MyHeritage bolsters leadership in the Netherlands with strategic partnerships and first national TV advertising campaign

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TEL AVIV, Israel & AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – November 13, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced two key partnerships and a national TV marketing initiative that strengthen its leadership position in the Netherlands. The partnerships with popular Dutch genealogy services Aldfaer and Coret Genealogie include product integration and harness MyHeritage technologies to improve the way Dutch people explore their past.

MyHeritage currently has over 850,000 registered users in the Netherlands – about 5% of the population – and more than 80 million users worldwide, between its flagship service MyHeritage and the service it operates.


Founded in 1998, Aldfaer is a comprehensive genealogy freeware distributed by the Aldfaer Foundation that has achieved high popularity among family history fans in the Netherlands. As part of the agreement, MyHeritage will support the Aldfaer Foundation to allow its continued operation. Among the new features Aldfaer will offer a seamless integration of MyHeritage’s unique Smart Matching and Record Matching technologies to bring high accuracy automatic discoveries to the users of Aldfaer, based on MyHeritage’s huge international database of 5.6 billion records and family tree profiles.

“We’re excited to work with MyHeritage”, said Anne van der Ploeg, founder of the Aldfaer Foundation. “They have earned our trust with their ethical approach to business. Aldfaer will continue to grow and thrive and the addition of MyHeritage matching will make it even more valuable for our many users in the Netherlands.”

Coret Genealogie

Coret Genealogie provides several online services dedicated to Dutch genealogy. Founded by Bob Coret in 2003, the services include Stamboom Forum, the most active genealogy forum in the Netherlands and Genealogie Online, a comprehensive online family tree publishing service. MyHeritage has partnered with its founder Bob Coret, a respected genealogist and technologist in the Dutch genealogy community. Coret will be working with MyHeritage as a strategic advisor and technologist to help MyHeritage perfect its offerings in the Netherlands and develop new opportunities within the Dutch market. As of next month, MyHeritage matching technologies will be added to the Genealogie Online service to allow its users to make new discoveries, without transferring data to MyHeritage. Integrations with additional services in the Coret Genealogie portfolio will follow.

“I look forward to working with MyHeritage – a global technology leader – as they strengthen their presence in the Netherlands” said Bob Coret. “The Dutch family history landscape is diverse, exciting and extremely active and the cooperation with MyHeritage will create new opportunities for Dutch family history enthusiasts.”

TV ad campaign

MyHeritage has recently launched a large-scale prime time television advertising campaign in the Netherlands. The campaign features MyHeritage users in the Netherlands sharing their stories, passion and experiences with the service. The voice of the campaign is Dutch celebrity actor, Bram van der Vlugt. In addition to the Netherlands, MyHeritage has simultaneously launched another national TV campaign in Norway.

“Among all countries of the world, the Netherlands stands out in the passion of its people for family history”, said MyHeritage Founder & CEO Gilad Japhet. “We’re delighted to spearhead important new partnerships with Aldfaer and Coret and launch our first national TV campaign to further enhance our Dutch market leadership.”

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive database of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground-breaking search and matching technologies. MyHeritage is trusted by millions of families and provides them an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages.

FREE Ebooks for Genealogy and Technology – Wednesday 12 November 2014

free kindle ebooks at geneabloggers

Here is a list of free ebooks from various sources including Amazon, as compiled for Wednesday 12 November 2014. Don’t forget to act fast – many of these books are only offered for free for today only! That means if you have the “1-Click” feature turned on at Amazon, check to make sure the book is free before purchasing!

Don’t have a Kindle? Don’t worry . . . you can load the free Amazon Kindle App and read Kindle books on your smart phone, tablet or desktop PC. Click here for more information.

Family Tree Magazine

family tree university

Amazon Kindle

100 great ways to be 100 percent

5 Steps to Building the Ultimate Cloud

Evernote Essentials Basics

Evernote Essentials

Evernote - A Quick and Easy Guide

Evernote Unleashed

genealogy family tree research

The Crowdfunding Bible

The Quick Guide to Cloud Computing

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Are You in the “Space of I Don’t Know”? My Success in Confirming Family Stories

Albert Einstein Mind Map


I want to tell you a story about the need to abandon your pre-conceived notions about a genealogy website or record set. For years I was the type of researcher who insisted that I knew everything about a specific website and I told myself (and others) I’d never use it.

Always Inhabit the “Space of I Don’t Know”

One of the things I learned after years in the Information Technology field was to make sure that I was always analyzing problems from what I call the “Space of I Don’t Know.” In her biography Lessons in Becoming Myself, the actress Ellen Burstyn presents a great summary of this concept:

“It is in the ‘not knowing’ that the search occurs. It is a living process where creativity thrives. It is standing in the space of ‘I don’t know’ with dissatisfaction with what has already been achieved, and eagerness to open up to the unknown.”

If I am working to resolve a research problem, such as verifying a family story, I need to be open to finding out that the story is not true, or partially true. From that same perspective, if I’ve tried to use a website in the past and have been frustrated in my results, I have to be open to asking myself the following:

  • How long ago did I use that website or record set?
  • Was I using the proper search methodologies? Did I go with a guess or did I consult the FAQ or Help section for assistance?
  • Have the search mechanisms changed or improved since I last visited the website?
  • Has the site added new record sets? Has the record set added new holdings?
  • Have the records been re-indexed? (This does happen from time to time).

For me, the term “reasonably exhaustive search” also applies to search methodology: did I use the best knowledge and ensure that I was performing the best possible searches when using a website or record set?

Also, I try to use this practice when visiting a library, archive or repository. Don’t make a visit without first checking the website and understanding the holdings at that site. If there are finding aids then use them. When you arrive, if there is staff available, then use them and tap into their knowledge.

The Repo Man: A Family Story

Here is a recent example that involves a family story and something that I vaguely remember as a child. And I used the resources at MyHeritage to verify the story and to clarify the facts.

While my parents were going through their divorce around 1969 or 1970, I remember our family car “disappearing” one day. I was about 8 years old and I thought it had been stolen. I wrote about this recently here when I launched a crowdfunding program for a genealogy colleague.

The car was a yellow Datsun station wagon (for you young folks, Datsun was the precursor to Nissan). As I’ve written in a compilation of my memories and family stories:

“. . .My mother was newly divorced and raising two young boys. She had no credit and had little work experience. For us, changes were afoot – I had to leave Catholic school since there was no money for tuition; I spent after school time at a baby sitter’s, etc. What I remember most is how our car just disappeared one day.

I didn’t understand – I thought it was stolen! Later I found out that it had been ‘repo-ed’ . . . repossessed because my mother couldn’t afford the payments. It was a matter of feeding her boys or having a car. As a result we walked almost a mile each way to the grocery store or relied upon the kindness of friends and family members to go places.”

Recently I’ve started using MyHeritage more and more for research especially since they list NewspaperArchive as one of their record sets. Several months ago I decided not to renew my subscription to NewspaperArchive due to the cost. Also, I had convinced myself that they never had anything I needed when I did a newspaper search.

So guess what I find on MyHeritage yesterday?

Guess what I found to help my genealogy research?

“Notice of Sale

To: Richard J. MacEntee and Jacqueline MacEntee, Box 1055, 6 Wierk Avenue, Liberty, New York and to whomever else it may concern.

On April 6, 1971, at 2 P.M. at North Main Dodge, 500 North Main Street, Liberty, New York, the following goods will be sold . . . “

And the entry goes on to describe “1969 Datsun Station Wagon” which had been secured by a loan from the Sullivan County National Bank.

So the story was true. I couldn’t remember the dates originally, but now I had factual information. This may seem like a small bit of information, but it substantiates a story that was important enough to make an impression on me while growing up. A story that I remember almost 45 years later. A story that represents some of the setbacks my family endured.

Here’s What I Used for My Recent Discoveries

Yesterday I took a chance on a resource that I didn’t use in the past because I had convinced myself that it wasn’t worth the investment of my time or my money. That resource is MyHeritage.

I put aside my biases, my preconceived notions and I gave it a try. I not only found what I needed to finish this small vignette about my family, I also found these items, about my MacEntee line:

  • The birth announcement for my half-sister. I always thought she was born in Florida, but the announcement has proven otherwise.
  • Obituaries for Elmer MacEntee and Elmer MacEntee, Jr. my great-grandfather and great-uncle.
  • Obituaries for my great-grandmother Margaret DeGroodt.

And I know there are more discoveries just waiting for me. I won’t even begin to tell you about what I found on my Henneberg line, my most difficult area of research. Not only has the SmartMatches feature helped me to connect with other Henneberg researchers, but I’ve even connected with a researcher in Germany who is assisting me with deciphering early German handwriting!

Put aside what you think you know about MyHeritage and about specific record sets. I have a special offer for GeneaBloggers fans: get MyHeritage Premium Plus and the MyHeritage Data Package with access to over 5 billion records for 50% off!

Click here for more information. This offer is only good through 15 November 2014; if you already have MyHeritage, it is good for renewals too!

Lack of Knowledge is a Not Weakness

It is not “weak” to admit that you don’t know something. I learned that a long time ago. I’ve put aside trying to impress colleagues and others by “covering” when it comes to knowledge. If you listen closely when attending one of my webinars or lectures, you’ll hear me say “I don’t know.” If you listen even closer, you’ll hear me follow that up with: “Let’s find out together . . .” and off I go on a search for information. For me it is not only fun but also liberating. I don’t work under that pressure that I need to know everything. I live in that constant space of “I don’t know” and curiosity. For me, curiosity is part of genealogy. That is how I got started; I asked my family questions about our history.

And as Albert Einstein said, “Never lose a holy curiosity.”

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.