We often come across stumbling blocks in our genealogy research, such as an old letter in a language we don't understand, a mysterious family photo in which we cannot identify the people, or a particular ancestor for whom we cannot find any information. Help from others can make all the difference in breaking through these genealogical brick walls.
"MyHeritage Community" is the name of a new, much-needed Questions & Answers hub for our users to collaborate and help each other in typical genealogy quests such as locating long-lost relatives, translating historical documents, deciphering illegible handwriting, identifying unknown people in photos, or searching for elusive ancestors. It's built as an image-oriented forum, integrated into the MyHeritage website (so you don't need to sign up separately for it), it can be a game-changer for your research, and it's totally FREE.
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.
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.
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.
We're excited to announce the release of a new version of our popular free software, Family Tree Builder (FTB). New version 8.0 has all of the features that you know and love, with a totally rewritten internal infrastructure that adds support for very large family trees (up to 500,000 individuals), and delivers faster performance.
We’ve just released a new feature in the MyHeritage mobile app: Audio Recordings. You can now interview your relatives directly from their profile in the family tree, and store your family's stories for future generations in your MyHeritage family site.
The MyHeritage mobile app is free. It's available for iPhone, iPad and Android, and it lets you access and enhance your family tree on the go. The Audio Recordings feature is now available in both the iOS and Android versions of the mobile app.
Oral interviews are vital in family history research. Our relatives are a treasure trove of precious family information. Unfortunately, our family members don't stay with us forever, and when they are gone, their memories and stories may be lost. This is where Audio Recordings come in. With this feature, it is now easier than ever to record your family’s unique stories and preserve them for future generations. They are very simple to create and edit, and convenient for both interviewer and interviewee.
We've just added the 1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses, with over 8.7 million records, to MyHeritage SuperSearch™. Both censuses are free and include images. The collections represent an extremely valuable part of the Irish national heritage, and are a vital source for social, economic and cultural history.
The 1901 and 1911 Ireland censuses covered all of Ireland's 32 counties and enumerated the entire Irish population at the time. Although national censuses were taken every decade from 1821 to 1911, the 1901 census is the earliest complete census in existence; as most previous censuses were destroyed. The 1901 census was conducted on 31 March 1901 and the 1911 census was taken on 2 April 1911.
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.
We've just added an exciting new collection to MyHeritage SuperSearch™, containing over 37 million pages in 150,000 books relevant to family history!
The new collection includes tens of thousands of digitized historical books, with actual images of the books' pages, and all their text extracted using Optical Character Recognition. The books span the last four centuries and include family, local and military histories, city and county directories, school and university yearbooks, church and congregational minutes and much more. A vast amount of rich data from diverse publications makes this collection a fantastic source of rare genealogical gems, providing insight into the lives of our ancestors and relatives.
We've added this collection using a new process that adds approximately 250 million pages to SuperSearch™ per year, utilizing a team of 40 curators. The curators examine each digitized book for relevance to family history research, and enhance its meta data if they decide to include it. The collection is sourced from various published texts that are copyright-free, and will be updated from now on several times each year.
The Compilation of Published Sources collection is located in SuperSearch™ under Books & Publications and is free to access. Easily search the collection by any of the following: first name, last name, publication title, publication date, publication place, or keywords.
We're delighted to introduce Search Connect™, a unique innovation released today that allows you to connect with other MyHeritage members who are searching for the same ancestors and people as you. Collaboration through Search Connect™ can open new doors, and provide exciting discoveries about your family history.
Search Connect™ includes millions of searches made by MyHeritage members. It allows you to find other users who searched for the people you are looking for, and to view the full data of their search (such as dates, places, relatives and more), as well as similar searches they've made. If you find a result that seems relevant or useful, you can contact the person who conducted the search and get in touch to exchange more information.