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.
We work hard to provide greater access to family history information and so were thrilled to be awarded the Presidential Citation at the FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) conference this past weekend, along with BillionGraves, for our partnership in promoting the preservation of international burial locations.
The Federation of Genealogical Societies was established in 1976 and represents more than 500 member genealogy and history societies, including over a half-million individual members. You can learn more about FGS in our genealogy society spotlight blog post.
Gravestones are a great resource for family history investigation and a useful tool to learn more about your ancestors. They provide detailed information such as names, dates of birth and death and often describe personality. However, natural wear and tear means that these important family history sources need to be preserved before it’s too late. Together, MyHeritage and BillionGraves launched a global initiative to digitize cemeteries and gravestones to preserve these gravestones by making them accessible for free online to millions to aid in their family history research.
Watch the video below to hear MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet explain the tremendous importance of this project and the value of gravestones for genealogy.
Earlier this month, the employees of MyHeritage's Israel headquarters visited a cemetery to digitize gravestones using the BillionGraves app.
We documented over 70% of the entire cemetery, over 50,000 images of gravestones, and it was the single largest event of its kind ever held in Israel. Read more about the event here.
We're now releasing a video about this project with footage from our trip to the cemetery. It includes an explanation from MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet, who participated in the trip and who personally digitized some 1,000 gravestones.
He explains the tremendous importance of this global initiative and the value of gravestones for genealogy. Our generation has the necessary tools, and it's our responsibility to get the world's gravestones online before their inscriptions erode. It's a race against time. You can see how easy it is for anyone to get involved and help to preserve these important pieces of family history for future generations.
Watch the video below:
Schelly Talalay Dardashti, MyHeritage's US Genealogy Advisor, will demonstrate the information that can be revealed about your family via gravestones. Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage’s Chief Genealogist, will join us to discuss our recent partnership with BillionGraves and how you can use their mobile app to help preserve cemeteries for future generations.
Register for free here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/261346007.
Date: Wednesday March 26, 2014.
1 PM CDT
2 PM EDT
6 PM GMT
(To find the time of the webinar for your location, use this Time Zone Converter.)
We look forward to seeing you!
Eighty MyHeritage employees from our headquarters in Israel arrived in full force early Sunday morning to the Segula Cemetery in Petah Tikva, Israel, to digitize gravestones using the BillionGraves mobile application. We felt it was important to practice this ourselves, before we call upon others to join us in this initiative. By gaining hands-on experience, we aimed to create best practices, improve the product and fine-tune methodologies for digitizing cemeteries all around the world in the most efficient manner.
So what brings a large group of young folks with smartphones to a cemetery? We recently announced a global initiative, together with BillionGraves, to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries. It is important to digitize cemeteries because of the key role that gravestones play in family history and in society in general. Most of the world's cemeteries have never been systematically documented nor has their information made available online. In addition, age and exposure to the elements are rendering gravestones illegible, making this project even more urgent.
We're excited to announce that MyHeritage has teamed up with BillionGraves to launch a global crowdsourcing initiative to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries.
As Halloween approaches we’re excited to bring you new tricks and treats to help you find out more about your ancestors. We’re happy to announce that we've added millions of gravestone records and obituaries to SuperSearch, our online search engine for billions of historical records.
This new addition includes 5.5 million gravestone records from BillionGraves and 3.5 million obituaries from Tributes.com.