- This week’s big news is MyHeritage’s acquisition of Geni. MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, announced that it has acquired Geni.com, a pioneer in collaborative family tree building with its focus on creating the World Family Tree.The acquisition extends MyHeritage’s network to 72 million registered users, 1.5 billion profiles and 27 million family trees internationally.
Geni.com will continue to operate as a separate brand based out of its California office, and the services of MyHeritage and Geni.com will initially run independently. MyHeritage plans to give respective users the option to collaborate on family history research by enabling two-way information flows between the sites.
Users of both sites will be able to discover relatives and new ancestral connections through MyHeritage’s Smart Matching technology, which finds common matches between family trees. In addition, MyHeritage will apply its recently launched Record Matching technology—matching historical records such as birth, death, census and immigration records—to individuals in Geni.com family trees.
In addition to its acquisition, MyHeritage also announced its $25 million funding round to be used to boost growth of its historical content services and expand its commercial operations worldwide.
UPDATED: Geni CEO Noah Tutak announces immediate benefits to Geni.com users:
- Free unlimited profile adding—All users can add as many profiles as they’d like to their tree without upgrading to a paid account. There are no limits to the size of a user’s tree.
- Free Merging—All users can now merge duplicate profiles in their tree (privacy and permission rules still apply).
- Free relationship paths—Users can discover their relationship to historical figures and celebrities, and even distant relatives.
- Free family tree chart downloads—All users can now download a high-quality chart of their family tree to their computer at no charge.
- No ads—Ads have been removed to provide users with a cleaner, less distracting interface.
- More privacy—Living people who have not joined Geni will become private and will not be searchable on Google.
- Ancestry.com announces the launch of Newspapers.com, a new web site featuring more than 800 US newspapers dating from the late 1700s to the early 2000s. With more than 25 million pages, Newspapers.com offers historical and present-day newspapers ranging from The New York Times to small town and local newspapers.
The site’s search capabilities are specifically designed for newspapers, enabling users to search by keywords, location, time period and newspaper name. A one-year subscription to Newspapers.com is $79.95 for subscribers and $39.95 for Ancestry.com or Fold3.com members.
There currently are no plans to remove any newspaper content from Ancestry.com. Most of the newspapers on the new site (more than 15 million of the 25 million pages) are not part of Ancestry.com records. Ancestry.com is actively producing millions of new pages per month from microfilm, and is working with newspaper publishers and microfilm owners to increase the number of newspaper titles in its production pipeline for Newspapers.com.
- The National Genealogical Society has released its full 2013 Family History Conference Program, available here. Registration for NGS’ 35th annual conference—May 8-11 in Las Vegas—opens Saturday, Dec. 1; to register online, visit the NGS website.