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Monday, February 2, 2015

Answers to some questions about linking MyHeritage and FamilySearch Family Tree

From my first blog post on this subject, you could probably tell I had several questions. I received some additional explanations from MyHeritage.com that answer some of my initial questions about the ability of the program to search the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. I thought it might help some of the users of both programs to see the answers. I have put the information I received in the form of a question for clarity. I actually got more information than I asked for initially.

You might want to carefully review by previous blog post, "MyHeritage SuperSearch now searches FamilySearch Family Tree."

Question: In my initial searches on MyHeritage.com, I failed to find some of my ancestors I knew were on the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. What is going on?

Answer: MyHeritage matching technologies are currently comparing the huge FamilySearch and MyHeritage trees and generating matches between them that will be sent to MyHeritage users during the next month or two. Comparing about 900 million profiles (FamilySearch tree) to about 1.6 billion profiles (MyHeritage trees) is a substantial undertaking. Millions of users stand to gain a lot of new information from the matches. It will be up to the users to verify the information in the trees that they receive as matches as there are many errors in users' family trees.

My Response: What I think this means is that until the programs are fully connected and operational, which will take some time, we need to be patient about the search capabilities. If everyone on Family Tree is connected to the MyHeritage profiles, that is very large number.

Question: What happens to other partner programs such as RootsMagic and Family Historian?

Answer: As of today (2 February 2015), users of MyHeritage partners such as RootsMagic and Family Historian - these are desktop programs that use the MyHeritage matching APIs - will receive matches also with the FamilySearch tree via MyHeritage (the copy that is on MyHeritage that is) without having to have an account on FamilySearch and even if they are not members of the LDS Church. That's another benefit of the FamilySearch tree being on MyHeritage.

My Response: It looks like Family Tree will be searchable by anyone with an account or connected to MyHeritage through a third-party program such as RootsMagic and Family Historian. I have been using RootsMagic for a while with the ability to look up sources in MyHeritage. I find RootsMagic to be extremely valuable for making sure I have all of the sources from both Family Tree and MyHeritage. I am doing this by attaching all of the sources to my family tree in RootsMagic. The new features can also be used to make sure all of the sources are both in Family Tree and my family tree on MyHeritage.com. To clarify, I am using RootsMagic as a way to move sources from MyHeritage to Family Tree indirectly through RootsMagic. With this new feature above, I will be able to also add Family Tree info directly into my MyHeritage family tree. This may seem redundant, but it really helps me to make sure I am including all of the possible sources with a backup.

Question: What about Geni.com users?

Answer: As of today (2 February 2015), Geni.com users will enjoy matches with the FamilySearch tree too, via MyHeritage.

My Response: Since MyHeritage users already get the benefit of searching the Geni.com family tree, this adds some real depth to the ability of MyHeritage to provide even more connections across the worldwide genealogical community.

Question: Can FamilySearch.org users search MyHeritage.com family trees?

Answer: FamilySearch users cannot search the MyHeritage trees inside FamilySearch.org as they have not been shared with FamilySearch. However, FamilySearch users who are members of the LDS Church are entitled to free access to MyHeritage, so they can log on to MyHeritage and search the MyHeritage trees for free on MyHeritage SuperSearch.

My Comment: This makes a lot of sense since the family trees on MyHeritage are individually owned and maintained, whereas the FamilySearch Family Tree is a unified family tree like Geni.com.

Question: Will the MyHeritage.com Smart Matches be available to FamilySearch Family Tree users so they can connect with more people around the world?

Answer: FamilySearch users will eventually receive matches with the MyHeritage trees and the Geni tree right in FamilySearch.org, but this will take more time and will probably be added later in 2015.

My Response: I think many present Family Tree users will be overwhelmed with the amount of information they will receive from this opportunity. This arrangement makes both MyHeritage.com and FamilySearch Family Tree much more valuable as genealogical tools.

10 comments:

  1. Randy,
    I wonder why you do not include Wikitree in your reviews. It also contributes to MyHeritage record matching, and it is FREE. While it also is building a universal tree, it has some control. I gave up trying to keep Geni and FamilySearch trees straight even for my own lines.

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    1. I think you might have bloggers confused, but I will go ahead and answer. I do wear a WikiTree T Shirt. I will pay more attention to the program in the future. Thanks for the heads up.

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  2. Speaking of WikiTree, I am a new user of MY HERITAGE because of it's Eastern European reservoir of users. I was extremely lucky, especially in Poland connections ( one of my regions is not available on microfilm yet ) through family trees that had Polish archive sources. I broke a long-standing brick wall. Like Doris Wheeler mentioned above, that I had a good laugh when I saw my WikiTree profiles show up in the Smart Matches but altogether I have been pleased with My Heritage so far.

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  3. Hi James! I have been enjoying your youtube videos, webcasts and blog posts about myheritage.com. I will be presenting on the website and a family history conference this weekend and a question came up that I haven't been able to find the answer to and I was hoping gyou might be able to help. I know that when I export my gedcom from myheritage I can include photos in the gedcom and then upload it into my familysearch tree, but is it possible to have the newspaper articles that are currently linked to my profiles in myheritage copied over as sources with the links in familysearch? I have been trying to figure out if it's even possible and so far I'm finding that it is not.. any insights on this?

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  4. Yes, you can copy sources, although you need to upload pdf files of the newspaper articles to memories and then attached them to sources. See
    Adding Memories to FS Family Tree and RecordSeek by James Tanner on the BYU Family History Library YouTube.com website. Email me at genealogyarizona at gmail.com for further help.

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  5. Ancestry. What's the methodology to "sync" each? You explanation above seems to indicate that you can download from MyAncestry.com into RootsMagic then upload to other sources. Is that correct? If not, do you know of any good way to accomplish the sync w/o doing it manually? Thanks in advance. I'll email you too with the same Q.

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    1. I am not sure I understand your question. If you are talking about synchronizing your Ancestry.com family tree, the only way I know to do this is use the now abandoned Family Tree Maker. If you want to create a GEDCOM file from Ancestry.com you can do that with instruction in their Help Center. LDS users can move details and sources directly from Ancestry.com to the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. Otherwise you can move sources with RecordSeek.com. There is always copy and paste.

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  6. I find information on My Heritage that I don't have on Family Search. Is there a way to copy from My Heritage to Family Search?

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    1. The only way to transfer detail information is by copy and paste. Sources can be copies with RecordSeek.com or if you have an LDS Account, you can copy the sources from MyHeritage.com by using the link to look for the sources from FamilySearch.

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