Thursday, April 4, 2013

MyHeritage Record Matches Keep Delivering News!

I have been going through the MyHeritage Record Matches for persons in my online MyHeritage family tree - it's true what the MyHeritage nametag sticker says:  "I Research in My Sleep!"

I was browsing through the Record Matches from the NewspaperARCHIVE collection, which is one of the MyHeritage/WorldVitalRecords collections available with a MyHeritage data subscription.  MyHeritage has taken the persons in my family tree and searched the available data collections for possible matches, and found over 700 in the NewspaperARCHIVE record collection.  This is like the Ancestry green shaky leaves on steroids - you can find matches by record collection rather than by person.  James Tanner says this record matching technology is like magic, and I agree.  It makes researching easier by focusing on records from one particular database at a time.

In the first two pages of matches, I found an obituary from 1976 that I had not seen before, and which shed some light on the life of one of my relatives.

Here is the screen image from MyHeritage Record Matches for one of the records:

I transcribed the obituary for Russell Hemphill into my RootsMagic database:

From:  Fitchburg [Mass.] Sentinel-Enterprise newspaper dated Tuesday, 26 October 1976, on page 2 in the "Obituaries" column (accessed on NewspaperARCHIVE):

STONINGTON, Conn. -- Russell Hemphill, 83, a design engineer at the Cottrell Printing Press Co., Pawcatuck, Conn. for 40 years prior to retirement, died Sunday, Oct. 17 at his home, 84 Circle Drive, AR2, Stonington.  He was the husband of Marion (Seaver) Braithwaite Hemphill.

"Mr. Hemphill attended Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., and graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.  He also took courses at M.I.T. to train for his service in Naval Aviation during World War I.

"Born in Westerly on Oct. 4, 1893, he was the son of the late James C. and Etta A. (Stillman) Hemphill.

"He was a past master of the Pawcatuck Masonic Lodge No. 90, AF and AM, and a life member of the Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptsit Church of Westerly, R.I.

"Besides his wife, he leaves a stepdaughter, Nancy (Braithwaite) Arnold of Clinton, S.C. and three sons, Roderick J. Hemphill of Westerly, Dixon F. Hemphill of Fairfax Station, Va., and Dr. David L. Hemphill of Holyoke, Mass., a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Homes of Asheville, N.C., 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"Mrs. Hemphill is a native of Leominster and was a onetime employe in the Leominster Public Schools.  She is the former wife of the late Irving W. Braithwaite of Ashburnham.

"A graveside service was held Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the Riverbend cemetery, Westerly."

This obituary provided information about the life of Russell Hemphill, who was the second husband of my father's oldest sister, Marion Frances (Seaver) (Braithwaite) Hemphill (1901-1999).  I didn't know the names of his three children, or of his parents, or where he was buried.  Now I wish that I had met him before he passed away - he flew airplanes in World War I.  I'm sure he could tell some great stories about his aviation career!

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  I currently have a complimentary MyHeritage tree and data subscription, but this doesn't affect my objectivity at all.  I really like the MyHeritage Record Match feature, and use it almost every day to add content and sources to my database.


Mariann Regan said...

Your post really does make me want to connect with MyHeritage. Maybe that will be my second-level search, after I finish with all the shaky leaves on Ancestry.


Anonymous said...

I am born in Germany, but cmae to the US just 15 years ago. Trying to build my family tree is very difficult, because every search I put in relates to US findings only.
I have no family members, who immigrated to the States, can anybody help/advice me, how to get info about german ancesters?
Thank you so much, Dieter

Anonymous said...

I have used FTB6 for about a year and a half. I paid for a data subscription but cancelled within weeks because Record Matching was totally useless, returning thousands of irrelevant and inaccurate matches.

Currently I'm also "enjoying" a complimentary data subscription while I run tests for MH so they can try to fix their lousy software.

I just reviewed my tests and have NEVER located anything of value in the newspaper collection. Only in the past few weeks have any relevant records turned up.

IMO the author of this blog would serve his audience better if he were more objective and critical, and less a mouthpiece of MyHeritage.