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.
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.comfor free.
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 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
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).
Those with ancestors in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York or California will be especially enthusiastic with these new records from MyHeritage.
We are excited to announce that we have recently added 22,718,797 new historical records to SuperSearch™ from four entirely new collections: Massachusetts Newspapers, 1704-1974, New Jersey Marriage License Index, 1915-2016, New York State Death Index, 1880-1956, and the US Naturalization Records, Northern California, 1852-1989.
A great lineup of new records from MyHeritage this month. I'm particularly excited about the updates to the Sweden records and all of the new newspaper collections. Below is the official announcement.
We are delighted to announce the addition of over 51 million new historical records to SuperSearch™ since our last update in October!
These include updates in two of our popular collections: Sweden Household Examination Books, 1860- 1947, and New York City Marriages collection, 1950 – 2017. Also included are 19 completely new collections — 14 of which are in the US Newspaper Collections.
Here’s a look at all records added since the October 2018 update.
Number of Records
Exclusive to MyHeritage
Link to Search
Sweden Household Examination Books, 1860-1947 Update
Records contain information about birth dates, marriages, deaths, and changes in residence, etc. from the years 1930-1947.
17,047,768 new records for a total of 104,449,108 records in the collection
An index to marriage licenses filed at the New York City Clerk Offices from 1950 to 2017. The index contains the given names and surnames of both the bride and the groom, the year of the license application, and the state file number.
We have recently added over 17 million new records to the Sweden Household Examination Books from the years 1930- 1947, bringing the collection total to 104,449,108 historical records. If you have ancestors from Sweden, this collection is essential as it serves as the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600s to modern times. Collected until 1991 by the Swedish Lutheran Church, the Sweden Household Examination Books contain information about birth dates, marriages, deaths, where people had moved to or from, etc.
This update adds 1,633,136 new historical records to the existing 7,882,294 historical records in this collection. The index now includes over 4 million marriage licenses filed at the New York City Clerk Offices in the five boroughs from 1950-2017. In addition to information on the bride and groom, the New York City Marriages collection contains additional information: Birth dates, birthplaces, occupations; whether single, widowed or divorced at the time of the marriage. It is often possible to learn more information about the bride and groom’s families with parent’s names and birthplaces. Please note that marriage licenses older than 50 years are classified as public documents and available to all researchers. Marriages of less than 50 years ago, however, are restricted and available only under certain circumstances.
From this collection is the marriage license of Eunice Kennedy and Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. It details their marriage license number, location and year in which they were married.
The West Virginia Birth Index is a compendium of 3,172,114 records from 1853-1914. Provided by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the index includes the name of the infant, birthplace, and names of the parents. Although earlier records show just the year of birth, later records contain the full birth dates. Images associated with the collection offer additional information about the parents such as their ages and birthplaces.
From 1853 (and sometimes as early as the late 1700s) birth records were collected by each of the 55 counties in Virginia and West Virginia, resulting in some variability in the record collection. Some counties had gaps in their records collection, privacy restrictions, or record losses depending on the year. Beginning in 1917, the record collection became more uniform as the West Virginia Department of Health Vital Registration began issuing official state birth certificates
Below is the record of Harley Orrin Staggers (1907-1991). Harley represented West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District as he served 16 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-1981. From the record, see that he was born August 3, 1907 in Cabin Run, Mineral County, West Virginia, to J.K. and Fannie Staggers.
The 3,007,161 records in this collection are from the Ohio Department of Health Death Certificates from 1913-1944 and 1954-1963, Stillborn Death Certificates from 1913-1935 and 1942-1953, and Columbus Board of Health Death Certificates from 1904-1908.
Death certificates are valuable resources for obtaining the exact name of the deceased, the death date, the death county, and certificate number and can also provide information on the deceased’s life.
Drawn from the Ohio Death Index, is the record of Roger Philip Bresnahan, a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player who died in Lucas, Ohio on December 4, 1944 at age 65.
We have added two new US naturalization record indexes: the US Naturalization Record Index, Northern Illinois, 1840-1950 and US Naturalization Records, New England, 1791-1906.
The US Naturalization Record Index, Northern Illinois, 1840-1950 is an index of petitions for naturalization filed in Northern Illinois Circuit Court and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District 9 from 1840- 1950.
The 1,491,656 records in this collection include – in addition to Illinois – the INS District 9, which covered parts of northwestern Indiana, eastern Iowa, and southern and eastern Wisconsin.
From 1840-1906, petitions generally contained the name of the petitioner, the name of the court, record number, the petitioner’s country of origin, and the date of naturalization. From 1906-1950, petitions collected additional information such as the petitioner’s address, names, and addresses of any witnesses, birth date, as well as date and place of arrival in the US. These changes reflect overall changes in how the petitions were collected. Prior to 1906, petitioning for US citizenship could be done through any local, county, state or Federal court. After 1906, the petitions were collected only by the Federal court.
The US Naturalization Records, New England, 1791-1906 collection includes 615,903 records. It is an index of naturalization documents filed in courts in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont from 1791-1906.
These records reflect the history of US naturalization laws. The first law related to obtaining US citizenship, the Naturalization Act of 1790, required two years’ residence and limited citizenship to free white people of good moral character. The Naturalization Act of 1795 required five years’ residence before applying for citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1798 extended the residency requirement to 14 years. In 1868, after the American Civil War, Congress passed the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to all those born within the US, regardless of their parents’ citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1870 further expanded the naturalization process to include “aliens of African nativity and…persons of African descent.”
Below is the naturalization record of John Muir, a Scottish-American immigrant who became a famous environmentalist and author. Known as the “Father of the National Parks”, Muir helped establish Yosemite National Park.
In addition to the previous collections, we have added 14 new US newspaper collections reaching a total of 24,376, 578 newspaper historical records. This update contains newspapers from the states of Washington, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, California, Missouri, South Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Michigan, Iowa, Virginia, Arizona, and Idaho.
In addition to articles related to important events and activities in the communities, newspaper collections also contain birth, marriage and death announcements, obituaries and society pages.
This collection contains both the text and the scanned image of the newspaper article. Search the collection for a particular name or keyword and find a list of articles and an image of with the highlighted name or keyword. After selecting the record, you may enlarge it to full screen to zoom in and read the article from the scan of the original publication.
Drawn from the Alabama newspaper collection is the obituary of Governor Lureen B. Wallace. Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Lurleen Burns Wallace (1926-1968) was the first woman to be elected Governor of Alabama. The article, from The Tuscaloosa News, pays tribute to Lurleen, who after one year as Governor died of cancer. In his eulogy of Lurleen, Rev. John Vickers shares that “Lurleen was committed to the truth that whatever proved to be the will of the Father, she would seek the power to accept.”
From our new Idaho Newspaper Collections, is an article about Picabo Street in the Sports section of the Moscow- Pullman Daily News, during the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. On February 11, 1998, Picabo became the first US woman skier to win two gold medals since 1952.
Searching all these exciting new collections is completely free and accessible through MyHeritage SuperSearch™. A MyHeritage Data subscription is required to view records from these collections, to save them to your family tree or to confirm Record Matches.
Enjoy searching these collections and let us know in the comments below what you have discovered!
In his keynote address at the first-ever MyHeritage LIVE family history conference in Oslo, Norway, MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, talks about his passion for family history and recounts the milestones in his genealogy journey. He also outlines his roadmap of the future of genealogy and makes industry-changing announcements about genetics (including reconstructing ancestral DNA and obtaining DNA from old envelopes).
I began day 2 of MyHeritage Live 2018 (see day 1's post here) by taking an early morning stroll through Oslo's parks. It was so quiet and peaceful - and then the church bells began to ring and filled the town. I could get used to this place.
After attending Thomas MacEntee's class "Newspaper Research Strategies Using MyHeritage," Professor Yaniv Erlich's class, "Genetic Insights From a Huge Collaborative Family Tree," and eating a delicious lunch, I got to address the conference with my class, "Using MyHeritage and Learning from FamilyTreeWebinars.com." I shared my 6 favorite things about MyHeritage (which included both Legacy and our webinar series!) and it seemed to be received well.
Speaking of favorite things - my favorite quote from the conference was made by Aaron Godfrey (VP Marketing) who quoted Gilad Japhet (CEO) as saying, "Here at MyHeritage we want to do well. But we also want to do good."
This feeling about doing good seemed to summarize the entire conference. The 401 in-person attendees from 28 countries left Oslo feeling good. Good about what they learned. Good about how the conference was organized. Good about how family history brings us together.
More than 60,000 viewers from around the world also checked in. If you missed it, the recordings of the live streams are still available on the MyHeritage Facebook page and will be available via our FamilyTreeWebinars.com library soon.
While Oslo was beautiful (view from my hotel room)...I hope MyHeritage considers doing MyHeritage LIVE 2019 edition in, say, Honolulu next year? Where would you like to visit and mingle with other genealogists?
Of the hundreds of genealogy conferences I've attended as an exhibitor, speaker, attendee, and even as conference Chair, MyHeritage LIVE here in Oslo, Norway is by far the most unique and energy-filled family history conference I've seen. With about 450 attendees from 28 countries it might also be the most internationally diverse genealogy conference too.
As I ponder the events of day one and wonder why is this conference so different, I think it is because I am literally seeing the genealogy industry advance right before my eyes. I mean...how often do you see the founder and CEO go from making industry-changing announcements in a keynote speech...
...to attending class...just like the rest of us?
As a genealogist first, Gilad Japhet (MyHeritage founder and CEO) has a most unique perspective on what the genealogy industry needs and wants, and he was not shy about publicly sharing the private roadmap of MyHeritage's future plans. Perhaps most exciting were the DNA-related announcements. Roberta Estes, one of the conference's presenters and DNA experts, shared it best in a Facebook post this morning:
What every genealogist is doing today? Digging around their house looking for envelopes! #MHLIVE2018
That's exactly what I will be doing when I return home. Gilad announced that MyHeritage will soon be able to process the DNA from stamps and old envelopes and then link the DNA to the ancestor. This is big news - imagine having the DNA results for one of my great-great-great grandparents!! I can see the brick walls coming down now.
And if we don't have an old envelope, Gilad also announced plans to recreate our ancestors' DNA through segment painting and segment escalation.
Later in the day, Maya Lerner, Vice-President of Product at MyHeritage, continued the transparency into MyHeritage's future plans where she announced the Theory of Family Relativity, which will help us easily discover how our DNA matches are related to us. She said that MyHeritage is developing technology that, with a 95% accuracy rate, will determine exactly how two matches are related to each other. This announcement was received with "oohs" and "ahs" throughout the audience.
She also recapped the major new additions to MyHeritage's record collections in 2018:
...and announced which records are next in line:
Who does that (announces a company's inner workings)? Apparently MyHeritage does. Okay, my excitement may be getting a little out of hand here. It's just so energizing to be a part of something that really does have an every-day impact on genealogists worldwide.
All of this, and I haven't even said a word about the other speakers here. Leaders in our field like Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Louise Cooke, Dick Eastman, Diahan Southard, Roberta Estes, Mike Mansfield, Daniel Horowitz and Geni's Mike Stangel - all here! My favorite pic of the day wasn't of Thomas teaching, but of our tech go-to-guy attending class:
After all of the classes, I personally interviewed many of the attendees to see how they enjoyed day one. They were thrilled to have such a well-organized, educational and fun conference come to them - so close to their homes. This really is fulfilling one of my genea-passions - to help bring genealogy education to people throughout the entire world. If you couldn't be here in person - every class has been live-streamed, and will continue for Day 2 at https://live2018.myheritage.com, including my class today, "Using MyHeritage & Learning with FamilyTreeWebinars.com." If you missed any of Day 1's classes, the recordings of the live-streams are available on https://www.facebook.com/myheritage/ and will be available on our www.familytreewebinars.com in the future.
I hope MyHeritage LIVE will repeat itself each year. Hopefully they'll accept my recommendation that we next do this in Hawaii. OK, I'm off to get ready for Day 2 now. #MHLIVE2018