Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finished Using MyHeritage Record Matching for SSDI Matches

I wrote several posts in September about the Record Matching technology on MyHeritage, for instance:

*  MyHeritage Releases Record Matching Technology (19 September 2012)

*  First Look at Record Matches on MyHeritage (19 September 2012)

*  Using MyHeritage Record Matches to Find Find-A-Grave Entries (20 September 2012)

*  NewspaperARCHIVES Records in MyHeritage Record Matches (26 September 2012)

Since then, I have been methodically going through the matches found my the MyHeritage search engine, one block at a time for several of the record collections available, and adding content and source citations to my genealogy database in RootsMagic.

The way the Record Match system works in MyHeritage, I can either Confirm, Reject or not decide if the Match offered pertains to the matching person in my database (out of almost 40,000 persons).  Each match is rated with a number of stars depending on how many items (names, dates, places, relationships) match the record item with the matching person.

Here is the current status for the largest number of pending matches by collection:

WikiTree is number 1 on the Pending record match list.  Because I have many entries on WikiTree, I figure that many of the matches in WikiTree are for my own entries.  also, since I didn't put all 40,000 persons in my database on WikiTree, I figure that most of the other matches on the Record Match list are for persons already in my MyHeritage tree.

Over the past three months, I have concentrated on three databases available for matching:

*  Social Security Death Index (I have 774 matches identified).  I have confirmed or rejected all 774 potential matches - with only 17 rejections (all rated less than a one star match).

*  Find A Grave (I have 1345 matches identified).  I have confirmed 445 entries, and rejected 2 entries, leaving 898 entries pending.

*  NewspaperARCHIVE (I have 982 matches identified)  I have confirmed 125 entries, rejected 253 entries, leaving 602 entries pending.

While the SSDI and Find A Grave are derivative sources with secondary information, they are very useful as "finding aids" for information about persons, especially 20th century persons, many of whom are in my database without a death date or death place.  Most of the persons in my database who lived in the 20th century are in my one-name (surname) studies for Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Dill, Buck, Vaux, etc.  Having this information in my database should help persons searching for their ancestry in my online family trees or on my web pages.  Consequently, using SSDI and Find A Grave makes a lot of sense.  I don't have the time, interest or money to send for birth, marriage and death certificates for all of these persons, but these two databases have decent accuracy for birth and death dates and places.

I have done a batch of 20 or 40 SSDI entries almost every night since September, and have now exhausted the list.  In the process, I think that I added death dates for about 50% of the persons on the list.  I already had the death date for the other 50% on the Record Match list.

I have also tried to do about 10 Find A Grave matches almost every night, and have added quite a few death dates, and more burial events, to my database.  Usually, the Record Match for one person leads to other persons on Find A Grave, so the effective rate of matches may be 30 to 40 per night.

Why am I using the MyHeritage Record Matching technology?  The simple answer is that it provides one-stop "matching" - a list of the persons in my database and the information in the database that might apply to the persons in my database.  Here is a screen shot of the top of my Pending Find A Grave match list:

As you can see, there are 20th century persons, and many colonial persons, on this record matching list.  I can click on the blue "Review match" button and see a better comparison of my database person with the potential record match:

I can click on the Source link for Find A Grave, and the actual Find A Grave record opens in another browser tab (which I really appreciate):

When I'm done in the Find A Grave window, I close that tab and I'm back to the MyHeritage record match list and I can mark the record match Confirm or Reject.

All of the historical record collection services have a record search feature that permit you to search for all records for a person or group of persons, or to search in a specific collection for a person or group of persons.  In other words, the user "pulls" the records from the record collections.

This MyHeritage Record Match is, to my knowledge, the only record matching system that "pushes" the data in a record collection to the user without having to identify the person of interest.

The Ancestry Hints - the green shaky leaves - are another "push" system for persons showing on your Ancestry Member Tree (and on the Ancestry App).  That works great, but requires the user to identify a person on their tree.  However, I haven't found an easy way to get a list of all of the persons with a green shaky leaf for a specific database on

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to both and courtesy of MyHeritage, for which I am grateful.  However, this does not influence my objective opinions in reviews of these websites and their products.

1 comment:

Smadar said...

Hi Randy,
Thanks for the extensive review of the service. I've been on the fence about paying for the extra search option on MyHeritage. I've been a member for a long time and have a large tree (not any where as large as yours). Their search services used to be free but never worked on my mac. I was very excited when they decided to expand their search options but was disappointed that there was going to be an additional charge. Since I've been doing my research for so long in other sites, I was glad to be able to see the matches MyHeritage provides. I have to say, in my experience they were mostly unhelpful. Most of the Find-A-Grave matches were ones I've created myself or have already located. The social security death records are available on ancestry. The other vital statistics are fairly limited and it didn't find anything new for me. With the exception of the Newspaper articles, which looks like it does a better job matching than ancestry, everything the system identified, I already had. I therefore decided not to spend the additional money. It's true that it's a lot cheaper than ancestry, but it's a much smaller database. I find that I'm constantly finding new things on ancestry. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY HERITAGE. I just feel that they should have comped their members especial Premium ones like me, with the search option for a while if they wanted me to get hooked.