MyHeritage launches Record Detective™ to accelerate family history discoveries

Global family history network makes technology breakthrough that turns dead-ends into new leads

PROVO, Utah, and Tel Aviv, Israel, May 13 2013: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced the launch of Record Detective™, the first technology of its kind to automatically extend the paper trail from a single historical record to other related records and family tree connections.

Record Detective™ turns historical records into smart objects that determine which people they are about, and conducts further research about them. Records found in MyHeritage’s digital archive, SuperSearch, will now include a summary of additional records and individuals in family trees relating to them, thanks to the Record Detective™ technology. This will provide users with new information and clues to take their research to new directions.

Examples of how Record Detective™ benefits users:

• When a user finds a gravestone photo, Record Detective™ is capable of automatically finding and displaying who was buried there, and providing a link to the person’s family tree, plus birth, census and marriage records and even newspaper articles about that person.

• For users viewing a page in a digitized yearbook on MyHeritage, Record Detective™ will show the people mentioned on the page in their respective family trees and allow users to learn more about their families and get in touch with their relatives (subject to privacy protections).

• When viewing a record in the US census collection, Record Detective™ will provide census entries of the same person in former or subsequent years, and do this for the entire household. The additional information could include newspaper articles about the person’s son or the immigration papers of his parents.

The new technology is highly accurate with almost no false positives.

To maximize its benefits, the technology behind the Record Detective™ uses an innovative technique called the Transitive Conclusion Trail. For example, it can link a death record to a birth record of the same person, by first linking the death record to a matching person in a family tree with the same death date, then linking that person through his parents to the same person in another family tree, this time having a birth date, and then use that extra information to locate the birth record of that person. During the process checks are made to ensure the lack of contradictions, and conclusions are made only if they are statistically solid. Users are not aware of the calculations behind the scenes, and are only handed the related information with confidence scores. This way Record Detective™ helps users find relevant information they may have never found on their own.


To extend the benefits of this new technology to the wider community, MyHeritage is making Record Detective™ available for license to other family history websites and services that provide historical records, with revenue sharing. By adding just a few lines of code to their webpage, partners can harness Record Detective™ and display for each record, other records and family trees related to it, providing better value for users. Interested parties can contact
“We’re excited to unveil Record Detective™ – a major addition to the tool arsenal of any family history enthusiast”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Record Detective™ makes a single discovery more interesting and rewarding by linking to more information about the same person. With this powerful new technology, our users will be able to make even more exciting discoveries. This is an industry first, and a testament to our focus on creating truly innovative technologies for family history.”

A summary of any record can be viewed for free and users can choose between affordable pay-as-you-go credits or a Data subscription for full unlimited access to all historical records.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is a family history network helping millions of families around the world discover and share their legacy online. As technology thought leaders and innovators in the space, MyHeritage is transforming family history into a pastime that is accessible, exciting and easier than ever before. MyHeritage empowers its global community of users with unique social tools, a massive library of historical content and powerful search technologies. The site is available in 40 languages. For more information visit

MyHeritage Announces the “Record Detective”

On the last day of the NGS Conference in Las Vegas I had breakfast with Daneil Horowitz and the people of MyHeritage.

©2013 Dick Eastman

MyHeritage invited the Official Bloggers at the NGS Conference in Las Vegas to attend a breakfast meeting to present their latest release called “Record Detective.”

©2013 Dick Eastman

MyHeritage focuses on technology and how it relates to family history. They want to help you discover more about your family history in a shorter time. You can upload your family tree to their “Family Tree Builder” and it will help you find and match records related to the people in your family tree. There is 97% accuracy in the matches. You can decide to confirm or reject the matches.

If you search a person “The Record Detective” will help you find related records and family trees where you can contact people to share information. You can’t harvest data from other trees.

The program extracts data from a record that you have found and you can click a button to transfer it into your family tree. MyHeritage have a blog post called “New Feature: Extract Info from Records” which describes the process.

The “Family Tree Builder” is now on version 7 and there is a mobile app. The program is available in about 40 languages. You can match names of families in different languages.

You will need to manually add the new people found. I find this is a good idea because it helps you become more familiar with the information you are adding to your family tree.

Ruth Blair, The Passionate Genealogist; Sandra Gardner Benward of the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Blog and “The Research Detective.”
©2013 Dick Eastman

New content has been added to their database. You can now get the US Federal census from 1790 to 1940. The only Canadian records they have at the moment are related to headstones. They are hoping to expand their Canadian collection.

The website is a pay per view website and you can chose to use credits or purchase a subscription.

MyHeritage officially announced the “Record Detective” on Monday. They have a video on YouTube that describes the “Record Detective.”

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved