I find it fascinating to watch the genealogy business world. New companies get launched, a few companies fade away, and quite often the successful smaller companies are acquired by larger companies. Such is the case this week: BackupMyTree LLC is being acquired by Israeli-based MyHeritage.com.
BackupMyTree is a great service that takes the worries of data loss away from individual genealogists. It is software that installs in your computer and automatically makes online backups of any data you add to your genealogy database. The backup process is automatic: after installation, no further user action is required. All the genealogy data is heavily encrypted within the PC for security reasons, then sent across the Internet to servers operated by BackupMyTree. In case of a future data loss caused by hardware malfunctions or perhaps by human error, the preserved data can quickly and easily be retrieved at any time by entering the encryption password into the data recovery software.
I have written about BackupMyTree several times. About a year ago, I wrote at http://goo.gl/XEoBt:
What happens to all your genealogy data when your hard drive crashes? (Note that I wrote "WHEN your hard drive crashes," not IF it crashes. All hard drives will crash sooner or later.)
All genealogy data needs to be backed up frequently. A new online backup service will do just that: make frequent backups and store those backups off-site for safety purposes.
I am still as enthused today about BackupMyTree as much as I was last year when I wrote those words. Not only does BackupMyTree make backups, it even makes backups of each revision and keeps each revision available for a while. If you made a mistake last week but have since added more data and made even more backups, you can still revert to the version prior to last week's error, restore the error-free version, and continue onward.
Every genealogist needs to make frequent backups of research findings. That research effort often requires many hours of labor and may also represent a significant expenditure of money. You don't want to lose all that work. Backups are critical. BackupMyTree simplifies and automates the backup process.
I am amazed that BackupMyTree has remained available to everyone free of charge. I also noted in the announcement (published below) that new owners MyHeritage.com have pledged that the service will remain free of charge.
I am not sure what lies ahead for BackupMyTree with its new owners. However, I do know that MyHeritage.com has a lot more marketing muscle and also many more customers than does BackupMyTree. I have to believe the service will be expanded and will become more popular than ever. I see that as a good thing: more genealogists backing up more genealogy data than ever before.
Here is the official announcement written by BackupMyTree and MyHeritage.com:
World’s largest family network buys industry’s primary service for protecting family history
BOULDER, Colo., LONDON, United Kingdom & TEL AVIV, Israel – September 20, 2011 - MyHeritage.com, the most popular family network on the web, announced today the acquisition of BackupMyTree LLC, the world’s first free and automatic backup service for family tree data. The move represents the sixth acquisition by MyHeritage.com, further expanding its technology leadership and range of family-history related services enjoyed by millions of families around the world.
One year after launching, BackupMyTree has successfully established a new era of worry-free research for genealogists and family history enthusiasts, with its backup service protecting more than 9 TB of family tree data. MyHeritage.com will continue to maintain the service and keep it free.
“As the leading international destination for families to explore their history, share memories and keep in touch, we understand the enormous value users place on protecting their family tree data,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage.com. “We believe that BackupMyTree’s cutting edge client-to-cloud technology has massive potential and share its mission of preserving family history, making this a natural and synergistic move for us. We look forward to continuing to provide an excellent free backup service and exploring ways for BackupMyTree to benefit existing MyHeritage.com users and vice versa.”
By automatically finding family tree files and creating a remote, off-site backup, BackupMyTree’s software ensures complete protection of family tree data, preventing loss of years of work due to a computer disaster such as a virus or hard disk crash. Compatible with major genealogy applications, offering anywhere access and instant retrieval of family tree data in multiple revisions,
BackupMyTree has become the industry’s go-to address for backup. The service counts the world’s most experienced genealogists as its users, who rely on BackupMyTree to store and protect their extensive and often lifetime’s worth of family research.
Renowned genealogist Dick Eastman reviewed the service in January 2011 and praised it: "I rarely recommend specific products but I am recommending this one. BackupMyTree should be installed on every genealogist's Windows computer."
“BackupMyTree proved to be an instant hit with family history enthusiasts, giving them peace of mind that their family tree research is safe and secure,” said BackupMyTree’s Founder and CEO, Cliff Shaw. “As our team shifts focus to our new venture, the world's largest free genealogy search engine Mocavo.com, MyHeritage.com will undoubtedly be an ideal home for BackupMyTree, with extensive resources to support and maintain it. We rest assured that BackupMyTree will be in very good hands.”
MyHeritage.com holds a formidable international registered member base of 60 million users and offers its services in 38 languages. Following a string of family network acquisitions, most recently Polish family net-work Bliscy.pl, European family network OSN GmbH and Dutch Family Network ZOOOF, MyHeri-tage.com has become the world’s most widely used free service for connecting families to their past and to each other.
BackupMyTree is the second company that MyHeritage.com has purchased from serial entrepreneur Cliff Shaw, having acquired Pearl Street Software, makers of GenCircles.com and Family Tree Legends, in 2007. MyHeritage.com continues to run both GenCircles.com and Family Tree Legends, and has made the Family Tree Legends software and record collection free.
BackupMyTree finds and backs up industry standard GEDCOM files as well as data files created by Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File, Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic (version 4 or later), Family Tree Builder, Family Tree Legends, Ancestral Quest, Ancestry Family Tree, Reunion for Mac and GenoPro.
MyHeritage.com is the most popular family network on the web. Millions of families around the world enjoy having a private place for their families to keep in touch and to showcase their roots. MyHeritage.com’s Smart Matching™ technology empowers users with an exciting and innovative way to find relatives and explore their family history. With all family information stored in a secure site, MyHeritage.com is the ideal place to share family photos, and celebrate and preserve special family moments. Available in 38 languages and home to more than 800 million profiles and 20 million family trees, MyHeritage.com is uniting families worldwide. www.myheritage.com
About BackupMyTree LLC
Founded by serial entrepreneur Cliff Shaw, BackupMyTree LLC are the makers of the world's first free and automatic backup service, www.backupmytree.com, for storing and protecting family trees. The service provides genealogists with peace of mind that their family tree data is protected from a computer disaster or accidental data deletion, and se-cured by a remote, off-site backup. BackupMyTree offers anywhere access and secure retrieval of current and previous versions of family trees. For further information visit www.backupmytree.com
If you enjoyed this article, Tweet it, share it on Facebook or on your preferred social network. Republishing of this article in newsletters, blogs, and elsewhere is allowed and encouraged. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/hoHH1.
Of course, if you haven’t done so already, you should join my email newsletter mailing list to stay current on my latest articles and announcements. You can also cancel at any time within seconds. I promise to never, ever send you any unrequested e-mail, other than newsletter updates.