Friday, September 13, 2013

Comparing Ancestry and MyHeritage Data Bases--This Year's Final Episode of WDYTYA--A Call to Arms!

Comparing Data Bases--Ancestry.com vs. MyHeritage

While giving a presentation earlier this week I was asked if there were data bases that MyHeritage/Family Tree Finder had that Ancestry doesn't have.  I wasn't really sure, so decided to see if I could find any answers on the internet.  I also sent the question to Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage.  I did find this following article from 10TopTenReviews.

MyHeritage.com doesn’t have name databases of its own. Instead it uses a comprehensive search engine, which is unlike anything we saw on other genealogy search sites. The search engine runs each search simultaneously in hundreds of genealogy databases, collects the results and displays them in one report.
The MyHeritage.com search engine searches over 1,526 genealogy databases, combing the internet for relevant information from the world’s best genealogy resources. It searches websites, databases, archives, message boards; incorporating all other genealogy records including:
  • Census records
  • Family trees
  • Immigration records
  • Military records
  • Medical records
  • Cemetery records
  • Court and land probate
  • Newspapers
  • Telephone directories
This doesn't say specifically what data bases they have that are unique and different from Ancestry; but at least explains what they do.  In a way it seems similar to Mocavo, which, as best I understand, searches a data base of genealogy data bases.  Obviously, the data bases Mocavo and MyHeritage search are free.  

Hopefully, I will have an answer within a couple days from MyHeritage and will post it.
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Last Episode of WDYTYA

The featured celebrity on the last edition of this year's series of WDYTYA was Jim Parsons, actor best know for his role in The Big Bang Theory TV series.  The first part of the show involved him tracing his 3rd great grandfather, J.B. Hacker.  He learned he was a Doctor who was the 55th graduate of the Medical College of Louisiana.  Unfortunately, he also learned that he perished in a steamship fire while still in his 40s.  

The focus of the program then shifted to tracing his 6th great grandfather, Louis Truard, to France where Jim learned he was the architect to King Louis XV.  He was a member of the Royal Academy of Architecture.  Entry into the Academy was a great honor and only occurred upon the death of an existing member of the Royal Academy. 

Jim then traveled to Versailles where he visited a church that Louis Truard had designed.  Louis Truard was an architect to the King during the French Revolution when King Louis XVI was executed.  Many of the King's staff, including four architects were also executed; but Louis Truard escaped this fate by virtue of his earlier revolutionary leanings, probably aided by having met privately in his home with Benjamin Franklin and John Adams.

The program certainly covered a lot of territory tracing both sides of Jim's family--Dr. Hacker on his mother's side and Louis Truard on his father's side. 

This brought to a close this season; but as noted in an earlier blog, they will be back next year for a series of ten programs. 
Zooey Deschanel

It is difficult to decide which of this year's eight programs were my favorite; but I think it would have been Zooey Deschanel and the story of her 5th great grandparent's role in the underground railroad and the Quaker abolitionist movement in Pennsylvania.  I find that I am influenced not only by the story being told; but by the celebrity and how sincere and involved they appear.
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A Call to Arms

I just received my Fall issue of The Southern California Genealogical Society's publication The Searcher.  In it was an article with an enticing title "A First Kiss".  It was a page long and exceptionally well written.  Most importantly, however, it reminded me that all of our genealogy societies need articles for their newsletters and other publications.  Unfortunately, in many cases, it is only a select few who contribute month after month.  

This article is an excellent example that the subject doesn't need to be complicated nor does it need to be lengthy.  It can be as simple as a memorable event in your life as a short as a few paragraphs.

I have written a couple articles for our local societies; but I am taking this as a reminder to contribute more frequently--you too should accept this "Call to Arms."