Genealogy site boosts searches

By Jessica Elgot, July 15, 2010

A Jewish genealogy organisation has teamed up with a popular family heritage website to help people researching distant Jewish relatives.

Jewish research charity JewishGen holds more than 14 million records which researchers can consult about their Jewish ancestry.

The organisation has agreed a deal with Tel Aviv-based My Heritage, a website which has 50 million members. Users create profiles to share information on their family trees and search for missing or unknown relatives, and the site's software matches up families when it finds connections.

Users of the site can now opt to transfer the information they have on their Jewish family trees to researchers at JewishGen. The aim is to reinvigorate a project called the Family Tree of the Jewish People, to offer a central resource for Jewish family trees and help re-connect Jews with relatives.

Laurence Harris, genealogy adviser for MyHeritage, said people on the site used shipping records, censuses and birth, marriage and death records from the JC archives to research family history. He said: "We are basically creating a giant database of Jewish trees which can be easily searched."

Last updated: 12:50pm, July 15 2010