We're happy to announce that we've completed 50% of our goal to digitize every cemetery in Israel — aiming to make it the first country in the world to have all of its gravestones preserved online and searchable, and we're making all of this data available on MyHeritage for free.
Cemeteries play a vital role in family history research and society in general. Most of the world's cemeteries have never been systematically documented nor has their information made available online. Also, age and exposure to the elements are rendering gravestones illegible, making this project even more urgent.
In 2014, we launched a global initiative with BillionGraves to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries. The MyHeritage team even went out and digitized an entire cemetery, taking more than 50,000 photos in a single day.
When photographing and documenting gravestones using the excellent BillionGraves mobile application, the precise GPS coordinates of every gravestone are preserved. This makes it easy for others to locate and visit graves of family members and also allows volunteers to see which areas of a cemetery have already been photographed, avoiding duplication and maximizing productivity.
We have extended that original initiative, pledging to photograph all cemeteries and gravestones in Israel and to transcribe all the information on each and every gravestone.
We've just added the most significant records available for Finnish genealogical research to MyHeritage SuperSearch — a huge collection of 33 million digitized Finland Church Records. The records in the Finland Church Census and Pre-confirmation Rolls, 1657-1915 collection were maintained by the Lutheran Church in Finland and cover nearly 300 years, providing insights into the entire population of Finland during this period.
Almost everyone with Finnish roots will be able to find their ancestors in this collection, follow them over time and across various locations in Finland, learn more about their lives, and ultimately extend their family tree by many generations and make fascinating family history discoveries.
While parts of the Finnish church records could previously be found online, such as non-indexed images, they were never entirely indexed or searchable, until now. Under agreement with the National Archives Service of Finland, MyHeritage is the first to have undertaken the challenging project of indexing the church records and pre-confirmation books. They are now available online for the first time, fully indexed and searchable, and only on MyHeritage.
This collection is the most significant resource for anyone with Finnish roots because of the unmatched quality and quantity of the genealogical information it provides. It is likely to remain the most valuable collection of Finnish historical records ever published online.
In mid-May, we gave MyHeritage users who have taken a DNA test the ability to upload DNA data to benefit from free DNA Matching, once we complete developing it. We’re happy to announce that our DNA Matching technology is now ready and live!
DNA Matching can open up exciting new research directions, and allow you to find and connect with relatives you may not have known about.
As promised, our DNA Matching is completely free and will remain free for those who have already uploaded their DNA test results. If you have taken a DNA test (with test providers like Family Tree DNA, 23andMe or Ancestry), or have DNA test results from other family members, and have not uploaded them to MyHeritage yet, we recommend that you hurry up and upload the DNA data now. If you do, you will still enjoy free DNA Matching on MyHeritage forever. Follow these simple instructions to export your raw DNA data from the service you tested with and import this data to MyHeritage.
We've completed our Tribal Quest expedition to Papua New Guinea, where we had an incredible experience documenting the family histories of people in remote tribes whose stories are at risk of being lost forever.
This trip was the second expedition in our Tribal Quest project. Learn more about our global initiative at the Tribal Quest website.
Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet. With 7 million people spread out over an area of 460,000 square kilometers, tribes live isolated from one another, separated by forests, rivers, and mountains.
We're delighted to introduce a new feature, SuperSearch™ Alerts.
A SuperSearch Alert is a notification letting you know that new results are available for your previous search on SuperSearch, that did not exist when you conducted the search.
MyHeritage's SuperSearch contains a wealth of useful content to explore. Currently home to 6.85 billion historical records, SuperSearch includes MyHeritage family trees, public photos, census records, birth, marriage and death records, family history books and a lot more.
We're happy to announce the launch of PedigreeMap™, an innovative way to visualize your family history. PedigreeMap plots events from your family tree such as births, marriages, and deaths, as well as digital and scanned photos on an interactive world map.
Have you ever wondered how close your ancestors lived to one another? Where exactly your great-grandmother was born? Seeing significant events from your family's past on a map allows you to gain a clearer picture of your family's journey. Trace the locations of your ancestors and get new geographical and historical insights into your family history. You may suddenly realize that all of your grandparents come from a tiny region in Europe; or that your second cousins are actually your neighbors.
PedigreeMap displays all your photos and events grouped by country and location, allowing you to easily filter the map to view it by person, family group, event type, and time period. If you have a tablet device, such as an iPad or an Android tablet, PedigreeMap will look awesome on it. You will be able to pan and zoom with your fingers, and enjoy the maps tremendously.
We wanted to give our users a heads up that MyHeritage's license of the newspaper content from NewspaperARCHIVE.com is about to expire next week. This means that on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the collection will be de-published (withdrawn) from MyHeritage. In addition, pending Record Matches from this collection will be removed. Confirmed Record Matches that were saved to family trees will remain in place.
MyHeritage is currently in negotiations with NewspaperARCHIVE.com to enter into a new license in order to keep this collection on MyHeritage. If these efforts are successful and the content is relicensed, then it will be reloaded onto MyHeritage and the Record Matches will return, and all links to newspaper records that were saved into family trees will continue to work. This will work well even if the newspaper content will be de-published for a while, and then return.
We advise users who have pending Record Matches from this collection, to view them before Tuesday, and to confirm as many of them as possible and extract their value into their family trees.
This does not affect other newspaper collections on MyHeritage such as Trove from Australia and Jewish Chronicle from the UK.
The MyHeritage Team
Family tree charts are an excellent way to share your research with your family, and to bring your family history to life. MyHeritage offers a wide selection of beautiful charts and books that can be created — for free — on your family site with a few clicks.
Today we're introducing a new addition to the lineup — The Sun Chart. This is an innovative new family tree chart for visualizing descendants in family trees.
We call it a "Sun Chart" because the main ancestor (selected by the user) is shown in the center with multiple generations of descendants in outer concentric rings. It can be classified as a descendant fan chart, but it is unique in that it also includes photos, and it isn't limited in the number of generations. The new Sun Chart is designed to be the most spatially efficient chart, and yet it still easy to understand. Do you have a family get-together or reunion coming up? Be sure to bring along a Sun Chart (or several, one for each of your ancestral lines), and everyone will ooh and aah over it!
The chart above was prepared by MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet for his direct paternal line (Japhet/Pat) — showing the descendants of his great-great-grandfather. Click here to view the full PDF version of Gilad's chart. Note that living people are displayed with initials to protect their privacy (this is one of the chart configuration options at the user's disposal).
We're hitting the road this week to head to four family history conferences in four corners of the world! We hope you will come along and say hello to us in person at our booths and learn more about MyHeritage from our classes and demos. We'd love to see you there!
1) Ontario Genealogy Society Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 3-5
The OGS Conference of 2016 is promising to be even larger than expected. Members of all 34 branches and special interest groups of the Ontario Genealogical Society and other family historians from across North America and around the world will meet in Toronto for three days of inspiring lectures, workshops, displays, and other learning opportunities.
MyHeritage Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz will give a mini-lecture on Saturday morning on "Why Build Your Family Tree on MyHeritage?" On Sunday, he will speak on "Discovering Your Family History with Seven Unique Technologies" and "Mobile Applications for Genealogy Research and Family Photo and Data Sharing." On Sunday, Esther Shuman will give a mini-lecture on "How to Use MyHeritage’s Cutting-Edge Matching Technologies."