Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smart Matching in MyHeritage

Yo, MyHeritage...198,729 Smart Matches to my data?  Yikes!!  Who knew?  How did this happen?  Now what do I do with them?

I no sooner uploaded my 39,904 person tree to the MyHeritage online family tree website (www.myheritage.com) and the Smart Matvches came into my mailbox - I have had about 15 emails listing over 230 Smart Matches found by other researchers in my tree since Sunday afternoon when I uploaded my tree.

I decided that I'd better check out what this was all about, so I logged into my MyHeritage account (thank you, MyHeritage!) and saw this when I clicked on the "Family Tree" tab:

The page indicates that I have 198,729 Smart Matches from 18,168 family trees on MyHeritage!  In the olive-colored background box above that notice states that there are 156 Smart Matches already confirmed by other researchers waiting for my confirmation.  Let's look at those first.

I clicked on the "Review and confirm" link and saw:

The screen above lists three MyHeritage trees that contain the Smart Matches, and then it lists them in order of number of to-be-confirmed matches.  The first family tree owner, Thomas Smith, has 144 Smart Matches pending my confirmation, but only 20 are listed on the page. 

How do I check this out?  Let's look at the first one on the list.  We share Mercy Bangs (1651-????, daughter of Edward and Rebecca (Hobart) Bangs).  There is a 91% certainty of a match in the "Quality" column, according to the five-star system on the left margin.  The "Status" column shows a green check mark, which apparently means someone has confirmed the match.  The information in the "In my Family Tree" column shows my data, and the column "In matching fmaily tree" shows his data, and the "Actions" column has links to "Review tree," "Confirm," "Reject" or "More actions."

I decided to "Review tree" and clicked on the link:

The screen above shows the "Overview" tab with vital record information from my tree, and information from the matching tree.  If I wanted to compare more information, I cvould click on the "Compare trees" tab and see the parents and children of this person.

The olive-green box above the Overview tab information provides two choices - "Yes - confirm this match" and "No - reject this match."  After an extensive review of all of the available data, performed in about three seconds, I decided that this was a match and clicked on the "Yes - confirm this match" button.

A popup window appeared and wanted me to confirm the match, and showed check boxes to send the owner of the other tree an email telling him that I have confirmed the match, and/or to send the owner an email inviting him to be a member of my family tree site. 

I clicked on "Confirm match" and the screen below told me:

Now there are two green check marks on the screen that show that we have both confirmed the match.  I could add a comment at the bottom of the page to congratulate the other tree owner on his accurate data and invite him to meet me the next time I'm in his neighborhood. 

Cool.  Now, how do I get back to thel ist of matches to do the next one?  And the 198,000 odd ones after that?  Aha - on the line with the two tabs ("Overview" and "Compare trees" are links to "Print," "Prevous Match" and "Next Match."

Now I'm curious - is this the end?  Does the other tree somehow get hooked onto my tree, or is my tree still separate from the other tree?  If it is the former, then my tree on MyHeritage just got larger (theoretically), and if it's the latter, then how can I use the information? 

I'll end here because I have lots more to do.  This is not overly exciting work - until you find a submitter who is a close cousin to yourself.  Then it may be very rewarding.  That hasn't happened yet in my little excursion into the MyHeritage family tree system.

Frankly, I'm not sure how far I should go with this.  My purpose in putting my tree on a website like MyHeritage is to serve as "cousin bait" - to enable other researchers to find me.  I will probably not confirm many of these Smart Matches because of the time and effort it takes to do so, but I need to review them to determine if there are close cousins who are also on MyHeritage who may have information about my ancestral families. 

Disclosure:  I have a PremiumPlus account on MyHeritage that was a gift from MyHeritage to Geneabloggers at the SCGS Jamboree. 

The URL for this post is http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/smart-matching-in-myheritage.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.


Banai Lynn Feldstein said...

Daniel Horowitz spoke to UJGS in 2010 about SmartMatching. He said that MyHeritage does NOT merge trees like other sites that are trying to create a world family tree. Instead, he said that you can import the data from someone else's tree into yours, but it remains separate. Your description sounds like they are keeping track of overlaps and kind of connecting everyone "behind the scenes", but while still keeping each person's tree separate. Still sounds better to me than merging everyone and having your data get away from you.

Donna Hansen Peterson said...

Randy, I have made two exciting matches at MyHeritage.com. The most recent is not s close connection, but he is related to the ancestors of my great-grandmother who died in Norway in 1887. What is specially exciting is he lives in Norway and has invited me to visit him at his home when I am in Norway next Spring. The other's Grandmother was the aunt of my grandfather.