MyHeritage

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MyHeritage
MyHeritage new logo.jpg
Type Privately held company
Founded 2003
Headquarters Or Yehuda, Israel (near Tel Aviv) and Tel Aviv, Israel
CEO Gilad Japhet
Industry Internet
Products Family history website
Genealogy software
Mobile application
Employees 165
Website www.myheritage.com
Type of site Social Network Site
Registration Yes
Available in 40 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Catalan, French, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Italian, German, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, Hebrew, Dutch, Greek, Thai, Hindi, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Hungarian, Finnish, Danish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Lithuanian, Malay, Arabic, Persian, Latvian, Afrikaans.
Current status Active
Original MyHeritage office in the village of Bnei Atarot, Israel
MyHeritage headquarters in Or Yehuda, Israel

MyHeritage is a website for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. It offers an online, mobile and software platform to its users worldwide. Users can create their online family tree, search for ancestors [1][2] in billions of historical records, share and preserve pictures and videos and discover and connect to new relatives. With 40 languages, 80 million users, 1.6 billion profiles and 28 million family trees, MyHeritage is a popular destination for family history research.[3][4]

In 2003, CEO Gilad Japhet and a team of genealogy enthusiasts founded MyHeritage in Japhet's living room in the moshav of Bnei Atarot, just outside Tel Aviv, Israel.[5] Gilad founded the company as a result of not finding a tool that satisfied his own genealogy needs. Today the company has 75 million users and 27 million family trees containing over 1.5 billion profiles.

In February 2012, the company moved headquarters to new offices in to Or Yehuda, Israel, near Tel Aviv.

In December 2014, MyHeritage opened up additional offices in Tel Aviv, Israel.


History[edit]

In 2008, the company raised $15 million,[6] when venture capital firm Index Ventures joined Accel, which had invested earlier in the company.[7][8] In 2008, MyHeritage acquired Kindo, a popular European family social network site.[9]

In February 2010 MyHeritage acquired the Germany Online Social Networking GmbH (OSN) which had genealogy web sites in ten different languages that represented over 15 countries. These included, among other, verwandt.de[10] in Germany, moikrewni.pl[11] in Poland and dynastree.com[12] in the US. OSN was founded in June 2007 with verwandt.de and grew to over 10 million trees with over 100 million profiles within two years. With this new acquisition, MyHeritage added a number of new features and expanded its reach and numbers.[13]

In June 2011 MyHeritage acquired a Polish family network, Bliscy.pl, from Polish Internet publishing company Wirtualna Polska.[14]

In November 2011 MyHeritage acquired U.S based FamilyLink.com, a subscription service that provides access to a large database of historical content including census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as a sizeable archive of historical newspapers.[15]

In December 2011 MyHeritage released its first version of its Mobile App for iPhone, iPad and Android.[16][17]

In 2012 MyHeritage surpassed 1 billion profiles.[18] MyHeritage also launched SuperSearch,[19] a search engine for over 5.7 billion historical records.

In September of the same year, MyHeritage introduced Record Matching, a technology that automatically compares billions of historical records to the 1.5 billion profiles on MyHeritage, and alerts users whenever a match is found for a relative in their family tree.[20][21]

In November 2012, MyHeritage acquired Geni,[22] an online site with an emphasis on building a worldwide family tree.

In 2013, MyHeritage released Family Tree Builder 7.0 – a free genealogy software – with new features including sync, Unicode and Record Matches.[23]

In 2013, MyHeritage also announced the addition of all the historic U.S. Census records from 1790–1930 to its record collection.[24]

MyHeritage also launched Record Detective, the first technology of its kind to automatically extend the paper trail from a single historical record to other related records and family tree connections. The technology generates new leads and discoveries by turning a single record into a door to more by automatically including a summary of additional records and individuals in family trees relating to it.[25]

In October 2013, MyHeritage entered into a strategic partnership with leading genealogy organization FamilySearch, bringing billions of global historical records and family tree profiles spanning hundreds of years to MyHeritage.[26]

MyHeritage launched a major family history initiative in the Nordic countries in December 2013.[27]

In February 2014, MyHeritage teamed up with BillionGraves to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries through a global initiative.[28]

In April 2014, MyHeritage announced reaching the milestone of surpassing 5 billion historical records.[29]

In October 2014, MyHeritage partnered with EBSCO Information Services to bring MyHeritage to libraries and educational institutions worldwide.[30]

In October 2014, MyHeritage announced a strategic collaboration and product integration with 23andMe .[31]

In November 2014, MyHeritage announced strategic partnerships in the Netherlands and a first national tv advertising campaign.[32]

In November 2014, MyHeritage integrated its matching technologies to RootsMagic[33] and Family Historian Genealogy Software.[34]

In December 2014, MyHeritage launched Instant Discoveries™ to discover ancestors and create an online tree in seconds.[35] This was successfully tested on passers-by in new york city. Watch their emotional reactions in this short video.

Web Services[edit]

Family Sites[edit]

MyHeritage online family tree

MyHeritage is a global, family history online website offered in 40 languages. One of its primary services is its free, personal family websites that allow members to connect and stay in touch with relatives, build an online family tree, document their ancestry, share photos, events, messages and videos. Members can invite other family members to join their site and take part in researching their family history.

Historical Records[edit]

MyHeritage has a vast online database, of over 5.7 billion historical records including birth, marriage, death, census, military, and immigration records. Using a global search engine, SuperSearch, users can search for their ancestors online. SuperSearch also contains the world's largest collection of historical newspapers.

Genealogy Tools[edit]

Photos and Videos[edit]

MyHeritage allows user to preserve and share family photos and videos. Adding photos to a family site can bring a family tree to life and transform it from a list of names and facts to an exciting family heirloom. At MyHeritage photos can be shared and enjoyed with family members and preserved online for future generations.

Charts and Reports[edit]

Family tree charts and reports can be created in a few clicks and shared with family and friends for free. Charts come in a choice of 18 different styles, and can be personalized with background images, fonts, color schemes, photo frames, border decorations, and titles. Users can choose what information should be displayed such as, names, birthdates, wedding anniversaries, personal photos, notes, and other biographical data. Charts can be saved as a PDF document and shared with family and friends. Charts can also be printed professionally as posters and shipped internationally.

The MyHeritage Mobile app.

Mobile Application[edit]

MyHeritage has an iPad, iPhone and Android app where people can view and edit their family trees, research historical data bases and capture and share photos. The app is downloadable for free.

Genealogy Software[edit]

Family Tree Builder

MyHeritage Family Tree Builder.jpg

Family Tree Builder (MyHeritage).png
Developer(s) MyHeritage
Stable release 7.0 / Apr 2013
Operating system Windows
Available in Multilingual 40 languages[36]
Type Genealogy software
License Freeware and retail (Premium version)
Website www.myheritage.com/family-tree-builder

Family Tree Builder[edit]

Family Tree Builder (FTB) is a genealogy software that allows users to create family trees. The free download version is distributed as freeware, with no restrictions, although registration is required to run the software. Users may pay a fee to "unlock" the additional features in the Premium version. Users can add birth, death, and marriage dates, notes about where their ancestors lived, their profession, hobbies and interests, and pictures of ancestors. The program also creates charts to show how two people are related. Users can build their family tree either offline or on a secure online site, and offline trees can be published and synced to aa online family site.

FTB uses MyHeritage's Smart Matching feature, which searches the MyHeritage database looking for family tree profiles that match.[37] The program checks the name, birth date, and parents of the entries in the database, and when it finds similar tree profiles, tells the user who created each tree, who may then confirm the match or not. This allows people to share their family trees and genealogy research with the entire MyHeritage community.

In April 2013, MyHeritage released Family Tree Builder 7.0[23] which added new features including a two-way sync that allows members to edit and access their family tree from the desktop, online site or through the mobile application. Other new features include Record Matches[38] and Unicode. Other aspects of FTB include automatic face detection technology, a maps module based on integration with Google Maps, and Smart Research - a technology to research the family tree's individuals in key genealogy databases.

Technologies[edit]

MyHeritage has many technological tools to help in family history research.

Smart Matching™[edit]

MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ technology[39] matches each family tree to more than 1.7 billion people in 28 million other family trees on MyHeritage. The matching technology bridges differences in spelling, phonetics and relationships that may exist between the trees.

Smart Matches™ automatically find people from a user’s tree and match with other users’ trees. Members will get notified about new matches so that tree owners can learn from each other and also get in touch.

Record Matching[edit]

Record Matches[40] automatically finds relevant historical records, such as a birth record, tombstone or census record, for every family tree on MyHeritage by comparing each tree to more than 5.7 billion historical records on SuperSearch. It is the world’s first and only technology to find family tree matches in newspaper articles, books, and other free text documents, using semantic analysis. It is also the first to translate names between languages. Users receive notifications about any record in our database which matches a person in the family tree. Correct matches can be confirmed and new information can be extracted directly to relevant family tree profiles, using the extract information feature. If a record contains information about a new relative not already in the tree, that person can be added to the tree directly from the record itself.

Record-detective.jpg

Record Detective™[edit]

The Record Detective™ is the first technology of its kind to automatically generate new leads and discoveries by turning a single record into a door for more.[41] A record discovered in MyHeritage's online record database, SuperSearch, will provide a summary of additional records and individuals in family trees relating to it. For example, a U.S. census record will lead to more entries of the same person in earlier or later years, as well as for the whole household. Gravestones, newspaper articles or immigration papers may also be displayed of the person's spouse, children or parents using highly accurate technology with almost no false positives.

Instant Discoveries™[edit]

With Instant Discoveries™ experience, new users who sign up to MyHeritage are asked enter basic information about the seven closest individuals in their tree (the user, his/her 2 parents and 4 grandparents), after which they automatically receive Instant Discoveries™ about their ancestors and relatives, allowing them to expand their family tree on the spot. MyHeritage quickly matches their tree to the billions of family tree profiles and historical records on MyHeritage, in high accuracy to minimize false positives, finds where there is the most incremental information and offers it to the user as an Instant Discovery™. The user can accept it in a click, for free, or skip and be offered another discovery.[42]

Geni.com and other Acquisitions[edit]

GenCircles[edit]

In 2007, MyHeritage acquired Gencircles, by Pearl Street Software. GenCircles was an online community of dedicated genealogists who have large family trees. At the time, Gencircles was the second family tree submission site with over 160 million ancestors, and more than 400 million public records in the Family Tree Legends Records Collection.

Family Tree Legends, the Gencircles client software was the family tree software with the second most worldwide sales at the time. It is no longer available for download.

MyHeritage’s Smart Matching technology, one of the most popular features on MyHeritage, originates from Gencircles matching technology.[43]

Kindo[edit]

MyHeritage acquired Kindo, a small European genealogy social network, in 2007, extending MyHeritage’s presence in Europe, using Kindo’s existing team.[44]

OSN Group (Verwandt)[edit]

In 2010, MyHeritage acquired the OSN Group, consisting of 7 different genealogy sites with online trees, tree merging, and more. The sites covered markets in 14 different languages. As a result of the merger, MyHeritage grew to over 540 million profiles, with 47 million active users and 13 million family trees. The sites included were: www.verwandt.de (German), www.verwant.nl (Dutch), www.parentistretti.it (Italian), www.meusparentes.com.br (Portuguese), www.miparentela.com (Spanish), www.dynastree.com (English UK), www.familleunie.fr (French), www.semyaonline.ru (Russian), www.akrabaonline.com (Arabic).

Launched in 2007, the OSN Group grew fast in European markets like Germany and Poland and even emerging markets such as Brazil.

Verwandt trees worked with a different model than MyHeritage trees. The trees merged into each other, and there were often many people working on different portions of the same tree, who might not even know each other.[45]

Bliscy and Zooof[edit]

The acquisitions of Bliscy and Zoof came immediately after the Verwandt merger, in 2010.Bliscy was well positioned in the Polish market and Zooof in the Dutch market. The acquisition grew MyHeritage’s family network to 56 million registered users and 760 million profiles.[46]

FamilyLink/WorldVitalRecords[edit]

Founded in 2006, both FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com are subscription services that provide access to a huge database of historical content. These cover several billion individuals within census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the web’s largest archive of historical newspapers. MyHeritage’s acquisition of FamilyLink/WorldVitalRecords in 2011 was MyHeritage’s first step into the world of historical content. WVR/FL offices are located in Utah. [47]

Geni.com[edit]

Geni Logo.png
Main article: Geni.com

In November 2012, Geni was acquired by MyHeritage.[48] Geni is a genealogy and social networking website with the goal of creating a family tree of the world.[49][50] While family profiles are private,[51] Geni’s mission is to create a shared family tree of common ancestors. By combining research into a single tree that users work on together, users can focus on verifying information and on new avenues of research, rather than spending time duplicating research that others have already done. Over 98.6 million profiles were created on Geni by over 5.8 million users as of December 2010.[52][53]

Investors[edit]

MyHeritage has raised $49 million to date, through five rounds of funding. Its investors include: Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), (investors of LinkedIn, Pinterest), Index Ventures (investors of Skype), and Accel Partners (investors of Facebook).

Subscriptions[edit]

MyHeritage has 4 types of subscriptions.

  1. Free basic, limited to 250 people in tree.
  2. Premium, up to 2500 people in tree, increased storage, Smart Matching, Priority support, and some power features.
  3. PremiumPlus, adds unlimited people in tree, unlimited storage, Search trees, and some additional power features.
  4. Data, full access MyHeritage SuperSearch (allows you to search through over 5.7 billion historical records from around the world).

Pro-bono Projects[edit]

MyHeritage is involved in many pro bono projects. These include discovering heirs for unclaimed assets confiscated in WWII, returning looted art to its rightful owners[54] and a global crowdsourcing project with BillionGraves to digitally preserve the world's cemeteries.[55]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vascellaro, Jessica E. (2006-06-22). "New Ways to Dig For Your Roots Online". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  2. ^ "MyHeritage.com". Washington Post. 2006-01-29. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  3. ^ "Family Trees Grow Online, Advice On Researching Your Roots". CBS News. 2006-11-25. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  4. ^ "MyHeritage Media Kit". MyHeritage.com. Retrieved 2011-11-22. 
  5. ^ "Company history and culture". myheritage.com. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  6. ^ "Good news: top investors join the MyHeritage family". Blog.myheritage.com. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  7. ^ "Good news: top investors join the MyHeritage family". 
  8. ^ "MyHeritage Takes 180 Million People Profiles To War With Geni". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  9. ^ "MyHeritage acquires Kindo,TechPluto". Techpluto.com. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  10. ^ "verwandt.de" (in German). verwandt.de. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  11. ^ "moikrewni.pl" (in Polish). moikrewni.pl. 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  12. ^ "dynastree.com". dynastree.com. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  13. ^ MyHeritage Buys Germany's OSN, Now 540 Million Profiles Strong, by Sarah Lacy, Feb 2, 2010, TechCrunch
  14. ^ "Exclusive: MyHeritage acquires Poland's Bliscy.pl, now 760 million profiles strong". TechCrunch. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  15. ^ "Social Network For Families MyHeritage Furthers U.S. Presence With Acquisition Of FamilyLink". TechCrunch. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  16. ^ "MyHeritage for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". itunes.apple.com. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  17. ^ "MyHeritage - Android Apps on Google Play". Play.google.com. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  18. ^ Wilhelm, Alex (2012-06-11). "MyHeritage Hits 1 Billion Profiles and Announces New Features". Thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  19. ^ "Introducing SuperSearch - MyHeritage.com - English blog". Blog.myheritage.com. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  20. ^ "Introducing Record Matching". MyHeritage.com. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "MyHeritage automates record-matching as genealogy wars heat up — Tech News and Analysis". Gigaom.com. 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  22. ^ "Geni is Joining the MyHeritage Family". Geni. November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  23. ^ a b "New Release: Family Tree Builder 7.0". myheritage.com. 2013-04-17. 
  24. ^ "MyHeritage: All US census records now available!". myheritage.com. 2013-05-01. 
  25. ^ "Introducing Record Detective: A breakthrough technology for family history". myheritage.com. 2013-05-16. 
  26. ^ "New partnership with familysearch adds billions of records to myheritage". myheritage.com. 2013-10-15. 
  27. ^ "New: MyHeritage adds millions of nordic records". myheritage.com. 2013-12-11. 
  28. ^ "MyHeritage and BillionGraves join forces to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries". myheritage.com. 2013-12-11. 
  29. ^ "MyHeritage Reaches New Milestone: 5 Billion Historical Records!". myheritage.com. 2013-12-11. 
  30. ^ "MyHeritage Partners with EBSCO Information Services to Bring MyHeritage to Libraries and Educational Institutions Worldwide". Business Wire. 2014-10-07. 
  31. ^ "23andMe and MyHeritage Announce Strategic Collaboration and Product Integration". Business Wire. 2014-10-21. 
  32. ^ "MyHeritage Bolsters Leadership in the Netherlands with Strategic Partnerships and First National TV Advertising Campaign". Business Wire. 2014-11-14. 
  33. ^ "RootsMagic Adds MyHeritage Matching Technologies for Powerful Automatic Research Capabilities". Business Wire. 2014-11-25. 
  34. ^ "Family Historian Genealogy Software Integrates MyHeritage Matching Technologies for Automated Discoveries". Business Wire. 2014-11-24. 
  35. ^ "MyHeritage Launches Instant Experience for Introducing Family History to the Mass Market". Business Wire. 2014-12-10. 
  36. ^ "Family Tree Builder". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  37. ^ "Smart matching". Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  38. ^ "Introducing Record Matching". myheritage.com. 2012-09-19. 
  39. ^ "Smart Matching™". MyHeritage. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  40. ^ "Introducing Record Matching - MyHeritage.com - English blog". Blog.myheritage.com. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  41. ^ "Introducing Record Detective™: A breakthrough technology for family history - MyHeritage.com - English blog". Blog.myheritage.com. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  42. ^ "MyHeritage Wants To Bring Genealogy To The Mainstream With Instant Discoveries". Frederic Lardinois TechCrunch. 2014-10-12. 
  43. ^ "MyHeritage merges with Pearl Street Software!". MyHeritage Blog. 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
  44. ^ "IMyHeritage Acquires Family Social Network Kindo". PRWeb. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2014-12-17. 
  45. ^ "MyHeritage Buys Germany's OSN, Now 540 Million Profiles Strong". By Sarah Lacy TechCrunch. 2010-02-01. 
  46. ^ "Exclusive: MyHeritage acquires Poland's Bliscy.pl, now 760 million profiles strong". TechCrunch. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  47. ^ "Social Network For Families MyHeritage Furthers U.S. Presence With Acquisition Of FamilyLink". TechCrunch. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  48. ^ "Geni is Joining the MyHeritage Family". Geni. 
  49. ^ Arrington, Michael (2007-01-12). "PayPal, Pulp Fiction and Geni". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2007-01-20. 
  50. ^ "Geni.com launches venture backed family tree site". SocalTech.com. 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-01-20. 
  51. ^ "Geni Privacy". Geni. 
  52. ^ The Big Tree Approaching 50 million profiles.
  53. ^ "Interview with David Sacks, Geni and Yammer". SocalTech.com. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  54. ^ "Loot No Longer - A Reporter in France Helps to Return Art Taken by the Nazis". The New York Times. 2014-01-30. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  55. ^ "MyHeritage and BillionGraves join forces to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries". MyHeritage Blog. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-12-17.