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Find Your Family – MyHeritage.com


Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to try out MyHeritage.com. MyHeritage has been around for a few years now. Their primary product has been family trees and they have specialized in helping families work together. Their CEO Gilad Japhet began the company as a personal project. He wanted software to organize his personal family information and so wrote a record manager to meet his personal needs. As he completed and shared it with others he came to the conclusion that he could turn this into a business. From these small beginnings MyHeritage.com was born. Gilad is a genealogist and a software designer, a rare combination. His interests show through in the software that runs MyHeritage. MyHeritage is rapidly becoming one of the best genealogical sites online. They are at present, the most innovative of any of the commercial genealogical organizations. MyHeritage trees have powerful sharing components. A family can set up a tree and invite in only those with whom they want to collaborate. The privacy controls are excellent. The best part of their trees, however is their matching technology. If you have used other matching technology on other genealogical sites then you will have experienced many false positives. The list of hints that you receive can seem endless and soon you stop paying attention to them. MyHeritage is different. They have an approach to matching that generates very few false positives. They claim to have accuracy in the 97% range, and my experience is that their claim is warranted. Once the match is made, the good experience continues. They have one of the most intuitive side by side comparison experiences I have ever seen. It clearly indicates what is different in the records and allows for selective copying. It also clearly indicates who contributed the matching tree. All in all, it is one of the best experiences for hinting and matching online today. A little more than a year ago MyHeritage acquired WorldVitalRecords and then more recently acquired Geni.com. They now have a number of historical records on their site and have begun implementing the same matching technology on historical records. My early experience is that they are generating the same high degree of accuracy with records as they have with trees. As they acquire more records they will rapidly become one of the best places online to research ancestors. I am impressed with MyHeritage because they have worked to take complicated genealogical tasks and break them down into simple steps that are intuitive for non-genealogists. This is no small feat. I look forward to seeing more from MyHeritage in the future. They are definitely a company to watch for innovation, growth, and great experiences.

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