As we previously announced, MyHeritage was present at The Family History Event last Sunday May 3rd, at the Barbican Centre in London, and it couldn't have been better.
The show reunited the UK genealogy community, and it represented a good moment for regional associations from Cumbria to Devon to put their records at the disposal of people interested in finding out about their past. The turnout from the public was great, with several thousand attendees in total. The atmosphere was cheerful as the event engaged genealogists in a fruitful conversation.
In that context, we had the chance to talk about MyHeritage's unique research tools and our website's many functionalities to the genealogists who turned up to our stand curious about the different ways we could help them discover and connect with their family.
Our Smart Match technology drew the most attention, with its promise of the possibility to connect with the MyHeritage community of families, followed by the MyHeritage Research pages.
One person was specifically interested in the first feature, as he had a particular need.
He told us that he was British from a family which had come from Poland and that another branch of his Polish family moved to Israel. He had his Polish surname changed to English and the branch which went to Israel had it changed to Hebrew. He wanted to know if he would get Smart Matches even with trees including his surname written in Hebrew. It turns out that MyHeritage can help him in that regard, because if he ensures that his tree is translated to those two languages, MyHeritage will recognize the names are the same but in different alphabets.
We got the most various and interesting responses at our stand, as there it was this old lady, in her 80s, who claimed to have been teaching genealogy for 40 years and was very worried about digital technology invading her field of expertise and changing it all. After a brief discussion on what technology has to offer we reached agreement: the essence of genealogy research hasn't changed, one still has to get data using different means - talking, calling and meeting people and going through books and printed material, but nowadays this can be done faster, more accurately and in a more organised way with the help of digital tools.
For us at MyHeritage it is always nice to be present at events like this, because genealogy is all about sharing and discovering, and one way of doing that is by meeting and talking to people. So the nice old lady was right, in essence genealogy research hasn't changed, but technology adds a dimension to it.....and that's why we were there!