greatly accelerated but there is an offsetting challenge from the sheer numbers of records generated by the automated searches. It is a nice problem to have. Considering the number of records being added by all three of these large online database companies the complexity and magnitude of the online records is likely to become overwhelming to the average genealogist. Despite this, we must always remind ourselves that the effort to digitize records still has a long way to go.

Irrespective of what develops in the future, personally, if this were a situation where the companies were actually competing with each other, I would certainly hate to be competing with MyHeritage.com.

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