7    Apr 201657 comments

MyHeritage Launches Book Matching

We're excited to announce the release of a revolutionary new technology — Book Matching — perhaps our best technology yet. Book Matching automatically researches individuals found in family trees on MyHeritage in our vast collection of digitized historical books. Unique to MyHeritage, the innovative new technology uses semantic analysis to understand every sentence in every page in the digitized books, in order to find matches with very high accuracy. Book Matching has already produced over 80 million new matches for our users! Every match is a paragraph from a book specifically about the person in the family tree, providing direct access to that paragraph and the ability to browse through the rest of the book.

With Book Matching, you'll discover fascinating family information that you would not find otherwise. You may even discover new relatives and ancestors. Use this information to expand your family tree and add color to it.

By way of background, we first launched SuperSearch™, our search engine for historical records, in 2012. In December 2015, the collection of digitized historical books was added to SuperSearch™. Very recently, we've tripled the books in the Compilation of Published Sources from 150,000 to 450,000 books, with a total of 91 million pages. We've assembled a team of hard-working curators and plan to add hundreds of millions of additional pages of digitized books to the collection each year.

Continue reading "MyHeritage Launches Book Matching" »

5    Apr 20161 comment

Choices and Good Fortune

A friend recently shared the story of how her great-grandfather Leon emigrated to America from Europe in the early 1900s. His brother had previously arrived, in search of a better life. When Leon followed his brother, he worked as a tailor and struggled to make ends meet to support his growing family.

After a few years, he reached a point in his career where he had become comfortable and had some expendable income. He searched to invest some money in a new opportunity. Leon's brother suggested that he try investing with him in real estate — and purchase some rural farmland in New York City. Continue reading "Choices and Good Fortune" »

27    Mar 20160 comments

Easter: New avenues of research

Happy Easter!

With Easter, we welcome Spring and the rebirth of new life. It’s a great time of year to do some spring cleaning and organize your genealogy research. It is also a great opportunity to try new things and venture down new avenues of genealogy research.

Here are some tips for taking your family history research in new directions: Continue reading "Easter: New avenues of research" »

22    Mar 20166 comments

Guest Post: Sprucing Up Your Family’s History

This is a guest post by Leslie Albrecht Huber, a genealogy writer, and speaker. She has written over 100 articles published in a variety of history and family history outlets. She loves speaking to groups on genealogy topics, particularly those focused on German genealogy, tracing immigrant ancestors, social history, and writing family histories. Leslie has spoken in over 20 U.S. states, on "Good Morning America" and on NPR (National Public Radio). Her book, "The Journey Takers," was published in 2010.

We’ve all read family histories that begin something like this: “My great-grandmother, Mary Smith, was born on June 3, 1890, in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of Sarah Smith and John Smith. She had two older brothers and three younger sisters.”

With nothing story-like to them, these histories are little more than lists of details strung together in paragraph format. They may be packed full of well-researched information, but many readers will struggle to get beyond the first few pages before they find their mind wandering or their eyes drifting closed. Continue reading "Guest Post: Sprucing Up Your Family’s History" »

13    Mar 20169 comments

19 Jokes All Genealogists Will Appreciate

Genealogists take family history research very seriously. However, we all still love good genealogy humor.

We hope you can take a break — from searching for your great-great-great-grandmother — to check out our favorite genealogy jokes. They're sure to make genealogists and non-genealogists alike chuckle.

  1. "My ancestors are so hard to find, they must have been in a witness protection program!" Continue reading "19 Jokes All Genealogists Will Appreciate" »
9    Mar 20161 comment

Video: Getting Started with Your Family History

We recently hosted a webinar — Getting Started with Your Family History — featuring our US genealogy expert, Schelly Talalay Dardashti.

Researching your family history can be incredibly eye-opening, revealing connections that you never dreamed of, and ties to faraway places from past centuries. Schelly discussed the importance of family history research, as well as hints and tips for where to begin.

Did you miss it? Don't worry! Click on the video below to watch the full webinar.

Don’t forget to check our other webinars for many more genealogy tips to help make family history research easier.

Have ideas for other webinars? Let us know in the comments below.

8    Mar 20162 comments

11 Beauty Secrets from Your Grandmother

Growing up, I remember watching in awe and admiration as my grandmother went through her daily beauty regiment. She never left the house without "putting her face on," as she liked to call it. I learned many tips and tricks from watching her well-oiled routine that had been perfected over the years.

The truth is that I'm not the only one to claim that grandmothers have the best beauty advice. Many women say that their mothers and grandmothers have better skin than they do. Modern methods and products aren't necessarily better than the old-fashioned creations our grandmothers whipped up.

(Image credit: Library of Congress)

Women used to have simple and effective ways to achieve beauty using mostly natural ingredients.

Here are some classic examples of the beauty secrets of generations past:

Continue reading "11 Beauty Secrets from Your Grandmother" »

3    Mar 20161 comment

Over 5 million Dutch Records Added to SuperSearch™

We have just added over 5 million Dutch records to MyHeritage SuperSearch™, including Birth, Marriage and Death records from the Rotterdam City Archives. Hailing from the Dutch province of South Holland, this collection represents an extremely valuable part of Rotterdam heritage from the early 19th century and on.

Rotterdam in 1888 (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Search the Rotterdam City Archives now!

The three collections included are: Continue reading "Over 5 million Dutch Records Added to SuperSearch™" »

25    Feb 201613 comments

Introducing Record Detective™ II

We're thrilled to announce that we've released Record Detective™ II, a powerful technology that advances your family history research further than ever before.

It was almost three years ago, when we announced the launch of Record Detective, a technology that generates new leads and discoveries. With the Record Detective™, records found in MyHeritage SuperSearch™ automatically point to additional records and family tree profiles relating to the same person.

The power of transitivity, and its limitation

Previously, Record Detective™ used transitivity: if record A was matched by person B in a family tree, and person B matched person C in another family tree, and person C matched record D, then records A and D were considered matches and the Record Detective™ pointed from each one of them to the other. This allowed magical discoveries, for example, a birth record could point at a newspaper article about the wedding of the same person! This simulates advanced deductions that previously only a human genealogist could make, as the birth record doesn't even name the person that our protagonist would eventually marry. However, this power came with a limitation: the Record Detective™ was only able to find information when there was at least one family tree profile on MyHeritage matching the record, and the existence of such a profile on MyHeritage isn't guaranteed: about half the historical records on MyHeritage do not have a matching family tree profile yet.

Challenging the Detective

This limitation bothered our engineering team, and they set out to improve the technology. The next generation of this technology was supposed to be so good, that it would "seriously challenge the greatest Detective of all time", and thus the project was fondly nicknamed "Professor Moriarty" by our team.

The new generation of the technology released now, Record Detective™ II, overcomes the transitivity limitation and on top of all the matches it was able to provide before, it adds also direct record-to-record matches, even for records that have no matching family tree profiles on MyHeritage.

More matches

The result is Sherlock Holmes on steroids: a much greater number of matching documents for each record. This powerful new technology has yielded a staggering number of 2.2 additional billion matches. Record Detective™ II provides new information and clues to take your family history research to newer heights. It does all this without sacrificing accuracy.

Continue reading "Introducing Record Detective™ II" »

23    Feb 20168 comments

Guest Post: Place your ancestors in context

This is a guest post by George G. Morgan, president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and an internationally-recognized genealogy lecturer. He is the prolific award-winning author of hundreds of articles for magazines, journals, newsletters, in genealogical publications, and at online sites internationally. His 12th book, the fourth edition "How to Do Everything: Genealogy," was released in 2015. He is also co-host of "The Genealogy Guys" podcast, the longest-running genealogical podcast, with thousands of listeners around the globe.

Placing your ancestors into geographical, historical, and social context is one of the most important means of understanding them better. Like you, your ancestors and their families did not live in a vacuum. They were attentive to the news and events of their times. Information they received influenced their opinions and attitudes and helped them make important decisions.

The announcement about a new tax was liable to cause them to worry about how they would make financial ends meet. News of political or religious unrest or about the approach of a foreign army might cause tremendous stress and fear. Economic downturns, drought, famine, and disease all meant potential disaster for the people. Such news could also cause your ancestors to make the crucial decision to migrate elsewhere or immigrate to another country. Continue reading "Guest Post: Place your ancestors in context" »

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