Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Movement among the giants

This has been a very active time for alliances, new announcements and other developments among the mega-sites of the genealogy world. Its time for some analysis and a recap of the current events. First, the players:
I guess I should talk about the news first. had a webinar news conference yesterday, 11 June 2012. Even though I was invited and signed up, I got involved helping some friends set up their computer for genealogy, which is my first priority, and missed the actual broadcast. Essentially, now has over a billion individuals in 23 million family trees. Of course, you also remember that relatively recently purchased which includes If you follow the link, you will see a short video presented by Gilad Japeth, the CEO. The video shows their very lovely offices in Israel. It took them seven years to reach a billion individuals.

As far as goes, I hope they can keep their very helpful and accommodating personal style of doing business. They are certainly more approachable than any of the other companies and that makes for a very responsive and supportive atmosphere. Theirs is a strikingly different model from the other large genealogy companies and I applaud them for their efforts. I guess you could say I am a real fan of MyHeritage and hope they can keep up the growth.

I may have missed some along the way, but here is the lineup for the acquisitions and alternative websites. I have not included all of the regional and country specific websites.
The purchase of was significant because of the number of records claimed. What isn't clear is whether or not will maintain's interest in records of living individuals. Does this move mean that will enter the arena now dominated by and In addition, there was some online speculation about potential purchasers of in the form of Google and Facebook. This speculation has moved well out of the genealogy community and is the subject of the stock traders. See Buy Before It Gets Acquired.

I acknowledge that is a vastly useful and valuable online resource, but its involvement in the genealogical community is definitely on the wane. It is no longer interested in local or small conferences and has now little or now contact with the blogging community. Its activities seem very high level and impersonal. I do note that by its acquisitions, there are significantly more connections between and Also, has added a directly updated index of all of the records added to (yes, it has a lower case "b" at the beginning) has only recently begun to move out of the UK and into the US market. The first foray into the U.S. is the website. brightsolid has extensive involvement in network services outside of genealogy related websites. Here is a list of what I have found for
 Now we're to FamilySearch. Of course, they are in a somewhat separate category since they are a non-profit and all of their online resources are free, so no one is going to "purchase" FamilySearch. But the shear magnitude of the online and other resources makes them a genealogical heavy weight. Lately, we have seen a couple of significant developments, FamilySearch allowed (now to have access to some of its indexes and FamilySearch also added to its Historical Record Collections.

The big news at FamilySearch is the replacement of the data duplication plagued website with FamilySearch Family Tree (part of It has been about a month or so since there were significant additions to the Family Tree program and I would expect some additions within the next couple of weeks. Speculating, they might allow editing of families or links to digitized documents. The big news will be when you can add new people to the program. I hope it is still on schedule to replace by the end of the year.

Keep tuned in for more maneuvers and developments. 

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if is going to charge extra fees for all the other companies they now hold or if I would have to decide which one might be the most useful. I and many like me of limited resources have to be careful of how we allocate the few dollars we have and are always trying to find the best way to get the most records we can for those few dollars. Do you have an insight on that?