I mentioned in a recent blog post that competition is always good among genealogy database vendors because of the constant pressure to stay ahead of the game. In that instance I was referring to Ancestry and brightsolid’s (lower case b) Findmypast.com, which has an ever increasing footprint  in the United States.

The very popular Israel-based company MyHeritage, a different kind of genealogy company, has a new system to automatically match its social family trees with billions of historical records from newspaper articles to grave marker images (see below). Users will be offered free snippets of the matches the system has found. This is an add-on feature for their SuperSearch global search engine for historical records launched in June of this year.

According to CEO Gilad Japhet’s interview with gigaom’s David Meyer about the source of the records,They come from original documents, birth records, marriage certificates, passenger lists going through Ellis Island, tombstones – in a few cases user contributed, as some people take snapshots of gravestones and upload them – public information, census records, newspaper articles and books. Record Matching covers both text-based and structured records, those that can be filled into a regular database.

Click on MyHeritage to read more details with information on how to use the Record Matching feature. ”Record Matching is the world’s first and only technology to find family tree matches in newspaper articles, books and other free text documents, using semantic analysis.

Click on gigaom.com to read their version.

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