MyHeritage Launches New Community-Powered Q&A Hub

MyHeritage Community allows users to post requests for assistance with their family history research and receive help from the global 81-million-strong MyHeritage user community

[Editor’s Note: We just received the following information from MyHeritage – and the innovations just keep coming! Add this to last week’s announcement on Book Matching and you’ll see why more and more genealogists are using MyHeritage.

Don’t forget that you can still get 50% off MyHeritage annual Premium Plus AND the Data membership package through April 25th! Click here for more information.]

MyHeritage Launches New Community-Powered Q&A Hub

MyHeritage Community allows users to post requests for assistance with their family history research and receive help from the global 81-million-strong MyHeritage user community

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, April 19, 2016 — MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announced today the launch of MyHeritage Community, a new online Q&A hub that fosters family history research collaboration. MyHeritage Community is built as an image-oriented forum integrated into the website for users to help one another solve genealogical challenges, such as translating documents, deciphering handwritten letters, identifying unknown people in photos and searching for elusive ancestors.

With more than 81 million users around the world registered on MyHeritage and 42 languages supported, MyHeritage Community is uniquely positioned to serve as a meeting place for people trying to solve genealogical mysteries, and other people willing to help them. Users looking for assistance can post requests in the MyHeritage Community to get expert genealogy advice or benefit from native language expertise and local geographic familiarity. For example: a user in the United States with roots in Germany can post an image of an ancestor’s handwritten letter written in Kurrent — old German handwriting — and ask for help deciphering it. Another user from Germany can then translate it and add first-hand information on the town from which the letter was posted.

Volunteerism is an important value in the world of genealogy. Since the recent release of the MyHeritage Community, inspiring cases of users helping other users continue to surface. Examples include a user who posted a request for information on her relatives from a specific region in Italy and received pinpointed advice down to the address of the relevant office to contact; a user who asked for a translation of a church certificate from Portuguese to English and received a full translation and in-depth explanation of the purpose and origin of the document; plus many more.

“My definition of a genealogist is someone who — after consuming most research directions for his/her own family — helps other people research their family tree, just because he/she loves it so much,” said MyHeritage founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet. “Many genealogists are generous with their time and knowledge, and eager to help others explore their family history. The new MyHeritage Community allows people to help each other, making our service even more useful and effective.”

MyHeritage Community is free, and is accessible at www.myheritage.com/community. 

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

Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee shares his feedback on the new Book Matching feature at MyHeritage.

Can I tell you how excited I am about this new Book Matching feature at MyHeritage? One of my “go to” sources is MyHeritage and it just got way better with some new features. I’ve been relying more and more on MyHeritage for my genealogy research as well as to share my family tree with other users. MyHeritage “gets it” and they are constantly innovating to make sure I succeed in my research. I do more than just “get by” . . . I actually succeed with real results.

What is Book Matching Technology?

Here is the basic information about the new Book Matching feature at MyHeritage:

Book Matching is exclusive to MyHeritage. It uses full semantic text analysis to compare books with family trees, bringing you relevant excerpts when it finds narrative describing people in your family tree, with extremely high accuracy.

Book Matching brings you exciting new information about your family that you may not have found anywhere else, allowing you to expand your family tree and add more information to family tree profiles.

Example: Herbert Edward Rankin

Here is how the new Book Matching feature has helped me with research on my 5th cousin 4 times removed, Herbert Edward Rankin. He was born 15 April 1887 in Albany, New York. In MyHeritage, I went to my Record Matches and then looked at the Compilation of Published Sources.

MyHeritage Book Matching for Herbert Edward Rankin

I was able to sort the results by name as well as by confidence level. I’ve been doing more work on my Rankin and Putman lines lately so when I saw Herbert Edward Rankin show up, I realized I was unaware of the fact that he attended Phillips Academy in 1905. Once I opened the record, Pot Pourri, Phillips Academy, 1905 (this is a yearbook for the Academy), I was able to see the following text:

MyHeritage Book Matching for Herbert Edward Rankin

Herbert Edward Rankin.  A native of Albany, N. Y., was born April 15, 1887. He is a son of E. W. Rankin, a lawyer, and will go to Princeton.

So now I have another verification of his birth date as well as where he went to school. A nice feature of the records in the Compilation of Published Sources is the bibliographic info at the end to help me write a source citation:

MyHeritage Book Matching for Herbert Edward Rankin

I can save the image from the book and store it in my Resource Images folder in Dropbox, then review the match and mark it off in MyHeritage. I also enter my “find” in my research log and evaluate the information in terms of evidence type, information type, etc.

Example: John C. Doig

John C. Doig, born in Lowville, New York, on 15 May 1820, is one of my collateral relatives, being the brother-in-law of my 1st cousin 6 times removed (Hiram Austin, 1819-1903). I know that the Doig family was fairly prominent in Lewis County, New York, yet I didn’t have much information on John.

MyHeritage Book Matching for John C. Doig

Book Matching on MyHeritage was able to locate an extensive biography in History of Lewis County, New York: With illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, published 1883.

Talk about lots of new information? Not only do I get a drawing of John C. Doig, but I also get information on his marriage, his children and more.

MyHeritage Book Matching for John C. Doig

Now if I just had some more hours in the day to go through the backlog of record matches on MyHeritage. And Book Matching has really bumped up those numbers so I have my work cut out for me!

Why Book Matching Is Innovative and Important

Indeed, many of the sources that are referenced in Book Matching are available for free on Google Books or at Internet Archive. But those sites won’t notify you of text that matches people in your family tree. And as new sources come online and are added to the Compilation of Published Sources, you’ll receive new notifications of matches. This is a new collection with 450,000 digitized historical books!

Most of these books are available online and they can be searched manually for free (on MyHeritage as well as other sites). However, MyHeritage will automatically research hundreds of thousands of books for you, continuously, for your ancestors and relatives. You will be notified of precise matches based on matching facts, so you won’t waste any time on futile manual searches, looking at false positives and sifting through thousands of wrong results. This could save you years of searching since it is all done automatically, and repeated any time you add more people to your tree, or when MyHeritage adds more books. It will really find matches that you won’t find on your own and you only get good matches. So, you work “smarter” and your time is spent on reviewing good stuff, rather than endlessly searching for it.

I call these “alert” features a way of doing genealogy researching while I sleep! MyHeritage’s Book Matching as well as Record Matches and Smart Matches save me time and are a valuable part of my genealogy research toolbox.

And how many new matches did I get recently on my tree at MyHeritage? A total of 1,269 for a tree with 7,685 people. I guess I have a big review project coming up this weekend . . . and I can’t wait to see what I find? What will you find with the new Book Matching at MyHeritage?

Stay Tuned for a Special Offer from MyHeritage

You can get access to Book Matching and all the great features of MyHeritage for a great price. Stay tuned here at GeneaBloggers for more information.

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Tip of the Day App – FREE!

Michael John Neill announces the 50,000th fan of his Genealogy Tip of the Day page on Facebook and the new Genealogy Tip of the Day app!

Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day is excited to make two announcements: “We’ve reached 50,000 fans on Facebook and we’re pleased to announce the release of our free Genealogy Tip of the Day app for mobile devices.

The Genealogy Tip of the Day app can be located in the Apple iTunes Store or the Google Play Store on Android and can be downloaded at no charge. It is now easier than ever to have each daily tip literally at your fingertips to browse whenever you’ve got a free research moment.

Michael adds, “In celebration, we’re offering a discount on all of our recorded genealogy webinars on a wide range of research topics. Presentations are advertising-free, easy to follow, and geared to being practical and down-to-earth. To keep with our “50” theme, a discount of 50% will be applied with the use of coupon code 50000 at checkout. Click here to view the available webinars!

Michael has actively researched his and his children’s genealogy for over thirty years and has lectured at a wide variety of national and local conferences and seminars. He maintains a personal genealogy blog at Rootdig.