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'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.
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've just added 11.4 million pages of Australian newspaper records to our collections. The records are now available for free at MyHeritage SuperSearch.
Including over 700 Australian newspapers, this phenomenal collection, digitized by the Trove (The National Library of Australia), covers newspapers from 1803 to the mid-20th century. Each Australian state and territory are represented, although the bulk of the collection consists of newspapers from New South Wales and Victoria.
This collection is a treasure trove of information for all Australian researchers — or those with Australian heritage — looking to add to the rich fabric of their family history and fill in missing details. Newspapers are fantastic sources of genealogical and family history information. Birth, marriage and death announcements, and obituaries found in newspapers are commonly used resources for genealogy. However, your ancestors may also be mentioned in articles on local news and events (i.e. social, community, school, sport, or business related events).
In the next few months, we will add 5 million new pages to this collection. This collection will also soon be matched with all family trees on MyHeritage.
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.