When you think of a genealogist, what does that person look like?
An elderly person, perhaps? Someone who has lots of time on their hands and for whom family history research utilizes that time?
Think again – this is the story of young Swedish genealogist Erik Elkan, 19, who proves that genealogy is a pursuit for everyone - regardless of age.
Thousands of people in Sweden - and everywhere else around the world - have, at some point, sat down and looked at old family photos. Many have looked deep into their closets and cupboards for family belongings; some have been more successful than others.
The important thing for Erik - as one of that multitude - is the moment when something completely new about deceased relatives is discovered, he says, whether it is in a dusty photo album or a hand-drawn family tree that has lost almost all its color.
We're delighted to announce that Instant Discoveries™ are now available for all MyHeritage users. Launched in December 2014, Instant Discoveries™ is a unique experience for discovering family history information and applying it to one's tree on MyHeritage with ease. Initially we released this experience only for new users - newcomers to family history - to make it easier for them to embark on their family history journey. By signing up at MyHeritage and entering some basic information about immediate family members, new users discovered ancestors, relatives and never-seen-before photos in just a few seconds. Following the successful launch we took Instant Discoveries™ to the streets of New York and demonstrated it to passers-by. It was incredible to see their emotional reactions.
As of this week, we've taken this breakthrough technology to the next level, by providing the Instant Discoveries™ experience to all users of MyHeritage, enabling multiple individuals and photos to be added to existing family trees in just a few clicks.
How does it work?
An Instant Discovery™ is a "package" of family history information that you can apply in one click. If an individual in your family tree connects to a branch in another family tree, you'll be alerted about this and can then choose to add everyone in that branch (up to 40-50 people) to your tree, who is not already there, in one go, rather than manually add people one by one, and amend the data piece by piece.
Every Instant Discovery™ is based on a match, which is found by our Smart Matching™ technology, and we filter out incorrect matches automatically. Instant Discoveries™ complement Smart Matches™ in how the information is applied to the user's tree. With Smart Matches™, information is added to the tree one fact at a time, one person at a time, manually. With Instant Discoveries™ an entire branch can be copied in a single click, along with all facts, events and photos, and source citations are automatically created in the target tree to document exactly where the data came from. To protect the privacy of other users, Instant Discoveries™ never bring information on living people.
We've already processed millions of family trees on MyHeritage for Discoveries out of the 28 million existing trees added by our users, and found that more than 50% of the trees will enjoy one or more Discoveries! The success rate increases as your tree grows (for example, a tree with 100 individuals will enjoy at least one Discovery almost always, and often many more). Even if your tree isn't growing, the success rate will still increase each day as MyHeritage adds millions of records and profiles every day, collecting more data to compare against your tree.
World map of Discoveries
MyHeritage users around the world have already begun enjoying Discoveries and adding them to their trees. To get a feel for the great things people are discovering, we've created a fun interactive map, showing the users making Discoveries on MyHeritage around the world, almost in real-time. Click the image below to view the interactive map.
My paternal great-grandmother’s line has a long history as founders of the town where she was born. Her parents were born there, my grandmother was born there, and my father grew up in the same place, before emigrating to the U.S.
My grandmother, who still lives there, lives minutes away from the house where she grew up. Each time we visit her, it’s like going back in time to see the places where she spent her childhood as we relive my ancestors’ history.
Weddings are only one part of our family's love stories. There are the stories of how people met, and the stories behind these relationships connect us to our family and their lives (and loves).
Christina Mellgren from Sweden shared the heartwarming story of her aunt Sigrid and uncle Malcolm, who finally got together after meeting 30 years previously. It is a truly inspiring love story of how love endures.
We’re happy to announce millions of historical records have been added to SuperSearch. The new collections include military records, birth records and prison registrars.
The new records come from the United States and Scotland and help families uncover the stories of the lives their ancestors led.
The best love stories are not those from films or storybooks, but those from our own families. These stories stay with us as lasting memories and are passed down through the generations.
We’re delighted to announce that we have started making good on our promise to digitize and bring online millions of exclusive historical records from Scandinavia. The majority of these records have never been indexed online before.
The records are searchable on MyHeritage SuperSearch and MyHeritage users will now automatically receive matches to those records relevant to their family tree.
Anyone with Scandinavian roots will be able to explore their family history and learn more about the lives of their ancestors with this robust searchable index of records published online for the first time.
And so another RootsTech conference comes to an end. But what an incredible few days it's been!
Today saw RootsTech's largest crowd ever. The exhibit hall was filled to capacity with people of all ages, interested in family history.
Today was also family day, so 2000 extra young people and families attended.
All our demos were well attended and people flooded our team with questions.
This year's RootsTech is set to be the biggest yet, with more attendees and online participants than ever before.
One of today's highlights was MyHeritage's participation in the first ever Innovator Showdown.
Over 50 software developers from around the world entered a challenge to create the best new innovations in family history for an opportunity to win $25,000 in awards provided by sponsors (including MyHeritage, a platinum sponsor). The entrants were narrowed down over a course of rounds, and finalists were invited to present their ideas in the keynote hall. Prizes were determined by a panel of renowned judges and live audience voting. MyHeritage's VP of Business Development, Dan Mano, was a judge, alongside our good friend AJ Jacobs and other leaders from the business world.
Historical treasures are sometimes only discovered years after they have been stashed away or hidden. Once found, they may reveal a wealth of information.
This was the case when the oldest-known time capsule in the US was recently opened in Massachusetts. In 1795, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams buried it at the Massachusetts State House.
During repairs to the building in 1855, the time capsule was removed and contents cleaned, but put back - with added objects - for almost 160 years. This time, historians went through the contents and saw history unfold. Inside, they discovered five folded newspapers, coins, a silver engraved plate, a Massachusetts Commonwealth seal and a title page from Massachusetts colony records.
Opening the time capsule provided a treasure trove of historical information and documents to learn about the past. It’s easy to create your own family time capsule, filled with memories and documents. to preserve for future generations to remember us.