2021 was an thrilling and difficult yr. This yr we noticed personal residents jet off to area, COVID vaccines administered worldwide, main occasions slated for 2020 that came about a yr late, and international provide chain points that disrupted our lives. By way of all of it, these previous two years have taught us that flexibility and resilience are key.
Right here at MyHeritage, we’ve been using the rollercoaster with you and persevering with to do what we do finest: innovate to enhance your expertise on MyHeritage for simpler and extra profitable household historical past discovery.
We launched a number of new picture options, cementing our place because the prime vacation spot for importing and sharing household images. Our groundbreaking Deep Nostalgia characteristic that animates faces in nonetheless images went utterly viral, with hundreds of thousands of animations being created in simply the primary few days after its launch. Because of Deep Nostalgia, the MyHeritage cell app made it to the very prime of the App Retailer, and was the preferred free app in 22 international locations! We additionally added a number of instruments for making DNA Matches extra helpful and simpler to work with.
18 years after our founding, MyHeritage was acquired by Francisco Partners, a number one international funding agency. Francisco Companions are completely aligned with our mission and collectively we’re working as arduous as ever to enhance the way forward for household historical past.
MyHeritage is dedicated to including historic data from around the globe to additional household historical past analysis. In August, we acquired Filae, a number one family tree service in France. MyHeritage customers have already loved entry to almost one billion unique French historic data which were added to MyHeritage because of this acquisition.
In 2021, our free, on-line, dwell family tree webinar choices continued full throttle, together with weekly Ask the Knowledgeable periods and tons of of Facebook Lives in a number of languages. We celebrated the milestone of 150 Fb Dwell periods in English alone since 2020!
Here’s a full recap of 2021 at MyHeritage:
Genetic Teams has been probably the most essential additions to our DNA take a look at since its launch. In January, solely weeks after the primary launch of the Genetic Teams characteristic, we announced significant improvements to Genetic Groups: the addition of a Timeline Widget that lets you observe the migration sample of a Genetic Group over time, and a extra detailed High Locations part, the place you possibly can see the place members of a Genetic Group have lived throughout a given time interval.
Our first picture software launched in 2021 was Color Restoration, which fantastically restores the colours in pale shade images. It’s very best for restoring scanned images from the Fifties to the Nineties that had been initially taken in shade, however have pale through the years. Since its launch, 16.4 million images have had their colours restored on MyHeritage!
The Photo Storyteller was one other hit. This mobile-only characteristic lets you report the tales behind your favourite household images and fix the audio narrative to the images utilizing the MyHeritage cell app. Since its launch, 692 thousand tales have been recorded.
In February, our DNA customers rejoiced after we introduced a brand new update to the Theory of Family Relativity. This game-changing characteristic offers you with leads that will clarify the connection between you and your DNA Matches, primarily based on knowledge from our whole assortment of household timber and historic data.
Forward of President’s Day within the U.S., MyHeritage launched an innovative ad that lets you see Abraham Lincoln like never before, as he explores his household historical past on MyHeritage. This was a harbinger of MyHeritage’s improvements primarily based on synthetic intelligence that might quickly usher in a complete new perspective on household historical past, bringing it to life.
Additionally in February, we introduced some excellent news for Mac customers of Household Tree Builder with the discharge of a new version of our beloved Family Tree Builder software for macOS Big Sur.
As a part of the development of enhancing DNA Matching options on MyHeritage, we launched a few new additions to Shared DNA Matches on MyHeritage making it simpler to entry important details about shared matches. These embody indications of whether or not Shared DNA Matches seem in a household tree on MyHeritage, and whether or not notes have been added to a shared match — each additions requested by our customers.
In late February, we introduced the winners of our #LoveInFullColor Valentine’s Day competitors. We requested our customers to share enhanced, colorized, and/or color-restored marriage ceremony images, and we had been blown away by all of the entries — such stunning photos and fascinating stories from all over the world!
All of this was only a warm-up for what was to return on the finish of February, when the discharge of Deep Nostalgia took the world by storm. We noticed record-breaking visitors to our web site as hundreds of thousands of individuals rushed to animate their historic images and produce the previous to life. The outstanding expertise for animating images was licensed by MyHeritage from D-ID, an organization specializing in video reenactment utilizing deep studying.
The groundbreaking picture characteristic that lets you animate the faces of your family members in nonetheless images immediately went viral.
Customers responded with surprise and emotion: some had been awed to see ancestors they’d by no means met — some from over 100 years in the past — transfer, blink, and smile, whereas others had been moved to tears witnessing their misplaced family members in movement after so a few years with solely nonetheless images to recollect them by.
Deep Nostalgia continued building viral momentum. As increasingly more examples of its use had been shared from everywhere in the world, we hit the brand new milestones of 26 million, after which 50 million animations created.
This video describes the worldwide phenomenon that Deep Nostalgia has turn out to be:
On the finish of March, we introduced one other addition to DNA Matches on MyHeritage: the ability to compare your Genetic Groups to those of DNA Matches on the Evaluate DNA Match web page.
In April we hosted the second annual 24-hour genealogy webinar marathon on Legacy Household Tree Webinars. The occasion was a roaring success. You’ll be able to watch the recordings anytime with a webinar membership to FamilyTreeWebinars.com, together with the entire yr’s lessons and lots of, many different wonderful webinars.
We introduced 10 additional animations for Deep Nostalgia, permitting customers to animate images with a wider spectrum of gestures and feelings, corresponding to smile wholeheartedly, blow a kiss, nod approval, and extra.
We announced that Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, had acquired MyHeritage. We’re thrilled on the alternative to speed up our imaginative and prescient for progress at MyHeritage, enabling us to proceed alongside our path and do what we do finest — placing our customers first and giving them life-enriching, and typically life-changing, experiences.
One other web site enchancment helped make the navigation bar on MyHeritage extra intuitive and simpler to make use of.
For Victory in Europe Day, the MyHeritage Analysis crew discovered some wonderful V-E Day photos from MyHeritage users and reached out to them to find these tales. We additionally colorized and enhanced them utilizing the MyHeritage picture instruments.
Because the a lot anticipated Mates TV present reunion episode premiered, after greater than 17 years for the reason that final episode aired, the MyHeritage analysis crew delved deep into the forged’s household timber and uncovered that Courteney Cox (Monica) and Matthew Perry (Chandler) are actually 11th cousins! The revelation brought about fairly a stir within the international media.
In June, we added one other picture characteristic to our picture toolbox and introduced Photo Repair, which permits customers to robotically repair scratched and broken images on MyHeritage.
Photograph Restore automagically fixes scratches, tears, holes, stains, and different injury on historic images. This marked one more profitable collaboration with DeOldify. Since its launch, 1.75 million images have been repaired on MyHeritage.
In honor of the 4th of July, the MyHeritage Analysis crew discovered some intriguing historical photos taken as long as 150 years ago. We colorized and enhanced them to provide gorgeous, full-color, crystal-clear variations, after which got down to be taught the tales behind the images.
We additionally uncovered the inspiring story of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and located dwelling descendants of each the person who wrote the U.S. nationwide anthem and the lady who made the flag it celebrates.
The most important characteristic replace we launched in July was the flexibility to confirm or reject a Theory of Family Relativity on MyHeritage, permitting customers to systematically overview theories and mark these which might be now not related to make the brand new ones extra noticeable. This performance was extensively requested by our DNA customers, and was very nicely acquired.
In August, we introduced the thrilling information that MyHeritage had signed agreements to acquire Filae, a number one family tree service in France. The acquisition strengthened MyHeritage’s place because the main household historical past service for folks with European roots.
We improved the most popular view for family trees on MyHeritage with a brand new design, making it simpler than ever to navigate your loved ones tree and make new discoveries. Together with this replace, we launched a new relationship diagram that makes it simpler than ever to hint the paths between your self and your family.
We added a new colorization model for MyHeritage In Color that takes the colorization software’s outcomes to a complete new stage. The brand new mannequin works particularly nicely on images which have additionally been enhanced utilizing the MyHeritage Photograph Enhancer.
In September, we launched several updates to the brand new, improved household tree view in response to suggestions from our customers.
We additionally hosted Webtember on Legacy Household Tree Webinars, providing free webinars on family tree and DNA that had been held every Friday in September, with 30 dwell and pre-recorded webinars in all.
In October, we launched the new and improved Legacy Family Tree Webinars website. It’s now sooner, simpler to navigate, and extra mobile-friendly, and comprises a number of new pages and options. Legacy Household Tree Webinars is a world pioneer in on-line family tree schooling, and one in every of MyHeritage’s treasured acquisitions. Hosted by Geoff Rasmussen, the location has featured greater than 1,600 dwell and recorded webinars up to now, taught by prime consultants in household historical past analysis and loved by genealogists of all talent ranges all throughout the globe.
We additionally ran another update to the data for the Theory of Family Relativity, which resulted within the addition of 19 million new theories.
In November we introduced an thrilling partnership with Expedia to assist customers plan the last word heritage journey and observe of their ancestors’ footsteps. We created the Heritage Travel Hub, a web site hosted on Expedia, to map a journey itinerary primarily based on MyHeritage household historical past discoveries.
Additionally in November, we launched the primary section of labels for DNA Matches, offering a handy manner of organizing DNA Matches on MyHeritage. Now you can label your DNA Matches by the standards of your alternative with 30 totally different colours. Every shade could be assigned to signify a distinct group of curiosity, serving to you overview them extra effectively and make higher progress in your loved ones historical past analysis.
Solely weeks after the primary launch of Labels for DNA Matches on MyHeritage, phase two was complete and DNA Match labels had been added in 3 locations: the highest of the Evaluate Match web page, Shared DNA Matches, and DNA match exports.
MyHeritage reached one other extraordinary milestone to finish off the yr, surpassing one million annual subscribers! To have fun the event, we determined to pay a shock go to to our one-millionth subscriber at her dwelling in Belgium and speak together with her about her MyHeritage expertise. We celebrated with a marching band, balloons, and cake. Watch the video of the shock go to!
Simply sooner or later earlier than the tip of the yr, MyHeritage’s founder and CEO Gilad Japhet was honored with an invite to the Israeli President’s dwelling in Jerusalem, the place President Isaac Herzog held the second annual presidential Bible meetup. This yr’s meetup agenda was devoted to shows by Gilad and his mom, Prof. Sara Japhet, 87, who’s an Israel Prize laureate in Biblical Research. The Japhets had been launched by the President to the viewers and their respective shows drew a connection between the significance of household timber in biblical occasions to their continued significance in fashionable occasions. Gilad wowed the viewers with demonstrations of the most recent technological instruments supplied by MyHeritage to make household historical past analysis enjoyable and thrilling as we speak. This impressed the President’s visitors to make a New Yr’s decision to discover their household historical past in 2022.
Implausible tales from our customers
Every consumer’s expertise is exclusive, and every journey of discovery is particular. Over the previous yr, we featured some unbelievable tales from our customers around the globe.
Some described their use of the MyHeritage Photograph Instruments, corresponding to Christina McKillip from the U.S., whose father grew to become emotional when he noticed a photograph of his grandmother animated; Doris McQueen, who produced a complete picture album for her husband’s 91-year-old aunt after colorizing and enhancing her household images; or Eliška Potužníková, who recognized family in a pale picture because of MyHeritage’s picture instruments.
MyHeritage DNA helped Gina McClelland discover and reconnect together with her siblings who dwell midway internationally, and Stephanie Gutsys uncover her thriller organic grandfather. Diane Ward found the identification of her start mom, but in addition a dwelling half-sister dwelling in america, because of a DNA take a look at that she gave herself a number of years in the past on Christmas. Debra Biagini’s DNA outcomes led her to satisfy her organic father and kind a robust bond with him in his 90’s. Erna Rusi by no means gave up hope, and a 3% DNA match led her to seek out her father.
Linda Schmidt acquired a Document Match on MyHeritage that led her to a stunningly detailed account of her grandfather’s experiences serving within the U.S. Military throughout World Struggle I, and it was a Search Join outcome that led consumer Erick Löfdahl to uncover his ancestor’s WWII achievements permitting him to go to the hero’s grave in Belgium for the primary time.
There have been many tales that basically captured our hearts, and made us escape the tissues. Right here had been a number of of them:
Karolina Jurzky’s grandfather had instructed her that her great-grandfather rescued a pair of sisters from the Nazis, and utilizing MyHeritage, she was capable of find and join with their descendants. This story was just lately featured on CNN and captured worldwide consideration, and we couldn’t be extra grateful and proud to have been a part of it. Kara Miller, who was positioned for a closed adoption when she was two days outdated, acquired a MyHeritage DNA match that led her to attach with each of her start mother and father. Months later, each her start dad and her adoptive dad had been capable of stroll her down the aisle on her marriage ceremony day. Clare Reay’s mom believed she was orphaned in a focus camp and by no means knew her organic household. When Clare took a MyHeritage DNA take a look at, she discovered her mom’s sisters who had been looking for her for greater than 50 years! They just lately reunited in individual, as coated on this Washington Post article.
Right here is only a small style of a number of the excellent collections that had been added throughout 2021:
France, 1901 Census; Census of Corrèze; 1911, Censuses of Hérault; 1836–1936, Censuses of Côtes-d’Armor, 1872–1906; Daily Burial Registers of Parisian Cemeteries; Military Enlistments and Conscripts of Nord; Military Enlistments and Conscripts of Nord; and Military Conscripts of Seine
And the next essential collections had been up to date with new data:
The MyHeritage crew
All year long, when COVID permitted, we had been capable of have fun sure events and proceed volunteer actions.
Listed here are images from a few of our occasions:
We mentioned thanks to those unbelievable workers who celebrated a decade working at MyHeritage. They’re every a necessary a part of the MyHeritage household, and we’re wanting ahead to many extra fantastic years collectively!
2021 was an thrilling yr at MyHeritage, filled with milestones and achievements. We’d wish to take this chance to thank every one in every of our customers for being alongside for the experience, and giving us inspiration each step of the way in which. You’re the purpose we proceed to create and evolve.
We stay up for 2022 with a lot anticipation — there are such a lot of thrilling developments on the way in which! We’re gearing up for a yr of recent releases, with groundbreaking new options, instruments, and updates. We’ll launch billions of historic data from around the globe, permitting you to make much more progress along with your family tree analysis. Keep tuned!
We want you and your households a really glad vacation season and a wholesome and affluent New Yr!