Recently, we got to watch our young granddaughter’s excitement build as her birthday approached, and then we watched her joy as she opened shiny, new toys from family and close friends. Well, fellow genealogists, today may not be our birthdays, but two new “toys” have arrived for us in the form of genealogy databases! MyHeritage Library Edition and ShipIndex.org are now available at no charge for home or in-library use at midwestgenealogycenter.org.
While MyHeritage Library Edition is new to the MGC database collection, some of you might already be familiar with it. MyHeritage has been around since 2003, and with 12.5 billion international historical records and 42 languages, it has earned a position in what Family Tree Magazine called the “Fab Four” genealogy websites (Family Tree Magazine, March/April 2020 issue, available on MCPL’s RBdigital).
As with most databases, you really need to sit down and explore MyHeritage Library Edition. The record collections in this database include the complete U.S. and UK censuses, as well as military, immigration, and travel records; photos; newspapers; 3 billion family trees; and more. You can search by record type, location, or category, such as birth, marriage, and death records, from 48 countries. A short video tutorial—found near the top right of the MyHeritage Library Edition homepage—offers another way to learn the basics of navigating this site.
One unique feature of MyHeritage Library Edition is its global name translation feature. When you enter a name (for example, “Alexander”) into the search bar, the search engine will locate results for that name, names that sound like the name, and alternative spellings of the name in multiple languages, including languages that do not use Hindu-Arabic characters like ours. This means your “Alexander” search results will also include Alisander, Oleski, Sasha, and some names that can’t be listed without the use of a Greek, Russian, or Arabic keyboard! Once you’ve selected a result to review, the “Record Detective” at the bottom of the screen will offer other, related records to help you further along the research path to your ancestor.
Your MCPL Access Pass (Library card) now also gives you full subscriber rights to the 3.5 million citations in a second, shiny new database—ShipIndex.org. Compiled from over 900 resources, including books, journals, newspapers, and other databases, ShipIndex can be used to learn about the experiences of ancestors as they traveled the seas. Simply enter a ship’s name to discover images of the ship, its history, and much more. Some results may even offer you a glimpse at the ship’s logbook, personal journals recorded aboard the vessel, and crew and passenger lists!
So, happy birthday to us all! Now, untie that ribbon, and sit down to enjoy these two, shiny new databases on the MGC website!
Midwest Genealogy Center