Archive for the ‘This is Us’ Category

Discovering Family Tree Records

Saturday, March 31st, 2012


We’ve just added a powerful new resource to World Vital Records – the MyHeritage Family Trees Collection, an exclusive database with more than 400 million tree profiles and tens of millions of associated photos.

Using this data collection, researchers can find trees which connect with their own or lead to new information about ancestors.  Now you can quickly find information and learn from other researchers and discover family members and yet unknown distant cousins as you search this large, dynamically updated collection.


To search the trees, simply log on to your World Vital Records account and click “Search>Card Catalog” to go to a new page showing the MyHeritage Family Trees Collection.


Combining Social Media with Family History

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

As Facebook enters its eighth year and many other social networking sites become publicly-traded companies (LinkedIn, Groupon, Yelp, Zynga, Twitter), it seems that social media is here to stay.

As genealogists, how can we embrace today’s online social media tools to further our research? I’ve spoken to people who – through social networking – find both long lost cousins and other family members. Some find family they did not know they had.

One society I know of uses the free online meet-up technology available through GooglePlus – they are called Hangouts – to hold weekly meetings without leaving home.

There is so much knowledge and shared experience in the blogosphere. Whether it is a wiki website with user-submitted articles or a professional genealogist sharing his or her experience, blogs offer relevant hints and tricks. If you are not already familiar with blogs, follow a few presenters from a recent conference, company page or visit for a comprehensive list of genealogy blogs. Once you find writers who resonate with you on your favorite social networking site, it’s like checking the daily news. You’ll receive valuable insights and entertaining snippets.

Microblogging, blogging but on a smaller scale, allows people to share quick bits of content. Whether you want to share a link to a great video or just your thoughts at the moment, Twitter is the most common forum for microbloggers. If you aren’t into sharing right away, following others is a fascinating way to learn about current trends. It feels as if you are listening simultaneously to 100 conversations. It is easy to see what topics are most commonly discussed. Are you are a visual person? There are sites to pin images of products, fun ideas or content as well like Pinterest. Whatever your style, share the best of what you find online within your network and learn new ideas from others — that’s what it’s all about. (more…)

DNA: History revealed via technology

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

By Schelly Talalay Dardashti – US Genealogy Advisor

Genetic genealogy is perhaps the most exciting new tool for family history research.  It can prove or disprove family relationships, determine a time frame when two people shared a common ancestor, provide genetic matches and clues to ancestral origins.

While paper records may be inaccurate through accident or purpose – throughout history – blood doesn’t lie. If two men match genetically, they are related, and what needs to then be determined is when their most recent common ancestor (MRCA) lived.

Genetic genealogy technology can:

  • Provide information when there is no paper trail.
  • Confirm or disprove a relationship or story.
  • Cut across history/geography lines.
  • Results may point to better traditional methodology/resources by pinpointing geography or other details

What is important, however, is to understand how this new industry came about, and what it can and cannot do. was founded by CEO/founder Bennett Greenspan in Houston, Texas in April 2000. He had discovered two branches of his mother’s family, one known in the US, the other a possible relation in Argentina. While he suspected the connection – because of the rare name – there was no paper trail of documents for the Argentine family. He convinced Dr. Michael Hammer of the University of Arizona to conduct a pilot project,

Bennett’s group included sets of identical twins; his own father, brother and sons, Bennett’s son, and other individuals, as well as males from those two branches of his mother’s family. As he suspected, the Y-DNA tests of the two branches matched, as did those of the identical twins with each other, and those of his father, brother and the next generation (albeit with small natural mutations). (more…)

On the Road Again!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

On the road again!

The MyHeritage team will be on the road again as we head to two great events.

Who Do You Think You Are LIVE! London February 24–26

MyHeritage staff will join an estimated 17,000 family history enthusiasts for the Who Do You
Think You Are? family history show in London Read more about the WDYTYA MyHeritage trip

St. George Family History Expo February 24-25

At the St. George Family History Expo, Mark Olsen will present two programs, and both will be
streamed live via Google Plus:

MyHeritage Online Family Tree
4.50pm, Friday, February 24, Sunbrook C Demo

Mark will demonstrate key features of the MyHeritage Online Tree and show its power
for connecting your family, past and present. The MyHeritage Tree offers many features
that young and old can use to stay connected while they also research and add to the
family tree. Mark will also show the integration of WorldVitalRecords content into the
MyHeritage Tree and how the powerful new feature will make it easier than ever to find
new sources and grow your tree. (more…)

MyHeritage RootsTech Day One Recap

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

RootsTech 2012: Day one highlights

MyHeritage’s experience at RootsTech has been a success, from setup to live hangouts and a very busy booth on the first day.

The team began setting up Wednesday afternoon. Our booth is a real standout with double arches of balloons in the MyHeritage logo colors. Everyone knows where our booth is located as the colorful balloons fly high above the exhibit floor.

Booth Setup

Booth Setup

MyHeritage Super Search
Today, the opening day, our CEO/founder Gilad Japhet demonstrated the new MyHeritage Super Search technology. The new tool greatly expands search functionality and takes into account user errors, common name variations, and other important details which, in the past, have not been included in most ancestral searches. There are many options to filter results by collections, via additional refining, advanced search and filtering capabilities as demonstrated in his presentation. This tool is still under development.

FamilyGraph API
MyHeritage’s chief genealogist Daniel Horowitz presented the FamilyGraph API and its potential uses by developers and consumers (see video here). (more…)

MyHeritage at RootsTech 2012

Monday, January 30th, 2012

WorldVitalRecords at Rootstech 2012

Here at WorldVitalRecords we are all very excited about the upcoming Rootstech Conference.  Soon over 3,000 people will gather at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City to learn and share technology and genealogy.

The MyHeritage Team at Rootstech

As many of you know, 3 months ago MyHeritage acquired WorldVitalRecords and since then we are the MyHeritage team in the US. To read all the details of the announcement read here.  As you can see in the image to the left there will be many from MyHeritage USA and MyHeritage attending this year. (more…)

A New Year – A Great time for Genealogy

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

I’ve read many good New Year’s goals touching on genealogy research, teaching, learning, sharing and more.

Certainly this is a great time to get going with family history and genealogy.

Before I become too involved in “genealogy speak,” I’d like to welcome all readers with an interest in genealogy, but simply don’t know where to start.  Welcome!

Jumping into genealogy can be overwhelming, particularly as you read blogs written by experts from around the world.  You may find that – as you start to explore the world of online genealogy – that you discover some rather intense sites providing specific genealogy niche topics. While those sites are exciting to find once you are ready to investigate them, the following goal may help prevent you from going in over your head. (more…)

MyHeritage releases Family Tree Builder Version 6.0

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Family Tree Builder Version 6.0

Today, - the parent company of - released version 6.0 of its popular free family software, Family Tree Builder. There have been more than 28 million downloads of FTB.

WorldVitalRecords is excited to be included in this release as our data is now searchable from within the software. Users can search for matches in our database of more than 4 billion records.

CEO Gilad Japhet said about FTB6:  “Packed with exciting new features, Family Tree Builder adds color and depth to family history research for professionals and beginners alike. We’re proud to have developed the industry’s most comprehensive and feature-rich software, and, true to our mission of bringing family history to the masses, we’ll continue to keep it free for all to use.”

What’s New in Version 6.0?  (Highlights – read full details here)

• Automatic Historical Record Matches: Family Tree Builder 6.0 automatically searches for relevant historical records in World Vital Records – a huge database added to the MyHeritage family last month as part of its acquisition of For more details click here.  With billions of birth, marriage, death and census records, plus newspapers, yearbooks and additional historical content – exciting discoveries are awaiting almost everyone.


Capture history in the making and preserve it for future generations with new app.

Friday, December 16th, 2011

What a great day it is!

It’s never been easier to capture history in the making and preserve it for future generations.

I downloaded the just-released MyHeritage Mobile App (for iPad, iPhone and Android devices) to my smartphone. Within minutes, I was browsing my family tree data, as well as uploading and sharing photos.

I understood how awesome family history will be from now on.

When my family and relatives say – “Mark, you’re the genealogist. Where was Grandma born?” –  I’ll whip out my smartphone as if it were a six-shooter. I’ll tap the MyHeritage app, scroll over to Grandma and fill the family in on the rich details of a great woman’s life and legacy. (more…)

Using technology to uncover the past

Thursday, December 8th, 2011
My old home - no longer standing

My old home - no longer standing

I just revisited my childhood home – even though it no longer exists.

As I walked Canyon Oaks Drive (Irving, Texas), I approached the cul-de-sac where I biked in summer, wished for snow in winter and raced for the finish line in my teens. (Don’t tell my parents, but we could hit 60 mph and more before we reached the corner. I wondered if the skid marks were still there.) (more…)