MyHeritage.com has created a unique new database that allows you to find others who have searched for the same relatives you’re trying to find.

Genealogy companies are getting smarter about figuring out how to use the data that’s created when people use their sites. One example is the newest smart-searching feature from MyHeritage Search Connect ™.

For several years, MyHeritage has kept track of who is searching for what ancestors. Now MyHeritage has turned their enormous archive of this information into a searchable database, with 30 million entries focused specifically on rare surnames. The database will continue to be updated weekly.

Now when you search in MyHeritage, results from  Search Connect ™ will appear in your search results. Subscribers will be able to click on those results and connect with other MyHeritage users interested in that surname. According to a company press release, “As well as connect with other MyHeritage members, you can also view the full data of their search (such as dates, places, relatives and more), as well as similar searches they’ve made.” This can help you determine whether you are indeed searching the same branch of a family.

An initial search in MyHeritage Search Connect on a rare surname in my husband’s family–O’Hotnicky–brings up results that could keep me busy for a while! We’ve never connected with overseas relatives, and many of the results shown are for MyHeritage trees created by members outside the U.S. I was pleased to see that MyHeritage’s Global Name Translation tool (released earlier this year) translated the O’Hotnicky name correctly into Eastern European spellings.

PRIVACY TIP: If you’re a MyHeritage user, you can opt out of having your searches (past, present and future) included in the database. According to MyHeritage, “To do that, log into your family site and click on your name in the upper right-hand side of the screen. Select ‘My Privacy’. Click on ‘My member preferences’ on the left and uncheck ‘Enable Search Connect™’.”

We are pleased to partner with MyHeritage, a sponsor of the free Genealogy Gems podcast.

More on MyHeritage from Genealogy Gems

Millions of New Scandinavian Genealogy Records Online at MyHeritage

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MyHeritage App Ranks in Top 100–and Gets a Redesign

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