27 million new records for Australia, Canada and United States added at MyHeritage


We are excited to announce that we have recently added 27,612,119 new records from four new collections to SuperSearch™: Australia Electoral Rolls, 1893-1949; Québec Marriage Licenses, 1926-1997; Honolulu, Hawaii Passenger Lists, 1900-1953; and Baltimore, Maryland Passenger Lists, 1891-1943.

Here is a breakdown of the newly added record collections:

Australia Electoral Rolls, 1893-1949
An index of electors in Australia registered to vote on Commonwealth electoral rolls between 1893 and 1949 in each of the six states of Australia. 16,306,739 records Search collection now
Québec Marriage Licenses, 1926-1997
An index of marriage licenses filed in Québec, Canada from 1926 to 1997. 7,901,481 records Search collection now
Honolulu, Hawaii Passenger Lists, 1900-1953
Passenger manifests of ships arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, from 1900 through 1953. 1,777,740 records Search collection now
Baltimore, Maryland Passenger Lists, 1891-1943
Passenger manifests of ships arriving at Baltimore, Maryland, from 1891 through 1948. 1,626,159 records Search collection now

Click here for more information.

Announcing an Update to the Theory of Family Relativity™

I just received this from MyHeritage about an update to the Theory of Family Relativity. Indeed, it is good news.

I have great news — we’ve just refreshed all the data for the Theory of Family Relativity™!

With this exciting update, you’ll get new and updated theories that explain how you and your DNA Matches may be related. This much-anticipated update may provide you with answers about relationships that have baffled you, as well as offer new insights about your ancestors and family relationships.


The Theory of Family Relativity™ scans billions of family tree profiles and historical records to craft detailed theories of how DNA Matches on MyHeritage may be related to each other. Since launching the feature in February, our DNA database has grown significantly, the number of family trees on MyHeritage has reached 45 million, existing trees have grown, and more historical records have been added to SuperSearch™.

A new notification system has been created to update MyHeritage users about new theories as they are discovered, one theory at a time. This email will be sent periodically, as of this week.

We hope that MyHeritage DNA users will enjoy the current update, which has more than doubled the number of theories available.

Read more about this update and some key facts and figures in the blog post.

MyHeritageLIVE 2019 - speakers and schedule announced

image from news.legacyfamilytree.com

The list of speakers and their sessions have now been announced for the 2nd annual MyHeritage LIVE conference. This year we will be in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. If you've always wanted to visit, and you want to mingle with other genealogists, this would be the perfect combination.

For more information, or to register visit https://live2019.myheritage.com.

MyHeritage Genealogy Seminar this Wednesday - live in Israel or online at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

MyHeritage Genealogy Seminar Webinars Now Available online for Free

MyHeritage is hosting a live genealogy seminar at its headquarters in Or Yehuda, Israel this Wednesday. If you're not in the area, but still want to attend classes taught by renowned genealogical educators Thomas MacEntee, Daniel Horowitz and Garri Regev, you can attend the live broadcasts (free) via FamilyTreeWebinars.com. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/mhseminar2019.

The presentations include:

  • Genealogy Pit Stop: Research in 15 Minute Increments by Thomas MacEntee
  • MyHeritage: New Advanced Features and Technologies by Daniel Horowitz
  • City Directories: No Town Too Small, No Clue Too Little by Thomas MacEntee
  • APPsolutely Genealogy! by Garri Regev

We'll see you in Or Yehuda or online at FamilyTreeWebinars.com!

Maximize Your Immigration Research with MyHeritage

Passenger lists provide genealogists with key information about an ancestor's arrival in the New World. Once located, these records can help us discover an immigrant’s original name and potentially assist with determining an immigrant's place of origin.

The MyHeritage Immigration & Travel Collection includes passenger arrival records, naturalization records, border crossings, emigration records, passports, and convict transportation records. You will need a subscription or free 14-day trial to view your search results.

I started working on my genealogy in 1989 to learn more about my maternal grandmother, Verona Straka, and eventually published her story in my book Three Slovak Women. My early research involved family documents and interviews with my mother. My mother shared a story about how my grandmother was detained at Ellis Island for health reasons and almost did not make it into the United States.

At that time, I had no documentation to prove this story. In the old days of genealogy research (before online databases), obtaining a ship's manifest required a several step process of submitting forms to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. I did eventually track down the passenger list showing my grandmother's arrival in New York on 8 August 1922. There was a notation "hospital discharged" above her name, which meant she had spent time in the Ellis Island hospital upon arrival, and confirmed what my mother told me.

One of the benefits of indexed online immigration records is the possibility of more than one type of record turning up in the search results. So even if you have located the manifest for your ancestor through correspondence (as I did), via microfilm, or by using free sites such as The Statue of Liberty Foundation Ellis Island Database, FamilySearch, or subscription websites, it is worth searching for your ancestor’s name in all available immigration record collections.

The New York Passenger Lists on MyHeritage.com

I typed my grandmother's name into the "Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957" database collection on MyHeritage.com, and found her arrival record listed on the first page of results. This database contains over 113+ million records. My grandmother arrived in 1922 and the manifest spanned two pages consisting of 33 columns. MyHeritage has also indexed the answers to two vital supplemental questions: The name and address of the relative or friend whom they were joining in the USA (added to the form in 1897) and the name and address of their closest relative or friend in their home country (added in 1907), yielding an additional 26.6 million names to this database (see the post "New: Ellis Island and other New York Passenger Lists" from November 2017 on the MyHeritage Blog for details). So be sure to look for your ancestor’s name in these columns too. With a different search, I found my paternal grandfather listed as the "Relative joined in the U.S." on the 1920 passenger manifest for his sister. This is a great way to perform cluster and collateral searches.


Another benefit of searching for New York passenger lists on MyHeritage is being able to view a two-page manifest such as the one listing my grandmother as one whole image and not have to move forward or backward to see each individual page as with other databases (MyHeritage took the 2.2 million paired images and married the pages together resulting in 1.1 million stitched images). To learn more about this particular indexing project, watch the free Legacy Family Tree webinar “Find Your Immigrant Ancestors AND Their Relatives in the NY Passenger Arrival Records” by Mike Mansfield.


One More Result: My Favorite Ancestor Find

In addition to the main arrival record I located for my grandmother, one of the results returned was for a Record of Detained Alien Passengers for the Orduna, arriving in New York on 8 August 1922. This record is my favorite ancestor find because it not only confirmed a family story, but also gave me additional insights into the immigration experience of my maternal grandmother.

In her article "A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations" Marian L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, explains the purpose of the Record of Detained Aliens form:  "Passenger list annotations from the early 1890's indicate that some immigrants were held or detained for further questioning, but there are no additional records on the microfilm about the detained immigrants. Beginning in 1903, at New York (Ellis Island), new forms came to be filed with each manifest and bound in the manifest volumes. One of these is the list or Record of Detained Aliens. Information on the record helps to clarify why a given immigrant was detained, how long they remained in detention, and how the case was resolved."  An electronic version of this article is found on the JewishGen website.

When I viewed The Record of Detained Alien Passengers for the Orduna, my grandmother's name was listed along with her cause of detention (Hosp. on arrival), the date and time of her discharge, and her next of kin, "Mother, Maria, 129 Crawford St. Duquesne, PA.” The “next of kin” information is actually incorrect as Maria was my grandmother’s sister, the mother of her niece, also named “Maria Straka” who traveled with my grandmother and also appears on the main passenger list. Passenger lists were prepared at the port of departure. The wrongly noted “next of kin” information” offers a good example of why we should always carefully evaluate any record we obtain about an ancestor.


Searching Other Ports

If your searches in the New York database collection are unsuccessful, you may be looking in records for the wrong port. While millions of immigrants arrived in the United States at the port of New York between 1820 and 1957, it is quite possible your ancestor landed elsewhere. The Immigration collection on MyHeritage also includes searchable indexes and/or records for the ports of Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and Atlantic and Gulf Ports, as well as other collections such as Port of New York, Index to Discharged or Deserted Crew, 1917-1957, and United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925. For tips on immigration research, watch the free Legacy webinar "Following Your Family's Immigration Trail on MyHeritage."

Of course, your mileage and search success with immigration records may vary. But, as with any genealogy site, you should keep checking MyHeritage for new and updated database collections. You never know where you will find that new clue about an immigrant ancestor.


For over two decades, author and instructor Lisa A. Alzo has been educating and inspiring genealogists around the world to research and write about their ancestors. She has presented 44 webinars for Legacy Family Tree Webinars, include nine on Writing and Publishing. Lisa coaches aspiring family history writers through her online courses at Research, Write, Connect https://www.researchwriteconnect.com 


All Finnish and Danish record in MyHeritage FREE for one week

If you have Danish or Finnish ancestry (like I do!), and you don't yet have a subscription to MyHeritage, here's your chance to gain access to these Nordic records for free for a week. Here's the details.

We recently added the 1940 Denmark Census to our historical records database, making MyHeritage the world’s most comprehensive online resource for Danish historical records.

To mark this milestone, we are opening up access to ALL 105 million Danish records on MyHeritage for FREE, starting today and until May 12, 2019 (inclusive).

As a bonus to delight our users with Nordic roots, we are also providing FREE access to ALL 48.6 million Finnish records on MyHeritage.

Free Finnish and Danish Records

Search the Danish collections here.

Search the Finnish collections here.

You can read more details at the MyHeritage blog.

Big Announcement! The Theory of Family Relativity is now live at MyHeritage


This is first big announcement at RootsTech, and it's a game-changer for genetic genealogy! I've played with it for about an hour this morning and am very impressed. Learn about it below, register for its free webinar, and then check out your new DNA theories in the DNA Matches area at MyHeritage.com.

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MyHeritage, the leading global service for family history and DNA testing, revealed today its latest innovation in genetic genealogy — the Theory of Family Relativity™. This technology offers users, for the first time ever, theories that utilize nearly 10 billion historical records and family tree profiles to explain DNA connections. Until now, family history enthusiasts used two distinct domains for making discoveries: the paper-trail world of records and trees, and the biological world of DNA connections. Now, MyHeritage has combined these two domains and integrated them seamlessly.

The Theory of Family Relativity™ is based on a big data graph that connects billions of data points drawn from thousands of databases on MyHeritage, in real time. Every node on this graph represents a person, and every edge depicts a blood relationship between two individuals that is described in a family tree or a historical record; or a match between two tree profiles that are likely to be the same person; or two records that are likely to be about the same person. These connections between people and records are established by MyHeritage’s industry-leading matching technologies. MyHeritage engineers and algorithm experts led by the company’s CTO, Sagi Bashari, developed a unique approach that allows the big data graph to instantly compute all paths between millions of blood relatives. The Theory of Family Relativity™ draws upon this resource to construct the most plausible theories explaining how pairs of people linked by a DNA Match on MyHeritage are related, using family trees and historical records.

Previously, users who took a DNA test looking to find relatives were faced with puzzling lists of thousands of distant relatives, without many clues explaining the DNA connections. Now, for a growing percentage of these DNA Matches, theories are provided by MyHeritage that explain the precise relationship paths using trees and records. In these theories, not only does genealogy illuminate DNA connections, but DNA also helps separate fact from fiction in the genealogy and shows which tree and record connections appear to be correct.

This technology uses millions of family trees on MyHeritage, as well as the World Family Tree on Geni, which is replicated daily to MyHeritage, and the single family tree of FamilySearch, which is also replicated daily to MyHeritage under license. This combination results in the most comprehensive family tree traversal available today. Additionally, the technology utilizes billions of historical records on MyHeritage, including all census records, as well as the MyHeritage Record Detective™ technology that indicates whenever two records are about the same person. For example: a theory that explains a DNA Match between two users can begin in the family tree of the first user, traverse through a series of matching trees into a census record, continue to a household relative, who then matches into another tree, until the path completes with the family tree of the second user. MyHeritage displays the complete path of every theory, and explains every step along the way, allowing the user to verify its accuracy. Each theory is presented with a confidence level that is based on the confidence of the matches used to construct it.

“Our new technology is a game changer in its scope and power and is a tribute to our passion for developing the best genetic genealogy tools for our users,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Using genealogy to explain DNA Matches, and using DNA to validate genealogy matches, combines the best of both worlds. We expect this technology to help people make new discoveries in their family history. With every day that goes by, this technology grows even more powerful as more tree profiles, historical records and DNA kits are added to our global database.”

The Theory of Family Relativity™ feature is included for free with all Premium, PremiumPlus, and Complete subscriptions on MyHeritage. Individuals who upload their raw DNA data from other testing services to MyHeritage who do not have a subscription can pay a one-time fee of $29 per DNA kit to unlock the Theory of Family Relativity™ and the full range of advanced DNA features offered by MyHeritage.

To purchase a MyHeritage DNA kit, visit www.myheritageDNA.com

Using MyHeritage Tools to Improve Your Family Tree Data - free webinar by Daniel Horowitz now online


The recording of today's webinar, "Using MyHeritage Tools to Improve Your Family Tree Data” by Daniel Horowitz is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free.

Webinar Description

MyHeritage offers advance features to make sure your family research is accurate and neat: Consistency Checker and Pedigree Map are two wonderful tools available to curate your names, dates and places, finding minimal details you probably overlooked while building your tree. Take this opportunity to pause and evaluate your current data making sure you end with an accurate and clean family tree.
View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 23 minute recording of "Using MyHeritage Tools to Improve Your Family Tree Data" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 857 classes, 1,108 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 3,702 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Cómo explicar los grados de relación familiar 2/13/2019

Gonzalo A. Luengo O.

Reconstructing Your Genetic Family Tree 2/13/2019

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

Applying Evidence to Genealogical Research Questions 2/19/2019

Melissa Johnson, CG

Online Resources for French Genealogy part I: Compiled Records, Church Records and Civil Registration 2/20/2019

Paul Woodbury

Using Timelines and Tables to Analyze Your Research 2/22/2019

Cari Taplin, CG

Spreadsheets 401 : Excel-lent Inspiration 2/27/2019

Mary Roddy

Polled! Finding your Ancestors in New South Wales Colonial Muster and Census Returns 3/5/2019

Carol Baxter

The Five-story Fall: Correlating Indirect and Direct Evidence to Extend the Pedigree 3/19/2019

Debra S. Mieszala, CG

One Touch Genealogy Research: How to Handle a Record Just Once 4/2/2019

Thomas MacEntee

Transcribing Documents: There is More Than Meets the Eye! 4/16/2019

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG

English Parish Records: More than Hatch, Match and Dispatch 4/30/2019

Helen Smith

Valid and Unsound Assumptions: What Was She Thinking? 5/21/2019

Jeanne Bloom, CG

They really didn't swim! Finding your ancestors in New South Wales Colonial Shipping Records 6/4/2019

Carol Baxter

Using Another Library Source: the Government Document Section 6/18/2019

Patricia Stamm, CG, CGL

Remedies for Copy & Paste Genealogy 7/2/2019

Cyndi Ingle

Lesser Used Records for Research in the Netherlands 7/16/2019

Yvette Hoitink, CG

Finding Families in New Zealand 8/6/2019

Fiona Brooker

Ten Tools for Genealogical Writing 8/20/2019

Harold Henderson, CG

Are you Lost? Using Maps, Gazetteers and Directories for British Isles Research 9/3/2019

Paul Milner

Civil Law Concepts and Genealogy 9/17/2019

Claire Bettag, CG

The Stories Behind the Segments 10/1/2019

Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

Civil Law Records in Genealogical Research: Notarial Records 10/15/2019

Claire Bettag, CG

Trove: An Australian and Beyond Genealogical Treasure 11/5/2019

Helen Smith

Native American Research: Things You May Not Know 11/19/2019

Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA

Buried Treasures: What's in the English Parish Chest 12/3/2019

Paul Milner

Marriages Here, There, and Nowhere: Finding Gretna Greens and Borders 12/17/2019

J. Mark Lowe, CG, FUGA

Print the 2019 webinar brochure here.

See you online!

Announcing MyHeritage LIVE 2019


Registration for MyHeritage LIVE 2019 is officially open! To be held September 6-8, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, it will feature both genealogy and DNA lecture tracks, plus hands-on workshops. This follows the resounding success of last year's conference in Oslo (read about it here and here).

For all the details, read the announcement on MyHeritage's blog here.

Register at https://live2019.myheritage.com to save your spot.

I hope to see you in Amsterdam!