As we say goodbye to 2017 and look forward to 2018, Legacy's 19th year was a huge success and the upcoming 20th year looks more promising than ever.
Our Legacy software, now available in 17 languages, has been downloaded many millions of times, and now that it is backed by its new owners and one of genealogy's largest corporations - MyHeritage - Legacy will continue to evolve and take advantage of the latest technologies for years to come.
Legacy 9 was released in April and included many industry firsts such as Hashtags, FindAGrave.com searching, X-DNA charts and more. Thanks to Legacy's new Hinting tool, our users are smashing through brick walls like never before. My personal "fave" new feature was the Family Tree BINGO report which was a hit at our family reunion this summer. We are now working to provide an optional two-way sync between Legacy and MyHeritage, finishing up the Mac version, plus lots of other exciting new features.
Our webinar series at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com, now seven years strong, continues to bring the finest genealogy education to the masses. We added 194 new webinars to the library in 2017 which now boasts 639 classes taught by 159 of genealogy's finest educators. We just announced our 2018 lineup where we will once again host the monthly webinar series for the Board for Certification of Genealogists as well as hosting the brand new MyHeritage webinar series. You won't need every single class, but when you do need a little help, our webinars are there for you. We also plan to add closed-captioning to many of our webinar recordings in 2018.
Obviously, the biggest news of the year came in August when we announced our company's acquisition by MyHeritage. It rocked the genealogy news feeds and caused some uncertainty at first, but MyHeritage has done as they have promised - everything will stay the same except that it will just get better. I've got to admit, the more I work with, utilize, and learn about MyHeritage, the more and more happy I am to be working for the fastest growing company in the industry. The company now has 420 employees, 92 million users, and 8.3 billion historical records and are adding more value every month. In fact, just yesterday they, or should I say "we" just announced the release of one of the largest collection of digitized US yearbooks in existence. I can hardly wait to see if I can locate my parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents in these new records.
Perhaps the biggest area where MyHeritage is excelling is in the DNA market, where we just announced that MyHeritage DNA surpassed one million people in the DNA database, and that we are the fastest company to reach the one million mark. I loved this brief video about Irish people taking a MyHeritage DNA test:
Be sure to upload your DNA test results at https://www.myheritage.com/dna. Because of MyHeritage's large international audience, you'll likely find, like I did, a whole bunch of additional DNA matches that you won't find at the other websites.
And to be completely truthful, this 2017 year in review article pales in comparison to the Year in Review on the MyHeritage blog. This article made me proud to be a MyHeritage employee and confirms our decision to seek the partnership/acquisition that we did.
As we move into a new year, may we all have the hope, the skills, and the tools to help us find lots and lots of ancestors. And remember, "life is short, do genealogy first!"