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

Friday, March 7, 2014

Special offer from

NOTE: The special offer expired on March 8, 2014.

As my blog grows in popularity, various companies approach me from time to time to participate in advertising promotions. I decided many years ago when I was involved in retail sales, that I would not promote any product that I was not personally enthusiastic about. This rule has carried over to my participation in the genealogical community. As I write my blog, I will pass on information about new products and services but I will not promote a product unless I personally use it and am enthusiastic about it.

During the past year or so, many people have identified me with primarily because of my involvement in RootsTech 2013 where I substituted in presenting their keynote address.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have now heard that they will be given free access to the three large online genealogical database programs, subject to some conditions, which have yet to be fully explored. Please take note of this, as I do not want my readers who are members of the LDS Church and unaware of the program to pay for subscriptions and then find out that their subscription could have been free sometime in the future.

As I have done in the past, I am now offering this special offer from MyHeritage. Those of my readers, who are members of the LDS Church, will have to take into consideration that they may have free access to the program sometime in the future.

Over the past few months the upgrades and new records added to make me even more enthusiastic about the company.

In just the past few months they have announced:
  • 815 million US public records - this allows you to search for recent relatives, lost biological family and grandparents where you are missing basic information. and contact relatives you are looking for.
  • BillionGraves and MyHeritage partnership to preserve tombstones around the world– this will allow much faster indexing of the world’s tombstones as MyHeritage recruits its tens of millions of members to help in this important project.
  • 160 million US and UK records added.
  • 138 million Geni profiles now available on MyHeritage SuperSearch.
  • Add family tree profiles from records – this new feature allows you to grow your tree as you find new people through MyHeritage Record Matches.
  • 90 million Nordic records added.
  • Enrich multiple profiles from a single record match – when you confirm a Record Match. MyHeritage pulls the other family information at the same time allowing you to extract information from many people in a few clicks!
  • FamilySearch Partnership – 2 more billion records added to MyHeritage.
These new features, content and partnerships are making MyHeritage a very important site, with the technology to break down many barriers.

In full honesty I have seen a few complaints made to me directly concerning issues with the program. I have worked through those issues and in many cases directly with the participation of MyHeritage's representatives, I have been totally satisfied with their support of their users. In most instances I have traced the problems reported to me as originating with defects in the GEDCOM file uploaded by the users. has solved the other issues, one that was handled when I got an email from a user. The tree in question had an improperly and very unusually formatted name, MyHeritage’s CEO Gilad Japhet personally responded to the complaint and used it as an opportunity to quickly improve MyHeritage based on the unusual formatting.

As with any large organization, there are detractors, but I have not found any of the complaints to be due to fundamental issues with the program. If the statistics on the map page are accurate, they now have over 70 million members around the world. There are a lot of people that see that this program is beneficial and I do too.

Most recently, the number of automatically obtained sources for my online family tree has increased dramatically. The inclusion of new records has provided information that I previously was unaware of. In my opinion, the price of the program is well worth the benefits, especially with this special offer. Even if I knew that the program would be free in the future, with my background in programming and product development, I would not want to wait until the changes to the product were developed before I took advantage of the automatic research available through uploading a family tree.

I am presently looking at over 6500 sources from Record Matches delivered to me, and with the automatic searching of additional records through the Record Detective feature, I am adding new people and many new records to my database as fast as I can do the work. Would I give up all that to wait until the program was offered for free? I suppose you will have to answer that question yourself, If this dilemma applies to you.

I have seen great success using MyHeritage and continue to confirm Record Matches that are adding great record finds to my tree. I am happy to present you this special offer and hope it will be as beneficial to you as it has been to me.


  1. Interesting note: I came here and read the blog entry as I use MyHeritage (and have for many years), and wanted to see what the offer was.

    Within half an hour, someone from MyHeritage called me on my cell phone to ask me if I had any questions about the offer. They mentioned specifically that they had noticed that I read this blog post.

    Creepy, MyHeritage?

  2. James, do you know if the new announcement about member using Ancestry, and My Heritage includes the ability to have a family tree posted on their sites and if we can search other participants' family trees?

    1. Nope, I haven't heard the details, but I have been told that the LDS Accounts will get a full membership, whatever that turns out to be.

  3. As with any large organization, there are detractors, but I have not found any of the complaints to be due to fundamental issues with the program.

    Unless MyHeritage gacks on a GEDCOM that exceeds their limit, in which case it won't do sources for you.

    This strikes me as a fundamental issue with MyHeritage, no?

    1. No, I would think that a GEDCOM too large for might be a problem.

  4. I just wanted to mention that this offer is good for current MyHeritage customers as well. I had emailed them with a question about the subscriptions and mentioned that I had seen this offer - I got a call from them and was surprised that the offer could be used to extend my Premium Plus and Data Subscriptions for another year.

    When I first joined MyHeritage in 2013 I have to admit I was not so impressed - BUT a lot has changed in a year's time. I am amazed at the accuracy of their record matches and have to admit their customer service is excellent. I have gotten more than my money's worth from my subscription and highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about their family history pursuit.


  5. Since the major sites have become (in part) aggregators of indexes or even documents from other sites, it would be most useful to closely inquire as to quantities of unique actual records. It's not very helpful for each site to count a Billiongraves index, for instance.

    1. My observation is that you might be able to inquire, but the sites are not very forthcoming in supplying useful information. They focus on collections, records and individuals and discount duplicates.