November 9th, 2010

Important notification: Server shutdown of dynastree.com

After MyHeritage.com acquired dynastree.com, the data of the dynastree.com users was transferred to MyHeritage.com. Individuals who wanted to continue working on their trees were encouraged since February this year to login to MyHeritage.com.

While users can still access their data on dynastree.com, this access is read-only. However, users are able to use dynastree.com to make a free GEDCOM export, including photos, to preserve their data for future use.

The data on dynastree.com is currently based on German servers (in Hamburg). For contractual reasons, MyHeritage.com must return these servers to their owners. The shutdown was originally prepared for 18th August 2010. MyHeritage.com renegotiated again and managed to achieve an extension of the rented servers until January 2011. Dynastree.com therefore remains in place until 31 January, 2011, to enable access to the data and free export of GEDCOM files if desired. Continuing to maintain dynastree.com for longer than this, however, is not possible.

In order to preserve user privacy, all data will be completely and irreversibly deleted after 31 January, 2011. Since all data was moved to MyHeritage.com, it is not necessary to send a copy of dynastree data to other servers. We would like to inform you here of this change in advance, so that you are aware of when access to dynastree.com will be discontinued.

February 23rd, 2010

MyHeritage.com: understand the difference and appreciate the change

You’ve probably done your first steps on MyHeritage.com already and noticed some things that work differently.

MyHeritage - Mein Familienerbe
(click on the image to enlarge)

We’d like to mention some of the core differences between Dynastree and MyHeritage.com to ease the transition for you. The MyHeritage.com platform will not integrate the exact same features that Dynastree had. However the technical team from MyHeritage is currently working day and night on details of the merger, is fixing smaller and bigger problems that you have reported, is integrating further features from Dynastree and does everything to help you feel at home on your new family site on MyHeritage.com. A move of 11 million people and 100 million profiles isnt that easy, just imagine the whole of New York City and Washington would move at the same time ;-) We do our best and are happy that besides some smaller worries most things work quite smoothly. Thanks again for your patience with us in the process!

Übersicht über den Zusammenschluss von MyHeritage und Verwandt
(click on the image to enlarge)

Our goal for the merger is to bring the best of both worlds together in one platform. The popular family crest creator for example is the first feature that has been moved from Dynastree to MyHeritage.com. Read more about it on the MyHeritage blog, check it out for yourself and send in your family crest to win a free year of Premium! Several other Dynastree features will follow, some smaller and some bigger ones, depending on how important they are and which ones you need the most. Small but very important for many German and Spanish users for example was the way MyHeritage treats surnames of women. Based on the anglosaxon habits we so far assumed the husbands surname to be the wife’s surname after marriage, especially for most of the ancestors a helpful one, but in other cultures and modern times we needed to add the option to switch that off and have added a whole set of culture-specific defaults for names that will help you add people to your tree.

Another Dynastree feature that will come in the next couple of weeks is the poster printing. On MyHeritage.com you can print your tree and generate PDF if you click on ‘family tree’ > ‘print charts’ – the free offline software Family Tree Builder gives you even more settings to choose from. Family Tree Builder also has very rich maps, similar to the ones on Dynastree, but with many more features to display location data in your whole family or parts of your family or migrations during the life of one of your ancestors. The maps are not yet on MyHeritage.com, but that will change in the next months and we’ll let you know when we’re there.

Family Tree Builder - Kartenfunktion
(click on the image to enlarge)

The merging of family trees as it was possible on Dynastree so far is not possible on MyHeritage.com. We don’t try to merge all family trees of the world into one, while overwriting different versions of different researchers into one. Every users keeps full control over his data and version of the research. Our Smart Matches help to find other people researching the same ancestors and help you to exchange information with them, but you can decide what to take and what to leave. We are also working on a brand new version of our Smart Matches that should be ready some time later this year, so stay tuned.

Familienstatistiken
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Another difference to Dynastree is the management of unclaimed profiles. On Dynastree every profile had a manager, which initially was the person who created the profile. On MyHeritage this concept doesnt exist and the rights management is build around webmasters, members and visitors to family sites. The webmaster(s) of a site can decide who has access to certain features of the family site and who doesn’t. In any case, none of the data about living people on MyHeritage is open to the public, you can only see it if you are member of the family site and logged in with your details.

MyHeritage.com does not support name days or special wedding anniversaries like a “golden wedding” or the like.

MyHeritage.com Logo

Let’s get to some of the advantages of MyHeritage that you’ll be able to enjoy now:
First of all there is financial stability: MyHeritage.com is profitable, has received more than 24 million US Dollars in investment (6 times more than Dynastree) and is supported by some of the best investors in Europe: ‘Accel Partners’ and ‘Index Ventures’, the investors of Facebook and Skype. MyHeritage is an established company that will treat your information responsibly and is a great long-term steward for research data.
With more than 35 supported languages (compared to 10 on Dynastree) we ensure that all your relatives can join in, no matter how distant they are and what languages they know. Through the merger MyHeritage has a significantly bigger team so we will be able to offer you new features and improvements on a regular basis.

The ‘Smart Matches’ work very reliably and are based on a huge database, that is several times the size of the one at Dynastree. That makes it even easier for you to find relatives that you hadnt heard about and grow your family tree further.
The photo features on MyHeritage.com are a class of their own: besides usual uploads, you can upload via email, mobile phone, import from facebook and share everything with your relatives. The state-of-the-art face recognition technology helps you to mark people on photos and to the animated slideshows put your relatives in the spotlight. You can also upload documents and videos and like documents from your family history research or moving images of your little cousin eating chocolate cake.

fotos_mh
(click on the image to enlarge)

The calendar is a great feature as well and much ahead of what you know from Dynastree. Finally you can enter manual events, like family reunions, birthday parties or organise a cinema evening with your siblings or cousins – MyHeritage even offers you to directly send invitations for those events. Besides we remind you of birthdays, anniversaries and even death anniversaries or holidays, according to your needs.

You might also like the free offline software ‘Family Tree Builder’, a professional and easy-to-use genealogy suite with a lot of additional features. And compared to the “Home Edition” it is fully integrated with your family site at MyHeritage.com. Family Tree Builder is the expert tool to manage your genealogy data and media, offers detailed reports and charts and with more than 9 million downloads it is one of the most popular genealogy programs out there. You can find more information and download the software here.

Family Tree Builder - Stammbaum Diagramm
(click on the image to enlarge)

Finally we don’t want to forget to mention that Premium memberships on MyHeritage are valid for all relatives – instead of only for one user like on Dynastree. This helps you to save money and is especially great for the younger genealogists among you that can find a sponsor among their older uncles to get full access to all Premium features. :-)

We hope to have shown that the most important things remain the same – the security of your data, good support and an easy-to-use interface – and there are a lot of other things around it that are new and changing. Not everything will become better but most of the things! You can be sure that we are working hard for you and remain at your disposal just email us on support@myheritage.com with any questions or feedback.

February 5th, 2010

Great news: dynastree finds a new home at MyHeritage.com

We’re happy to announce that dynastree is joining MyHeritage.com!

The dynastree team is looking forward (as you can see on the photo), in particular about the new opportunities that arise for you as a user. We think this merger is the best solution for everyone, because as a company we are an even bigger and more reliable partner for your family and genealogy, and we can offer you a lot of new features.

The two main advantages that are arising right away for you is an even bigger database with 13 million family trees and 530 million profiles of potentially unknown relative of yours, as well as an extensive photo management system with new facial recognition technology, a simple sorting of photos, photo uploads from mobile devices like mobile phones and personal slideshows with sophisticated Zoom-technology.

Your data will be treated confidentially and is safe and free available under MyHeritage.com. The privacy policies of dynastree are very similar to those of Myheritage.com and can be viewed here.

Both companies have the same ideas of simple, safe and reliable services to help families stay in touch with each other and explore their own ancestry. The complementary capabilities and markets of our two companies will make the individual experience between the teams more productive and resulting benefits and synergies will come very soon near you.

We will continue to offer you exciting and new opportunities to explore your family history and hope you drop by at MyHeritage.com.

You can read our press release here.

Posted in Info
October 14th, 2009

British Politician Discovers Relatives on a Trip to Russia

When Edward Samuel Miliband, British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, did a radio interview for the station “Ekho Moskvy” in Russia (together with his brother David Miliband, who is Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), he did of course not expect to fing long-lost relatives. During the interview, a woman named Sofia Davidowna Miliband called and said “I am Sofia Davidovna Miliband, I am your relative; I am the only one left”. Despite the fact that the shows host cut her off, believing she was joking, Ed Miliband later met the 86-year old woman. It turned out that she was not joking: he remembered having known of Sofia’s existence when he was a child, and described her as “an amazing woman”.

Ms. Davidowna Miliband was once the leading expert on Iran at the Moscow School of Oriental Studies, and thought she was the only Miliband left at all. After some time of translating and calling back home, Ed Miliband found out that his great-great grandfather was the brother of Sofia’s grandfather, who had been born in Warsaw’s Jewish quarter as well. Mr. Miliband’s ancestor fled Poland in the 1920s, ended up in Belgium, and then fled to England with forged papers when Hitler’s army invaded Belgium.

The Secretary was so eager to meet his relative that he left a reception at the British embassy, to the amazement of the ambassador and dozens of guests and media ;-)

Photo: open eye communications

Posted in Info
October 13th, 2009

Please Vote For Us!

Hey folks, dynastree’s blog needs your help! As you might know, Family Tree Magazine is hosting a vote for the top 40 genealogy blogs again this year, the list will appear in the print edition in May 2010. Our blog made it into the list of nominees! We are really excited, and would like to thank everybody who submitted the blog.

Now the votes come in, and we need your support: please go to Family Tree Magazine’s website and vote for dynastree’s blog!

Furthermore, we’d like to introduce the new family tree view that has been added in the latest release: the Bubble-style view! It looks really cool, the profile cards are shown as bubbles, connected through lines, and details for the profile cards can be shown when you move your mouse cursor over the a profile card. Here’s what it looks like:

bubbleslarge

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

You can switch to the new view via the collapsible menu on the left, choose “Bubble” there:

Bubble View

Posted in Info
October 12th, 2009

Poll

Heraldy is an interesting aspect of genealogy, and many families have a century-old family crest. It has also become quite fashionable to create one’s family crest and use it in one’s letterhead, or on a business card. In this week’s blog we’d like to know if you have your own family crest as well!

Posted in Info
October 8th, 2009

New Wallpaper For PDFs And Posters!

We have just updated to a new version of dynastree! One of the main features is a newly designed wallpaper for the family tree PDF and poster, called “Retro”. It’s simple and reminds me of the 70s, very nice in just white and blue, check it out:Retro

It can now be chosen in the shop for both family tree posters and PDFs!

Posted in Info
October 7th, 2009

Interested In Starting Your Own Genealogy Blog?

Did you ever think that you might want to publish your own experiences in genealogy? It’s easier than you might think, both technically and in terms of what it takes to write and maintain a genealogy blog. We recently discovered this video, which shows a 15 minute interview with Lisa Louise Cooke and Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers. Thomas MacEntee explains how you can easily start your own blog, and also elaborates how he got into genealogy, it really is interesting, you don’t want to miss out on it!

For further information, you can also access Geneabloggers’ guide for genealogy bloggers, it covers pretty much everything you need to know if you would like to share your genealogy story with the community.

If you would like to take a look at what other blogs deal with and look like, check out the blog roll, it is quite an impressive list of over 650 blogs, dynastree’s blog has just been added, thanks!

Posted in Info
October 5th, 2009

Poll

Folks, Christmas is approaching! It will be there before you know it, even though it’s only early October… so we would like to know when you plan on doing your Christmas-shopping! A poster of your family tree makes a great gift, you can get it here (you need to be logged in).

Posted in Info
October 2nd, 2009

A New Piece To The Puzzle Of The Human Family Tree

Today’s blog’s subject takes us into the fascinating subject of human ancestry: the skeleton of a new species has been discovered and is believed to be the oldest ancestor of the modern human that has been discovered so far. The remnants were found in northern Ethiopia, in a river bed near the town of Aramis. Many groundbreaking discoveries have been made in this part of Africa, the skeleton of another potential human ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis, was found here in 1974 (it was named “Lucy” in reference to the Beatles-song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”).

The female was named “Ardi” and lived bout 4.4 million years ago, and belongs to a new species called Ardipithecus ramidus. This species lived in a key period of human development, shortly (well, in terms of evolution!) after the human species separated from the common ancestor of modern apes (such as chimpanzees) and humans, about 6.6 million years ago. It may have been the first early human to walk upright.

Ardi was about four feet (1.2m) tall, and weighed around 50kg, similar to the height and weight of a modern chimpanzee. While she was very adapt at moving from tree to tree, she could also walk upright on the forest floor.

You can find out more at The Guardian, or at The New York Times.

Posted in Info