Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Using the MyHeritage Mobile App

MyHeritage announced last week the upgrading of the MyHeritage app for Apple and Android mobile devices - see the press release at MyHeritage releases mobile app for on-the-go discoveries.  You can see more information about it on the MyHeritage Mobile App web page (shown below).

The app summary:

The MyHeritage Mobile App has four elements, as shown below:

They are:

*  Family Tree (your own Family Tree on MyHeritage)
*  Research (search billions of records on MyHeritage, including the family trees and the records on and
*  Share photos (capture, store and share your photos)
*  MyCeleb (discover your celebrity look-alike)

Here is what the Family Tree interface looks like:

 The Research feature looks like this:

Note that I used the MyHeritage images for the screens above, since I haven't figured out how to do a screen capture from my own iPhone yet.

I was most interested in the Research feature, since that is one of the new additions to the mobile app.

In the Research feature, there are five search fields - First Name, Last Name, birth Year, Place and Keywords.  I entered FirstName = frederick, last Name = seaver, Birth Year = 1876, Place = Massachusetts, and left Keyword = blank.

The app returned 591,886 results in 3.38 seconds.  The first 20 results included:

*  MyHeritage family trees for my Frederick Seaver (my own plus five more)
*  Ellis Island passenger arrival record for Frederick J. Seaver (born 1877)
*  1930 US Census record for Freerick L. Seaver (born 1875)
*  MyHeritage family trees for other Frederick Seavers (my father too, plus five more)
*  SSDI entry for Frederick F. Seaver (born 1958)
*  California Death Index for my father (born 1911, not 1876)
*  1860 US Census record for Frederick Seaver (born 1856)
*  1930 US Census record Frederick W. Seaver (born 1912)
*  1860 US Census record for Frederick Seaver (born 1848)
*  SSDI entry for Frederick Seaver (born 1901)

A search for First Name = fred and the other parameters surfaced more family trees (only one was mine) and the 1930 US Census for the right Fred Seaver.

A search for First Name = fred* and the other parameters surfaced both sets of results plus other spellings of Frederick.

The search used rank matching criteria - the items at the top of the results list had exact names, dates, etc., and gradually expanded the search for all of the criteria put in the search fields.

The "Research" tab on the MyHeritage web page uses the same search fields and matching criteria, but provides an Advanced Search box where the user can specify exact or similar name searches, can add a date range to birth and death date, can add a marriage date, or can add parents, children or spouses names.

All in all, the MyHeritage App is pretty good for what it does.  It does not have the "shaky leaf" feature from within the Family Tree like the app has, but it does permit searching, while does not permit doing record searching in their app (of course, the shaky leaves do the search for you).

Note that you have to have a MyHeritage account to use the site and the mobile app, and my guess is that you have to have a subscription to the FamilyLink/WorldVitalRecords record collections in order to use the Research capability.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here are instructions for taking a screen shot with your iPhone: