2    Dec 20110 comments

UK Schools Genealogy Project: MyHeritage plays key role

MyHeritage believes in the importance of passing down the pleasures of genealogy to the younger generations so that –one day - they will be able to take the reins of their unique family histories and make it their own.

We've previously posted encouraging younger children interested in genealogy. Our family sites have also proven very popular with children, thanks to the intuitive interface.

When we received a call from UK television actor Colin McFarlane about assisting in a National Schools Project, we knew we had to be part of it.

Student adds ancestors to her MyHeritage tree

The Making History project has just completed a six-month pilot program helping students at a number of UK schools reveal their family histories and trees. MyHeritage has played a key role in the project.

The project is supported by a number of actors including Jim Broadbent, Miriam Margolyes and Rudolph Walker. Nick Barratt - author, broadcaster, historian and genealogist - best known for his work on the "Who Do You Think You Are?" series, has also been taking part as the project's genealogy advisor.

The students have opened MyHeritage family sites to help grow their family trees, and MyHeritage has also provided hands-on support to a number of participating schools. Naturally inquisitive, many students have made use of the family site statistics, reports and timeline features to understand the demographics of their ancestors.

The students also enjoyed making their own family crests, playing the family game and using their iPads to upload images of documents and old photos to their MyHeritage family sites using Family Connect. They've also discovered a few Smart Matches along the way.

MyHeritage UK's head of genealogy Laurence Harris, who has been working on the project with me, said:

The surprised and delighted look on the students’ faces when Smart Matches uncovered new relatives and ancestors was just amazing. This proves that that family history can be made relevant, personal, and exciting for the younger generation, and makes this project so worthwhile.

The project's pilot stage ends on 14 December, at the British Film Institute, when video footage recorded during the students' research will be shown as a series of films chronicling their journey.

We MyHeritage are extremely proud to be part of this truly inspirational project. We look forward to working with the Making History team as the project expands to schools across the UK.

23    Nov 201112 comments

MyHeritage acquires FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com!

It is with great pleasure that we announce our acquisition of FamilyLink.com, Inc., the Utah-based company that operates the Websites FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com.

This is our seventh and largest acquisition so far and the two Websites are joining the MyHeritage family. The exciting news was released on Techcrunch and announced by us in a press release that you can read here. We will soon be sending a personal email to our users about it.

Continue reading "MyHeritage acquires FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com!" »

13    Oct 20110 comments

Success Story: Meredith Sellers

Family chart display

Abraham's and Shifra's family chart display

When our MyHeritage team attended the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Springfield, Illinois, we met Meredith Sellers of Champaign, Illinois.

Meredith is married, in her 20s and is a genealogy and Family History Center consultant. She had a nice chat with our Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz about her personal research success story and the family reunion she organized. Here is her story:

Meredith's experience with MyHeritage and charts

Meredith had read about MyHeritage on various genealogy blogs long before her family reunion, and while she had quickly and easily uploaded a GEDCOM file of her family tree, she had not explored the printing functionality at MyHeritage.

"As I brainstormed the best way to display over 300 family members in an easily understandable graphic format, I discovered MyHeritage's descendant fan chart," says Meredith.

She discovered that the chart-making interface synched directly with her existing GEDCOM data which allowed her to directly import names and dates. She was also able to change various aspects, such as background color, graphics and ornamental frame.

Continue reading "Success Story: Meredith Sellers" »

20    Sep 20110 comments

MyHeritage acquires BackupMyTree.com

We're pleased to announce the acquisition of the popular family tree backup service, BackupMyTree.com.

This is part of our continued efforts to expand the range of family history oriented services we offer to our customers worldwide.

With the acquisition of BackupMyTree, we add a comprehensive free backup service renowned for providing peace of mind to genealogists around the world. Already protecting over nine terabytes of precious family tree data, we are sure that BackupMyTree will continue to grow in popularity.

The BackupMyTree.com homepage (click to enlarge)

BackupMyTree’s software automatically finds family tree files on your computer and then creates an off-site backup of your data. Other features include wide compatibility with major genealogy applications, anywhere access and multiple revision history - extremely useful if you update your family tree often.

The service is used by some of the world’s most experienced genealogists to complement and secure years of painstaking research for posterity.

At MyHeritage, we know just how important protecting data contained within our family trees is, which is why we introduced our own backup service around a year ago. There is little overlap between these backup services, and they complement each other beautifully. For those interested in the differences between BackupMyTree and the MyHeritage backup service, here is a useful comparison:

* Both services, once started, provide genealogists with ongoing, automatic backup of their family tree data without having to take any special actions.
* Both provide high value and high reliability and allow restoration of the latest version, or prior versions, at any point in time.
* Both services provide extra security by encrypting the backups.
* BackupMyTree is free, whereas the MyHeritage backup service costs $3/month.
* The MyHeritage backup service also protects photos and all other files referenced within the family tree, but BackupMyTree currently does not.
* BackupMyTree is a desktop backup service, backing up family tree files on your computer, from any major genealogy software provider.
* The MyHeritage backup service is an online backup service, backing up family trees you have on MyHeritage.com itself.

BackupMyTree is a welcome addition to our range of products and we look forward to maintaining the service and keeping it completely free.

This is actually the second company that we've purchased from serial entrepreneur Cliff Shaw, having acquired Pearl Street Software, makers of GenCircles.com and Family Tree Legends, in 2007. Cliff and his team are now shifting their focus to their latest venture, genealogy search engine Mocavo.com .

If you're an existing BackupMyTree user and have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our friendly support team on our help center.

And for all our MyHeritage.com users - we'll be looking at ways for allowing BackupMyTree to benefit you in the near future.

15    Sep 20110 comments

MyHeritage at The National Family History Fair 2011

Laurence Harris (UK Head of Genealogy) and I recently returned from The National Family History Fair in Newcastle, UK. The Fair was a chance for family history experts and amateur genealogists to meet, exchange ideas and discuss the latest developments in the field.

Laurence speaking with a MyHeritage user.

With over 650 people attending and 35 exhibitors including MyHeritage, Laurence and I were kept busy introducing MyHeritage products and speaking with potential new users throughout the day. It was particularly enjoyable to speak with users at the Fair who’d used our Smart Matching system to find new relatives around the world. We’ll soon be featuring some of these stories on our blog. Continue reading "MyHeritage at The National Family History Fair 2011" »

13    Sep 20110 comments

Meet the Judges of our API App Contest

Following the recent launch of our Family Graph API developers' competition for the creation of the best web or mobile app for families, we're proud to introduce our distinguished panel of judges.

Judging the competition are some well-known names in tech, investment and family arenas. So, without further ado, let us introduce the judges...

With a particular interest in startups, apps and the constant evolution of digital media, Martin Bryant is the European Editor at The Next Web, one of the world's leading technology blogs. Based in Manchester, UK, he co-founded the city's Social Media Cafe events that helped kickstart a lively cross-discipline digital community in the city.

Creator of GeneaBloggers, Thomas MacEntee is an authority on all things family history. He's one of our favorite genealogy bloggers and writes and lectures on the many ways that tech and social media can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience.

Jessica Fisher, aka FishMama, is the voice behind leading mommy blog LifeasMom. A mom of six, Jessica also writes about juggling home and family duties for parenting publications.

Experienced entrepreneur, operator and seed investor, Saul Klein is a Partner at leading VC firm Index Ventures.

Dad of 5 and passionate about pioneering new technology solutions for our customers, Yuval Ben-Galim is Executive VP R&D at MyHeritage.com

So far more than 50 companies and developers who've submitted applications have been approved to use the Family Graph API. Want the chance to win $10,000? Enter our Family Graph API app creation competition today. We'd like to wish all entrants the very best of luck... watch this space for competition updates.

12    Sep 20113 comments

MyHeritage.com: Now in Afrikaans!

Afrikaans is spoken in South Africa and Namibia

That’s correct, yet another language has been added to MyHeritage.com! From today, your family site can now be displayed in 38 languages thanks to the addition of Afrikaans.

This follows the recent introduction of Latvian to our language options, which was very well received by our Latvian community.

There are some 20 million Afrikaans speakers and we are pleased to provide MyHeritage.com and Family Tree Builder software to that large community.

Afrikaans is spoken primarily in South Africa and Namibia and has a considerable Dutch influence. The language was brought to the Cape by Protestant settlers in the 17th century and has had sustained popularity since. Afrikaans can also be used as an adjective; relating to the Afrikaner people and their culture.

We hope that you and your family will find this new language useful.

Continue reading "MyHeritage.com: Now in Afrikaans!" »

8    Sep 20111 comment

Family Fun Day at MyHeritage

It's that time of year... The summer is coming to an end and we're savouring every last little bit of fun we can. At MyHeritage, we decided to get all our families together and enjoy a fun day!

There was plenty going on for families and children alike and we revelled in the last glimmers of sunshine. We enjoyed a relaxing and fun day together with our families. We'd like to share - with our loyal blog readers - the many pictures we took. At MyHeritage, we really are a big family.

1    Sep 201110 comments

New! MyHeritage.com Family Graph API and Best Family App Contest

The Family Graph API (click to enlarge)

The Family Graph API - making the web a better place for families.

We're very excited to release our Family Graph API in beta - a major new addition that evolves MyHeritage.com from a website into a platform, and allows more developers to create useful services for the users of MyHeritage.com.

Intrigued?

Read on to find out more about how this can benefit you if you're a family history fan, a developer or simply someone who enjoys spending time online with their family. Not to mention our $10K prize for the best family app......

So what is our Family Graph API? Continue reading "New! MyHeritage.com Family Graph API and Best Family App Contest" »

26    Aug 20111 comment

Infographic: MyHeritage.com in numbers

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