MyHeritage buys FamilyLink and WorldVitalRecords

I DO NOT WORK FOR MyHeritage or FamilyLink or WorldVitalRecords. THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO HELP YOU.

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MyHeritage has bought FamilyLink and WorldVitalRecords. MyHeritage is a social network for sharing family history and family trees, and it does it very well. FamilyLink is an attempt to do something similar that never really worked, in my opinion, and WorldVitalRecords is a source of genealogy-related records, like Ancestry, that also never really made it, at least in Australia.

FamilyLink has/had a Facebook application for creating and sharing trees that I could never manage to get to work properly, which is a shame as I think there is a market for such a thing. I had a subscription to WorldVitalRecords that I haven’t used for a long time, and now that I’ve gone in there again I can see that it looks exactly the same as FamilyLink:

FamilyLink.com

My subscription to WorldVitalRecords was most useful for its Australian content from Archive Digital Books Australasia, which has since moved to FindMyPast.com.au, and so I haven’t been in there for a long time.

It all sounds like a particularly messy family tree, doesn’t it!

I will be watching to see what MyHeritage does with its new purchase.

This is the press release from MyHeritage:

MyHeritage Acquires FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com

Significant move into US and addition of historical content mark major evolution for world’s most popular online family network
PROVO, Utah & LONDON, UK & TEL AVIV, Israel-MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the acquisition of FamilyLink.com, Inc., maker of the family history content sites FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com. This is MyHeritage’s seventh and largest acquisition since 2007. The purchase marks a significant move into the US market commercially and operationally, and will boost MyHeritage’s offering to families with the addition of a vast database of more than 3 billion historical records. With offices and staff in Europe, Australia and Israel, MyHeritage will now be adding its first US-based office in Utah, the home of FamilyLink.com and often cited as the family history capital of the world.“We are delighted to join forces with the talented FamilyLink team in Provo to deliver meaningful value to families across the world,” says MyHeritage CEO and Founder Gilad Japhet. “Combining close to one billion family tree profiles on MyHeritage with FamilyLink’s massive library of historical data delivers a perfect one-stop-shop for families looking to discover and share their family history”.Founded in 2006, both FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com are subscription services which provide access to a huge database of historical content, covering several billion individuals within census, birth, marriage and death records, as well as the web’s largest archive of historical newspapers. This content will deliver new insights and value to the 60 million people who have signed up on MyHeritage in 38 different languages, creating more than 900 million profiles in 21 million family trees. When brought together under the MyHeritage umbrella, the company’s innovative Smart Matching technology will automatically match any of the new historical data to the relevant users’ ancestors and relatives within the family trees.“Our team of family history veterans couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with MyHeritage”, said FamilyLink.com CEO Paul Brockbank. “This acquisition creates new horizons in exploring family history. People will receive the opportunity to search the most comprehensive historical content sources and make exciting new discoveries; share this information with their close family and save it into their family tree. Combined under the leadership of MyHeritage, the service will continue to flourish and add more value to millions of families”.MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet adds: “The establishment of a US base for MyHeritage in Utah, the international center for genealogical research, is an important milestone in our growth and brings about an exciting opportunity for the company and the families we serve. MyHeritage provides the perfect service to collect the family’s treasured archive to share and keep for future generations in a setting that is friendly and secure – and now we’re excited to top this off with vast amounts of content that will add more color and life to family trees. Through our powerful search engine and automatic Smart Matching technology we’ll find your mother’s yearbook, your great-grandfather’s will and your ancestor’s immigration record, leaving you with the time to marvel at, enjoy and share your family heritage. We’ll do that on a massive, global scale, as we live in a world that is smaller and more tightly connected than ever before”.This is the latest in a series of strategic purchases by MyHeritage since 2007 which have included Pearl Street Software, makers of GenCircles.com and the Family Tree Legends software; free family tree backup service BackupMyTree.com; European family social network market leader OSN (Verwandt) GmbH; Dutch family network ZOOOF; British family network Kindo.com and Polish family network Bliscy.pl.The majority of the FamilyLink.com employees will join MyHeritage, based out of the company’s new US office in Provo, Utah: bringing the benefit of their collective expertise within the family history and North American genealogy market. The CEO of FamilyLink.com, Paul Brockbank, previously CEO of Logoworks and GM of Hewlett Packard Web Print Solutions, will play a key role in supporting the transition over the coming months and will later join the MyHeritage advisory board. FamilyLink.com founder Paul Allen, previously a co-founder of Ancestry.com, and FamilyLink.com’s “We’re Related” Facebook application, will not be part of the merger with MyHeritage.

In the short-term, MyHeritage will continue to operate the two sites FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com, with the intention of achieving full integration within MyHeritage in 2012. With immediate effect and for an introductory period, loyal subscribers and users of MyHeritage will be entitled to discounts of up to 50% on FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com subscriptions, and vice versa.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. Millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place for their families to keep in touch and to showcase their roots. MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ technology empowers users with an exciting and innovative way to find relatives and explore their family history. With all family information stored in a secure site, MyHeritage is the ideal place to share family photos, and celebrate and preserve special family moments. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit www.myheritage.com.

Borrow eBooks from the State Library of NSW

If you are a resident of New South Wales you are entitled to a library card, and if you have a library card you can now borrow eBooks from the library online.

Go to http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/databases/athome.cfm and find Ebook Library (EBL). Once you are signed in you can access EBL and choose from over 2500 books. I found Noeline Kyle’s Writing Family History Made Very easy (2007) and I can download it to read at my leisure:

SLNSW EBL book borrowing

As you can see I can borrow it for a maximum of 14 days. I wonder if it is unavailable to others until I return it?

You need Adobe Digital Editions to read the book that you have downloaded, and so far I have not the patience to do this, so if you have a go for yourself please let us know how you go!

Postscript

I have downloaded and installed Adobe Digital Editions, which is eBook reader software. When you sign in you can open books. I had to double-click on the book I downloaded from the State Library NSW website, and it opened in the reader.

I have an Asus eeePad Slider, and I can’t use Adobe Digital Reader on it. Yet.

I don’t use website bookmarks any more

ChromeI use Chrome as my internet browser. Chrome was built by Google to be faster and more efficient, and I think it is. Also it doesn’t close all Chrome windows just because one has a problem, which I really appreciate.

One of the things I like best about Chrome is the address bar at the top. As well as typing an address into it, you can type a word or phrase into it as though it was a Google search and it will find what you’re looking for. It will guess, based on what you use most often. Only if it can’t guess or you reject what it comes up with will it give you a normal list of search results like a normal Google search. I really appreciate the time this saves.

I used to have a long list of favourites/bookmarks, organised into folders. I’ve carried and added to this list over the years, copying it from one computer to another and one browser to another. I started a new list in iGoogle, the Google homepage that you can customise yourself.

Now that Chrome and I have got to know each other better I don’t need bookmarks. I type the first letter or two of the website I want in the address bar and Chrome figures it out for me. Instead of clicking on my bookmarks, opening a succession of folders, and then finding the website I want (yes, it had got to that level of complexity), I only need one or two keystrokes.

When I type in a p, for example, it looks like this:

Chrome search P

The symbol next to each choice reflects where Chrome got the result from, I assume. A star is one of my favourites. If it was Google+ that I wanted (and it usually is) I just need to hit Enter and it loads automatically. Easy!

Here’s a list of my most commonly-used websites and what I type into Chrome to get them:

A = ANZ anz.com.au or Ancestry depending on whichever I have used most recently (ANZ is a bank)

ANC = Ancestry www.ancestry.com/, I use a world subscription so it goes to the American site

B = Birth and death index search for the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?event=births

C = Carole’s Canvas caroleriley.id.au which is my own personal website. My family tree is here, so I can check people in it without having to open my family tree software. I can also select http://www.cityrail.info/ a bit further down the list to check train timetables.

D = Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/. I rely on Dropbox for sharing files instantly between computers and to other people.

E = Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia, the English version.  W takes me to wikipedia.org, which makes me select a language.

F = Facebook https://facebook.com/ or FamilySearch www.familysearch.org or FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.

FI = Fiji Genealogy http://fijigenealogy.com/.

FIN = FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/.

G = Google, Gould Genealogy  or Yahoo Groups groups.yahoo.com/mygroups, where I approve new members to the TMG Sydney User Group. Google usually opens at the Australian site for me, but may not for you.

H = Heritage Genealogyheritagegenealogy.com.au, my business website, to which this blog belongs.

I = Internet Movie Database imdb.com or PIXEL http://images.maps.nsw.gov.au (NSW Lands Department maps) or http://investigator.records.nsw.gov.au/Search.aspx State Records NSW Archives Investigator, the catalogue search, depending on what I’ve used most recently.

J =Jetstar jetstar.com.au, but only because I’ve been flying a lot lately. There are not many sites with J in them.

KKu-Ring-Gai Orchid Society http://kuringaiorchidsociety.org.au/ which I help look after on behalf of the society.

L = LibraryThing http://www.librarything.com/home/caroleriley or LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/ or LPMA http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/ which doesn’t work any more because the NSW Lands Department has changed their name again.

M = Google Maps http://maps.google.com.au/ or Mashable http://mashable.com/, depending on which one I’ve used most recently.

N = National Archives of Australia http://www.naa.gov.au/ or NSW Genealogy http://nswgenealogy.com.au/, which is the alternate address for my business website.

O = Optus http://optusnet.com.au/ my internet service provider.

P = Google+ https://plus.google.com/ or it may give me PayPal https://www.paypal.com or the Public Record Office of Victoria at http://prov.vic.gov.au/ .

Q = Qantas http://www.qantas.com.au/, again because I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately, or Quicken http://www.quicken.com.au/ which is the accounting software I use. Not many sites with Q in them.

RState Records NSW online indexes http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online.

S = Society of Australian Genealogists http://sag.org.au/.

SL = State Library of NSW http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/.

TTwitter https://twitter.com/.

TR = Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/ is the National Library of Australia’s catalogue of just about everything, including digitised newspapers.

UUnlock The Past http://www.unlockthepast.com.au/.

V = Vodafone http://vodafone.com.au my mobile phone company.

WE = Westpac http://www.westpac.com.au/ my bank.

WI = Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org/ Wikipedia. I then have to pick a language.

X = I never use, but when I type it it guesses http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online State Records NSW online indexes.

Y = YouTube http://www.youtube.com/.

Z = it guesses ANZ (my bank) unless I’m not quick enough to accept, in which case it guesses Zara, which I’ve never heard of.

You can perhaps see from this list that the letter I type is not necessarily the first initial of the name of the website. It’s more likely to be the first letter of the address after the http:// as in R gives me  http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/indexes-online/indexes-online. If I want to be more specific I have to type more, as in FAM to distinguish between Facebook and FamilySearch.

If I’ve already made that site a ‘favourite’ it will be higher on the list, and if I’ve used it a lot recently it will select it automatically. The only confusion is where there are multiple sites for the same letter, as in F for Facebook or FindMyPast.

If you use Chrome already, give this a try for yourself. If you don’t, download it for yourself and see if you think it is faster.

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