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

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Update on

During the past few weeks, I have been answering a whole lot of questions about due to my involvement with the company at RootsTech 2013. In a few cases, I have worked with the people asking the questions on a one-on-one basis to see if we could figure out the problem. In addition, I have been getting some pretty varied comments on my previous blog posts, some very positive and some decidedly negative. Most of the comments and problems center around the issue of Smart Matches and Record Matches.

Almost all of the negative comments have come from relatively new users of the program. In every case, the new user had not looked at the downloadable manual to the program. In a couple of instances, I have worked long enough with these other users to resolve the issues. In every case where I have worked through the issues, I have found the problem to lie with the database uploaded by the user. In one case, as an extreme, I had to delete all of the information in MyHeritage and reload a "clean" GEDCOM file in order for the problems to go away. As soon as I did this, the user began receiving matches to the program. I also found that when the user was identified merely as "living" without further information, the Smart Matching feature did not work properly. As soon as the person was identified by name, she immediately began to get Smart Matches. I am guessing, but it seems to me that the "living" designation blocks some of the features of the program.

I must still say, despite all of the comments and questions I have fielded in the last few weeks, I still think the program works very well. There could be some improvements to the navigation in the family tree view, such as allowing the names to be viewed in a more compact format, but overall, the program seems to work. Now, I am certain that this comment will elicit another round of criticism from those who are unhappy with the program. But I hear the same type of criticism about most of the other online genealogical databases regularly. In fact, I don't believe that I know of any program that I haven't heard negative comments about from someone. This seems especially true about genealogy programs.

I have noticed that Smart Matches seem to come rather quickly and frequently, while Record Matches come less quickly and in bunches rather than individually. It is sort-like waiting for the cycle to come around. If you happen to join the program as the beginning of a cycle, then you might experience a delay, if not, if you are near the end of the cycle, you may get matches more quickly. It is very common for new technology to have a growth period where the program does not work as well as expected or where there are unforeseen difficulties or bugs. It is when the program is more mature that these types of problems become an issue with me. In the case of a new program and especially as here with a new technology, I suggest cutting some slack.

This situation is also similar to what I experience when I do presentations. Some of the people's comments say how much they liked the presentation, others express the fact that everything I said was a complete waste of time. Did these two people hear the same presentation? Sometimes I wonder if my commentators are looking at the same program?


  1. Are you kidding ? You are really going to blame the users ?

    I can assure you that according to FamilyHistory is was not me just being " new " to the program or having a corrupted gedcom it was them and most likely their software that was messed up -here is an excerpt from my email.

    'I apologize for any inconvenience. I recommend you to uninstall the software then download it from the link below :

    It supposed to fix some issues. '

    But even if you take all of the various problems with software and geds almost every complaint also involved HORRIBLE customer service and looong waits for responses. My last was 8 days from support question to answer and there is NO excuse for that and you should at least care about that and be sympathetic to your readers.

    This isn't a matter of opinion ( who liked what presentation ) this is measurable and their system/software was messed up and they responded very poorly to the problem and to the needs of their new customers.


    1. It is apparent that your experience and mine vary considerably.

  2. I used the program for some years before upgrading to a Premium account. Since the last update though I find the Smart Matches are not working properly and the small round green icon can take 3 or 4 minutes to show and when it says for example there are 9 Smart Matches today, tomorrow the green icon disappears and it says there are none. Editing a date record for birth or death invariably eventually returns the green icon and it shows the 9 Matches again and I can display that information. Most frustrating and it would be good if there was a work around