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MyHeritage/FamilySearch Partnership Announcement—Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few questions and answers about the partnership. For more information, please read the official press release.

What is the FamilySearch and MyHeritage announcement about?

We recently announced a joint agreement to begin a multi-year effort whereby FamilySearch will share select historic records collections with MyHeritage, and MyHeritage will provide cutting-edge technologies to FamilySearch that will help people find their ancestors more easily. This combined with MyHeritage’s support for 40+ languages will enable wider access to data and records to more users worldwide.

How does the family history community benefit?

An important goal for FamilySearch is to make it easier and quicker for people everywhere to discover and share their family history. This joint agreement will put valuable family tree and historical record collections within reach of a wider audience—much faster. FamilySearch members will benefit from MyHeritage's unique technologies, including receiving matches between family tree profiles and source records, such as birth, death, census and immigration documents.

What is the benefit to MyHeritage to work with FamilySearch?

Subscribers of MyHeritage services will have access through MyHeritage to records provided by FamilySearch, including FamilySearch’s public Family Tree data.

What exactly will MyHeritage users experience?

MyHeritage users, through their MyHeritage account and interface, will be able to search and discover more records (from FamilySearch’s historical record collection and from the Family Tree) and link those records to their MyHeritage family tree. MyHeritage users will see indicators for matches to FamilySearch records from within their family tree, as well as links to the same individuals in FamilySearch Family Tree if a match to a person exists.

What exactly will FamilySearch users experience?

FamilySearch Family Tree will show matches to profiles in MyHeritage family trees using MyHeritage Smart Matches™ technology, as well as matches to FamilySearch historical records, using MyHeritage Record Matching technology.

When will these capabilities be available at MyHeritage and FamilySearch?

MyHeritage will begin to make FamilySearch records available from their site by the end of this year. The Smart Matches™ and Record Matching features will become available on FamilySearch sometime in 2014.

Should I use MyHeritage Family Tree, or FamilySearch Family Tree? Are they compatible?

FamilySearch works with partners in order to create more ways for patrons to find their family members. Because MyHeritage and FamilySearch will be working closely together, patrons can rest assured knowing that they can choose the product or service that works best for them (FamilySearch.org or MyHeritage.com).

Can you tell me what specific record collections will be shared with FamilySearch?

Historic record collections under this partnership will be announced as they are made available on either partner site on an ongoing basis. All of the new records from FamilySearch that will be accessible from within MyHeritage products will continue to be available online at FamilySearch.org.

Who will have access to records that are indexed by FamilySearch volunteers?

Records that are indexed by FamilySearch volunteers will continue to be available for free to all visitors of FamilySearch.org. In addition to this, some of these records will also become available through partner sites such as MyHeritage.com, fulfilling FamilySearch’s goal of making the world’s records available to more people to discover their family history.

What is the benefit to FamilySearch volunteers?

Any indexer who volunteers because they want to help others experience the joy of finding their ancestors should feel even more excited at how their gift is being utilized to benefit more individuals than ever before. Not only will records indexed by volunteers continue to be freely available to visitors of FamilySearch.org, but some of them will also be accessible to researchers and patrons of other sites and services. In addition, these indexes may be used in a sharing program to make even more record sets owned by other record custodians more broadly available online. The net outcome will always be more records available to more people thanks to the wonderful contributions of FamilySearch volunteers.

Will people have to pay to see records indexed by FamilySearch volunteers?

No. Volunteer-indexed records will continue to be available for free at FamilySearch.org as they always have. If a person is paying for a subscription to a service such as at MyHeritage.com, they may also have access to these records from within properties owned by MyHeritage.

Why should I do volunteer indexing at FamilySearch?

Volunteer indexers play a vital role in helping people discover their ancestors, and tell and preserve the story of every individual in every historic document indexed. Family history today is dramatically different than in the past thanks to the internet and searchable indexes. Millions more people are now able to engage in meaningful research and discovery about their ancestors because of the accumulated effort of hundreds of thousands of FamilySearch indexing volunteers. But literally billions of records remain un-indexed, and millions more are added yearly. Each record represents a possible missing clue that will help another person to remember a treasured ancestor and tell their story. The smallest volunteer contribution can make a huge difference for someone else.