We're happy to announce that as of this week, you can search 138 million Geni profiles on MyHeritage's SuperSearch.
Soon after acquiring Geni in November 2012, MyHeritage provided Geni's users with Record Matches and Smart Matches powered by MyHeritage. We added this to enable Geni users to benefit from historical records - something that hadn't been available on Geni before - and discover new relatives and ancestors through matches between their tree and the 25 million trees on MyHeritage.
This week we completed reciprocating this benefit for MyHeritage users, and now they are able to search Geni profiles on MyHeritage, and receive automatic matches between their family trees and Geni. It took us some time to add this, because we implemented a robust, real-time "bridge" that constantly updates MyHeritage SuperSearch as changes are made in the tree on Geni. The updates stream to MyHeritage every second but SuperSearch is updated in bulk once a day with all the changes. This prevents information on MyHeritage that originates from Geni from ever becoming out of date.
Now that the Geni profiles are available on SuperSearch, MyHeritage users will start receiving matches with Geni trees. This is a great benefit for users of either service, as both will now be able to expand their trees, find new information, discover new cousins and learn more from each other.
This is a good opportunity to explain the different models by which MyHeritage and Geni operate. MyHeritage is a giant forest of private family trees. On MyHeritage, nobody can edit your tree except you and the people you choose. Whereas Geni has created a highly collaborative system that resembles Wikipedia, called the World Family Tree. On Geni, other users can edit your tree and public profiles and often do so, in an attempt to create one family tree of the world. These are very different approaches and users can decide which approach is more appropriate for them for their family history. MyHeritage offers stronger control and tighter privacy, but has data duplication. On Geni there is very little duplication, and more collaboration, but less control. That's why Geni is blessed to have an active community of curators, who are power users that help other users collaborate on the World Family Tree and work hard to ensure the accuracy of the tree. Many genealogists don't like the notion of other people changing their data, and prefer MyHeritage, while others are passionate about the World Family Tree concept and prefer Geni. The good news is that, regardless of their preference, users on either site can now benefit from the work done by genealogists on the other site!
If a Geni user exported his/her tree to MyHeritage, there will obviously be plenty of matches between that tree on MyHeritage and Geni (whence that tree came) and these matches are not helpful. In fact, they create noise which makes it more difficult to see other matches that are useful. For such an exported tree, the user should remove the check mark from the option: "Enable Smart Matching™ with other MyHeritage websites and partners". This option is available on MyHeritage in the family site settings, under "my privacy". When that check mark is removed, Geni will not receive matches with that MyHeritage tree, and also the opposite will take place and that tree on MyHeritage will not receive matches with Geni.
If you are a MyHeritage user and receive a Geni tree match, you can save the new information discovered to your tree on MyHeritage, and link to the Geni profile. You can also contact the user on Geni who submitted that profile, to exchange information. Geni users have been enjoying matches from MyHeritage for a while and have already created many links between profiles on both sites. However, as per MyHeritage's model, changes made on Geni do not modify anything on a MyHeritage tree unless its owner chooses to make a change herself/himself.
There are now 138 million Geni profiles searchable on SuperSearch – and with the exception of Geni, many of these are not available anywhere else on the internet. This is another great reason to use MyHeritage.
Geni also has a large collection of meticulously curated celebrity profiles, with extremely well documented family trees of those celebrities. Now that this information is also available on MyHeritage, who knows which celebrities you'll discover are related to you!
The team at MyHeritage
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