Serendipity Day

Good Reason to Connect with Cousins

MyHeritage Releases Book Matching Technology

Genealogy Road Show, New Season on PBS

Accessing American Ancestors for Free

How Many of You Are There? Try Find My Name


Last week, I drove from Spokane down to Kennewick to spend time with hubby’s cousin, Cathy. We spent a delightful afternoon talking family and working on our common Ancestry tree. She showed me all the “stuff” (read: family artifacts) around her house that belonged to her and John’s common grandmother. That was wonderful enough, but the “frosting on the cupcake” was that she gave me a start of the flowering plant that Grandma Ethel had brought all the way from Illinois when she was married in 1911 and came to Spokane. Now we have it growing in our garden and I will share with my children. It’s important to pass along more than facts and photos. (Anybody tell me what it is? She didn’t know.)



Maybe we all ought to consider exploring/using MyHeritage….. This website has risen to be right up there with Ancestry and FamilySearch.

MyHeritage Releases Exclusive Book Matching Technology for Family History

MyHeritage users to automatically receive relevant excerpts from digitized books that reveal information about their ancestors and relatives


TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, April 7, 2016 — MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, has launched today a revolutionary addition to its suite of technologies: Book Matching. This innovation automatically researches users’ family trees in historical books with high precision.


In April 2012 MyHeritage launched SuperSearch™, a search engine for historical records, which has since then grown to include 6.6 billion historical records, including birth, marriage, death and census records. By implementing its vision of enhancing genealogy with technology, MyHeritage then developed a line of unique and sophisticated technologies that automatically match the records from the search engine to the 32 million family trees uploaded by its users.

In December 2015, MyHeritage expanded its data collections to include digitized historical books, with an initial corpus of 150,000 books of high genealogical value. This collection was tripled last week to 450,000 books with 91 million pages. With a team of more than 50 dedicated curators, MyHeritage aims to add hundreds of millions of pages of digitized books to the collection each year.

As of today, MyHeritage users will receive matches between profiles in their family trees and the books from this collection. The Book Matching technology analyzes the book texts semantically, understanding complex narrative that describes people, and matches it to the 2 billion individuals in MyHeritage family trees with extremely high accuracy. This breakthrough technology is the first of its kind, and is exclusive to MyHeritage.

Book Matching has produced more than 80 million matches, and this number will continue to grow as the collection grows and as the family trees on MyHeritage continue to expand. Book Matching is currently available for English books, and the technology is being enhanced to cover additional languages. In addition, de-duplication technology is being added in the next few weeks to remove duplicate books that have been scanned and OCRed more than once by different sources.

Roadshow 2

Are you all enjoying the Genealogy Road Show on your local public TV station? (If not, if they’re not showing it, give them a call and ask why not??) The show airs Tuesdays and is into Season Three. Next Tuesday’s show (May 31st) will be coming from Houston, Texas. Last week they were in Albuquerque and some of the New Mexico heritage stories they uncovered were quite fab.


Have you noticed that there are more and more genealogy-themed TV shows recently? Finding Your Roots, Who Do You Think You Are? Faces of America, and this one I’ve not heard of: Ancestors in the Attic. What does that say about the popularity of our favorite pursuit?



American Ancestors is the website name of the New England Historic Genealogical Society which has been around since 1845 in Boston. (NEHGS is older than the first genealogical society in England; I like to quip that we wanted independence but we also remembered our roots.) American Ancestors is a subscription website but you may use it for free at your local Family History Center. American Ancestors is one of the subscription websites available free to patrons through their in-house PORTAL.

If you have New England ancestors (big smile) I would encourage you to visit your nearby FHC and use this resource for it does say “temporary access,” whatever that might mean.



Ever wondered how widespread the distribution of your surname (or you ancestral surname) really is? I stumbled upon a website that told me just that!  I clicked to and entered POTTER and found out that the U.S. state with the most Potter-people is California with Texas next. I could have searched for the Potter surname in a bunch of different countries even! The popularity of the surname in the U.S. is #473, rather low on the list but not rare. Go try your surname…… have fun!