At MyHeritage, we're passionate about family, and our family-like work environment has always reflected this since our early startup days. To keep this atmosphere even as we expand, our offices have been designed to balance a fun and welcoming office environment, with a reflection of our commitment to the preservation of family history.
MyHeritage began in Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet's living room in Bnei Atarot, a village founded by the Templers. Then for several years the company's headquarters were located in a Templer family estate and farmhouse in the same village. This picturesque setting is where the company grew from 2 to 70 employees.
The year has come and gone in a flash, and what a year it has been! Here at MyHeritage, we had a busy 2015 full of exciting new features, useful historical content and much more.
We started off the year with a bang, launching the Family Tree Builder Mac Extension. We believe that people should be able to discover and preserve their family history on whatever platform they are comfortable with, and that there is value in the ability to work offline. The new Mac version joins our veteran Windows version available since 2005.
At MyHeritage, we understand the importance of connecting families around the globe, regardless of the language, and we are proud that our worldwide network is available in 42 languages.
This achievement has only been made possible with the support of our dedicated community of volunteers.
We thank each of our wonderful translators for this success. They roll up their sleeves and devote their time and skills to helping others discover, preserve and share their family history in their native languages!
As a leading place for families around the world to discover their family histories, it’s thanks to our many hardworking volunteers that all of MyHeritage's products and features are available in 42 languages.
Last month, we featured Yana's story. This month we spotlight another volunteer who makes it easier for families worldwide to build, preserve and share their family heritage.
Kaarina May is one of our Finnish volunteer translators. Born in Finland of Karelian heritage, Kaarina completed her folk school education in Helsinki and began work in an advertising agency. Before starting her apprenticeship as a layout artist, she received six months' leave to go traveling.
She went to England to improve her language skills and immediately met her future husband, Terry, and never returned to Finland or her apprenticeship. Kaarina began work in a London travel agency and qualified as an agency manager, trainer and internal verifier. She eventually moved into education, and earned a Cambridge University Certificate for Teaching English to Adults.
Here at MyHeritage, we are privileged to receive the help of many volunteer translators, who help make our site accessible to our users in their native languages. We were recently delighted to meet one of our Russian translators - Yana Gourenko - when she visited our offices.
Yana, 29, and her husband live in Moscow, Russia. She studied translation at university, graduated as a translator in English and German, and also speaks a little French. She works for a forensic company doing technical support. Her interests include traveling and meeting new people. She is also an amateur photographer and loves the sea!
We asked Yana a few questions about her own family history, and how she came to translate for MyHeritage:
Where did your love for languages come from?
My love for languages started at school where I began learning English from the second grade. Three years later, I chose to learn French and fell completely in love with learning languages. Without any hesitation, I entered university aiming to become a translator in English and German.
MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet recently presented a keynote address to hundreds of attendees of the IAJGS 2015 conference in Israel. He discussed "Seven Unique Technologies for Discovering Your Family History."
His talk is a great introduction to understanding MyHeritage technologies, Smart Matches, Record Matches, Newspaper Matches and Instant Discoveries. Gilad described new technologies that MyHeritage has recently released, such as Global Name Translation, as well as new technologies that we are about to release.
Click on the video below to watch the full talk:
As part of our global initiative to digitize cemeteries, MyHeritage was contacted by a couple with an interesting idea that allowed them to embark on an international adventure.
Michael Kerr and his wife, Sabrina Rowe, decided to leave the comfort of their home, and bicycle across Europe, stopping to photograph entire cemeteries on the way. All the photos are being shared with the community for free on MyHeritage and BillionGraves.com.
This year's RootsTech was only the third edition, and it has grown exponentially every year. Some 7,000 attendees - plus nearly 2,000 young people (ages 12-18) on Saturday - flocked to the Salt Palace Convention Center. It is now the largest such event in the US.
While the weather ranged from near-blizzard conditions to rain to sunshine, the halls - with some 100 exhibitors - and classrooms housing some 250 programs, drew excited crowds. According to organizer FamilySearch, attendees came from 49 states and 17 countries.
Additionally, FamilySearch announced that some 10,000 people viewed programs and keynotes via live streaming video online, while remote satellite broadcasts took place at 17 Family History centers in seven countries, attended by another 4,000 participated by remote satellite broadcast at Family History centers in 17 locations in seven countries.
Mark your calenders for RootsTech 2014 (February 6-8, 2014). FamilySearch said that they plan to export the event to some 600 locations worldwide (16 US locations and several other countries).
We’re delighted to welcome two new executives to MyHeritage: Russ Wilding and Roger Bell.
Russ and Roger are the former founders of Footnote.com, which was acquired by Ancestry.com in 2010. Russ has been appointed Chief Content Officer for MyHeritage and Roger is VP Product. They will be based in the MyHeritage Utah office.