Genealogy is a hobby I don’t fully understand, but many people are apparently really interested in their family’s history — enough to make this a $2 billion market. For the most part, that means laboriously filling in family trees — either in an old-school desktop app or online with services like Ancestry or MyHeritage. To do away with all that extra work and to make genealogy a bit more mainstream, MyHeritage today announced the launch of Instant Discoveries.
With this, first-time users only have to fill in the names of a couple of family members and the service will immediately present you with a person who is very likely to be your ancestor, as well as quite a bit more information about the family.
If you think MyHeritage correctly identified your family, you can create your family tree with just a few clicks.
“Millions of people want to better understand themselves and their roots, and we’re committed to making that a magical and easy process,” Mike Mallin, Chief Product Officer at MyHeritage exclaimed enthusiastically. “Until now, family exploration has been burdensome and time consuming. Through our new Instant Discoveries TM, users can meet the generations who made them within moments of signing up.”
A company spokesperson told me that this new feature should work for one out of three people globally, so there is a good chance that this may not work perfectly for you just yet. MyHeritage however says it is adding one million new family tree profiles and five million historical records every day, so even if it doesn’t work today, it may just work next week.
To get started, you only have to enter the names of seven family members: yourself, your parents and your grandparents. MyHeritage’s matching algorithms will take it from there.
Instant Discoveries is now available for all new MyHeritage users. Existing users will have to wait a little bit longer before they can use the same technology to fill out the holes (branches?) in their family trees.