Tag Archives: MyHeritage.com

Change Your Password on MyHeritage.com!

6-14-2018

Vicki’s note – an email notice from MyHeritage.com about a Data Breach!:

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Notice of data breach

Dear ,
As one of our registered users, we are writing to share important information with you about a security incident which is related to your MyHeritage account, as well as steps we have taken in response to the incident and recommended actions you may wish to take.
What Happened?
On June 4, 2018, at 1 pm EST, we became aware of a data breach involving the email addresses and hashed passwords (these are not actual passwords) of 92.3 million MyHeritage users.
We learned about the breach when MyHeritage’s Chief Information Security Officer received a message from a security researcher, which stated that the researcher had found a file named myheritage containing email addresses and hashed passwords located on a private server outside of MyHeritage. Our Information Security Team received the file from the security researcher, reviewed it, and confirmed that its contents originated from MyHeritage and included all the email addresses of users who signed up to MyHeritage up to October 26, 2017, as well as their hashed passwords. We made a public announcement about the breach within 8 hours of learning about it (https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/06/myheritage-statement-about-a-cybersecurity-incident/).
What Information Was Involved?
Accessible information included your email address. The password associated with your account also was accessible but hashed using a cryptographic process, which like other hashing techniques converts plain text into a string of numbers and characters. MyHeritage does not store user passwords, but rather a one-way hash of each password, in which the hash key differs for each customer.
Immediately upon receipt of the file, MyHeritage’s Information Security Team analyzed the file and began an investigation to determine how its contents were obtained and to identify any potential exploitation of the MyHeritage system. We determined that the file was legitimate and included the email addresses and hashed passwords of 92,283,889 users who had signed up to MyHeritage up to, and including, October 26, 2017, which was the date of the breach.
The security researcher reported that no other data related to MyHeritage was found on the private server. There has been no evidence that the data in the file was ever used by the perpetrators. Furthermore, we have not seen any activity indicating that any MyHeritage accounts had been compromised between October 26, 2017 (the date of the breach) and the present.
We believe the intrusion is limited to the user email addresses and hashed passwords. We have no reason to believe that any other MyHeritage systems were compromised. For example, credit card information is not stored on MyHeritage, but only on trusted third-party billing providers (e.g., BlueSnap, PayPal) utilized by MyHeritage. Other types of sensitive data such as family trees and DNA data are stored by MyHeritage on segregated systems, separate from those that store the email addresses, and they include added layers of security. We have no reason to believe those systems have been compromised.
What We Are Doing
  • Immediately upon learning about the incident, we set up an Information Security Incident Response Team to investigate the incident. We have engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm to conduct comprehensive forensic reviews to determine the scope of the intrusion; and to conduct an assessment and provide recommendations on steps that can be taken to help prevent such an incident from occurring in the future.
  • We have notified relevant authorities as per GDPR.
  • We set up a 24/7 security customer support team to assist customers who have concerns or questions about the incident.
  • We expired all passwords on MyHeritage, requiring our users to set a new password. You can read more about this in the follow up announcement we issued on June 5, 2018 (https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/06/cybersecurity-incident-june-5-6-update/).
  • We added the option of Two-Factor Authentication for user accounts.
What You Can Do
  1. Change your password on MyHeritage.

    We have protected your account by expiring your former password and requiring a password reset. Visit the MyHeritage website and log in. You will be prompted to set a new password. If you are not prompted, change your password as described in our FAQ article here: (https://www.myheritage.com/how-to-change-your-password). If you are using our mobile app or the Family Tree Builder genealogy software, first change the password on the website and then set the same new password on the mobile app and/or Family Tree Builder.

    Changing your password is a prudent and recommended practice. After doing this, you will be safer, because even if someone else has your password, they will not be able to access your MyHeritage account.

    We recommend you change your password on every other site where you used the same password. The most secure passwords are those that are difficult to guess and are used on only one website.

  2. Add Two-Factor Authentication (optional).

    Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security for your account, designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone knows your password. Two-Factor Authentication allows you to authenticate yourself using a mobile phone in addition to a password, which further hardens your MyHeritage account against illegitimate access. For more details, see our blog post (https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/06/new-myheritage-adds-two-factor-authentication-2fa-to-secure-your-account/).

  3. Review Your Account.

    Regularly review your account and report any suspicious or unrecognized activity immediately. Be vigilant and report any suspected incidents of fraud to us.

  4. Protect Your Data.

    Never confirm or provide personal information such as passwords or account information to anyone contacting you. MyHeritage will never send you any unsolicited emails asking for your password.

For More Information
For more information listing additional steps you may wish to consider taking at any time if you ever suspect that you may have been the victim of identity theft, please go to this page: www.myheritage.com/protecting-your-identity
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact our security customer support team via email on privacy@myheritage.com or by phone via the toll-free number (USA) +1 888 672 2875, available 24/7 in English. For our customer support phone numbers in other countries, see our Contact Page (https://www.myheritage.com/contact-us) and when calling, pick option 5 in the menu (privacy). If asked by our staff, note that your account ID on MyHeritage is 66505363.
As always, your privacy and the security of your data are our highest priority. We continually assess our procedures and policies and seek new ways to improve our approach to security. We understand the importance of our role as custodians of your information and work every day to earn your trust.
Thank you for your understanding.
The MyHeritage Team
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Some Family Tree Software And On-line Options To Consider

Some Family Tree Software Options To Consider

May 16, 2018

Vicki’s note – Once you find several families in your family history, it is time to look into organizing them onto a computerized family tree.  Here is an update on some options that you may want to consider:

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From Ancestry.com Family Tree Maker FAQ

In 2016, Ancestry.com got out of the software business to concentrate on their database.  They sold their Family Tree Maker software to Software MacKiev.  There has been a transition to the new owner with Ancestry.com continuing support of Family Tree Maker support.  

It seemed that I did not hear a lot about a finished stable product,until I searched the Ancestry.com website for this information.  The beta testing is over and they worked closely with MacKiev to make sure there would still be the ability to upload, download, and sync Family Tree Maker to Ancestry.

Software MacKiev is using a new syncing technology incorporated into Family Tree Maker 2017, called FamilySync™. Family Tree Maker 2017 is now available for purchase on MacKiev.com. The new technology, FamilySync™by Software MacKiev, replaced Ancestry’s TreeSync®.

“What you should know:

  • On March 29, 2017, Ancestry and MacKiev permanently retired TreeSync.
  • FamilySync is available only in Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017.
  • Family Tree Maker editions prior to 2017 are no longer able to sync with Ancestry trees, but older software is still usable as a standalone program.
  • Ancestry search, merge, and tree hints will continue to work in Family Tree Maker 2017.

How can I continue to connect Family Tree Maker to Ancestry?

You’ll need to upgrade to Family Tree Maker 2017. Family Tree Maker 2017 allows you to sync Ancestry trees, search Ancestry records, and receive Ancestry hints.

The features below are available in Family Tree Maker 2017:

  • Syncing your trees in Family Tree Maker to your Ancestry trees
  • Searching Ancestry’s databases and merging data into your tree
  • Viewing Ancestry hints
  • Uploading and downloading a trees
  • Web dashboard Information
  • The interactive map
  • Viewing sources on Ancestry

How can I purchase Family Tree Maker 2017?

Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac and Windows is available for purchase by visiting MacKiev.com.

Do I need a new Ancestry subscription to use FTM 2017?

Any Ancestry subscription may be used with Family Tree Maker 2017.”

If you have an Ancestry.com subscription, you can build on-line family tree(s).  Once your subscription ends, you can no longer access your family tree to make additions or to edit it, until you pay for a new subscription.

“From https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/Differences-between-Ancestry-and-Family-Tree-Maker :

Ancestry is a website, and Family Tree Maker is software you install on your computer. Ancestry can be accessed only from web browsers (such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) and (on mobile devices) the Ancestry app, while Family Tree Maker can be accessed even when a computer is not connected to the internet.

Though Family Tree Maker software works with Ancestry, Family Tree Maker is sold and supported by Software MacKiev.”

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From http://www.rootsmagic.com/ancestry/

RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last

“Last year, we announced we were working with Ancestry® to integrate Ancestry Hints® and Ancestry’s records and online trees with our software. After months of development and the feedback of thousands of testers, we’re pleased to announce the release of RootsMagic 7.5, a free update to RootsMagic 7 that adds two amazing new features: TreeShare™ for Ancestry and the addition of Ancestry Hints to RootsMagic’s WebHints™ feature.

TreeShare for Ancestry

RootsMagic’s TreeShare for Ancestry will let you move data between your RootsMagic files on your computers and your personal Ancestry online trees. You can transfer people, events, notes, source citations, and even pictures between the two systems.

RootsMagic users also gain the ability to easily share and collaborate with others by giving family members access to their Ancestry online tree. Using the new TreeShare feature, family members can then synchronize the latest changes and additions to both the online tree and their desktop computers.

Ancestry Hints Integration

RootsMagic leverages the Ancestry Hints capability, and as possible matches are found, users may conveniently review them from within the software. RootsMagic then lets you add new information and media from matching records into your file.

Free RootsMagic Essentials Software

For those that are just starting their journey into the world of genealogy, RootsMagic offers “RootsMagic Essentials”- a free version of their software with a limited set of features tailored towards beginners.

If you have an account with Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials includes the ability to upload your file to Ancestry or download your existing online trees from Ancestry. If you are a subscriber to Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials also allows you to search and view all of the content in your subscription. Those wishing to compare and transfer individual records between RootsMagic and Ancestry will want to use the full-featured RootsMagic software.”

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Here are some other Software products to record your family tree on:

LegacyFamilyTree.com – has a robust, free “Standard” computer software version, and the option for a paid “Deluxe” version.  I have used the basic free software, and decided to purchase the deluxe for the enhanced features.  Your Family Tree is not on-line.  MyHeritage.com and Legacy Family Tree have created a partnership (separate yet linked).  On LegacyFamilyTree, you can receive hints for MyHeritage.com, but can only see brief information without an additional subscription.

MyHeritage.com itself has a free basic (on-line) family tree (250 people) that you can create, with a full (on-line)family tree available as part of a subscription.

TribalPages.com is another free (on-line) family tree  – Family Tree Maker.  Others can only see it if you invite family and relatives to view or update your family tree website.

“Each ancestry project becomes its own private and secure website that can be loaded with photos, charts, reports, maps, relationships, events and stories. Just add names of your relatives & ancestors or import a GEDCOM file and instantly create your free family tree. Your site can create custom newsletters for each member with birthday and anniversary reminders, recent site activity and send them out every two weeks.”

You can share/copy your family tree to any of these by importing a GEDCOM file from any other site, and instantly create/duplicate your family tree.

FamilySearch.org is another on-line site where you can create a family tree.  It is my understanding that, not only is it on-line, but that anyone in the world can add/change “your” tree.  It is a shared tree.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints manages FamilySearch.org.  You can send in corrections for them to consider changing.

Vicki’s note – here’s the newest from Legacy Family Tree and RootsTech 2018 on MyHeritage.com and Genealogy DNA testing and syncing:

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Perspectives on Combining Genealogy and Genetics

Join MyHeritage’s founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, as he reveals many first-time-ever technologies that take the lead in and shapes the future of both traditional and genetic genealogy.

Presented live at RootsTech 2018 (and concluded with a rousing standing ovation), Gilad announced the immediate availability of:

He also announced what’s coming soon at MyHeritage including the interactive Pedigree View, the “Big Tree” and the Theory of Family Relativity.

 

Click here to view the presentation.

https://familytreewebinars.com/download.php?webinar_id=826

LegacyFamilyTree.com software 1/2 price sale EXTENDED to August 20; AND 15% off Coupon too!

1/2 price sale EXTENDED to August 20!

Vicki’s Note – A coupon from Thomas MacEntee to apply toward the sale 1/2 price for buying the Deluxe 9 version of Legacy Family Tree Software. 

MyHeritage.com and LegacyFamilyTree.com are joining.  There is a big sale on the software through August 13.

This is the software that I use to help tame my ever-growing collection of genealogy research information.  It was finally enough savings to prompt me to purchase the upgrade from version 8.  One can also download a free version. 

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Save an Additional 15% Off Legacy Family Tree’s Super Sale!

Did you know that Genealogy Bargains has EXCLUSIVE COUPONS to save you an additional 15% during the Legacy Family Tree 50% Super Sale?

PLEASE NOTE: The post content below contains affiliate links. See disclosure statement below.

Legacy 9.0 Released with Amazing New Features. Check out the new features you’ll find in the highly-anticipated new version of Legacy Family Tree Software: Hinting, Reports and Charts, FindAGrave.com Searching, Online Backup, Stories, Hashtags, Compare 2 People, Color Coding, and dozens of other enhancements!

Additional 15% Savings During Legacy Family Tree Super Sale!

You may have heard that Legacy Family Tree is set to be acquired by MyHeritage in the near future (read the news here). To celebrate this amazing event, you can get some amazing discounts on Legacy software as well as Legacy Family Tree Webinar memberships (see below).

BUT WAIT! BEFORE YOU BUY, make sure you use the following promo codes to save an additional 15%!

  • Legacy 9 Deluxe Software: regularly $34.95, now just $17.48 – click HERE and use promo code thomas15leg at checkout to bring the price down to just $14.86!
  • Legacy Family Tree Webinars: 1 Year Membership (new or extension), regularly $49.95, now just $24.98 – click HERE and use promo code thomas15 at checkout to bring the price down to just $21.23!

NOTE: If you want to order BOTH the software and the webinar membership, order them as as separate transactions in order to use the promo codes and save.

Click HERE to save – via Legacy Family Tree

***

PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

DisclaimerAll prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.

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Legacy 9.0 Deluxe (software for PC on CD & download, printed & PDF manual)

Price: $39.95 $19.98
Status: Digital products have immediate download availability. Shipped products begin shipping 2nd week of May.
Weight: 1 lb, 0 oz
Quantity: 1

Includes:

  1. Legacy 9.0 Deluxe software on CD and via download.
  2. Legacy Charting Deluxe software (installed when Legacy 9.0 is installed)
  3. The official 301-page Legacy 9.0 User’s Guide, printed and PDF editions.
  4. Legacy for Beginners training video (on installation CD).

Sophisticated research tools, powerful search capabilities, and professional-quality trees, reports, and books make the award-winning Legacy Family Tree the program of choice for users of all levels and abilities. Search the Internet for billions of genealogy records.

After your order is processed, your unique Legacy 9 Customer Number will be immediately available to you on screen and in your receipt.To upgrade from Legacy 8.0 Deluxe (or earlier Deluxe editions), click here.

The Genealogy Do-Over Workbook & other Bargains

 Vicki’s Note – Some genealogy bargains from Thomas MacEntee:

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

The more people that get tested, the more chances you have of ethnicity samples becoming more accurate, and the more chances you have of finding cousins.  If you have had your DNA tested, look back at the results a couple of times per year, you may find more accurate results just from more data being added from new testers. You will not have to pay again.
Or you can pay about $39 to have a DNA test from another company transferred to Family Tree DNA.  The more companies you test at, the greater your chances of having a match with a cousin. 
And information from YourDNAGuide.com about another free option to share your DNA tests.  Download your results to Gedmatch.com   to compare with more users.   GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analysis tools for amateur and professional researchers and genealogists. Most tools are free.  Read how to do it in the second part below:

 

DNA Testing Sales and Deals

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DNA DEALS

There are so many DNA Deals we had to add a special page for them all. I have to tell you I haven’t met a DNA test that I didn’t like and I’ve tested with every one of these companies. Take advantage of the Father’s Day Specials; for yourself, your dad, your uncle, your aunt. Tell everyone to test, because I’m always looking for cousins.

AncestryDNA (Canada) Get $20 off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

 AncestryDNA (US) Get 20% off their DNA kits.  Click HERE

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Save as much as 20% off their DNA kits. Click HERE

MyHeritage Save $20 off their DNA kits. Click HERE

23andMe – Get your genealogy and medical DNA information. Save $50.  Click HERE 

Living DNA Save $40 off their DNA kits Click HERE

 

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Gedmatch.

Gedmatch can be a great place to collaborate with others who have been tested at other companies and gain access to more genetic tools to try to figure out how you are related to others.

It is a FREE (yes, FREE!) service provided by very intelligent and motivated genetic genealogists. Anyone with genetic genealogy test results from 23andMe, FTDNA.com (the Family Finder test), and Ancestry.com.

1. Head over to www.Gedmatch.com and click on “New User.”

Upload DNA Results to MyHeritage for FREE!

Vicki’s note – 5/31/2017 email from Thomas MacEntee:

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Upload Your DNA Data to MyHeritage for FREE!

Did you know that many DNA test companies CHARGE YOU to upload DNA data from another company?

Not MyHeritage! You can click HERE and get started today . . . and you’ll be able to take advantage of the new improvements in the Ethnicity Estimate algorithm at MyHeritage.

I just rechecked my own AncestryDNA data that I uploaded to MyHeritage and WOW! I received more information and it actually resolved some issues I had with the Ancestry results.  I’m finding that the MyHeritage results align more with the research that I’ve been doing!

“MyHeritage, as part of its Founder Populations project, now offers the most ethnic populations than any other major DNA testing company. This project worked with over 5,000 participants from its user base of 90 million, based on their extensive family trees located at MyHeritage. These participants received complimentary DNA test kits to gather data to be used in this database.  “Thanks to this analysis, MyHeritage DNA has become the only mass-market percentage-based DNA test that reveals ethnicities such as Balkan; Baltic; Eskimo & Inuit; Japanese; Kenyan; Sierra Leonean; Somali; four major Jewish groups – Ethiopian, Yemenite, Sephardic from North Africa and Mizrahi from Iran and Iraq; Indigenous Amazonian; Papuan and many others.”

PLEASE NOTE: The post content above contains affiliate links. This means I make a percentage of sales via these links. This does not INCREASE the price you pay as a consumer. It simply supplements my income so I can continue providing as much free genealogy content as possible through my “abundance model.”

Disclaimer: All prices and offers are subject to change. Some items may be sold out and have limited inventory. Also check to see if you have automated purchase settings enabled, such as Amazon Buy with 1-Click: it is your responsibility to make sure you are getting the correct price for an item before you check out and finalize the transaction.

Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

©2017, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved

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Skeletons in Your Family Closet and How to “Report” Them, (or Not)

Skeletons in Your Family Closet

and How to “Report” Them,

(or Not)

Vicki’s Note – This is a March 19, 2017 article from MyHeritage.com BLOG by W. Scott Fisher:

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Scandal! Dealing With Skeletons In Your Family Tree

This is a guest post by W. Scott Fisher, the creator and host of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show, heard on dozens of radio stations in the US and as a podcast. A broadcaster by career, Scott has been a devoted genealogist since 1981. He was featured in People in 2015 for using his skills to locate the family of a murder victim, who had been missing for 32 years.

 

I still remember my verbal response to the very first family scandal I ran across in my research. “WHAAAAT?!!!” The 1893 newspaper article was lit up inside a banged-up old microfilm reader and began answering a long list of questions I had had for years concerning my great grandfather, Andrew J. Fisher, and his wife, Jane.

Where was their New York City marriage record? Who was this “Sarah Fisher” that appeared cryptically in the court file concerning a challenge to his will? Why did that record note “the said Andrew J. Fisher left no widow him surviving”? Of course, he did! It was Jane. She was right there in the will, and lived another six years!

One salacious headline told me all my genealogical conundrums were about to be resolved: “ANDREW FISHER’S RIVAL WIDOWS / One was Recognized by His Will, Which the Other Now Seeks to Break.”

It turned out that “Sarah Fisher” was Andrew’s other, other woman. Three decades younger than he, she had a child by him when he was 58. She claimed common law rights because, said she, Jane, though named in the will, couldn’t be a common-law wife because she was still married to someone else. Hence… no marriage record.

The truth is, if you haven’t found a scandal in your family yet, you haven’t been researching long enough. Just as we all descend from kings and paupers, we also all descend from saints and sinners.

As a writer of over a dozen books for my family, specifically on the ancestral families of both my wife and me, the 1893 story presented a challenge. How do I present this rather… ahem… interesting tale? And, yes, Andrew Fisher has been dead for well over a century, but what of his reputation?

After a lot of thought, I recognized that Andrew’s story was shared among countless people who knew him, and didn’t, during his lifetime. It was a widely spread story in its day. Needless to say, none of those people were still around, including children, to risk causing personal embarrassment to anyone.

I determined that I would have to include this chapter of his life story without embellishment, simply sticking to the facts. Further, I recognized there were many good things he did in his life… he was a volunteer fireman, for instance, who no doubt saved many lives. A comment from my friend, Janet Hovorka, stuck in my mind: “Every scoundrel has some hero in them. Every hero has some scoundrel in them.”

Further, through this final chapter of Andrew’s life, I was able to illustrate that the way people react to damaging family experiences can affect generations. Andrew’s oldest son, John, followed in his father’s footsteps. He drank heavily, was kicked out of the family by his wife, and led a life of despair. His brother, my grandfather, made a conscious effort not to repeat the past. He married and stayed devoted to his teenage sweetheart who died at 49 of tuberculosis. He never married again. He raised his own two sons as his number one priority. Both, including my father, became very successful.

A study at Emory University from the 1990s shows how building a strong family narrative among children, including how ancestors overcame adversity, developed in them greater emotional maturity and inner strength. Indeed, it was beneficial for them to know about the foibles of their ancestors as well as their moments of greatness.

Dealing with more recent family situations can, of course, be more difficult. Here’s a somewhat minor issue. In transcribing a stack of letters written by my grandmother more than a half-century ago, I made the decision to eliminate an unkind comment she made about a cousin of mine who was, at the time, just a pre-schooler. Grandmother is revered in our family, and I’m certain she would never have imagined her thoughtless scribble could have survived for decades and possibly come back to the ears or eyes of this (now) very successful business and family man.

My personal rule is, the feelings of the living, even if the individual in question is dead, must be taken into account. A record that causes pain or embarrassment is contrary to the purpose of family history research and the strengthening of future generations.

When I wrote the first volume of my father’s story, I talked about his first marriage and the challenges it created for the family when he and his wife divorced. I noted something he once told me. “I walked out of the courtroom with eight dollars in my pocket.” I never imagined his first wife, then in her 90s, would ever read it, yet alone take offense. She did. I removed that quote from the next revision.

Yes, it’s true. As the family historian, you get to tell the story the way you see it. (I warned my mother before she died!) But with the privilege of that opportunity also comes responsibility. Privacy is due to the living as well as living people who were close to those who may now be dead. The law may grant protections and maybe even penalties to living family members over what you make public about them. In the end, if you err on the side of sensitivity and ask permission where needed, you’ll avoid painful family trouble. Even as a historian, there are times where we don’t have to share everything we know… or believe we are aware.

50% Off MyHeritage from Thomas MacEntee

Vicki’s note – 50% Off MyHeritage from Thomas MacEntee.  Offer good through April 5, 2017. 

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LAST CHANCE!
How I Break Down Brick Walls with MyHeritage

LAST CHANCE! This is exclusive offer expires at the end of the day on Wednesday, April 5th. Don’t put this off – get ready for a year filled with awesome genealogy finds and get everything you need at MyHeritage! Click here to get started today.

“Why Should I Use MyHeritage?” Here’s Why . . .

Many of my followers know that I travel around the country presenting genealogy lectures and workshops. Did you know I fly over 50,000 miles each year and I LOVE connecting with other genealogists and sharing the latest genealogy and technology information.

As you can imagine many attendees will ask questions and want to “pick my brain” in between lectures and afterwards. This is another aspect of my job that I love since it gives me an idea of the current issues for genealogists and family historians. One question I get frequently: “Should I be using MyHeritage?” or “What’s the best site to use if I have European ancestry?” or “Why do you like MyHeritage?”

Do You Really Know MyHeritage?

I always tell genealogists that there is no “easy button” in genealogy and NO WEBSITE will provide easy answers. But you need to spend time understanding all the features of a site like MyHeritage and maximize your time spent there.

What do you really know about MyHeritage? These are the newer features I use the most at MyHeritage and the ones that have really helped me with my own research:

  • Pedigree Map™: “An innovative way to visualize your family history. Pedigree Map™ plots events from your family tree such as births, marriages, and deaths, as well as digital and scanned photos on an interactive world map.” When I have a research issue involving cluster research, I can look at migration patterns and more with Pedigree Map™. I also use this when I’m showing family members our family history since the visual components communicate far better than a family tree chart.
  • Global Name Translation™ Technology: “The technology covers given names and surnames and can tackle names previously encountered in the past, in addition to new names not seen before. It also utilizes extensive dictionaries built by MyHeritage to cover synonyms and nicknames.” I’m finding out more about my Henneberg ancestors and the German, Polish and Russian formats for their first names!
  • Photo Discoveries™: “Photo Discoveries™ makes it easy for you to add photographs to people in your family tree who currently do not have any photos, in just a few clicks, based on the work of other users. Many of us cherish the emotional moment when we see for the first time a photograph of our ancestor or relative whom we’ve never seen before.“ I’ve been able to work with other MyHeritage users and get copies of photos of my ancestors that I’ve never seen before!
  • DNA Matching: MyHeritage has made recent improvements in its DNA Matching technology and I’ve found lots of new matches. And these are in the 1st to 3rd cousin range, not 4th to 6th cousin like AncestryDNA’s matching. Also, I love that DNA Matches allows me to see the surnames I have in common with my matches!
Exclusive Offer – 50% Off MyHeritage

MyHeritage is offering a special discount on its annual Complete membership price exclusively to friends of GeneaBloggers. MyHeritage is one of the fastest growing genealogy sites and the best place to build your family tree, with historical collections including billions of records. This special offer will give you EVERYTHING on MyHeritage for the lowest price.

Click here to get your 50% off deal on the MyHeritage Complete package. The normal price is $250.74 USD and you’ll pay just $125.29 for a full year’s access to the following.

Private family site with unlimited capacity
Start a new tree or import GEDCOM
Unlimited photo storage
Apps for iOS/Android smartphones and tablets
Smart Matches™ with 38 million trees
Global Name Translation™
Record Detective™ II
Book Matching
Pedigree Map™
Sun Charts™
NEW Consistency Checker
NEW Photo Discoveries™
Over 7.4 billion historical records
Automatic Record Matches
Vital records from 48 countries
Military and immigration records
1790-1940 US census
1841-1911 England & Wales census
Compilation of Published Sources collection with over historical 450,000 books
Family Tree Builder software premium edition
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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statement.

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Gedcoms and Starting a “new” family tree on MyHeritage.com

One of my questions as a beginning genealogist was, “What is a Gedcom?”  It is simply a transfer vehicle file to share your family tree from one database to another.   They do not transfer pictures.  Again something on my list to do.  Each database or software will have different steps to   create and import your family tree.  Geoff clearly shows what is needed to do a Gedcom from Legacy.com to MyHeritage.com.

Geoff’s MyHeritage experiment post #1 – starting my tree

There is an online genealogy service that for years I dismissed. I already have my data in Legacy Family Tree software AND manage a research-in-progress tree at both FamilySearch and Ancestry – do I really need my data in yet another tree? This is what I thought before viewing Mike Mansfield’s excellent webinar, “7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage.” Afterwards my opinion completely changed. I was impressed both with Mike as a speaker and with their technology. About a year later I published the “Top 20 Webinars of All Time” list, and was shocked to see that this class came in at number three – of all time! And now that MyHeritage has entered the DNA community, I’ve decided that they deserve more of my genealogical time and a solid look.

This post is the first of a series where I will investigate and report on my use and impressions of each of the “seven unique technologies” that Mike introduced.

  1. Smart Matching
  2. Record Matches
  3. Newspaper & Free-Text Matching
  4. Record Detective
  5. Instant Discoveries
  6. SearchConnect
  7. Global Name Translation

Combined with the other two MyHeritage-related webinars…

…I have become very impressed with their technology. As with any other genealogy technology, when I learn a little of its potential, I try to make time for a thorough investigation. Previous investigations have resulted in my support and love for tech like AniMap, Google Photos, Flip-Pal, and GoToWebinar. Now it’s MyHeritage’s turn. Either I’ll like it or I won’t, and I look forward to giving you my honest opinions of what I learn.

In this first post, I will describe my thought and decision making process as I determine how I will use the site. Initial questions I have include:

  • Should I just use their search form to see if I get any matches in their trees or records, or like Mike suggested, should I first upload my tree to take advantage of their automated searching?
  • If I do upload my tree, should I upload my entire tree or just the branches I am currently researching?
  • How does MyHeritage protect my privacy?
  • What about DNA? Will they let me import the raw results of the DNA tests I’ve completed elsewhere? If so, is their pool of testers large enough to be of any value to me?

How Should I Start?

In a previous MyHeritage-related webinar I uploaded a GEDCOM that I created from Legacy to demonstrate how the process worked. It was simple. But because I am beginning my serious investigation into their site, want to begin fresh, and to be able to demonstrate for you the steps involved, I’ve gone ahead and removed anything I previously shared.

Next is the decision of “how should I start my tree?” The Family Tree tab at MyHeritage shows that I can manually start a new tree or import a GEDCOM.

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Since my time is valuable and because I already have my data in Legacy, I’ve decided to create and import a GEDCOM into their system. Should I import all 23,702 individuals, or should I import just the ancestors I am actively researching? A few minutes go by…I’ve decided to import my entire family file for this reason – DNA. Although I do not yet know anything about their DNA services, with my experience at other DNA sites, I’ve learned that the more I share the more genetic matches I find.

Good, another decision made. This is way easier than all the decisions I’m making about the new house we are building.

Privacy

Since the file I will upload will contain information about my living family, I’d better check out MyHeritage’s privacy policy. Hopefully they give me complete control over what is public and private. Reading their privacy policy here has given me the confidence that I can share my personal information without fear of it becoming public. I’ve pasted a portion of their policy below.

The user decides to what degree information on the family tree and other information from the family site will be visible to and discoverable by other users, by setting the Privacy Preferences (described in a detailed section below). The user decides whether to build the family tree on the Website on his/her own, or to make it a collaborative effort by inviting family members to assist, using facilities available on the Website for inviting members. If other members are invited, they make similar choices on entering information into the family tree. All information is entered into the Website directly and is not collected implicitly. The Website prevents information on living people from being disclosed to strangers, to protect privacy, and such information if entered will not be visible outside the family site or discoverable by search engines such as Google. It is often useful however to allow deceased people entered into the family tree to be visible to and searchable by other people, to allow one’s distant relatives to discover it.

The personal information that you and other users enter is stored in the Website only for the purpose of delivering the Service to you and the other users, i.e. displaying the family tree, printing the family tree, searching historical records, and other genealogy features.

Creating the GEDCOM file

The first step is to create the GEDCOM file. This is done in Legacy Family Tree. Follow the steps below.

1. Go to File >  Export > GEDCOM file

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To change WHO you will include in the file, click on the Record Selection button. To change any privacy settings for whom you will export, click on the Privacy Options button. I’m going to leave things as they are because of my reasoning above.

2. Click the “START EXPORT” button in the upper right, select the location (the desktop is a good spot) and enter the name of the file.

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1 minutes 28 seconds later:

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Importing the GEDCOM into MyHeritage

1. On the Family Tree tab at http://www.myHeritage.com, click on the Browse button, locate and select the GEDCOM you just created, and click the orange Import GEDCOM button.

20 seconds later the upload was complete (1:28pm):

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Thinking this would take a while, I got up to go eat some lunch. Then Pavlov’s Theory proved true once again – I got the email notification sound on my phone which meant I immediately checked my inbox. It was just one minute later that I received the following:

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Wow, that was quick.

Clicking the link took me to my tree where the first thing I noticed was the balloons – it’s my son’s 15th birthday in 12 days. Thanks for the reminder!

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Tree Settings

I next went to the Tree Settings page to make sure that the privacy settings are what I expected them to be.

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Since I’m not certain what a “site member” is yet, I’m going to turn off the ability for site members to “download the family tree file” and for now I’m going to change the permissions so I am the only person who can edit the family tree.

Privacy Settings

The privacy settings are on its own page.

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The first option of “include family tree in MyHeritage historical search engines” concerned me as I do not want any living individuals in my tree to be searchable. Hovering over the little information icon, it explained that only deceased individuals will be searchable and viewable to others.

So far so good.

Conclusion

At this point, I am comfortable with my tree and its privacy settings. It was easy to upload and the resulting tree looks appealing and easy to navigate. If I never do any more with MyHeritage, at the very least, I now have another backup of my entire tree just in case. I took a quick peek at the Discoveries page to see if it had found any Smart Matches or Record Matches yet. It hadn’t, but I didn’t expect it to be that quick. I’ll check back in a few days to see what it has found for me.

What’s Next

Coming up next, I will report on the first of the seven unique technologies from the webinar – Smart Matches. Stay tuned.

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Once again Legacy and Geoff are educating us in this activity of family search. Recently at our local Family History Centre Conference I was able to watch a video that could also add to this topic.

For anyone else looking to expand options (yet another backup….) this is worth looking at from
https://www.rootstech.org/videos-fri

Sunny Morton
Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, findmypast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage

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