We’ve been working with MyHeritage for sometime now. But since we started our new global initiative, I’ve been amazed by some of things happening. Right from the start, MyHeritage organized a group project to document a particular cemetery in Israel using the BillionGraves app. The project involved about 80 people. It was a somewhat rainy Sunday morning. They documented one the oldest, largest cemeteries in Israel: The Segula Cemetery in Petah Tikva. Even with a little drizzle going on, they documented about 75% of the entire cemetery, totaling about 51,000 headstone images! They mapped it out well beforehand, so they knew exactly where to start when they went back to finish the remaining 25%. Each employee averaged 700 photos, at a rate of approximately 280 photos per hour. Some employees took over 1000 photos!
They discovered some of the state of Israel’s “founding fathers” buried in this cemetery.
This is the kind of thing “BillionGravers” experience. You’ll never know what you find. And it’s a rewarding experience in so many different ways. You’re documenting a cemetery, furthering genealogy work. Sometimes you come across a “gem”. Maybe it’s a headstone of someone famous. Other times it could be a cool, unique looking headstone. Other times it could be a barely legible headstone that you find in a middle-of-nowhere Peruvian forest. It’s always a thrill!
One of users, Charlene Boyd, says “Cemeteries tell so much about our history and it is up to us to listen to their stories.” Read more. Paul Smith, described it well: “When I get to the cemeteries, I find people I’m not looking for.” Read more.
I encourage all BillionGraves users- both previous users and new users to take a look at this MyHeritage event. It’s inspiring. Previous users, you helped us get started in documenting the world’s cemeteries, now we need your renewed efforts to help us finish! New users, you’ve probably already gotten a taste of how rewarding this experience is. Potential users, download the BillionGraves app and try it. You’ll see.
Our global user network is expanding. Especially because of our recent global initiative with MyHeritage. The effort to document the world’s cemeteries is on fire. Take a look at the success MyHeritage has had in Israel here. They coordinated a large group with a well drawn-out plan.
This was a well organized project. They mapped out sections and then sent out teams of two.
It was early Sunday morning in Israel. Cloudy and a bit drizzly. It didn’t stop the group from collecting over 50,000 images though!
These projects are always fun. It’s fun for yourself, your family, a group- everyone. It’s fun for older people. It’s fun for younger people.
We have a special request to all previous contributors: Let’s all work together to document every cemetery in the world! You’ve been a part of this since the beginning. Although you’ve been a huge part of the success in documenting cemeteries from your previous contributions, there is still more work to be done. This goal can be achieved with your renewed effort! Get re-engaged by organizing groups to document an entire cemetery, going out alone and gathering headstone photos, and/or go out as a family and gather the headstone photos of your own relatives. As you already know, it’s fun, easy, and rewarding. Not just for yourself, but for others who are waiting for a family member’s headstone photo to be uploaded from your area. You’d be surprised how many people will thank you for your contributions. We see it all the time. The example below inspires me:
Lyle Clugg received a message from another BillionGraves user saying, “You found my family’s graves. I live California. Lost my father as a child, and lost the family history with him. So amazing to find my great-grandmother’s grave, [as well as two of her children's graves]. THANK YOU! I saw their graves. Made my day.” Read more.
MyHeritage’s planning and coordination led to an incredible success. You can be part of your own success story. Documenting local graves is a tremendous way to get involved in preserving history.
The BillionGraves team is proud to announce that we have reached 7,000,000 records! Thanks to all the contributors around the world!
We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful contributors who are visiting and photographing cemeteries throughout the world as well as all those transcribing all those images!
Here are some additional statistics:
The 7 millionth record was transcribed by clyork0425 (Tennessee, United States) and the 7 millionth image was taken by Sabrinabettridge (Australia)
Groundbreaking multilingual mobile app will power international crowd-sourcing initiative
We are pleased to announce a new collaboration with MyHeritage to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries.
In this collaboration, MyHeritage calls upon its tens of millions of users along with millions of other family history enthusiasts around the world to work with BillionGraves to digitally preserve cemeteries around the world and capture their GPS locations.
BillionGraves and MyHeritage will work together to make the BillionGraves website and application available in 25 languages. Along with other features, the BillionGraves app and website will also support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. The addition of these features makes the BillionGraves app the first of its kind to be made available to the entire world.
The BillionGraves content is available for free on MyHeritage SuperSearch. In addition, MyHeritage is matching it for free to its 27 million family trees on MyHeritage and Geni.
Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage said
“We’re thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves. Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research, and although there are many thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online. Time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years so it’s up to our generation to preserve them.”
Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves said
“We’re delighted to work with MyHeritage on digitizing the world’s cemeteries. At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries—but it’s not something we can do alone. With MyHeritage’s support in mobilizing its massive user community and working with us to launch in 25 languages, we’ll be able to provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come.”
Disclaimer: BillionGraves has not been acquired by MyHeritage and is still owned and operated by Otter Creek Holdings. BillionGraves has and will continue to remain a FREE resource to all.
MyHeritage and BillionGraves team up to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries
Groundbreaking multilingual mobile app will power international crowdsourcing initiative
TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI & KAYSVILLE, Utah – Wednesday 19 February, 2014
- MyHeritage, the popular online family history network, has partnered with BillionGraves to launch a global crowdsourcing initiative to preserve the world’s cemeteries.
BillionGraves is a free iOS and Android application that lets users easily photograph and document gravestones, providing an important source of information for people intrigued about their ancestors and family history. Using patent-pending technology, BillionGraves is the only mobile application of its kind. With the help of MyHeritage, the app will be available in 25 languages, and will support Gregorian, Hebrew and Julian dates. It records the GPS locations of gravestones to make them easy to find and volunteers can easily see which areas of any cemetery remain undocumented, to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication. The gravestone photographs are then transcribed by volunteers on the BillionGraves website, resulting in searchable digital data.
With a community of tens of millions of family history enthusiasts all around the world, MyHeritage brings a vast global volunteer base for collecting and transcribing gravestone photos using the BillionGraves application.
All records collected are made available for free on the BillionGraves and MyHeritage websites. The partnership with BillionGraves brings major benefits for families using MyHeritage to explore their past, as all users will receive free Record Matches – alerts about gravestone records that have been automatically matched to their ancestors, making it easy to make new discoveries. In addition to the photographs and GPS coordinates of the gravestones, an index of corresponding information, such as dates of birth and death, close family relatives and epitaphs, is made available to search for free on MyHeritage’s search engine for historical records, SuperSearch.
“We’re thrilled to embark on this global initiative with BillionGraves”, said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “Gravestones are among the most valuable information sources for family history research, and although there are many thousands of cemeteries worldwide, most of them have never been documented, and their information is not available online. Time is chipping away at the gravestones and many are becoming unreadable over the years, so it’s up to our generation to preserve them.”
“We’re delighted to work with MyHeritage on digitizing the world’s cemeteries”, said Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves. “At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images from the world’s cemeteries—but it’s not something we can do alone. With MyHeritage’s support in mobilizing its massive user community and working with us to launch in 25 languages, we’ll be able to provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come.”
Over the coming weeks, MyHeritage users will receive documentation about the project and will be able to download the application via a special website designed for this project.
MyHeritage is a family history network helping millions of families around the world discover and share their legacy online. As technology thought leaders and innovators, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s more accessible, exciting, and easier than ever before. MyHeritage empowers its global community of users with social crowdsourcing tools, a massive library of historical content, and powerful search and matching technologies. The service is available in 40 languages. For more information, visit www.myheritage.com.
Aaron Godfrey, PR Manager for MyHeritage
Phone: US +1-347-329-5461 | UK +44-208-816-7571
With more than 7 million headstone records created by 70,000 volunteers in just two years, BillionGraves is the trusted resource for accurate GPS gravestone and burial record data on the web. BillionGraves’ mobile GPS tracking technology in its mobile application perpetuates this progress, bringing a wealth of genealogical information right to your fingertips. For more information, visit www.billiongraves.com
Disclaimer: BillionGraves has not been acquired by MyHeritage and is still owned and operated by Otter Creek Holdings. BillionGraves has been and will continue to be a FREE resource for all.
After months of work in response to hundreds of user requests, BillionGraves has added several new features designed to validate and enhance the headstone records found on BillionGraves.
Introducing BillionGraves “Supporting Records”
The Supporting Record feature now allows users to upload evidence-based documents that support the BillionGraves records that have been collected through our mobile Apps. This means that users are now able to upload headstones, birth/death, burial, marriage, cremation, and many other types of records WITHOUT NEEDING A SMART PHONE!
[NOTE] BillionGraves will continue to emphasize the use of our mobile application to upload VERIFIED HEADSTONE RECORDS with their accompanying GPS locations and will remain a FREE resource to all.
Over the last 2 years, thousands of volunteers have uploaded millions of headstone photos with accompanying GPS locations from every corner of the globe. These records are viewed everyday by researchers around the world because these are VALIDATED and ACCURATE records. No fabrications. No interpretations. No assumptions. Here is an example of the information found currently on BillionGraves.
BillionGraves Headstone Record Example
- Headstone Photo
- Exact GPS Coordinates
- Transcribed Headstone Data
- Full Name, Date of Birth/Death, Epitaph, etc.
Thousands of records are being uploaded every day and are breaking down genealogy brick walls and making connections that once seemed impossible. While working closely with our users and genealogists we found that there were many headstones and burials that just couldn’t be accounted for with our current systems; including unmarked graves, cremation scatterings, destroyed stones, and so on.
Our Supporting Record features eliminate this problem while maintaining the validity and accuracy of the BillionGraves database.
Our new Supporting Records feature allows users anywhere in the world to add evidence-based documents that validate and create additional insight into headstone records found on BillionGraves. The addition of these Supporting Records will serve as an invaluable tool to genealogists in their research.
Here are some examples of supporting records:
Supporting Record Types
- Birth/Death Certificates
- Marriage Certificates
- Burial Records
- Cremation Records
- Unmarked Graves
- Military Records
- Headstone records WITHOUT GPS coordinates
- Any other type of record that supports and validates any BillionGraves Headstone Records
Let’s face it, we’ve all been plagued with headaches caused by incorrect/assumed information in our family trees. BillionGraves’ Supporting Records IS the solution to your problems!
By adding and linking supporting documents to headstones on BillionGraves, we are able to connect the dots between each headstone and each member in your family tree by using EVIDENCE and not assumptions. Creating an accurate family history to pass on through the ages.
How to get started?
Supporting records are already appearing in the search results. Search now, to see our Supporting Records in action!
To add Supporting Records of your own:
- Log in to your BillionGraves account. (Don’t have an account? Register for FREE today!)
- Select “Add Supporting Record” from the “Tools” drop-down menu to add one record at a time.
- To upload multiple records at once, select “Add Batch of Supporting Records” from the “Tools” drop-down menu.
Have headstone images, birth/death records, or documentation of unmarked graves? Use the new Supporting Records feature on BillionGraves today!